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Why you could suddenly lose feelings for your partner — and what to do about it

INSIDER logoINSIDER 2019-04-25 Lauren Schumacker
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In a relationship, it's sometimes possible to feel as though you've suddenly lost feelings for your partner. In some cases, it's difficult to figure out why this has happened and what to do about it.

INSIDER spoke to relationship experts about why how you feel about your partner could have suddenly changed and what you may want to do moving forward.

You may have lost interest if you recently realized that you and your partner's values differ in a major way

Madison McCullough, LCSW, a New York City-based therapist, told INSIDER that this loss of interest oftentimes occurs when "there is something that comes up that indicates a real difference in values or things that will really affect a person's lifestyle."

She said sometimes people may be surprised that these sort of differences don't come up earlier in a relationship even though they seem like immediate deal breakers.

Your feelings for your partner might have changed if you're suddenly seeing your relationship in a new way

"I believe often individuals can be seeing things through rose-colored glasses and when they take those off and see [their] partner for who they truly are, sometimes they can feel differently than [they once] did and it may feel sudden," Jennifer L. Silvershein, LCSW, a psychotherapist based in New York City, told INSIDER.

She explained that early on in a relationship it's important to see "your partner for who they are from the start and avoid ignoring potential problems or 'red flags." Not doing so could cause you to experience a sudden shift in your feelings down the road.

And even though this shift in perspective may seem sudden, you may have been subtly feeling this way for a while

a man sitting on the ground © iStock "In most cases, a person isn't 'suddenly' over a partner. It has often been brewing for a long time," David Bennett, a certified counselor, relationship expert, author, and the co-founder of Double Trust Dating and Relationships, told INSIDER. 

"There just comes a point where something major causes the person to realize they have had enough, such as a major blow-up," he added.

If you are feeling this way, you may want to have an honest conversation with your partner

McCullough said having an open conversation with your partner is the first thing you should do once you begin to process your newfound feelings.

She said you'll want to be honest about how much you're willing to compromise moving forward (if at all) and about why you think you're feeling a sudden lack of love or interest toward the person you're in a relationship with.

A sudden change in feelings doesn't necessarily mean your relationship is over, but this could be a good time to reflect on if this relationship is actually working for you

a person sitting on a couch © iStock Although talking to your partner can help, McCullough said you should also be prepared to potentially end your relationship. 

She said that it's important to recognize the difference between compromising and crossing your own boundaries or neglecting your own needs or values. If you feel like you're ignoring your own needs or compromising your values to be with your partner, the relationship might not be working. 

Even if you feel 'over' your partner, it's normal if breaking up still feels challenging and emotional

"Sudden endings should be dealt with similarly to any other ending. One needs to respect these feelings and take the time to grieve. After all, it's the death of a relationship, future dreams, and expectations," Dr. Laura Dabney, a marriage counselor and psychologist, told INSIDER. 

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