It will have happened to most of us that we experience ‘love’ as an emotion, which does not remain forever. The notion of ‘forever’ however still lives on in our heads, either through what we have learnt from fairy tales, films or society’s expectation. Is forever outdated in today’s society?
Changes in dependency
We do not have to go back far in time to see that even just 50 years ago partners in relationships where much more dependent on each other than nowadays. Social structures where the man was the breadwinner and the woman stayed at home and looked after the children were much more the norm. Nowadays, besides other movements towards independence, women, in particular, are no longer required to stay in a relationship. They have options, which they did not have in the last century.
Changes in family structures
The composition of families has gone through a rebirth in the last 100 years. The tendency to divorce, and therefore the chances of remarrying, has increased over the last decades. In Switzerland for example the divorce rate has clearly increased from 13% in 1970 to 43% today. Single parents or blended family structures are common, which means that partners are less likely to continue living in a relationship that is less than satisfying.
There are still many of my clients who long to experience a relationship that would sustain the honeymoon love experience over years. The fact of relationship development however shows that this first initial love will have to transform into another kind of love for one another. This process of change is also often complicated by life’s challenges like financial struggles, job loss, inability to deal with conflicts, death in the family, etc.
Stages of relationship
So if the reality is that our love for each other changes, what can we do at that stage? You basically have two different choices: either you continue meeting new people to love so you can continue the beginning stage of love over and over again or you learn about being in a relationship past this point. Love is an experience of inter-connectedness, which can be experienced with many different people in various situations, like during a conversation with a friend or playing with your child.
I don’t love my partner anymore
Not loving your partner anymore does not necessarily have to mean that you have to end the relationship but maybe learn more about it, the people involved and then make an informed decision.
If however, your relationship has run its course, separation might be the best solution. If you are still unsure, you might want to investigate a bit deeper and analyze and feel into what is going on. If your thoughts are leading nowhere, consider talking to someone who is specialized in this topic like a counsellor, coach or mediator.