There can also be friends or family members who are not welcoming of a new partner. Sometimes it is a political, religious, or racial bias. Or, at other times, they had close connections to the prior partner and feel judgmental of the way the relationship ended. These kinds of prejudices may feel very reasonable to those who hold them, but often put the new love relationship in jeopardy.
3. Shifting Priorities
Every relationship has limited resources. Time, energy, money, availability, and other commitments need to be emotionally and physically funded by them.
When people are first in love, they do everything they can to invest all of their resources into the new relationship, often at the expense of other priorities. As the relationship matures, they will have to change those distributions. Other obligations re-emerge and require the partners to reassess how they apportion their commitments.
“We used to spend every spare moment with each other. We didn’t make any decisions without the other person’s okay and support. Now he wants to start a new business, and I desperately want us to invest in a house of our own. I never minded giving up everything for him, but I’m feeling more and more on the back burner here.”
“She promised me we’d have a family, but she keeps putting it off because of her career. I’ve been totally understanding, but now I’m beginning to feel like she’s not going to be into this. She keeps giving me excuses, and I’m feeling like she’s not being honest anymore.”
4. Changes in Physical Attractiveness
Though they may seem superficial attachments to some, physical attractiveness and fitness are very important to others. As an example, one partner may choose another, because both of them were equally devoted to physical fitness. As time went by, one drops that commitment and “let themselves go.” Love and attachment may still exist, but desire wanes.
Sadly, even unexpected, long-term health issues can deter a once-devoted partner. It is emotionally and physically taxing to provided extended care to another, even if that person is beloved.
“I feel like an absolute jackass, but I just can’t deal with the way she looks now. It’s not her fault, and I love her as much as I ever did, but I can’t get past the new package. Please help me get over this.”
“I know he can’t get it up, because of all the medications that are keeping him alive. I don’t want him to feel inadequate, but I miss the great sex we used to have.”
These people may come across a shallow or self-centered, but I have seen devoted partners who, over time, are unable to deal with major changes in the attractiveness of their partners, even when those changes are unavoidable.
5. Irritating Habits
Certain behaviors, over time, can activate emotionally allergic reactions to triggers that were more acceptable in the past. Initially, they may have seemed endurable, but now have become more and more irritating.
The caveat here, of course, is whether the partner who is causing the trigger reaction cares enough to work on the now-annoying habits and to change them for the sake of the other. But even when they do their best, they can’t always change them to the satisfaction of the other.
“When we were first together, I could handle her being late all the time. I guess I thought it would change over time, and the excuses seemed relevant. Now, it’s beginning to bug me a lot. It’s as if she doesn’t respect my time. I told her we’d be taking separate cars from now on, and she’s really upset, but I can’t keep doing this.”
“When we go out places with friends, he has to be the center of attention and make everyone in the room love him, and they do. I used to be proud of that, but now I often wonder if he would even care if I was with him. I find myself making excuses to stay home, and I’m not even sure he notices.”