If you’ve been together a long time, then you and your partner have undoubtedly been through a number of ups and downs. Nothing is more difficult, however, than looking at your partner and feeling that you are no longer in love. It can leave you feeling like the relationship is over and that it’s time to move on. And, if you have a family and many years invested in each other, that can be devastating. But can you really fall back in love with your partner and make things good again?
Falling back in love with your partner is possible but doing so is different than when you fell in love the first time. If you don’t feel drawn to you partner and it feels like the “magic” is gone, there’s no potion or love-spell that will bring it back. Whether you can fall back in love with your ex or current partner will depend on why things cooled off on the first place and the willingness of you both to bring the love back.
Do We Have To Be “In-Love” To Be Happy?
It’s important to understand that feeling “in-love” with someone isn’t always the same as loving someone. There are many couples who feel like they love each other, but they’re not in-love with each other.Although some would say this is okay and just accept it, there are actually many dangers in doing this.
Falling in love with someone is an emotional high. You want to be with that person as much as possible, you feel attracted to them, they’re on your mind all the time, and you likely want to do things that make them happy. You may even ignore other areas of your life just to have more time together. This phase doesn’t last forever though and generally speaking, that’s okay. It allows your love to move into a more stable phase that serves as a basis for a strong, healthy relationship and life together. This can still be part of being in-love though.
The danger comes when the person you love becomes more of a platonic partner that you feel affection for rather than the romantic partner that you’re in love with. Losing that loving feeling (sorry Righteous Brothers) means that there is effectively a chink in your armor, and you are now more vulnerable to outside influences that can threaten your relationship. People who don’t consider themselves in love with their partner are more prone to affairs, repetitive arguments with their partner, and disinterest in their relationships. Clearly these things pose a threat to the relationship as a whole and everything it encompasses like family, children, home, and finances.
So, do you have to be “in-love” to be happy, no, not technically. But will your relationship be happier, stronger, and healthier if you are? Absolutely. That means that figuring out how to fall back in love is an important part of preserving your relationship and happiness.
You Must Determine Why You Fell Out Before You Can Fall Back In Love
Before you can fall back in love with someone you need to first figure out why you fell out of love. This can happen for a wide variety of reasons, some valid and some just smoke from the fires that life can hand you. Regardless, perception is reality as they say, so if you don’t feel like you love your partner then there’s an issue that needs to be resolved before you can fall back in love.
To begin the process, ask yourself why you fell out of love and consider whether any of these sound familiar.
- Not the same person he/she used to be. This is a common one, and in response to it you need to ask yourself, are you the same person you used to be? I can tell you now the answer is, no. People grow and change. In order to maintain a strong relationship two people need to do this together and with respect for one another. Falling in love with someone is the easy part. Staying in love and allowing that love to adapt as a person changes is the hard part. Most changes people go through are in response to life and maturing and therefore can be understood. Even if it takes effort, those changes still allow for love. If, however, your normally strait-laced husband decides to get a full back tattoo and multiple piercings, or your hard-working wife suddenly quits her job and joins a cult, there may be other problems like a midlife crisis or depression going on. These problems don’t mean that you will stop loving them, but they certainly can mean that finding a way to fall back in love will be more challenging.
- I’m not attracted to him/her anymore. Also a common complaint among couples. Sexual intimacy is an important component for a healthy and happy relationship. When you don’t feel attracted to your partner this can pose a big problem. Weight gain is often the issue cited in this case, and this is true for both men and women. Second to this is attitude and self-confidence. Although the lack of lust and desire can be hard to overcome, falling back in love isn’t entirely dependent upon the physical attraction. And with the effort to bring the love back it’s also possible to help and encourage your partner to get back to the best, healthiest, and most attractive version of themselves.
- He/she isn’t interested in me. What many don’t recognize is that love is responsive to love. Many have fallen out of love with their partner because they feel their partner no longer loves them. This becomes a vicious cycle.
