Falling in love is always something mysterious, since it appears as a profoundly irrational and emotionally based phenomenon… It appears suddenly, often without our being able to foresee it, and changes everything: both how we behave and the way we perceive what happens to us.
But something as strange as the desire to form a couple’s bond is the end of that emotional impulse. It is not easy to give an answer as to why love ends , given that being an emotion-based phenomenon, it is not based on ideas or beliefs, something static and relatively easy to study, but on a combination of unpredictable neuronal activity, hormones, and interaction with the environment and with those who inhabit it.
However, it is possible to identify different elements that influence the chances of love ending. We will talk about them in this article.
Why does love end?
Love is one of the human dimensions that have generated most interest over the centuries, inspiring all kinds of research and explanatory proposals in both the arts and the sciences. It is not for nothing, since it can become one of the main sources of motivation and meaning for our lives .
Naturally, many of these questions focus on how infatuation arises, that phase of life when we seem to stop being us and start thinking about something bigger than ourselves, the partner. However, it is also important to ask yourself what makes love end. In some ways, seeing what can weaken or even kill that love bond tells us, in retrospect, what the true nature of those feelings was.
Now, love is a complex phenomenon because there are an almost unlimited number of situations that lead to it . The state of not falling in love is the default state, which we have all been in, so in practice, almost any context in which one lives relatively well is possible for love to appear. However, once the infatuation has occurred, it is easier to identify the main causes of the end of love. Let’s see what they are.
1. It was only love
Strangely enough, love and infatuation are not the same thing. The second is a much more punctual phenomenon, of short duration, which usually lasts no more than a few months, between four and six , while love lasts much longer.
The fundamental difference between the two is that falling in love is based on a certain tension based on uncertainty about what will happen to the other person and, in general, ignorance about what he or she is like. In practice, that means we idealize it.
Thus, it is relatively frequent that when the infatuation vanishes, and with it goes the idealization , there is no love left. In these cases the relationship was probably based on the expectation of having a relationship with an idealized version of the lover.
2. Bad living conditions
The idea that love can do anything is a myth. Love, like all psychological phenomena, is linked to context, and if the situation in which we live is not conducive, the love bond will be weakened.
One of the clearest examples of this has to do with harsh working conditions. If you have to work long hours and invest a lot of effort in it , it will be more difficult to dedicate time to your partner, and that will generate a clear wear and tear that, in the long run, can end the relationship.
Love always entails significant sacrifices, such as having less time for oneself, investing in common expenses, or exposing oneself more to situations of conflict.
This wear and tear, which is guaranteed, can be combined with a feeling of monotony that, in the case of life as a couple, is more noticeable, because living with another person there are fewer excuses for experiencing the same thing every day, the same habits, the same routines. It should be a lifestyle in which opportunities to do new things together arise , but this does not always happen, and that is very frustrating.
Because living as a single person can be seen as something you have more control over, but if it appears in the context of a romantic relationship, the feeling that nothing will get better and that boredom is part of the “contract” that unites these two people becomes very clear. The expectations of change for the better lose strength , and with them the illusion of the relationship can also go.
4. Communication problems
Living with a partner makes it very easy to turn communication problems into serious problems that end up becoming chronic . If important misunderstandings are generated and these are not managed in the right way, this may be feeding a state of suspicion and paranoia that goes totally against the logic of what a fluid and functional affective relationship should be.