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What to Do When You Don't Feel Loved Anymore

When the love is gone, emotional healing can be difficult. We are here to help.

When you first start dating, it feels like you will never fall out of love again. Sparks fly every time you look at your partner, everything they do is endearing, and you feel fully and wholly loved. New neuroimaging studies show that romantic love activates regions in the brain linked to oxytocin reward systems and decreases activity in regions associated with negative feelings and loneliness. What’s more, there is not one love “center” in the brain. Instead, love is widely dispersed, making it an all-brain activity. What does all this mean? Well, love feels good. It makes us feel happy, accomplished, and safe. 

The flip side of that is that heartbreak hurts. Studies have linked breakups to real, physical pain. Heartbreak lights up the pain center of the brain.

Love takes hold of all of us, but there’s no guarantee of it staying. It hurts when the love is gone or you don’t feel loved anymore. Although there is no cure for heartbreak, it can help to understand why you don’t feel loved and how to heal after a heartbreak. Let’s look into these questions and more

Why don’t I feel loved?

When you stop feeling loved in a relationship, your brain’s pain receptors will start going off. You’ll feel real pain, fear, and abandonment. Six reasons you don’t feel loved in a relationship include: 

  1. They stop sharing their thoughts and feelings with you—When you first start a relationship, you’re telling your partner every little thing. You’re just getting to know each other, after all, and have so much to share. After a while, the constant flow of thoughts and conversation may ebb. However, even in seasoned relationships, it should never stop. If your partner stops sharing their thoughts and feelings, even after prompting them to, it’s a sign they’re not in love anymore. 
  2. They don’t want to hang out with you as much—In a new relationship, your brain is firing off dopamine and oxytocin whenever your partner is around. These are the feel-good brain chemicals, but they’re also the chemicals that form social relationships. They make you feel close, secure, and bonded with a person. When they start to fall, your partner will want to hang out with you less and less.  
  3. They feel like a different person—Being in a relationship makes you want to open up and let the other person really get to know you. The opposite is true when the love is gone. If you don’t feel loved in a relationship, it could be because they are actively pulling away from you by putting up walls and not being authentic around you. 
  4. They don’t pay attention to you—You used to be the center of their attention, or pretty close to it. Now they don’t even ask you how your day was. This lack of attention could mean something else is going on, like mental health issues or external stress. Or it could mean they’ve fallen out of love. 
  5. They don’t care about your opinion—If you don’t feel loved in a relationship, check when the last time they listened to your opinion was. When was the last time they tried to problem-solve with you or reach a healthy compromise? People in love with you will care about your opinion and seek to resolve conflict. 
  6. They stop trying to take that next step—As a relationship progresses, your partner will introduce you to their friends, family, and others close to you. As they start to pull away, they may also stop introducing you to their loved ones. They stop trying to take those next big steps—bringing you home for a holiday, spending the night, moving in, etc.—and start stagnating. 

When you don’t feel loved in a relationship, it hurts. Don’t ignore this pain; it’s trying to tell you something, as uncomfortable as that truth may be.

6 Ways to Cope with Not Feeling Loved

Just because you don’t feel loved by your boyfriend or girlfriend, doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. Sometimes, long-term relationships grow complacent and happy in their routine without pursuing that romantic spark you had. Other times, external stress or sickness makes it difficult to give you the time and care you want. 

When you don’t feel loved, take stock of your own emotions. Do you still love them? Do you still want to fight for this relationship? If so, it’s time to diagnose the problem. Here are six things you can do when the love is gone: 

  1. Know your love language (and theirs)—Sometimes your partner is trying to show you love, but all in the wrong way. Maybe they shower you with compliments when what you really need to feel fulfilled is quality time. Have an honest conversation about how you feel loved. If they are receptive to changing how they express their love, great! You’re one step closer to feeling fully loved. 
  2. Carve out time to connect—Life gets busy, and if you aren’t making time to connect emotionally and physically, love is bound to falter. Try to find time once a week to really talk, have fun together, and be intimate. 
  3. Create relationship traditions—It’s important to feel grounded in your connection, and traditions are one way to do this. Maybe you have a standing date night, or once a year you travel together, or you have a specific way to make coffee together every Sunday morning. Relationship traditions can be big or small, so long as they are important to you and your partner. 
  4. Do things for yourself—Sometimes, when you don’t feel loved in your relationship, it’s actually a sign of not loving yourself enough. Your partner can’t be your everything, and it’s important to do things for yourself. Engage in your own hobbies, talk with your own friends, and plan for your own future. You may be surprised with how much closer you feel to your partner after you take time for some self-care.
  5. Heal from the past hurts—Everything could be going right, and you still don’t feel love. Self-sabotage in relationships is common for people who have experienced trauma, especially relationship trauma with their family or another significant other. Be honest with yourself about the patterns of your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If you notice patterns that are based on survival and pain responses, counseling can help you heal. 
  6. Couples counseling—Some couples’ problems are surmountable, but only with the help of a licensed professional. Couples counseling provides a safe space to vent frustrations, heal from past hurts, and grow stronger together. It can help you find clarity on why you don’t feel loved and provide helpful tips moving forward. 

You don’t have to break up when you don’t feel loved. Instead, take some time to communicate with your partner how you’ve been feeling and see if you can find a different solution, one that leaves you both feeling more loved than before.

