Why didn't my relationship last forever
Falling in love & falling in love: do we have no influence on our feelings?
There is this painful moment when you have to admit that a love is over. Anyone who has been in a relationship for a long time may have already experienced it. At some point you wake up and realize that love has become something else. Friendship, mere sympathy, or maybe even indifference and antipathy - in any case no more love. What exactly happens when a person becomes one among many from THAT, without our wanting it?
At the same time, there are moments in life when we would wish that we would fall out of love as quickly as possible, for example because love is not mutual and we suffer from lovesickness. And regardless of whether you are in love or out of love: Both just seem to happen to us without our having any influence on it. Or does it?
Video by Laura Dillschneider
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The 2 phases of love: being in love and being familiar
Love is the most beautiful feeling in the world and at the same time the most mysterious. To understand it better, one must first know the phases of love. Psychology distinguishes between two partial aspects of love: On the one hand, there is what we primarily associate with love, namely the feeling of being in love and passionate love. On the other hand, there is also comradely love. Over time, it arises from the feeling of deep familiarity with the partner.
The change from the initial phase of being in love to the quieter phase of deeper love and familiarity is a completely normal process, as psychology professor Lars Penke explains in an interview with the health portal Onmeda.de. At the beginning of a relationship we give a lot of gas. We want to convince the other of us and take them by storm.
Everything is still insecure and that is exactly what makes this early in love life in a relationship. The great uncertainty and the longing for a reciprocation of our feelings. Attracting the other's affection is paramount. You are completely fixated on this one person.
And of course this strong feeling, which puts us in a state of ecstasy, at some point subsides as soon as you get to know each other better and are sure of the other's feelings. Then the feeling of being in love gives way to a deeper feeling: "Ideally, passionate love will transition into a deeper bond. The partner becomes more reliable, more predictable, a safe haven, "explained Lars Penke.
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Being familiar does not mean the end of love
Many people confuse this second phase of love, in which everything is no longer intoxicating, but in which everyday life also begins, with the end of love. They equate this quieter kind of love with dwindling feelings. But that's wrong, because it's all a normal process. Because we couldn't stay in the intoxication of the beginning forever, because it simply takes us completely apart, both physically and mentally.
When exactly this change of feelings takes place differs from couple to couple. Many couples can hold the initial tension longer than others. Be it because they give themselves their freedom, because they try extremely hard, because they are in a long-distance relationship or whatever. One thing is certain: the change will come - sooner or later.
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Why do you fall in love anyway?
But what if this deep feeling becomes too companionable or even subsides completely? What does it mean when love is suddenly gone? The psychologist's answer sounds very pragmatic. Lars Penke sees the model of the monogamous relationship as a kind of cost-benefit calculation. If the calculation is no longer correct for one of the two, he will possibly draw the conclusions from it. "If you have the feeling that you can no longer rely on your partner, you no longer benefit from the relationship, the cost-benefit calculation is negative. "
A very important factor that has to be right for both is the trust factor. If that is lost, for example because someone is hiding things from the other, lying to them or cheating on them, this can massively weaken the relationship. And the disappointed partner, on the other hand, will also look at his cost-benefit calculation and ask himself what he still has from the relationship.
Also read: Different from women: THIS is how men actually fall in love!
Lovesickness: When you want to fall out of love but can't
If the relationship is bad, not everyone breaks up. Emotionally unstable people in particular often remain in a partnership because they are afraid of being alone. And they don't find it illogical at all. "They do not fall out of love, but with them love turns into an anxious, ambivalent form of bond: they no longer really trust the other, but they hold on to the relationship."
And even if you are forced to separate because the relationship no longer makes sense, it is difficult to control your feelings. If you want to fall out of love because you are suffering, it is usually just as difficult as falling in love. The feelings do what they want. They're just still there, no matter how much you want to let go.
Also read: Study shows: men and women fall in love so differently
What helps to fall out of love?
Lars Penke says: "If you still love your partner after the breakup, it is usually because the familiarity is still there. One continues to believe that one can rely on him."
In order to be able to actively fall out of love, one has to break away from precisely this familiarity. And that by thinking more about what was negative in the partnership. This increases your doubts about the relationship and ultimately helps to resolve it.
"If you can't break away from your ex-partner well, it often has to do with the fact that you don't see any alternatives for yourself: you think you have no chance of a new partner."And ultimately only one thing helps: Get positive feedback, e.g. when flirting with a new acquaintance, in order to realize that there are alternatives.
Freshly in love, but unhappy: what helps?
Even without a relationship, it is not always easy to deal with feelings. How often are you in love and totally attached to your counterpart - but that eludes and stays cold. Even at this early stage of being in love, it is difficult for us to show our feelings the stop signal. We'd rather begin to lie to ourselves and tend to interpret every little signal from our object of desire as feeling and interest. Every little bite he throws us is eagerly received. Too bad: this is how we unnecessarily prolong our suffering.
But even here we wake up at some point, as Lars Penke explains to Onmeda.de. He compares the feeling of being in love with the flow experience that some people know from computer games: "The attraction is that the level of requirements is perfect: You are challenged, you have to make an effort, but you also have a sense of achievement because you receive encouraging signals. "
As long as our counterpart plays along, we are enthusiastic about it. However, if the other person gives us nothing in return, no friendliness, no flirtation signal, nothing, we automatically give up our being in love at some point. To avoid lovesickness and to reorient yourself as quickly as possible, one thing above all helps here: flirting and falling in love again.
The interview with the psychology professor Lars Penke was conducted by Lydia Klöckner from Onmeda.de. You can find the full interview here.
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