As much as falling in love can come as a surprise, so can falling out of it. So if you're feeling a strange distance from your partner, it can be tempting to look for the signs of falling out of love. And while only you can answer the important emotional questions, sex and relationship experts have fortunately come up with some concrete ways to tell if you're losing your love connection, just by looking at the physical signs.
“Falling in love is such an amazing feeling that can turn your life completely around," relationship expert and founder of CupidsPulse.com Lori Bizzoco tells Bustle. "Unfortunately, for many of us out there, that love doesn’t last forever like we hope it will." And when it starts to fade, we have to be honest with ourselves about where to go from there.
Sometimes, you have to look at subtle physical signs because your mind isn't ready to wrap around the loss of losing your love for someone. "When you first fall in love you never think it would eventually come to this point," Love Rehab Guru and author of Red Flags Run, Ashley W. Gillett, tells Bustle. "... [But] there is nothing you can do to salvage the relationship [when] the memories are there but the in love factor is not.” So be honest with yourself — it's the best way to heal.
Here are nine physical signs you're not in love anymore, according to experts.
1. Your Heart Doesn't Race Around Them
Even in a long-term relationship, your partner should still be able to occasionally make your heart beat faster. "If catching sight of someone tends to make your heart race, then that adrenaline rush is a physiological sign that you’re in love. If that no longer happens, it could be that your feelings have changed," Bizzoco says. Of course, no partner can make your heart soar all the time, but feeling absolutely no rush of feelings around them anymore might be an indicator that things are slowing down between the two of you.
2. You Don't Touch As Much
The love between you and your partner is often manifest in your physical relationship. Everyone shows their love differently, but if you feel yourself literally pulling away, you may be falling out of love.
"Hand-holding and any other types of physical touch with your loved one is a sign of affection that many couples display," Bizzoco says. "If you find that the two of you are rarely close these days, or you only touch out of habit, the excitement you once felt for your partner may be fizzling." If you notice that your daily life with your partner involves less physical closeness, it may be time to examine what that might mean.
3. Your Pupils Don't Dilate
Obviously, it's hard to see this one for yourself, but it's worth paying attention to. Because in this case, the eyes really are the window to the soul. "Studies have shown that when we are excited about something or someone, our pupils dilate," Bizzoco says. "... If [you] notice that there are no changes in your pupils when you’re with your beloved, maybe the love isn’t there anymore." So either have a friend look for cues, or take a quick bathroom break to look yourself in the eyes during a date. You might find out a little bit about your relationship in your own reflection.
4. You Literally Aren't Going At The Same Pace
Another sign of whether your love is lasting comes in how the two of you walk together. “Once you fall out of love, you can feel crowded or even uncomfortable when you're too close.” Kayla Lords, a writer and sexpert for JackandJillAdult.com, tells Bustle. Because of this need for distance, going places with your partner can become more awkward than it was before.
"[If you're falling out of love,] instead of walking at the same pace, you [may] walk at a faster or at a slower clip," Bonnie Winston, Celebrity Matchmaker and Relationship Expert, tells Bustle. So next time the two of you head off to run errands or go for a stroll, keep an eye on your pace. There may be a deeper meaning behind it.
5. You Don't Get Butterflies
Long-term relationships do sometimes involve a more mundane kind of love, but you should still feel those same butterflies every once and a while. If, even on special occasions, you don't get that flutter in your stomach, you may be falling out of love.
"[If you're no longer in love with your partner,] you won’t feel 'butterflies' which are actual endorphins being released in your brain when in love," Winston explains. Down the line, you may have fewer experiences of butterflies around your loved one, but if it never happens at all, you may want to reassess your feelings.
6. You Can Hear It In Your Voice
Conversations between the two of you may either dull out or get sharper if someone is falling out of love. So listen to the ways you speak to one another. "[When you're no longer in love,] there is no more excitement in voice when you talk to each other," Gillet says. So if you're feeling that the your voice has lost it's spark around your partner, there may be more to pay attention to.
Another way conversation can change is if you're constantly annoyed by your partner. "[Take note if] you feel irritated a lot when you are physically near them,” mental health and relationship expert Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS, tells Bustle. If you feel like your conversations are pitchy and defensive, it might be worth looking into.
7. You Feel Repelled
Beyond a dull, disinterested feeling, falling out of love can actually start to feel like repulsion, in the literal sense. "[Falling out of love can look like] not wanting to touch your partner," Lords says. "This is beyond not thinking about holding hands or hugging. You're physically repelled by them." If this is the case, you need to be honest about your feelings.
"A lack of interest in touching or physically connecting is problematic in a relationship," Mendez explains. So bring it up to a therapist or close friend, and you can figure out what to do next.
8. Sex Feels Like A Chore
If you're having less sex, or having sex for reasons other than pleasure or enjoyment, it's time to take tabs on your relationship. "If you've fallen out of love enough that you don't want to hold hands or hug anymore, sex becomes even more difficult," Lords says. And if you're not having sex, this change in physical intimacy can be apparent in other ways. "[If you're falling out of love,] instead of making out there will be a closed mouthed peck on the lips or an air kiss," Winston says. Be honest about your feelings, and open up about it to someone you trust. You deserve to enjoy physical intimacy with a partner you love.
9. You Feel Physically Drained Around Them
Falling out of love can be tiring — literally. "[It's a sign if] being together with your partner physically drains you [or] talking with them or doing activities with them leaves you exhausted physically and emotionally," health and wellness coach Caleb Backe tells Bustle. If you feel like you're constantly on eggshells, or losing energy when around your partner, chances are you're falling out of love.
Relationships sometimes involve boredom, or physical distance; that's the nature of being someone's partner for a long time. But if your body and your physical relationship with your partner are giving you strong signs not to be in a relationship anymore, then it may be right to trust that instinct. In the end, only you can decide whether or not you're in love.