Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

The state of love changes in long-term relationships, explains couple and sex therapist Dr Eve.

Dr Eve explains that there are various stages in romantic relationships.

From falling in love, to beginning to fall out of love, into emotional indifference - the most negative stage of all.

Dr Eve, clinical sexologist

Many partners who start to disengage in their relationship often associate this with 'falling out of love'.

Dr Eve says that self-love and self-actualisation are an important part of making romantic relationships work.

A romantic love-relationship should have a sense of well-being of self for it to be healthy.

Dr Eve, clinical sexologist

It's about being in a place where there is a huge amount of connection and intimacy.

Dr Eve, clinical sexologist

She explains that the cold distance between partners grows gradually over time and romantic disengagement can quickly turn into indifference.

You are indifferent and romantically disengaged, if you:

  • are less involved in your partner’s life
  • speak with your partner less frequently
  • interact with your partner in less intimate ways
  • are less attentive to your partner’s needs and the relationship
  • avoid discussing personal topics that make you feel vulnerable

Three stages of disaffection is a relationship:

Stage 1

  • the qualities you once found positive and appealing about your partner begin to seem negative
  • you feel disappointed by your partner
  • you try work on your relationship and accommodate your partner to keep it intact

Stage 2

  • disillusionment turns into anger about the relationship
  • you become less accommodating to your partner
  • you obsess over your partners negative traits and weigh the costs of leaving the relationship

Stage 3

  • feelings of anger and hurt are replaced with indifference
  • you make little effort to hide your unhappiness with the relationship from others
  • you begin to pity your partner
  • therapy and counselling to decide on whether to split or not

Dr Eve advises that couples go through a checklist to assess the current state of their relationship(s).

Visit Dr Eve's website to learn more.

Take a listen to her expert advice and callers share their personal stories:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How institutional sexism and economic power get sexual predators 'off the hook'

How institutional sexism and economic power get sexual predators 'off the hook'

Powerful men and politicians are protected from accountability for sexual abuse because of money, status and embedded misogyny.

'Sex addiction' does not exist (or excuse sexual abuse) - Dr Eve

'Sex addiction' does not exist (or excuse sexual abuse) - Dr Eve

Dr Eve says sex addiction has become a label reserved for privileged men to excuse and avoid responsibility for sexual misconduct.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Why parents of kids with disabilities often struggle with sexual intimacy

Why parents of kids with disabilities often struggle with sexual intimacy

Caring for kids with disabilities needs financial, emotional and psychological care. It can also cost some women their sexuality.

Enjoying secret chats online? It may be time to talk polyamory with your partner

Enjoying secret chats online? It may be time to talk polyamory with your partner

Having private chats online behind your lover's back? Sexologist Dr Eve says polyamory is a better option than cyber infidelity.

10 misconceptions about sex that thwart consent (and some complicated scenarios)

10 misconceptions about sex that thwart consent (and some complicated scenarios)

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve discusses the politics of consent and how some messaging can perpetuate sexual violence.

Popular articles
News24 exposes how big SA corporates are funding fake news

News24 exposes how big SA corporates are funding fake news

A News24 investigation has exposed how some of South Africa's biggest companies have been advertising on fake news websites.

7 expert tips on how to make your breakfast healthier

7 expert tips on how to make your breakfast healthier

Nutrition and diet expert, Catherine Pereira, shares some advice on how to make healthier decisions for your morning meals.

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone Viral'.

[WATCH] Man exposes people selling stolen goods on Facebook

[WATCH] Man exposes people selling stolen goods on Facebook

Anton Fourie says he used his phone to record the interaction to create awareness of what is going on in the community.

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Cheryl Zondi is testifying against Pastor Timothy Omotoso who is accused of rape and human trafficking in his Durban church.