Are you wondering how long does it take to fall in love? That depends on if you're falling in love for the first time or second time with the same person. The first time occurs in the early stages of a relationship and the second time happens when a couple has been through a difficult season and is learning to rekindle their relationship. But first, here's the short answer.
How long does it take to fall in love?
It usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for a couple to first fall in love. The speed of falling in love can be influenced by how much quality time the couple has together, how positive their interactions are, and how emotionally available they both are.
How long does it take to fall in love? - the first time
Falling in love for the first time can happen quickly. After all, in the early stages of a relationship both partners are putting their best foot forward and doing everything they can to make their partner happy. The relationship is brand new so there's no resentment to work through. They are saying the right things and doing the right things and everything is wonderful. In addition, couples in the early stages are often shielded from outside stress from kids, careers, and finances because they haven't fully merged their lives yet. Therefore, the relationship is receiving continual benefits without any of the strain. Consequently, some couples report falling in love in as short as a few weeks up to a few months. However, here are a few factors to consider when you think you're falling in love.
First, have you given it enough time? It's problematic to take too little or too much time to give your heart to someone. It's problematic if it's too little time because you may not know enough about the person yet or have enough history together to discern if it's wise to develop feelings for them. It's problematic if it's too much time because you may be trying to protect yourself from being hurt so you wall off and make it almost impossible for anyone to get close to you.
Second, have you gotten to know their family and friends? Don't let yourself fully develop feelings for someone until you've spent time with their family and friends. The quality of the relationships the person has or doesn't have will tell you a lot about them and how they may relate to you. For example, if they have a history of long-term, securely attached relationships then they'll probably develop the same type of connection with you. However, if they have a history of broken relationships and insecure attachments they'll probably have a turbulent connection with you too.
Third, have your family and friends had a chance to check them out? Often, in the early stages of a relationship you have love blinders on so you may ignore or miss potential red flags in your new partner. Therefore, getting feedback from close family and friends on how they feel toward them is essential. Obviously, this will take time and it's critical to not let yourself fully fall in love until your family and friends have provided their stamp of approval.
Fourth, are they worthy of your trust? For example, do they keep their word? Do they handle conflicts with you and others constructively? Do they intentionally care about your thoughts and feelings rather than just wanting to share their own? Do they regularly take ownership for their part to problems and display empathy for their impact on others? Do they value sharing power so you each have an equal voice in your relationship? Are they self-sufficient financially without being dependent on others? These are the types of things to look for to discern if they are worthy of your trust.
It's wise to guard your heart until these four areas are addressed to ensure it's safe to develop feelings for them.
How long does it take to fall in love? - the second time
Couples in long-term relationships often fall out of love for a variety of reasons. However, fires can be rebuilt and will depend on the following items.
First, what season your marriage is in will impact how long does it take to fall in love the second time. Marriages go through seasons just like our weather. The first season is summer where everything is hot. As mentioned previously, when you start dating someone and everything is new and electric, you can fall in love very quickly. After summer comes fall. Fall is usually after a couple has been together for at least a year and a half and the newness has faded. This is where you're still in love, but not as much. Perhaps some resentment has crept in, you start having conflicts, and your needs aren't being met as well. If you don't handle fall well, you'll slip right into winter. Just like our weather, winter is when things get icy. Your needs aren't met, there's lots of conflict, and lots of resentment. This is often where relationships break unless the couple reaches out for help. For couples who receive help and work hard at recovering their relationship, they can go into spring. Spring is when the birds start to chirp and the warmth comes back. This is where your needs start to be met, your resentments get healed, and your conflicts decrease. This is when couples start to fall back in love.
Second, resentments will impact how long does it take to fall in love the second time. Unresolved resentments will not allow you to fall back in love. It's incompatible. You cannot fall in love with someone you resent. The first step with couples I see in my practice is we tackle resentments because things are not going to get better until those are addressed. To address resentment in marriage you want to use my reunite tool for conflict resolution. So, how many resentments you have and how effectively you deal with them will influence how long it takes to rekindle the flame.
Third, your motivation will influence how long does it take to fall in love the second time. How much do you want things to get better? How much are you willing to do whatever it takes to improve your marriage? How much are you looking at your part and taking ownership for your piece? How much are you investing in your relationship? This all comes from motivation. If you're not very motivated to improve your marriage it's going to take much longer to rekindle the flame. In contrast, if you're highly motivated because you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you're going to fall back in love much faster.
Fourth, your level of support will influence how long does it take to fall in love the second time. As mentioned previously, if you're in winter you need extra support. You can't be a marriage expert to your own marriage. I've tried this and it doesn't work. My own marriage has been in winter before and I thought I could be our marriage counselor because that's what I do. However, I eventually realized I can't be our marriage counselor because I'm not objective. If you're in winter, you need extra support.
Fifth, how much you follow the love bucket method will impact how long does it take to fall in love the second time. Your partner has a love bucket inside of them and you are the faucet. In the beginning, you continually poured water into their bucket by saying and doing all the right things. Eventually, their bucket got full and that made them fall in love with you. However, over time most partners stop filling their partner's love bucket and instead start draining it by doing and saying things their partner doesn't like. To rekindle the relationship, you have to start filling up your partner's love bucket again, which begins with regularly providing the top three things they need to feel loved and satisfied. Next, you have to stop draining their love bucket by reducing and eliminating your top three behaviors they dislike. If you do this long enough, you'll become irresistible to them.
In sum, how long does it take to fall in love the first time should be moderated by if you've given the relationship enough time, if you've observed their family and friends, if your family and friends have observed them, and if they prove trustworthy. How long does it take to fall in love the second time will be influenced by your season of marriage, your level of resentment, your motivation, how much support you receive, and how much you are following the love bucket method.
See below for further reading.
Sign up for Dr. Wyatt's FREE resource on Unlocking the Keys to Emotional Intimacy Tonight. Get it here!
What else might influence how long does it take to fall in love the first or second time?