Why is it that when we first find someone, everything’s so magical?
Life looks completely different than it did before, doesn’t it? Everything starts to revolve around that person: they can do no wrong. This state of euphoria just seems to surround you all the time, and it’s amazing.
So why doesn’t it last?
Things may be amazing for a while, but the longer you’re with someone, the more complacent your relationship becomes. After all, putting your best self forward all of the time is a lot of work, and it’s easy to rationalize they’ll always be there and love you for the way you are.
But relationships need constant love and care. When things start looking bleak and it seems your partner isn’t the person they were before, maybe they’re not.
But are you?
When you’re complacent in your relationship, you’re taking what you have for granted. You’re focusing time and attention on everything but the thing that matters most — each other.
And sometimes that may lead you to believe you’re not in love anymore. That you need to move on to find that euphoric feeling again.
But you fell in love with your partner for a reason, and chances are you can find those feelings once more, no matter how deep they’ve been buried. If this is you, look for these signs in yourself and your relationship.
1. You wish things were different
Things are tough, and maybe you’re not that happy with yourself. Maybe you wish things were different in your life, and because it’s hard to admit the role you have in that, you blame it on your partner.
It’s easier to say they’re making your life miserable than it is to admit you need to make some changes, and looking for someone new seems enticing.
Why? Because it’s easy.
You start to believe that maybe if your circumstances were different, your life would be where you want it to be. And the biggest factor of your circumstances is who you’re with, isn’t it?
But the thing is, the joy you feel has little to do with the circumstances of your life. Think about it. Where is your focus? Chances are it’s not on the things you have to be grateful for, more likely it’s on the things that stress you out and make you feel unhappy.
Like Steven Aitchison said, “If we choose to constantly focus on what makes us unhappy in life, then we’ll always be unhappy.”
So choose. If you wish things were different — great. Now choose to make them different by changing your focus.
2. You hold on to things they’ve given you
Love notes. Small mementos and trinkets. That jacket you never gave back because it smelled like him and you felt so special wearing it.
Whether they’re buried in a box beneath your bed or scattered throughout the house, you can’t let them go. These things have meaning: they’re important to you.
So why would these things be important to you if the person who gave them to you no longer is?
In most cases, they’re not. You treasure things because of the feelings associated with them. If someone you feel nothing for gives you a gift, it’s easy to disregard it.
So if that little stuffed bear makes your eyes well up every time you see it, stop for a minute to examine why. Is it because you still love the person who gave it to you, even if things are hard right now?
Chances are, it is.
3. You care about who they’re spending their time with
Do you feel the urge to track their phone? To see who’s there when they go to hang out with a friend, or worry that maybe someone more interesting will catch their eye?
You tell them they can do what they want, but really, you want to know everything that’s going on in their lives. And why is that?
Maybe you want to be so involved because people that love each other are so involved with each other’s lives. They aren’t unaware of how the other spends their day, because they communicate constantly.
They tell each other about who they’re around and talk to. They share stories from times during the day they weren’t together and are eager to talk to each other.
So if you want to know everything that’s going on with your partner, that doesn’t make you a stalker. That doesn’t make you clingy or possessive, that just makes you normal.
A normal person who loves another person.
4. Your body reacts physically to them
This doesn’t necessarily mean just in a romantic sense, you may get nervous or have a hard time thinking straight when they’re around.
They have power over you simply by being there — you can’t help but notice when they walk into a room — even if you don’t like the way your body tracks their every move.
If your partner is around and your body has no physical reaction, consider why. Whether your reaction is positive or negative, having a reaction means their presence affects you.
It may be subtle, but just being aware of another person is a sign they matter to you. You don’t tune out someone’s presence you care about, it just doesn’t happen.
You can’t help it.
5. You go through happy memories with them in your head, over and over.
That trip you took for your one-year anniversary when everything was perfect and you were so in love plays on repeat in your mind. You think of the way they looked at you, the way you felt everything was perfect.
You see pictures of moments where you both glow with happiness, and you can’t stop the flood of memories that come with them.
You think of the nights they spent by your side when you were sick, the times they dropped everything for you, making you feel like you were the most special person in the world.
You dream of those times. Long for them again.
You know how good you can be together. So if you’re remembering all the good times and moments that made life worth living, who’s to say it can’t be like that again?
6. Your fights affect you deeply
When you fight, it ruins your whole day. You are hurt — yes — but you also want desperately to fix it. You hate fighting, you wish it never happened.
Someone who truly doesn’t love their partner anymore becomes emotionally numb. When they fight they don’t care about the pain they’re causing, and they don’t feel pain themselves.
They don’t feel anything.
But if you can’t stand the way your fights make you feel, there’s hope.
7. You think of them first when something — anything — happens
Are they the first person that comes to mind when you have news you want to share? Do you think “Oh, ____ needs to hear this?”
Even if you’re not speaking and something share-worthy happens, it’s a good sign if they’re the first person to come to mind. It shows that you want things to work out, that you want them to be the person you go to.
Whether they are at the moment or not.
So check the next time something happens. Did they come into your head?
If they did, take note. You’re still in it.
8. You find yourself constantly analyzing your relationship
You catch yourself wondering if things could have gone differently the last time you had a fight. Maybe you could have been a bit more patient, maybe you took your frustrations out on him more than you should have.
You think of the things going on in your lives. You wonder how they play a part in your relationship, and try to figure out what you can do to change them so you can find happiness again.
Maybe you need a change of scene. Maybe his jobs making him unhappy. Maybe having kids would create more of a bond.
Maybe, maybe maybe.
The truth is, the majority of the time, changing jobs or having kids isn’t going to fix problems in your relationship. The only way to do that is to look at the problems themselves and figure out what you can do to make it so they’re not problems anymore.
But you trying to think of ways to make your relationship better? Good. It shows you care, that you want to make it work.
There are many articles out there right now telling you how to know when you’re relationships over. How to end things, how to walk away and continue on with your life.
Yes, relationships end. But do they always have to?
I believe that love, true love, is something worth fighting for. I believe that when you find someone you have that connection with, you should do everything in your power to keep it.
You’ll definitely go through hard times: you may even be in one right now. But a rough patch does not mean you and your partner aren’t compatible, it just means that you’re going through a rough patch.
You could declare your relationship a failure and move on, but you know you’ve been great together.
And if you were great together once, chances are you can be great together again. That may not happen overnight, but with a little hard work, it can happen.
Sometimes all it needs is for you to create that first spark.
Previously published on medium
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