- I don’t know why. It’s not unusual for someone who feels that they need to fall back in love with their partner to be unable to pinpoint where things went wrong. “My wife is attractive and smart, I just don’t feel it for her anymore,” “My husband loves me and would do anything for me, but I don’t feel the same way I used to.” People who find themselves unable to articulate why they feel the way they do more than likely have their own issues they need to tackle that are affecting the love they have, or should have, for their partner.
If you can identify the problem, then there is a much greater chance you can fix it. So, now that you’ve narrowed it down, can you really fall back in love? The short answer is, yes.
What Can Help You Fall Back In Love
Despite the song by the Searchers there is no actual Love Potion #9. In order to fall back in love with someone it will require effort. This is something that is often overlooked by couples. Many assume that if they fell in love once those feelings should never change or dull. So, when they find themselves not feeling the way they did at the beginning many jump to the conclusion they’re not in love and things are over. This doesn’t have to be true.
Dr. Kurt answers this question quite often in his practice. Many couples struggle with this and seek couples counseling as they look for the answer. Sometimes it’s even those looking to figure out if they can fall back in love with their ex. When asked about it he had this to say,
Everyone who's asking the question if you can fall back in love is looking for hope. Although most people are highly skeptical that it could really be possible in their situation. They usually believe if the answer is, yes, then that's for everyone else, but not me. The truth is that feelings change. Just like we develop loving feelings, and then lose them, we can develop them again too. Is it easy? No. Possible? Yes. You can fall back in love but it almost always requires learning new ways to love and communicate with each other. Usually there are also a few underlying problems that must be addressed as well in order for the love to be able to come back."
If you want to fall back in love you will first need to become determined to try. This means taking time to do the things you once did when being in love was easy. Making a point to behave in loving ways can help to rekindle the feelings you once had.
There are also many other efforts that can help you fall back in love.
- Make time to talk. People can drift apart as life gets busy. When you lose the connection you have to your mate it’s much easier to forget how being in love feels. You fell in love with your partner and the person they are, so one way bring those feelings back is to make a point to talk to each other and pay attention to one another. This is especially true if you feel your partner has changed. It could be that their views and thoughts are even more engaging than before and getting to know each other all over again can bring about a new closeness and allow you to fall back in love.
- When you met you flirted with each other. You just did - it’s part of the dance that brings people into a romantic relationship. You probably had fun doing it too. Bring that back. Flirting is fun and breaks down walls. It also indicates desire, and everyone wants to be wanted.
- Reenact things that were special. When you first fell in love there were likely places, things, or events that meant something to you and your partner. One way to remind yourself what it felt like when you were in love with your partner is to reenact those things again. Putting yourself back there again can help jump start those in love feelings.
- Find the romance. There comes a point in a relationship when romance takes a back seat. Blame it on kids, jobs, the house, whatever - romance just fades. If you are to fall back in love with someone it will mean finding that romance again. Know ahead of time, however, that it won’t be as easy or as comfortable as it once was, and that’s okay. It’s an important component of feeling in love, however.
- Be intimate. This can be hard for some couples, especially if the intimacy has become minimal or nonexistent. It obviously also requires the buy-in and interest of both partners. Sexual intimacy, however, helps to reengage emotions. Being that close and vulnerable to your partner can help break down the walls and open your heart and mind to the feeling allowing you to fall back in love. Start slow if needed, even just kissing can result in big changes.
- Try something new together. Boredom is often mistaken for lack of love. To help you and your partner fall back in love it’s important to do things that stave off boredom, inspire interest, and keep your minds engaged. One way to do this is to try new things together. This can be a new hobby, seeing something new, or going on a new adventure together. Sharing these new exciting things can help you feel closer and more bonded to each other.
Whichever effort you chose to make understand that it’s not an overnight solution. Your attempts to fall back in love with your partner may require more than a few approaches before they really take hold. And they may require a bit of finesse, especially if your partner has felt equally as disengaged. But falling back in love can be done.
Remember, falling in love is fun. It’s exciting and makes us feel hopeful and inspired. You can fall back in love with your partner and experience these same feelings again. In fact, it can be even more fulfilling and rewarding than the first time.
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