How long does it take to fall out of love? The question weighs on our mind whenever the magic of fluttering butterflies in the stomach and racing heartbeats begins to fade away. Affection is replaced by irritation and appreciation by bickering. When you fall out of love, the fairytale of romance and happily-ever-afters is replaced by a nightmarish reality of impending pain and loneliness.
The honeymoon phase is now over, and the roses seem stale. The relationship feels like a load that you are dragging on. Once, either one of the partners comes face to face with this feeling, your relationship hits the rock bottom.
After the relationship ends, you begin to wonder: Why do people fall out of love suddenly? What went wrong? Do guys fall out of love easily? Why did you fall out of love? This maze of questions keeps weighing on your mind and there seem to be no definite answers in sight.
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How Long Does it Take to Fall Out of Love?
You see a perfect couple, head-over-heels in love, painting the town red and revelling in the beauty of their togetherness. There few things as beautiful as the sight of two people in love.
And then, a couple of months you later, you discover that one of them is getting married to someone else while the other is back on the dating scene again. How does this happen? Why do people fall out of love suddenly?
How long does it take to fall out of love? What about all those months of dating, celebrating anniversaries and imagine a future together? Various factors can influence this drift. Let’s explore some of them here to understand how long does it take for love to fade and why it happens:
1. Falling out of love depends on the person
The likelihood of falling out of love can be governed by one’s personality. If a person is a commitment-phobe, they can feel the itch to move on from a relationship and seek a new partner. In such cases, falling out of love is like a ticking time bomb. Their person presses one wrong button and they are ready to bolt.
A lot of times such people mistake the idea of in love with the idea of being in love and having a partner with the feeling of love itself. Their feelings may also be governed purely by physical attraction, unaware of how lust is different from love, they mistake it for love.
Once that rush of hormones recedes, they begin experiences emptiness in the relationship.
On the other hand, for some people falling out of love can be a more gradual process. After being in a relationship for years, they begin wondering what they were doing with their partner all these years. So, how long does it take for love to fade, really depends on who is falling out of love.
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2. Maturity governs how long it takes to fall out love
Remember that high-school sweetheart you thought you couldn’t go a day without? Where are they now? If don’t have a clue, you’re not alone. Not all people marry their high school sweethearts. This is because people evolve with age, and experiences can change your perceptions and outlook toward life.
This is why a lot of people experience that sense of falling out of love, even with their long-term partners, if the relationship started at a young age.
It is not uncommon to fall out of love with someone you dated in school or college, because a taste of the real world coupled with responsibilities of adult life can turn you into completely different people who don’t relate to each other.
Besides, making a relationship work takes a lot of hard work and patience, which only comes with maturity. The less mature you are, the sooner it will take you to fall out of love because you just don’t know what it takes to make love last.
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3. It can happen if you mistake attraction for love
According to Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007, lust (or attraction) exists more in the “here and now” and does not necessarily involve a long-term perspective. A lot of people often mistake infatuation for love. With time, this attraction begins to recede and demands of life interfere with your togetherness.
When that happens, a relationship based on lust will fizzle out.
Lustful relationships always come with an expiration date. Here it is not a matter of if but when. If you or your partner snapped out of the relationship without ever sparing a thought to how long does it take to fall out of love, there’s a good chance lust was the driving force in the relationship.
4. Falling out of love can happen because of boredom
Vanderbilt University sex researcher Laura Carpenter explains, “While people get older and busier, as a relationship proceeds they also get more skilful — in and out of the bedroom.” Dynamics of any relationship are ever-changing, and eventually, the spark fizzles out and boredom kicks in.
The realisation that your partner no longer stimulates you can begin to impact the love you feel for them until there is none left. After falling out of love you may question yourself, ‘why do people fall out of love suddenly?’
The truth is you were long out of love but just didn’t want to acknowledge it.
5. Rushing into relationships may be why some people fall out of love
A study by Harrison and Shortall (2011) found that men tend to fall in love faster than women 1. How long does it take for a guy to fall out of love then? While it is difficult to answer that definitively, how long it takes to fall out of love is often governed by how quickly someone fell in love.
Sometimes, people rush into relationships without getting to know the person on a deeper level. When that happens, the realization of being with the wrong person hits home quickly and falling out of love follows.
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Why Do People Fall Out Of Love Suddenly?
Based on 30-year long research, Dr Fred Nour, an acclaimed neuroscientist, has found a scientific explanation for questions like: why do people fall out of love suddenly and how long does it take to stop loving someone.
In his book, True Love: How to Use Science to Understand Love, he explains that falling out of love is linked to human evolution. Over the centuries, the human brain has been programmed to stop the supply of lust hormones once a person reaches the stage in a relationship when they begin evaluating the other person as a potential life partner.
Once the happiness and excitement inducing hormones are taken out of the equation, people are able to assess their partners more objectively.
And if the person lacks qualities they expect in their husband/wife, the process of falling out of love is set into motion. While this happens on a subconscious level, it manifests itself in the form of reasons and triggers for falling out of love:
1. Lack of communication gets in the way
Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Naturally then, lack of communication can create an impenetrable wall between partners, which keeps building up over time. By the time either of the partners realizes it, the wall is already too strong to be breached.
If a relationship has reached that stage where both partners just cannot have a meaningful conversation, it may be beyond any hope. An absence of communication tends to create misunderstandings and creates disinterest. The spark diminishes and eventually makes the relationship dies a slow, painful death.
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2. You fall out love when an emotional connection is missing
Just saying ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean anything unless your partner feels that love reflecting in your actions. A lack of emotional connection between partners is also one of the main reasons for infidelity. When emotional needs aren’t met, you tend to look elsewhere and feel drawn to the person who helps fill that void.
Often, how long does it take for love to fade may be governed by the emotional health of the relationship.
3. Why do people fall out of love suddenly? Lack of sex may play a role
According to a survey conducted by The Hindustan Times, 30% of all marriages in India end as a result of sexual dissatisfaction, impotency and infertility 2. Emotional satisfaction and sexual satisfaction work in tandem to bind a relationship together.
If either one of them is lacking, a relationship is most definitely in rocky waters. Lack of intimacy can cause partners to drift apart, and falling out of love just becomes a matter of time.
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4. Incompatibility can make people fall out of love
Sometimes, people enter into relationships that have no future. They end up with a person whose life goals and dreams are markedly different than theirs.
Even though hope that things will get better with time sustains the relationship for some time, reality takes its toll eventually. When such a relationship ends, it may seem sudden or abrupt, but the idea had been weighing on their mind for a long time.
People fall in love, then out of love, and then again in love. It’s like a cycle that continues until you find ‘the one’. As Monica from Friends says to Chandler, “We weren’t destined to end up together. We fell in love and worked hard at our relationship.” The dynamics of how long it takes for people to fall out of love depends on how strong the foundation of a relationship is. If are not rock-solid ground, you might never fall out of love!