Many people believe and expect to give and receive unconditional love from their dating or relationship partner. They think that “real” love is without buts and ifs. However, this is hardly ever true. There is a reason why we fall in love and we continue to love someone. We don’t always know or can explain why we find someone attractive or desirable, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a specific quality or trait that draw us to that other person. An expecting loving or being loved unconditionally is unrealistic.
Let’s first consider how love actually begins. There are reasons why you become attracted to someone. Be it their looks, body language, charisma, personality, sense of humor, character, ambition, or likely a combination of all of the above – there are reasons why you fall for someone. There are reasons why you feel that thing that we call “chemistry.” Some of those reasons are easier to identify than others, but there must be something about the person who you fall in love with that attracted you, and surely there must be something special about you that makes your partner want to be with you and think of you when you are not around.
Whether it’s physical attraction, sense of humor, personality, charisma, character, personal ambition, positive energy or a combination of some or all of the above qualities – there must be something that you noticed about the person you love that made you develop feelings for him/her. Thus, it only makes sense that if one or more of those fundamental reasons for love and attraction between the two of you disappears, then you won’t be as much in love anymore or you won’t be in love at all.
Thus, it’s only fair to expect that if the reasons for your feelings are fading, your emotional connection to the same person will diminish or even completely disappear as well. That’s one of the major reasons why we hear that couples who break up say that the reason they didn’t want to be together any longer was because they felt that they grew apart. What does it really mean “growing apart?” It means not really having a reason to love each other anymore. Thus, to maintain love, the core reasons that caused that wonderful emotion to develop must be present and maintained in the relationship.
I can’t count how many times I heard a woman say that she and her long-time partner have “grew apart”. Often it meant that the woman got frustrated with the fact that they guys wasn’t moving in any direction. His life and more importantly – his attitude toward life became stagnant. He would have no goals for advanced with work or school. He would stop taking care of his fitness, having stopped to exercise and gaining wait. He could be thinking that there is no point in trying too hard since he is already settled and is not looking to attract anyone, but he fails to consider that once he stop being attractive, his present partner will lose some or all of the attraction toward him. Then, the problems will start. These issues will manifest in various superficial ways such as petty arguments resulting from being annoyed with each other, and fights about insignificant issues, but these are just signs that bigger problems exist