Skip Nav
18 Sex-Filled Films to Stream on Netflix
25 Ways Your Partner Says "I Love You" Without Actually Saying It
This Artist Repaints Dolls, and to Call Them "Lifelike" Is an Understatement

You Asked: Does Love Fade?

Dear Sugar,

I've been with my boyfriend for just over four years. Those four years have been both turbulent and amazing, and also the best four years of my life. We've been through a lot together including his travel-oriented career, family drama, a few dramatic breakups, and me going to school 1,500 miles away. Somehow our love and our relationship has survived all that.

Currently I'm visiting him at his training site for his new job. He's at the site for two months, meaning that if I didn't visit, I wouldn't see him until Christmas. But the problem is, I don't know if I love him anymore. I'm here for a few more days and then I won't see him until December, or possibly Thanksgiving. Should I tell him now, leave early, and risk being wrong about my feelings? Or should I stay, not being sure? He's here for another three weeks after I leave, and I can't stand him being lonely and sad throughout that time; he has nobody here. How do I know if my love has faded?

— Lost Love Laney

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Lost Love Laney,

Love certainly does fade, and while sometimes it's only temporary, often the change in feelings is permanent and a telltale sign that it's time to move on. Your relationship has been going on for some time and you've both obviously been through a lot together; it's natural to find your feelings of love changing and even dissipating. But if you've hit a point where you're unsure if you even have the desire to be with him, then I definitely think it's time to reassess. With that said, I don't think you should jump the gun and leave. In fact, since you have such a long history together and you're not sure when you'll see him again, I think waiting it out and seeing how your feelings change is the best thing you can do.

Once you've opened up to him about your doubts, you can't take them back, so it's important to be as sure as possible. Use the rest of your trip to get to the heart of your feelings. Perhaps you'll discover that something specific is lacking and make the appropriate changes. Or maybe you'll get home and realize that you are in fact ready to be on your own. I really do think both the time you're having with him as well as how you feel when you get back home will give you the clarity that you're looking for. Once you find it, act accordingly, but don't do anything drastic prematurely.


