This is sort of a response to the article “20 of the Best Things That Happen When You’re First Falling in Love with Someone.” It is not meant to be depressing, or cynical of love in anyway. I loved the aforementioned article, thought it was a very accurate list and ticked off each of the things as something that has happened to me initially when falling in love. I think developing crushes and new love is so, so much fun and exciting. But I also think falling in love, though much less fun, is equally as interesting. This is based on my personal experience of falling out of love and what I’ve heard from friends who have gone through it as well.
1. You are surprised the first time you notice that someone other than the person you love is very, very attractive. Not just good-looking, but they make your heart skip. You realize that you are no longer blind to everyone except the person you love. It’s jolting.
2. You realize that all of your arguments boil down to the same issues, sometimes even just one over-arching issue. They’re repetitive and redundant arguments that seem small and inconsequential initially. But they hurt and you start to question your relationship.
3. Their quirks, which you first thought were cute and unique, really tick you off now.
4. You don’t text constantly when you’re not together. If you miss their call, you don’t call back right away.
5. Flirting doesn’t happen much. They already love you, and you love them. Enticement just doesn’t seem necessary.
6. You don’t touch absentmindedly, at least not in the way you used to. Their hand used to touch the small of your back, yours would somehow find its way to rest on their upper arm. One arm was always around your waist at parties, but not in a territorial way. It was always absentmindedly because you always wanted to be touching. But now you don’t touch, not like that.
7. Dates are far and few in between. You’re not really “dating” each other anymore. But you realize you miss the excitement of a first date.
8. Casual touches don’t make your heart race. Your breath doesn’t involuntarily hitch when they walk into the room.
9. Going a while without seeing them is fine, and there is no anticipation for the next time you’ll be together because it won’t really be as big of a deal as it used to be.
10. It’s easy to be floored by the attention of someone else. You’ll catch yourself flirting just a little with other people. The guilt you’ll feel, once you do feel it, is immense because it translates into one huge problem: you’re bored.
11. Sex becomes routine. Sometimes it stops happening regularly. You don’t have sex, not because you’re tired or not feeling it that night, but because it’s not something you’re excited about anymore. The first time you catch yourself thinking about having sex with anyone else and getting excited will be awful.
12. You start to get jealous of your single friends, who used to be the ones that were jealous of your strong, loving relationship.
13. You don’t talk about the future as much anymore and if you do it’s about individual things that you plan on doing alone.
14. You find yourself becoming curious about everyone except your partner. It’s the excitement of reading a new book for the first time versus rereading a beloved classic that you can probably recite by heart and don’t even bother to reread all the way through.
15. You try, sometimes desperately, to recreate the feelings you had in the beginning. You try to remember what it felt like to have a crush and for your heart to race, for every touch to make you weak in the knees and every kiss to be passionate and heated and remarkably sexy. Instead of the feelings coming back, you just realize you miss feeling this way and it makes you sad.
16. Speaking of missing things, you don’t miss your partner when you don’t see them for a while. You start to relish the free time.
17. Activities that used to be done together, like going to the gym or the movies, are either done alone or with other people now.
18. You’re always “tired”.
19. You contemplate what “taking a break” really means.
20. Saying “I love you” is no longer special and when they say it back they might as well just be saying “goodnight”. And that is when you really know.