It happens so slowly. You don’t laugh together as much anymore. That thing you found so quirky about her is now annoying. That lop sided smile of his doesn’t seem cute at all. Its little things that quietly begin to creep up on you. Suddenly the things you used to accommodate about them so happily are now things you just about manage to tolerate. No one knows why this happens. No one knows why people who once loved each other more than anything in the world, fall out of love. And the sad thing is, the realisation always hits one person before it hits the other.
Its not quite as simple as one morning you wake up and you aren’t in love anymore. No, losing love is a much slower, much more painful process than that. The ability to realise it, however, eludes us until one day we look at the person we thought we could see spending the rest of our lives with and see nothing anymore. And there isn’t any specific reason for it other than the fact that you have grown apart, grown into people who are not in love anymore. So what do you do when this realisation strikes you before it does the other person in your relationship? Do you simply leave? Do you stay? What do you do when the love of your life becomes just another person who you know?
1. Recognise that there are two of you in this relationship and even if you do not love the other person anymore, it is important to respect them. Falling out of love with someone is not an excuse to treat them badly or treat them in a way that is less than they deserve.
2. Remember that no one is to blame when two people fall out of love with each other. Whatever you do, do not turn the blame onto them. Sometimes people just outgrow their relationship and need to let go of each other to find something better suited for the people they have become now.
3. Do not blame yourself either. Guilt can be a very negative and destructive thing towards the end of a relationship. It can make people do a lot of things they would never do if they weren’t feeling so guilty leading to mixed signals going to the other half of this dying relationship.
4. Communicate. Look, no one wants to tell someone who they care about that they do not want to be with them anymore. But you have to sit down and let the person you were once in love with know that you aren’t anymore. And you have to be brave without being unkind about it. It is at this point that people turn on each other the most. Blame the other for not trying hard enough, get defensive about their own behaviour – it is human nature to attack someone else when we fail at something as deeply emotional as love. Trying to be rational and not allocating blame will allow you discuss this on a more spiritual level and part on healthy terms.
5. Do not abandon them. That moment it hits you that you are not in love with this person anymore, some people feel the overwhelming urge to run. Please don’t. Remember that this is someone you have made promises to, that you are going to have to break. And you are both going to need closure on this. Don’t leave your relationship feeling empty and full of regret.
6. Be brave with it. Someone once told me that break ups are so painful because it is the life you pictured with that person, the life where you are together forever dying. It is like losing a loved one, without actually losing them, more like letting them go. And facing up to this is one of the most deeply disturbing things you can go through. It takes a great deal of courage to be able to look at someone you have loved and tell them you think you should part ways. Be motivated and do not, under any circumstances find a way to excuse yourself from this pain – you are only delaying the inevitable.
7. Remember that you will fall in love again. Things may seem terribly dark right now. It may feel like you used to be so happy and there is no way to get that back again. This was your great love and you have lost it, you will never feel like this about someone again. The thing is, this pain will pass. And you will love once more. Perhaps even more than you have ever done before. Always bear this in mind. And the world will not seem so dark and bleak.
Nikita Gill is the author of the book Your Soul Is A River. She lives in England.