Join The Conversation
bluestar bluestar 8 years
Sounds like you've never been sure and that you like the drama. Break up with him again, then get back together! That will bring the passion back. Do it for a few more years.
talanted08 talanted08 8 years
I agree with ohkate..... If you've been together for so long it's kinda hard to start something new with someone else b/c your always going to think about your ex. I feel that your thinking about your self instead of what you and him have accomplished together! Me and my man do thing's to make each other happy and when theres a problem it's best we discuss it then than wait until we get into our depressing stage! If I was you I wouldn't jump to soon b/c there may be something new in store for the both of you!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
it need to find something to rekindle everything. and i'm not talking like a one week vac-cay in the Bahamas. Recently, I had been doubting my relationship and where it was going...and then my bf and I spent a WHOLE day togetehr just doing all the things we like. It was a PERFECT perfect and now, I feel like everythign is back to the norm :)
danzerdrea7 danzerdrea7 8 years
i think you really need to figure out whether you truly no longer love him, or if this is just one of those bad times. my ex and i went through a rough patch for almost a year after two years together. i thought i could push through it, but when i realized i had started to resent him i knew love was no longer an issue. i was upset when i hurt him by breaking up with him, but we weren't even friends anymore. maybe after four years you need to change something
ohkate ohkate 8 years
my husband and I discuss this every so once in a while. we've been together for 4 years, I've known him for 8 (had to wait for him to dump his now-ex), and we wonder if our lovey-mushy phase will fade. we've both noticed that we go from being husband/wife to best friends and back again, it's almost as if we consider the circumstances and decide which role is best for the situation. we do tend to freak out when we've both been in the best friends phase for too long and usually try to do something romantic to transition back to husband/wife. we'll have a date night or walk around the city late at night and that usually does the trick to reignite our little flame. it gets hard to keep the romance going so little things to try to bring it back like leaving little notes or just calling to say 'I love you and was thinking about you' really does a lot. if you don't feel like doing that then, to try to see if you can bring the 'love' and romance back then maybe it is time to reconsider... I do have to say one thing though, we have a very open policy when it comes to communicating feelings no matter how they may make the other feel, usually it turns out we're both feeling the same way or similarly. if you have that kind of comfort with each other I would say discuss how you're feeling and see if he's feeling the same way and if you both feel like trying to work on the "us" instead of just the "me"s. I definitely think giving up right now is not the right thing to do, after 4 years of history you owe it to each other to at least try to work through this.
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
i feel like you're focusing more on the fact that you barely get to see him and it's somehow translating into loving him less. this is part of your relationship. either you're going to tough it out, or throw your hands up and forfeit. look at the way he's handling it and consider how much of himself he's putting into the relationship along with all this work-stuff. i think you need to evaluate more before you do something drastic.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
The only thing that really gives me pause in your letter is the "few dramatic breakups". I just got out of something long term that I now realize was really dramatic and more difficult than I thought. We didn't click as we should have, and though we loved each other our love did fade despite our cross country move together and starting a life together. I think every relationship is different, but it has to be the right person. Think about whether you really want to marry this guy and be with him forever. Forever is a huge word, but if it doesn't scare you with him, then that's good. If you can't see yourself with him forever, and you feel the love has faded... move on. There's someone perfect for you out there...
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Love is like energy. You have to use it to have it. Like a sedentary lifestyle using no energy, you feel tired. If you don't 'make'(create) love, you have lazy, vague love. And like muscle atrophy, your love 'muscle' can become lax as well and you don't feel in love. That feeling is just a symptom; not the diagnosis. :)
CYL CYL 8 years
I agree with pop. It sounds like there was a lot of drama in your relationship in the past. Make sure you are indeed 'out of love' with him and not just going through a lull or missing the drama. Intensity and lust fades over time and it is unrealistic to expect you and your bf to feel exactly the same for each other as when you first met but if you have a strong should continue to evovle to the next level.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
It sounds like you like the drama and passion and not so much the reality of the relationship. The intense passion in relationships does fade over time. But like Marci says, it grows into something different and better.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I agree with Marci on this. "Love" doesn't stay the same--that white-hot passion--all the time. It changes the longer you are together. But if it's true, I think it should grow deeper and truer, not feel as if it's fading.
Marci Marci 8 years
I think that when it's real love, it grows. It doesn't say at that intensity as in the beginning, but it grows into something warmer and bigger and better. More solid and real. And I think if you were feeling what I'm describing, you'd have no questions. So my guess is that your relationship isn't standing the test of time, as most don't. That's why when we meet "the one" it's so spectacular.
bikinib7 bikinib7 8 years
I was in your exact position a few months ago with my boyfriend of three years. I began to start fights all the time, pretty much every day, in order to stir up emotions and provoke some passion because I was bored as well. Needless to say, after he was stressed from our fighting nonstop and other factors, he asked me for some space. The two weeks we didn't speak were so hard on me. I realized how much he meant to me and how I was mistaking being comfortable with being bored. I think of that break as a blessing in disguise. It made me realize what I would be missing out on if I lost my guy. I'm sure you love your boyfriend a lot and he loves you as well. I would maybe talk to him and ask him how he's feeling and say that you are upset that there isn't as much excitement. Maybe try to do things you did in the beginning.. google relationship tips, anything to revive your love life. It's a lot of effort to keep the love alive, but it's so worth it.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to agree that sometimes we do say things when we're in the moment because we think that it's the right thing to say - but i think that with all your history - you don't want to be to quick to make a decision. do you think that maybe when he settles into his new job that things will change? i know that with my fiance, i feel like sometimes i'm not that in love with him but i know that once our jobs settle, and things change in our lives that there's a chance that our feelings will change and we'll get back to where we were when we fell in love. just take a step back and think about things. at least you know that you have a couple months to be by yourself while he's at training for you to figure out what you want to do.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
why wouldn't yu love him? I don't know all your specifics, so I certainly can't judge, just sounds as if you have withstanded a lot of heat together and why now would your commitment fade, unless maybe feelings are not as exciting as they used to be? No relationship stays on the 100% excitement level for longer than a few years, remember that love is a choice and not a feeling and meditate on that for a few days before making your decision.
When Is It Too Late to Get Married?
Harry Potter Love Quotes
How to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Relationship
Ways to Let Others Know You Care
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds