Ghosting in Relationships? Everything You Need To Know

Ghosting in Relationships

Are you being ghosted? What to do when you are being ghosted?

Have you ever experienced that magical time when your partner is still perfect, and you are very much in love? Every day is filled with discovery and excitement as you get increasingly entangled with your partner. Your heart races, you have butterflies in your stomach when you’re together, and you ache when they’re not around. It seems as if the whole world could flip upside down on its head, and yet everything would feel alright. 

Have you ever experienced this feeling?  This feeling of euphoria is what many couples call the “honeymoon phase.” 

Honeymoon phase:

You know you’re in the honeymoon phase when, well, everything just seems kind of perfect. You tend to have more good days than bad, and the good days are perfect.

“You almost feel like you’re high on love, and we don’t see any flaws.”

When these feelings occur early in a relationship, it’s most often associated with infatuation, the first stage of falling in love. While experiencing this phase, many of your physical feelings are because your brain is flooded with dopamine (also known as the pleasure hormone), so every touch or look from your partner or thought about them comes with a flush of desire. It’s like a reward system. It’s the same feel-good hormone we get when we work out. This period typically lasts for weeks, months or, in some cases, years. And then it tends to decline the more you settle into other stages of your relationship.

Why does this period decline? What happens later?

A crash follows after every high. It’s not necessarily something that sets on intentionally. Still, over time, as dopamine levels decrease and we experience an increase in oxytocin and vasopressin — the hormones associated with long-term attachment and comfort — there’s a sort of unveiling that arises where we might notice some imperfections in our partners.

Maybe there’s a seemingly sudden lack of attention to detail. It can be possible that they’ve always been this way, but you just didn’t notice because of all the rush and eagerness during that phase. 

Why do we fall out of the honeymoon phase? Why do we lose the spark?

As love becomes safe and long-term, the initial stress and anxiety subside. That’s because our stress hormones return to normal. Along with the advantages of reduced stress, we may lose the constant craving for our partner and begin to feel that the “honeymoon phase” is over. This typically happens about one to two years into the relationship.

Here are a few reasons why we lose spark in a relationship:

Loss of spark in a relationship can stem from a lack of effort in maintaining intimacy and connection, as well as unresolved conflicts and unmet needs that erode the foundation of trust and passion. Over time, complacency and taking each other for granted can also contribute to the fading of excitement and emotional connection.

When we become Busy With Other Areas Of Life:

You might also get caught up in other responsibilities in your life and need help finding time for your partner. You and your partner might have jobs, chores, and other responsibilities to turn your focus on. Thus, the feelings for your partner may change, and we might stop trying to connect.

Lack of Physical Intimacy: 

When we form a fantasy of fusion with another person, we eventually lose some of our physical attraction to that person. Additionally, due to a frantic work schedule or lifestyle, the individual feels exhausted by the end of the day. Especially in cosmopolitan areas, travelling takes a long time, so people experience a lack of energy or get drained and tend to avoid such intimate interactions. Thus, this factor can indeed cause your relationship to lose its charm.

Having a perception that it’s your partner’s job to make you happy:

No. It is nobody’s job to make anyone happy. Our happiness depends only on us, and if we choose to believe otherwise, we will only be blaming, criticising, and controlling our partners and creating situations that will only damage the essence of a relationship. Our job in a relationship is to “Be”, and our partners can only contribute to our sense of happiness. 

Why do we clean our physical space regularly? 

So that it doesn’t become a rearing ground for infection and disease. Right? 

In the same way, relationships need cleaning, too! 

Most couples live with unresolved issues, grudges, and past complications in a relationship. They either don’t talk or avoid the issue. Even when they do try to talk, they don’t listen to each other and just focus on replying. The focus is on brushing things under the carpet. 

Out of sight, out of mind—right? 

Unfortunately, it’s a lose-lose game.

Unhealthy patterns of communication:

Let’s face it: many of us don’t know how to communicate without blaming, criticising, giving silent treatment, or portraying ourselves as victims. 

Of course, something else is needed! 

This is why partners can continue to argue and fight over one issue for 20 years! We think this is the only way to get ourselves heard: yelling, attacking the other person, or seeing ourselves as powerless. We struggle to hold space, listen, empathise, validate, and take accountability. And these are the very things that create connection.

Expecting your partner to understand you precisely the way you want:

There are certain times when we expect our partners to read our minds and know every need of ours. Right? 

Well, the truth is, it’s unrealistic and impossible. 

When we don’t understand ourselves exactly, how can we expect someone else to? What matters is, do we feel understood by them? 

Are we open and receptive to their way? 

Can we convey the same to them? 

Can we make room for these differences?

Take a moment and think about it.

Merged Identity:

When you look at your relationship, can you recognise ways you and your partner step on each other’s boundaries? 

Do you speak as “we” instead of “him or her” and “I?” 

Maintaining individuality and pursuing what mainly adds up is the best way to be ourselves in our relationships. Rather than driving each other apart, this individuality allows us to feel our attractions and choose to be together. Think about the phase people are in when they first fall in love. They are drawn to each other based on their unique characteristics. We should maintain it even decades after being with someone romantically.

Failing to Share Activities:

Early in our relationships, we are often most open and excited to try new things and share new adventures. As we fall into a routine, we often resist unconventional experiences. We become more sceptical and less willing to do things with our partners. We must consider our partner’s passions and interests and engage in shared activities. Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Boredom in Relationship: Is it a sign of a healthy relationship?

So when you’re in a healthy, loving relationship and feel secure with your partner, the twist is that you feel bored and edgy. 

You wonder why you feel this way when this is all you’ve ever wanted….

It may be due to the relationship template if one feels bored. If you didn’t have a healthy role model for a romantic relationship growing up, a healthy, consistent relationship may feel dull or as if “the spark is faded.” Relationships that feel like an emotional rollercoaster often induce anxiety and uncertainty about what will happen in the future or when the next relationship will occur. Accordingly, these feelings may be misunderstood as excitement, passion, and intense chemistry/vibes.

Suppose this has been your experience in previous relationships, and you meet someone stable and does not elicit the same type of anxiety. In that case, you may assume there is no chemistry or perceive the relationship as boring.

Do you ever feel you had to over-function in a relationship at your own expense? If yes, then this is for you.

If you grew up in a home where one parent adopted the role of caregiver or enabler, you might have learned that love has to be earned or that you need to prove yourself or “fight for it” for the relationship to last. Thus, as an adult, you may find yourself most drawn towards relationships where it feels natural to convince your partner of your worth or attempt to manage your partner’s mood by walking on eggshells around them. Ultimately, when you encounter a healthy relationship that doesn’t require you to over-function or sacrifice your authentic needs and feelings to maintain it, it may initially feel dull because the relationship is not driven by a subconscious desire to save someone else or prove your worth.

Thus, it is important to understand that Boredom is natural. 

The excitement we feel early on in any experience disappears over time. We habituate. As we learn more about our relationship partners, there are fewer opportunities to learn new things.
Being in a relationship is like sitting on a swing—it will go up and down, round and round, in all possible directions. The question to consider is:

Are we enjoying ourselves?

Does it feel fulfilling and worth it at the end of each day? 

Once you move through that disillusionment stage and decide to accept your partner, their imperfections, and those physical and emotional symptoms rushing through the honeymoon phase, begin to relax.

“We start to fall into some normalcy stage, which is not a bad thing,”

The differences don’t have to mean they can’t be together; instead, you can show each other your perspectives and enjoy each other’s space.

Reviving the lost spark: Relive the old memories:

Remember those early days of dating? You probably had excitement at the bare thought of seeing your partner.

So, to bring that back, look at your partner through new eyes. Consciously notice what you like, love, and appreciate about your partner. Think about what you would miss about them if they were gone. Recall the sweet times you’ve shared and focus on your partner’s positive and charming qualities so you can re-experience the feelings you felt in the early days of dating.

Stoke the Fire

In our busy, job-oriented world, we too often put our relationships behind and must remember to keep the spark of love alive. You could plan a special date night or initiate a spontaneous slow dance in the I Love You’s. You could leave your cell phones at home and discover a new hiking trail or restaurant. You can also play a board game or recall some beautiful memories. Surprisingly, provide love notes, give your partner a spontaneous massage, light a few candles in the bedroom and play a song from your dating days. Share fantasies, give a compliment, or express appreciation. 

Bringing back the romantic gestures:

Consider asking your partner what makes them feel loved. or rather, 

What things make them feel appreciated? 

Maybe it’s getting gifts once in a while?

They may prefer you to show love verbally. 

Using their love language can help bring you back together. Someone whose love language is words of affirmation may prefer receiving compliments or love letters, whereas someone who values acts of service may feel loved when you help them with household chores or cook them a meal. Everyone has different love languages. Try exploring yours and your partners. 

Make eye contact:

Intimacy happens in the little moments. Making eye contact with your partner has scientific backing. Making eye contact produces neural synchrony and releases oxytocin. Your brain feels more connected with another person through eye contact.

Try to find the smaller moments where you can make eye contact longer than you usually do in random situations (but not long enough that it gets all serial killer—10 seconds of eye contact and a cute little smirk is plenty). Like when you’re in a crowded room or out at a party.

Will recalling the old memories, making eye contact, keeping the spark alive, and bringing old romantic gestures rekindle the relationship spark? 

Give them a try and see what happens!

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