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Is it too late to rekindle the spark?


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My bf and I have been together for over a year. For the most part, things have been great. He is kind, patient, dependable, and trustworthy, and I think he is pretty special. He approached me yesterday saying that he doesn't love me as much as he used to, and he doesn't know why. In the past few months, there have been a lot of changes: moving in together, moving again, living situation dynamic changing, and me working from home. I feel like that, me becoming more stressed/negative lately, and how we've handled conflicts have been big factors. He is willing to try and rekindle the spark, but keeps comparing our relationship to that of his ex (1st love), which was more intense, and doesn't hold a lot of hope for us. My 1st love was intense too, whereas with him I feel more calm and secure. Is this normal? Our relationship started out really intense physically (and is still excellent in that department), and then we fell in love with each other. While we love each other, the "in love" feelings of the beginning have faded for both of us. Am I trying to force something that isn't right? If not, how do I rekindle the spark? Is it possible for our love to grow into something just as powerful as it felt with our 1st loves, or is there something missing?


Any advice is appreciated! Thank you.

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Sorry to hear this. It sounds like too much too soon too fast and too many changes. How long before you started dating did he end things with the ex?


Why all the moving around and what was the living situation dynamic change? What are the conflicts about? How are you splitting the finances and household stuff? How is the sex/affection?

He approached me yesterday saying that he doesn't love me as much as he used to, and he doesn't know why. In the past few months, there have been a lot of changes: moving in together, moving again, living situation dynamic changing, and me working from home. He is willing to try and rekindle the spark, but keeps comparing our relationship to that of his ex.
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How much time elapsed between him breaking up with his first love and dating you?


If he's comparing your relationship to theirs (and he's not all that bright if he's actually verbalizing that) then I would wager he's still got feelings in there somewhere for her. Even if it's been a long time, it's not a good sign that he's using that relationship as his barometer. Sure, many have fond memories of their first loves but I get the sense he's still holding a torch for her in a more significant way.


You mentioned you have only been together about a year and that things moved fast. How quickly did you move in together, and why? I generally always caution people against moving in together too soon, as it's not usually wise to take big steps like that during the honeymoon phase. A relationship needs more time to unfold and develop before seeing if you're compatible enough to commit like that. Zooming through courtship to cohabitation tends to kill off the attraction and mystery that helps keep that spark ignited in the early stages. That might be part of the problem here too.


Also, can you elaborate when you say you've been more negative, and how you two handle conflicts?

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He ended things with his ex 4 or 5 years ago. The other day, he ran into her for a group dinner, and it made him think about how something was missing with us. As painful as that was to hear, I am grateful he told me. We were in love not long ago, but something changed. I think we both are worried that because it's not as automatic like it was with our exes, we're not right for each other. I do believe that if we had prioritized our relationship more during all the changes, we wouldn't have lost the spark. I have only been in two serious relationships (this being one), and the other one was so automatic emotionally, while this one has been more slow and steady. I'm wondering if that's normal?


We moved in together with another couple that were friends of ours. Shortly after, the couple broke up, and the guy stayed. We downsized to a smaller house, and ever since I feel like the guy (who is a friend of my bf) has been actively trying to separate us. For example, he'll tell my bf that everything I do is "crazy," or point out any other flaws (real or not) that he can about our relationship. He also tries to spend as much time as possible with just my bf, and tries to butt in to plans my bf and I have made just the two of us. This has been a major source of conflict between my bf and I lately. When we've fought about it, we both lost our temper too. I realize that that style of communication needs to change. I mentioned that to him yesterday, and he agreed.


I also started working from home recently, and that has taken a toll on the relationship as well. I then got promoted, and have been under a lot of stress lately due to an increase of work. I feel like this has negatively effected me as an individual, and in turn, how I've been with my bf. I discussed this with him yesterday, and told him that I am sorry and really grateful that he has been so patient and understanding with me lately. I am already trying to work on myself, replacing unhealthy habits/coping mechanisms/thoughts with more positive ones. I truly want to be more like myself again, and the person he deserves, and I feel like I haven't given him that the past couple months. However, I am sure that my negativity/anxiety has created emotional distance between us. I can't blame him, I just hope it's not too late to win him back.


Finances and household stuff have not created much conflict. I feel like we've been on the same page with those, and other important issues.


The sex is great---which is awesome, but also kind of baffling given that the "in love" spark isn't the same. He brought up that we've always had a really physical relationship. We slept together early on in the relationship, and ever since have really connected that way. For me, it's one way that I feel extra close to him, and can show him how I love him. I've always been really a affectionate person in general, and still am with him. He is less so, personality-wise, but I've also noticed an extra disconnect from his side the past few days as well. Even though we might hold hands, hug, kiss, etc., it feels like he's farther away.


It makes me wonder how "far gone" is he, and if it's possible to get back "in love." He says he doesn't know, but think it's fair to try. I'm afraid he already believes though that unless we have as effortless a romantic connection that he had with his ex, then we're not right for each other. I come from another school of thought, that we can rekindle the spark, but we (and especially myself) need to make some changes and it might take some time. I question what he says though as well, because with my ex it was more effortless as well. I don't want to give up without trying, but I don't want to cause more heartbreak by trying to force something that isn't right either. I'm not really sure what to do.


Sorry that this is so long! Any advice is appreciated.

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your honeymoon phase has wore off, and reality sets in. imo, in your situation, you cannot rekindle the "spark". you cant force your brain to create those love hormones again. there really isn't anything you can do. you guys moved too fast, moved in too quickly. it seems like your bf doesn't really know what "love" is if he mistakes that spark for "love". if you guys don't feel like you love each other anymore, maybe it's time to split. a year in you guys should still have strong feelings towards each other even if the spark is gone.

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He approached me yesterday saying that he doesn't love me as much as he used to, and he doesn't know why.


I'd consider this my cue to exit the household, as I'd consider that the only shot we've got.


I'd say this regardless of whether we lived alone or with a roommate, but honestly, who wants to live with a saboteur? There's no way I'd fight with BF about the guy, I've leave him to him. I'd tell BF, "I adore you and can picture the two of us together in the future. That's why I'm walking away while we both still think highly of one another. You can live with whuthisname and get your ya-yas out, and if you decide that pursuing a romantic relationship with me is something you want to do, you can let me know. If I'm still available then, we can meet to catch up. Otherwise, I wish you the best."


This removes you from all sources of domestic conflict while avoiding any further erosion of your relationship. It also prevents you from pitting yourself against BF's buddy. You can still date BF on your own terms if you want to, but I'd keep any discussion about his roommate off the table. BF can decide over time whether he wants to play bachelor with the bozo, or not, but you'll have exited a situation that had disaster written all over it, and you'll be on solid ground to decide your own feelings at face value--rather than clouded by a power struggle you have no business being in.


Head high, and skip the trio. You'll thank yourself later, regardless of outcomes.

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