There sometimes comes a really difficult point in a relationship when you look at the person next to you and you feel nothing. Literally nothing; no hard feelings, no resentment, but a sudden emptiness, an emotional distance that you can’t quite put your finger on but which, in its own way, explains why the sight of them no longer warms you with contentment.
I say this ‘sometimes’ happens to beat around the bush, but doesn’t a relationship always end with one person unable to look at their other half in the same way they always have done?
It’s easy enough to explain when there’s been heartbreak or disloyalty – the moments when we’re forced to look at the person we loved as someone we shouldn’t. But what about the times when it seems to happen for no reason at all? Can we really just fall out of love, simple as that?
Or is it more likely that with these people, we never really fell in love in the first place? To answer that, you have to ask yourself how many times you think we get to love in our lives. Surely the elusive search for ‘The One’ would have us think the answer to be only once, for real. But what about the other times we’ve found ourselves uttering those three little words that change everything, what about our first love and The One That Got Away? Do they pale in comparison when we come face to face with our forever after?
It must be possible to fall out of love when falling in love can happen so easily. I’m sure they call it ‘falling’ because it’s this unstoppable spiral of endorphins and romance, happiness and high hopes. But when we hit the ground and the dust settles – after six weeks, many months, or years – love has to have survived where promise and infatuation did not.
Falling out of love is much harder to explain and even if it’s a decision made for you or a hand dealt out of the blue by fate, it’s not so easy to accept. But if real love is everlasting, then the times when we have fallen in and out of love may not have been real love after all. It doesn’t make them insignificant but it reveals the sweetest secret of ‘The One’ (if we’re lucky enough to find them), they’re the only one we never fall out of love with, and the only one that never falls out of love with us.