What happened to my relationship? It seems like yesterday that my sweetie and I were so happy just to be in one another’s presence. Every day was a new day of discovery, sharing, love. Then those days got fewer and fewer. I started noticing the flaws. He expressed his love less frequently. We had more arguments and nothing ever seemed to get resolved. We were like two zombies silently crossing paths. After six months, we are no longer together. How did our relationship deteriorate so quickly?
We Stopped Loving
Did you lose that loving feeling for your partner? Did they lose that feeling of love for you? Is it just that easy to tell yourself one day that you no longer love your mate? Are you convincing yourself that’s what was going on or do you feel certainty, validity about your terminating the relationship?
Have you looked introspectively at what might have led to this feeling? Is this feeling real? Do you think it might be temporary? Did you share your thoughts, your doubts, with your mate? Does this dwindling feeling of connection mean you two were not meant for each other? Was it a sign that it was time to break up, to stop “beating a dead horse?” Or, do you feel like you didn’t really know if it was love at all or that you have forgotten how to love?
A Disposable World
Is love that easily found and just as easily discarded? We live in a disposable world. When things break, often our first inclination is to replace it. Were you inclined to dispose of your relationship because it felt broke? Instead of trying to fix it, were you taking the easy way out by ending a faulty partnership you didn’t know how to fix, as if your relationship were an appliance or a car that’s not working?
When conflict arose, instead of working to solve the problem, did you or your mate go with the urge to dash, determined to seek the next adventure? Then, when that next adventure didn’t satisfy you, will you hop on to the next? Were you staying in the relationship, waiting to see if someone “better” would come along?
Maybe nothing felt broke but you are hooked on instant gratification. Maybe you or your mate were love addicts; you focused only on the thrills, excitement, the adventure of new love and when that faded – like the effects of a powerful drug wearing off – you had the urge to get that next “fix.”
That may be kind of extreme to compare love to an addiction, but there may be some truth to it. Have you perhaps mistaken lust for love? Are you expecting to always feel that infatuated, giddy feeling like you did during the first days of the relationship? Are you being realistic about the stages that love goes through? Do you accept that there may be ebbs and flows, that there is a process taking place that leads to a deepening of that love? Have you considered there are different facets of love, like the different facets of a beautiful diamond, sparkling at different angles? Did you give love enough time to grow?
How sacred is your concept of a relationship? Do you consider a relationship a commitment, a sacred pact, a convenient partner? Or do you see it as a quest to experience new partners? Was your relationship doomed from the start because of some preset beliefs or personality flaws? Did you really want an exclusive relationship? Did they? Did you have extensive talks about these feelings before you decided to call it quits? Did you seek the help of a therapist to help you sort out your feelings?
Maybe you’re a bona fide serial relationship starter. Maybe you have the urge to overlap a new relationship with the fizzling out of the one you’re still in. Maybe you harbor thoughts of the next “catch,” keeping an eye out for a backup relationship in case your current one doesn’t work out. Just something to think about …
Fear of Intimacy
Do you or your ex have commitment phobia? Are you afraid to make a commitment to a long-term relationship because it will expose certain flaws in you that you would prefer hidden? Are you afraid of trusting your partner completely? Are you afraid of being vulnerable, of being hurt? Are you afraid of revealing your true self, who you really are?
Love is an exercise in trust and commitment, supporting your partner, revealing our deepest thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams. Can you close your eyes, lean back and feel safe that your partner will be there to catch you? Are you confident they will accept you for who you are – flaws and all? Can you do the same for them?
Did you or your partner have a secret affair outside of the relationship? Did you or they commit some other betrayal? Do either of you automatically assume the relationship has to end because of it? Is the trust you might have had for your partner broken permanently? Can you honestly say you have stopped loving them because of it and can never love them again? Is it impossible to consider that you could get over the betrayal and work on ways to rebuild the trust between you?
Not Worth the Effort
How much do you value your relationship? Is it worth putting the time and effort into growing it? Are you unwilling to accept the sacrifices and compromises required in a relationship? Are you expecting your relationship to be perfect, with no hitches?
Were you so immersed in your life that you didn’t leave enough room for a relationship? Do you expect relationships to be easy, with no rough patches? Are you “all in” a relationship or is it one of convenience?
Were you open, expressing yourself, your likes, dislikes, concern over an issue you encountered? Do you assume relationship problems will go away if you ignore them? Were you able to talk things over rather than have arguments? Does one or two big challenges bring you to your knees?
As a relationship progresses, sometimes it changes. If that was the case, why were you unable to face those changes? Sometimes one partner has made a shift in what they want out of life, their career, the manner in which they live their life. Could you and your partner have accepted those changes in one another? Were they small changes couples go through all the time or were they what you would call insurmountable?
Searching for Answers
Answering these questions should uncover some relationship habits you may not have considered. How successful you are at holding a long-term relationship historically? How soon do you “throw in the towel?” Taking a good hard look at these thoughts going through your head may uncover why your relationships seem to break apart so easily.
Take heart. You’re not in the minority. Many others have issues like yours. It does explain why we see so many failed relationships happening all around us. Next time, you will be wiser.