• Relationships evolve, and so do the feelings of love you have for your partner as you both grow and change.
  • People usually fall out of love if one partner isn’t willing to grow along with the other partner, relationship therapist Matt Lundquist told Insider.
  • It’s difficult to tell if you’ve actually fallen out of love, but trying to repair certain areas of your relationship like your co-parenting skills or ability to be amicable roommates, can offer clues.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

When you’re madly in love with someone, you likely never think about what it’d feel like to fall out of that love, but it can happen.

In fact, it’s natural over time for couples to transition from passionate to compassionate love, or a “solid and stable form of love” that can lack the fiery passion of a young relationship, according to “The Anatomy of Love,” a site run by relationship researchers.

Long-term partners also often go through major life changes together, and those changes can affect each partner in different ways. Sometimes, those experiences can bring two people closer together, but other times, they can create distance in relationship and, as a result, feelings of love may wane.

Raising children, deciding to become sober, losing (or gaining) a lot of weight, or becoming disinterested in hobbies that you once shared with your partner can all drive a wedge in a relationship and make it feel like the love you once shared is absent, according to relationship therapist and founder of Tribeca Therapy Matt Lundquist.

Although falling out of love can be a scary experience, it’s possible to regain that love if you have an open mind. “We think of love as binary and static, but it’s not like that,” Lundquist told Insider.

He added that the “fuel that motivates the love may need to change over time,” and a couple’s ability to do that can make or break their relationship.

Falling out of love usually means your relationship is lacking in intimacy

It’s hard to define exactly what falling out of love feels like, but it’s usually characterized by actions (or lack thereof) that detract from intimacy in a relationship.

If you or your partner start to communicate about relationship problems less and less, or keep secrets from each other, that could be a sign you don’t have the love-based connection you once did.

Read more: 6 signs you’d be happier single

Another sign you may be falling out of love is a disinterest in sex with your partner. It’s normal for a couple’s sex life to change as they enter the long-term phase of their relationship, but if you never want to be physically or emotionally intimate with your partner, that raises a major red flag.

Lundquist said this lack of intimacy usually occurs when one partner goes through a significant event that changes them as a person, but the other partner doesn’t experience that same evolution.

If one partner in a couple who used to bond over going to parties and drinking together decides to make a life change and become sober, for example, it could uproot a major bonding experience in the relationship.

“It’s disruptive because you may want different things or different types of intimacy,” Lundquist said.

Focusing on other aspects of your relationship could reignite love

If a couple wants to fall back in love, it requires rethinking your commonalities.

When the interests that once brought a couple together start to diverge, it’s normal to feel a lack of connection. But if a couple wants to fall back in love, it requires rethinking your commonalities and actually putting the “love” aspect of things aside.

“First, talk about what’s healthy and not, what’s aligned and what is not,” Lundquist said. “Be better friends, financial partners, and parents first before the love piece.” When a couple focuses on those day-to-day hurdles, or what Lundquist calls the “functional” aspects of the relationship, there’s a better chance for them to fall back in love.

It’s also helpful for couples of any stage of their relationship to put effort into making sure their lives have enough novelty, variety, and surprise — aspects psychologists have long known are key to successful long-term partnerships, according to the American Psychological Association. One classic study, for instance, found that spouses were more satisfied when they were told to go on exciting dates like hiking than safe dates like renting a movie.

Additionally, if one partner’s intimacy needs change, it’s important they discuss that with their partner so they get back on the same page. If one partner realizes they want more quality time with their spouse, for example, they need to explicitly explain that and make a plan to execute it.

It’s impossible to know whether you’ll fall back in love until you give it a try

Unfortunately, even if a couple takes these steps, it’s impossible to know whether the love you once felt will be rekindled. Still, if it’s a relationship you cherish and want to salvage, it’s worth a try.

“Actively exploring is the only way to really find out if you can fall back in love,” Lundquist said. “You can’t see road ahead, but you have to trust it’s there.”

  • Read more:
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  • 11 signs you’re ready to move in with your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together
  • 7 signs your partner resents you, from starting petty fights to withholding sex