Why do men fall out of love? Now there is a loaded question.
Is it even possible to fall out of love? Does that mean it was never love to begin with? Was it something you did? Something you said? Something you should have said more?
After a relationship ends there are So. Many. Questions. The questions are endless. The questions are what keep us in business!
You get consumed with the need to know where it all went wrong, and why.
People don’t usually wake up one day and decide they no longer love their partner. Just as falling in love is a process that happens over time, falling out of love is a process that occurs over time.
MORE: Why Do Men Pull Away?
When you know the reasons why it happens, you can identify if your man is going backwards in love and hopefully will be able to salvage the relationship.
So here it goes. The truth about what makes men fall out of love.
The Top Reasons A Man Might Fall Out Of Love
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
1. He Doesn’t Feel Admired or Appreciated
If you’re already an ANM reader, then you are well versed on the importance of appreciation to a man. If you’re new here, welcome! And brace yourself for the concept that will change your dating life and your understanding of men forever: men crave appreciation. They don’t just want it. They crave it and they need it.
A man who doesn’t feel appreciated in a relationship is like a woman who doesn’t feel loved in a relationship. Without love, a woman will feel unhappy and unsatisfied and she won’t last very long in that relationship unless things change. The same goes for men when it comes to appreciation.
There are no more intoxicating words to a man than hearing: I admire the man that you are. This is the way to his heart, assuming you mean it, that is.
Most men feel unappreciated in their daily lives. They trudge away, trying to make something of themselves and most of the time they feel insignificant and unacknowledged. When a woman sees him for the man he is and for all that he does, then he lights up and shines brightly. Then he steps up in the relationship and does more. He’ll do anything to keep the woman who makes him feel seen and appreciated.
Men have an underlying need to feel like winners in the world. That’s what drives them. When a woman doesn’t show appreciation, he feels like a failure and this is the worst feeling for a man.
When he feels like he is succeeding in the relationship, it revs him up and inspires him to put in even more, which causes him to invest even further. The opposite is also true. When he doesn’t feel appreciated, he withdraws, he retreats, he shuts down, and he pulls all his warm, lovey feelings out of the relationship.
2. Too Much Negativity
Here’s another life-changing revelation about men: men move toward what feels good and away from what feels bad. If all his interactions with you are negative, he won’t want to be around you.
When you are always presenting him with problems, maybe it’s your personal problems, problems that you both need to deal with (bills, repairs, things that need to be done), or complaining and telling him what he’s doing wrong (i.e. nagging), then the relationship becomes filled with an undercurrent of negativity.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t ever express a grievance or complaint. You can and should, as long as it’s in the right way and at the right time.
Don’t attack him with a litany of demands and criticisms the second he walks in the door after a long day at work. And even when you do need to complain or criticize, do it gently.
Men are very sensitive to feeling like the problem. If you turn him into a problem, then you turn yourself into someone he doesn’t want to deal with.
This isn’t just a relationship thing, it’s a human thing. No one wants to be around someone negative. We are drawn to people who radiate positivity and light.
3. You’re Fundamentally Incompatible
In the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy to say (and genuinely believe) things like: love conquers all, love will find a way, love is all you need. Despite the fact that these mantras have been drummed into our heads through songs and rom com’s, they aren’t true. (Read this article for more: 5 Common Misconceptions About Love)
Love can’t, in fact, conquer incompatibility. If you want kids and he doesn’t, you’re religious and he’s not (or he’s a different religion and this is a problem for you), if he’s a saver and prefers to put all his money into a big fat nest egg and you like to spend and enjoy life… well these are some serious problems that may not have a resolution.
You can only ride the wave of chemistry for so long before reality catches up with you and you’re forced to see if this really is a match that’s made to last.
And the ride can go on for a long, long time. A guy friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend of three years….a girl he had been living with for two years….a girl he had purchased an engagement ring for…because he eventually realized that they just weren’t compatible! (This is why it’s important to use your head as well as your heart when it comes to relationships so you hopefully don’t end up in a situation like this!)
4. It Wasn’t Love to Begin With
If it feels like a guy went from red-hot, totally obsessed with you, looking at you like you’re a magical unicorn… to nothing, then he probably wasn’t in love, he was probably infatuated.
The fire, passion, and chemistry in the beginning can be intoxicating, you don’t really pause to step out of it and see things as they are. (This can cause problems seeing if you’re compatible as I discussed above.)
In the beginning, you’re flooded with feel-good hormones, you’re literally high. But just like with every drug… the high eventually wears off and you need to face reality.
If your relationship was born from a flame of passion, then it may not have been the real thing… it may have just been something that just felt very, very good in the moment.
Sometimes what looks like a guy falling out of love is really a guy realizing he was never in love to begin with.
Healthy relationships start with a good foundation. Read more about that here: Exactly How to Have a Healthy Relationship.
5. He Doesn’t Feel Like You Have His Back
Above anything else, what makes a man bond and invest in a woman is feeling like she is in his corner. She is on his side. She is his teammate through thick and thin. Having this is the appeal of a relationship for a man.