Signs Your Relationship is Over

Maybe you’ve tried everything, and you still don’t feel loved in your relationship. Maybe they’ve crossed a boundary that you can’t forgive. Or maybe you’re just tired of being the only one trying. All of these are good reasons to break up. Other signs your relationship could be at its end include:  

  1. They stop confiding in you—Sexual intimacy comes and goes, but when that emotional intimacy leaves, it’s hard to get it back. When they stop wanting to tell you things, or when things like physical touch annoy you, it might be a sign your relationship is over
  2. You don’t want to be touched by them—We all go through dry spells. If your mental health is suffering, or it’s a particularly stressful time in life, you might not be as interested in sex. But when the thought of them touching you intimately is a turn-off, that’s a bad sign. 
  3. Communication breakdown—When all communication between you becomes angry, aggressive, or manipulative, it may be time to step away. 
  4. The trust is gone—When the trust is gone, it’s hard to get back. If you can’t trust your partner to work on themselves and your relationship, it may be time to take a step back.  
  5. You can’t seem to agree on anything (big and small)—Disagreements and conflicts will happen frequently in a relationship and are not a sign you should break up. However, when one disagreement snowballs into another, and another, and another until you can’t agree on anything, something bigger could be going on. Also, if you disagree on major life events like raising a family, moving across the country, or career goals, those disagreements may be insurmountable. 

A breakup does not have to be negative. It’s possible you started out great for each other but both grew in different directions. The relationship might have been right for a time, but that time passed. Regardless of your reasons for breaking up, remember to take some space for yourself. Now is the time to show yourself that love that you missed while you were in the relationship.

Letting Them Go: How to Lose Feelings for Someone

One of the hardest things to do after a breakup is lose feelings for someone. Unrequited love is one of the most painful types of heartbreak. And how do you stop loving someone who doesn’t love you? Even if you know the relationship won’t work or you initiated a breakup because you didn’t feel loved, unrequited love will still sting. 

Here are six ways to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you: 

  1. Remind yourself of your desirability—New research suggests that rebounds have positive benefits on mental health after a breakup. Rebound with care, and always make sure to communicate with your rebound that you’re just looking for something casual. But reminding yourself of your desirability helps soften the loss of a breakup.  
  2. Focus on self-care—All of those goals you’ve been putting off, now is the time to do them. Relationships take work, and now you have time to work on the most important one: with yourself! 
  3. Form strong, nonromantic relationships—Oftentimes when we’re in a relationship we get caught up in the romance and forget to pour into our nonromantic relationships. We try to get all of our love and community from one person, our romantic partner. But humans are social and community-focused creatures by instinct, and we can’t have our social needs met by just one person. Focus on your friendships and familial relationships to get over a breakup.  
  4. Work on your mental health—Breakups and unrequited love leave you at risk for anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Make sure to take time to address mental health issues by journaling, talking with a friend, or seeing a counselor. 
  5. Get closure—Closure can be beneficial as you’re recovering from a breakup or trying to lose feelings for someone. Ask them why they broke up with you or why they fell out of love with you. But be prepared for the answer “I don’t know” or for them not to respond. 
  6. Let them go—After you try for closure, it’s time to let them go completely. Everyone’s situation is different, but many people find it helpful to stop following them on social media and to stop hanging out with them in public until you’ve healed.

Recovering From a Breakup

You’ve identified that you don’t feel loved, tried communicating with your partner to fix the situation, decided to let them go and end the relationship, and now. . . you’re here. Maybe you’re heartbroken, or angry, or feeling like no one will love you again. (They will, we promise.) Maybe you’re doing just fine, or maybe you feel like your world is crumbling. 

There is no one right way to get over a breakup. Healing after a breakup is messy, and you may take a few steps back before you take some forward. If you find yourself stuck in the pain, unable to move on or find peace, therapy can help. 

Therapy after a breakup provides the closure and healing you need to fully move on, confident in yourself and your dating potential. Just because this one didn’t work out doesn’t mean you’re doomed to the single life. Instead, a failed relationship can teach you a lot about what does and doesn't work for you, how you act inside a relationship, and what you want out of the future. Therapy after a breakup can give you clarity on all that and more. 

For more information about how Lifebulb’s therapists can help you find healing after a breakup, give our team a call. Or, browse our list of therapists near you. Healing is out there. We’ll help you find it.

Frequently Asked Questions

It's normal for feelings to change over time. Signs that you may not be in love anymore could include a lack of excitement or passion, frequent arguments, and feeling disconnected from your partner. It's important to assess your emotions and communicate openly with your partner about your concerns. Consider seeking support from a therapist who can help navigate this transition and guide you towards the best decision for your emotional well-being.

 Feeling unloved in a relationship can be challenging. Start by exploring your own needs and communicating them to your partner. It's crucial to have an open and honest conversation about your feelings, seeking to understand each other's perspectives. Additionally, consider individual therapy to gain insight and support during this difficult time. A professional therapist can help you navigate your emotions, improve communication, and explore ways to rebuild and strengthen your relationship or make decisions that are best for your well-being.

Losing feelings for someone can be a complex and emotional process. It's important to recognize that you cannot force or rush this process. Start by reflecting on the reasons behind your changing feelings and allow yourself to grieve the loss. Focus on self-care and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can provide emotional support. If needed, consider seeking therapy to explore your emotions and develop coping strategies to navigate this transition.

 Recovering from a breakup can be a challenging journey, but remember that healing is possible. Allow yourself to grieve and process your emotions. Create a support system of friends and family who can provide comfort and understanding. Take time to focus on self-care, engaging in activities that promote your well-being. Consider seeking therapy to help navigate the emotional healing process and develop healthy coping strategies. It's important to be patient with yourself and trust that with time and self-reflection, you will emerge stronger and ready for new beginnings.

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