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Falling back in love when love is gone?

Community Member

Hi All,

when someone

  • has fallen out of love with a person,
  • has moved out a year ago,
  • says the trust and attraction are gone,
  • wants to move on but feels obligated to do the right thing (i.e. giving the old partner a chance to talk through all issues),
  • told their old partner they wouldn't date or marry them given the person they are today, and
  • there is another person they have feelings for,

is it likely that the love for the old partner comes back when they spend a few (2-3) weeks with together? Or is this likely the end and the meeting serves more the purpose of showing it's over and planning a clean separation?

28 Replies 28

Community Member
Is there a high risk they would fall back in love in those 2-3 weeks?

Your question is very interesting and I doubt anybody could provide a yes or no answer with certainty.
Nevertheless, of the two alternatives you provide, I believe the latter is more likely.

I base my response on life experience. When a person is crystal clear and articulates a vision of life that doesn’t include a former partner, you should take them at their word.

It is possible that if they spend a few weeks in the former partners company they may feel a sentimental nostalgia for good times passed but this will only be a temporary emotion.

Thats all I can say but other posters may have more interesting responses.

Community Champion
Community Champion


I have read a couple of your threads on this topic and I realise that you would like reassurance but it think it comes down to how much you trust this person.

I understand how important this is to have a guarantee that things.

In matters of the heart it is hard to guarantee outcomes but from what you have written in other posts, the two of you have a strong connection.

As betternow says everyone is different . I know people who have nothing to do with the ex once it is over and others invite the ex to family events, this is when children are involved.

I suppose is there a reason why he needs to move back into the house, rather than go to counselling together.


Betternow, your response was very clear, all responses are valued by the poster.


Hello AussieGal

Good to hear from you again.

I'm not certain which partner you feel may fall in love again. Are you concerned that spending this time together may may rekindle your feelings or that your ex partner may have an ulterior motive in spending time with you, i.e. because he wants to make up.

I think anything is possible but it does depend on why your ex wants to reconnect for a short time. You would know him best and be able to decide if what he says is exactly what he means. If that is the case it would seem unlikely your romance would blossom again. wants to move on but feels obligated to do the right thing (i.e. giving the old partner a chance to talk through all issues),

What do you think will happen? Do you want to get together with him again? Do you think it would be valuable to spend this time with your ex? By that I mean do you want to know why you separated or how your personality worked or not with the ex? I have to say it's a bit of an odd request or suggestion. Did this come from you or the ex? I have to say I am as bewildered as you.

If you do not want to get together again it may be best to refuse the offer in order not to stir up old memories. It's bound to be an unsettling time and may last longer than the two-three weeks suggested. I have given you some questions to ask yourself. No need to answer them here. It's just a few pointers for you to consider.

Hope all goes well and please continue to post in here.


Hello Mary and All,

thank you so much.

Mary, I am actually scared because my partner still has unfinished business with his wife. He is the one that said all the above things, i.e. no love, trust, longing, feels obligation, no connection with her, etc. He and I have a very strong connection, mentally, emotionally and physically. But he feels guilty for moving out and leaving her a year ago, without having given her the chance to talk it out and to give her the understanding of why he left. So he did that and went to a few counselling sessions with her. But he keeps feeling that he is obliged to give her more opportunity to understand and see for herself that the relationship is over. For some reason, he cannot move on because he feels bad about telling her that it is over for good. She has been feeding his guilt and obligation as well and unfortunately, he is a soft heart who wants to keep everyone happy. He said he would like "the perfect separation", i.e. one where she understands that it is over and where she does not get angry at him (he did not separate because of me). But the perfect separation does not exist.

Now he will go and spend 2-3 weeks with her (staying at other friends though) because he says he needs to spend that time with her to be sure the connection is dead and to enable her to see that. I am terrified of him spending the time there. To me it is quite clear that he does not love her anymore and his friend says the same (he has seen them interact and has spoken a lot with him about all this). But although it seems pretty clear cut to me that when feelings of love are gone, they stay gone, I have this irrational fear that something might just come back. Although I honestly believe his heart and mind are with me more than anyone.

I am scared of that period and I dread the thought of spending 2-3 weeks by myself wondering every day what might be happening. So I guess I am looking for reassurance that, although everything can happen, it is fairly unlikely that love and trust just come back. She is a (currently sobre) alcoholic and his trust has been eroded because of that. She promises she can change but that is a typical action of someone who does not want to be left. He does not trust her that she will change but at the same time, he seems to need this time to be 1000% sure. It is frustrating and so incredibly scary. I don't know what to do to stay sane and positive over that time, especially as it is over Christmas and New Year's.


I am wondering do you have a friend who can stay for some of that time or could you go away. If you are not working can you do something that can distract you.

Will he keep in contact with you? I suppose if you trust him and he is just being kind to his ex and will hopefully get the closure he is seeking.

Take care


Hi Quirky,

Thank you. Just to clarify, he is not moving back in

He's travelling interstate for 3 weeks, staying with his friends but planning to spend more time with his ex to get clarity. He said today that he has no clear thought and runs through all scenarios. He sees how amazing we are and that there are no feelings for her but then he thinks he wished he had our connection in his 13 6ear marriage. I think what it boils down to be is that he looks at that long-term commitment and he is struggling with the notion that that commitment did not work. For some reason, he is stuck there, I think the clarity he seeks will need to entail spending time with her to confirm that although he entered this marriage full of love and hope of a lifelong commitment, it turned out differently and the connection is broken.

I am just scared that he will not accept or realise that. He says the time away will have to provide clarity because he cannot go on like that and he knows I can't. I'm constantly terrified thst he will go back to her, not out of love but obligation and guilt for leaving her. But he also agrees with his psych that he cannot go back into the relationship he came out of. So I am not sure what it will take, I am hoping it will help when he spends time with her and realises the feelings are really gone and most of all, I believe he wants her to realise that. He said to me he wants "the perfect separation", i.e. one where she is not angry at him. I told him that perfection is not possible. I also told him that his wish to have a connection like ours in his marriage makes sense, however, the reality is that it does not exist otherwise he would not have left. However that there is no reason why he could not simply have it in a new relationship, as he is obviously having with me. I said maybe he should rather grab that opportunity and hold on to it instead of dreaming of something that is not.

I am worried and very confused by his up and down. I believe it stems from his own complete emotional instability and confusion but it's not healthy for me. I believe in us but he doesn't seem to trust his own thoughts and feelings, so how can I trust him? He is very clear about the lack of connection, love and trust for her but he never speaks in definitives. I will wait it out until he comes back but I wonder if I should just set him free to deal with his issues but he is the one who pulled me back to him and who doesn't want to lose me.

Aussiegal thanks for clarifying the situation.

You say he is doubting himself and does not trust himself, but do you trust him?

You are in a difficult situation Nd only you know what you are prepared to cope with.

Without knowing either of you itbis hard to offer reassurance.

He seems an emotional person who wants closure but I wonder does he really understand the effect all of this is having on you.

3 weeks of delving into the past is a lot for both of you to deal with.

I suppose it is up to you to make a decision or decide to wait and see what happens on his return. Will he call or text every day or two

I am concerned how all this is taking a toll on your emotions.What do you think?


Hi Quirky,

thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time. I told him that I will need at least occasional contact so that I do not go completely crazy. I understand he goes there for a purpose but three weeks without contact would not be feasible for me. I also told him that, if anything changes about his feelings for her or if he feels he needs to spend more time talking to her beyond the three weeks, he should please tell me immediately, not wait until he is back. I am not an avoidant type, I would rather have an early indication that things go unexpectedly and downhill rather than wait with a lot of hope just to be crushed.

I do trust that he is a good guy and that the reason he suffers so much (and is so indecisive) is because he does not want to hurt anyone. He also said to me today that he a) struggles to make the final decision and b) to live with it afterwards. I think the latter is why he struggles making the decision. He constantly gets worried that he might have regrets in six months. But at the same time he says he has no regrets so far, and it has already been one year. He still has no feelings for her but he feels he has not spent enough time to her to talk through everything and - I guess - give her the chance he believes she deserves to talk to him about the separation. His friend says that he feels a very strong duty to do the right thing by his ex, especially because she would be financially dependent as well. But I also believe that at the moment he is so confused, that he does not trust his lack of feelings. He constantly says that he needs to spend more time with her to make sure the feelings are really gone. And that he was once deeply in love with her and so he cannot understand / is angry that those feelings are all gone. In a way, I believe he struggles massively with the fact that the dream of the life-long marriage has not come to fruition. But I highly doubt that his feelings will be rekindled by spending time with her. His friend says he is quite cold to her, does not want to have physical contact, is harsh and does not want to engage with her on the phone. So I do not understand why he believes spending time with her would be useful, considering he does not seem to really want to. I believe he feels he owes it to her or the relationship but it is terrible for me. I will wait but after he comes back, he either feels sure about me or I will need to go to stay sane. But it is so hard for me to give up on us & him.