Men absolutely need this and if a man doesn’t feel this way, he won’t want to be in a relationship with said woman.
Most men have a “mission” in life. The “missions” vary, but pretty much every man has one. It’s what gives his life purpose and meaning. What men want more than anything is a woman who supports this mission. He needs to feel like he’s moving towards a meaningful goal and wants a partner who supports him in this.
One of the biggest signs a woman should break up with a guy is if she doesn’t respect him and doesn’t think she ever will. This is because men need support. And as I previously discussed, they need to feel seen and admired. If a man doesn’t get this from the woman he is with, he will begin to emotionally check out of the relationship until he ultimately leaves for good.
6. The Emotional Intimacy Has Vanished
A relationship can devolve into what feels like a business partnership over time: there are bills to pay, chores that need to be done, errands to run, etc. Suffice to say this can absolutely kill the passion in a relationship.
Yes, life is there and it needs to be tended to and the fiery furnace of lust and chemistry and desire that defined the beginning of your relationship might never hit the same heights, but that doesn’t mean you just let all passion evaporate.
In the beginning, you don’t need to work for the chemistry, it is there and it burns bright! Over time, it doesn’t just sit there unmoving, you have to seek it and create it, and re-create it, over and over for the rest of your lives.
To prevent this from happening, make time for romance, make time to connect as lovers, not just as roommates or parents or partners.
MORE: Why Men Pull Away
7. You’re Too Clingy/Needy
Neediness is a big topic, one that we have written about a lot (see this article for more).
In short, you need him to be a certain way in order for you to feel OK. You need him to give you things that really only you can give yourself, like a sense of security.
You may rely on him for your happiness, even if it comes at the cost of his own happiness. You have expectations of him of things he “should” do in order to make you happy and you blame him for your negative emotions.
Neediness can easily manifest as clinginess: constantly texting him, wanting to spend all your time with him, dropping your life for him and expecting him to do the same. It’s not shocking that this behavior is a major turnoff for men.
MORE: Why Men Lose Interest
Making him your entire world is the surest way to get him to abruptly exit that world and go on without you.
It is imperative to have things going on in your life aside from the relationship. If all you have to look forward to in life is hearing from him then you need to get your priorities straightened out, fast.
8. He Can’t Be His True Self
There is no greater feeling than to just be. You don’t have to front or measure your words or practice what you want to say before you say it. You can just relax and let your true self shine.
A relationship without this is a very unpleasant place to be.
If every time he opens up to you he feels judged, attacked, blamed, or misunderstood, he’ll stop opening up to you. When he doesn’t open up, he won’t feel the same emotional connection to you. When he doesn’t feel emotionally connected to you, he will start to pull away from you. After a period of pulling away, his love will start to fade and he will eventually leave.
MORE: Signs He’s Pulling Away
Everyone wears “masks” in their daily life. We hide behind smiles and pretty filters. But we are all the people underneath the pretty glaze. And we all want to feel loved and appreciated for our true selves.
If a guy feels like he can’t be genuine, like he can’t take off the mask, like he always has to be “on” with you, well, he just won’t want you anymore.
9. You’ve Both Become Complacent
Complacency can be a real relationship killer, not to mention, attraction killer. This happens when you stop putting anything into the relationship… you just coast.
Love is a verb, it comes through actions. That’s not to say love flicks on and off like a light switch. When people love each other that love is always there, but you still need to invest in it.
Love is a layered, multi-level experience. In order to reach the next levels, you have to put in at least a little effort. Yes, it’s normal to “relax” a bit as the relationship gets more settled, but try not to take this luxury too far.
It’s not just about taking care of yourself, although this is important. It’s about taking care of the relationship… tending to it as you would any other living thing.
MORE: Why Men Disappear
10. You Don’t Meet His Needs
It’s not just about physical needs, although those are definitely important. I’m talking about emotional needs. Need to see outside of your own experience of the relationship, look at his experience of it and what his needs are.
In this day and age, we get so caught up in our own experience of the relationship that we forget there’s someone else there too! He is also a person with wants and needs. A big difference between men and women is most women are in tune with their emotional needs and can express them clearly. Men don’t always know what they need, and if they do, some may be reluctant to ask for it because it’s not “manly.”
Either way, he knows when he needs aren’t being met. He knows if he’s in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have his best interest at heart. He knows when you just don’t care about what he needs. And these things all combine to cause his love for you to wane, and can you blame him?
Love is other-oriented. It requires that we step outside of ourselves and give to another. In order to have a truly healthy, happy relationship, we also need to work on being our best selves, on becoming emotionally healthy, on finding true happiness and meaning in our lives. That is the best we can do, and if we do that and it still doesn’t work out, then it probably just wasn’t meant to be and there is not much you can do about that.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
The Top Reasons Men Fall Out Of Love
- He doesn’t feel admired or appreciated
- Too much negativity
- You’re fundamentally incompatible
- It wasn’t love to begin with
- He doesn’t feel like you have his back
- The emotional intimacy has disappeared
- You’re too clingy/needy
- He can’t be his true self
- You’ve both become complacent
- You don’t meet his needs