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Can you lose feelings for someone you love?

Falling out of love with someone you once cared deeply for is a complex emotional process. There are many reasons why people may lose those loving feelings over time in a relationship. While painful, it is possible to move on when romantic love fades.

Why do people fall out of love?

There are several common reasons why people may lose loving feelings in a relationship:

  • Neglect – When partners stop paying attention to each other’s needs, resentment can build over time. Lack of communication and intimacy can cause emotional distance.
  • Betrayal – Infidelity or broken trust can instantly damage feelings of love. Cheating often leads to anger, hurt, and disconnection.
  • Personality changes – As people grow and evolve, they may grow apart instead of together. Diverging values and priorities can diminish romantic attachment.
  • External stressors – Major life events like having children, illness, financial problems, or trauma can strain a relationship.
  • Boredom – Doing the same things together and losing that “spark” can make partners drift into a companionship love rather than romantic love.

When someone consistently stops showing care and affection for their partner, the loving bond weakens over time. Love requires ongoing expression and renewal to thrive.

How can you tell if love is fading?

There are some telltale signs that hint one’s loving feelings are diminishing, including:

  • Less frequent communication and interactions
  • More conflict, arguments, criticism towards each other
  • Lack of interest in being intimate physically and emotionally
  • Spending less quality time together; increased distance
  • Not missing your partner when apart or looking forward to reuniting
  • Finding yourself attracted to other people; emotional or physical cheating
  • Fantasizing about being single, alone, or with someone else
  • Feeling bored, annoyed, resentful, or “stuck” in the relationship

It’s normal for passion to cool in long-term relationships, but when your interactions become consistently negative or indifferent, it’s often a sign love is fading.

Can lost love be rekindled?

It is possible to revive feelings and fall back in love, but both partners must be willing to work at it. Steps to rekindle lost love include:

  • Spending meaningful one-on-one time together, free of distractions
  • Trying new activities and making new memories together
  • Re-opening communication and being vulnerable about needs, hopes, and frustrations
  • Seeking counseling or relationship coaching for improved understanding
  • Making gestures of affection, romance, and appreciation for each other
  • Finding purpose and goals you can enjoy pursuing as a team
  • Expressing gratitude for your partner’s positive qualities and strengths
  • Letting go of past hurts, forgiveness, and moving forward

However, both people have to be willing to re-commit and make each other a priority again. Change is possible if the fundamental caring is still there.

How do you move on when love fades?

If efforts to rekindle a relationship fail, it becomes necessary to begin moving on. Steps to take include:

  • Accepting the relationship has run its course and letting go
  • Cutting off contact if needed to avoid prolonging attachments
  • Removing reminders; cleaning out mementos
  • Spending more time on your own interests and with other loved ones
  • Staying busy with work, hobbies, exercise, travel – refocusing energy
  • Not rushing into a new relationship until you’ve healed
  • Expressing emotions with trusted friends or professional counselor
  • Being patient with yourself through the stages of grief
  • Looking to the future with optimism when you’re ready

The pain of heartbreak after losing love is normal. Self-care and support from others helps the heart heal.

Can you be friends after the romance fades?

Whether it’s possible to salvage a friendship from lost love depends on several factors, such as:

  • How long you were together
  • Level of emotional investment and intimacy
  • Whether the breakup was amicable or traumatic
  • If trust and respect remains on both sides
  • Degree of compatibility as friends

Friendships between exes tend to work best if there was an existing friendship basis to the relationship, or it was a short-term romance not too entangled. Emotional distance is required before establishing a friendship.

How long does it take to fall out of love?

There is no definitive timeframe for falling out of love, as the process is unique for each person and situation. However, research suggests it takes romantically-attached individuals an average of three months to start letting go of strong feelings for an ex partner. But full recovery from heartbreak can take much longer – commonly 1-2 years for intense loves.

Factors that influence the length of time it takes to fall out of love include:

  • How long you were in the relationship
  • Shared history and experiences together
  • Level of emotional dependency on your partner
  • How gradual or sudden the breakup was
  • If you still see or interact with your ex
  • Presence of stressors like divorce, children, etc.
  • Your personal resiliency
  • Quality of your support system

It takes time for the heart to detach and rewire from a lost love. Allow yourself grace through ups and downs. The depth of love you shared can reflect how meaningful the relationship was.

When should you seek help?

Seeking counseling or therapy can be beneficial if you’re having trouble letting go, such as:

  • Months pass with no improvement in sadness or anger
  • Your mood is significantly depressed most of the time
  • You have no desire to try new things or engage socially
  • Feelings of resentment or obsession linger
  • You’re coping in unhealthy ways with alcohol, risky behavior, etc.
  • Friends or loved ones express concern over your state

Unresolved grief over a breakup that disrupts normal functioning may require guidance from a professional counselor. They can help you process the loss and move forward.


Although rarely painless, it is possible to eventually fall out of romantic love when a relationship ends or fades away. With self-care, patience and support, the heart gradually heals. New love becomes possible when you’re ready to open yourself to it. Trust that with time, the pain will soften and transform into wistful memory of a meaningful chapter in your life.