What does, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” mean?

(Beginner English Learners: Definitions for This Article Are At the Bottom of This Page. Enjoy!)

“I love you, but, I’m not in love with you,” is not a phrase any of you should ever want to hear. Some people may even think of it as a classic breakup line. It’s a phrase that means a person cares deeply about you, but he or she is no longer passionate about you.

Let’s break this phrase down a bit more. Think of your family members, your mother, your brothers, etc. Do you love them? Well, of course. Then ask yourself, “Would I ever want to marry one of them?” Eww, no, of course not! Being ‘in love’ with someone usually means that you like someone so much, you would like to marry him or her. Physically, you are very attracted to the person, you enjoy going out on dates, and in the future, you can imagine having children with this person. To no longer be ‘in love’ with someone often means the person no longer feels these desires anymore.

Now, I will be honest. I believe being ‘in love’ is overrated. After 60 years of marriage, can a person really continue to have a strong passion for their spouse? And isn’t a long, healthy relationship what most couples are hoping for? Doesn’t heavy emotion eventually fade away, leaving mainly love and contentment for a stable foundation? If after several years, you still have an upset stomach or trouble breathing when you see your lover – your lifestyle is probably not healthy. Eventually, couples SHOULD get used to each other and not have to feel fireworks just to stick together. At least, that is my own opinion. In our modern society, especially in the United States, to ‘fall out of love’ is usually what closes the casket. That marriage is dead! Lol, but is it really?

Let’s say that unfortunately, a lover speaks this phrase to you. What should you do? My advice would be to understand that the person who said that to you is probably immature and not worth crying over. I’ve yet to hear of a situation where that phrase was said, and it wasn’t also said because he or she hadn’t found a new lover. Suddenly, after meeting another attractive person, there is a new rush of blood flooding their veins, and quickly, the lover believes that staying with you will prevent their happiness and growth in life.

Unfortunately, this story is not uncommon. A few months ago, I heard a precious man speaking of how he was leaving his wife of 14 years, of which he has had five young children with, simply because he is no longer ‘in love’ with her. He told the entire story of how he’d met someone new and felt his old wife would hold him back from a better future. And now? Well, he’s hugging up on a new lady, showing her off to the world. I think the man is mistaken, which is why I called him, ‘precious,’ as maybe he truly believes he is doing the best thing for his family although he is not thinking properly. Personally, I believe that to keep a spark in any relationship, the couple needs to be prepared to work hard to keep it – through making time for each other, continuing to date after marriage, and keeping a bit of spice in their bedrooms. If you both stop treating each other as you did when you first met, of course, things will eventually burn out.

Okay, what if you are the person saying the phrase? Well, while you are preparing your goodbye, I would ask you to remember what attracted you to your former lover? Was it their smile, intelligence, hair, or maybe kindness? And also, how deeply did you really love the person when you first got together? I ask these questions because if you can ‘fall out of love,’ without a trace of passion left, are you really sure that you ever had a deep love for this person? If you are not sure, then why did you get into relationship with this person in the first place – knowing that you were unsure of your emotions?

Of course, there may be crazy situations where someone is in an abusive relationship and in situations like that, it’s not about the phrase, it’s about your safety. GET OUT! Yet many times, it’s not that the person is in an abusive relationship, but rather, he or she just wanted a big change, and that change, unfortunately, meant exiting the relationship.


Beginner English Learners, some English words have more than one meaning for the same word. The meanings in the definitions below only define the way these words were used in this article.

  1. Classic (adjective) – In this article, the word means something is used so often, it has become common.
  2. Breakup Line – a phrase used to describe the words people say when they want to leave a relationship
  3. Passionate (adjective) / Passion (noun) – ‘Passionate’ is to have a strong desire and ‘passion’ is the state of having a strong desire.
  4. Physically (adverb) – refers to anything speaking of the touchable body
  5. Attracted (verb) – to desire to be near something or someone
  6. Physically Attracted – A phrase used to describe a feeling of wanting to be near someone because of their body.
  7. Imagine (verb) – to think about
  8. Overrated (verb) – to be made to seem more important than it truly is
  9. Spouse (noun) – a marriage partner
  10. Eventually (adverb) – A word used to speak of something that will happen, even if it doesn’t happen for a long time.
  11. Fade Away – A phrase that means ‘to disappear.’
  12. Modern Society- A phrase that speaks of our current culture.
  13. Especially (adverb) – A word that has a similar meaning to the word, ‘very.’
  14. Immature (adjective) – to behave as a child
  15. Not Worth Crying Over – A common phrase used to say that something isn’t important enough to be sad about.
  16. Situation (noun) – A word used to speak of an event or problem that is happening in a certain place or at a certain time.
  17. Rushof Blood Flooding (My/His/Her/Their) Veins – This is a phrase used to speak of a strong feeling someone may feel. It is a feeling of nervousness mixed with excitement or fear.
  18. Prevent (verb) – to stop something from happening; to stop something from finishing
  19. Unfortunately (adverb) – sadly
  20. Uncommon (adjective) – unusual; rare
  21. Precious (adjective) – This word usually speaks of beautiful things, but in some cases can be used to speak of something or someone that you feel empathy for. It is very similar to when native speakers used the word ‘special’ to speak of something or someone in need of extra care. These words are not compliments when used in this way and I would not use these words about someone unless the person is really horrible.
  22. Entire (adjective) – complete; all
  23. Properly (adjective) – correctly
  24. Hold (Him/Her/It/Them) Back- to keep from doing something
  25. Personally (adverb) – A word used to show that one is speaking of his or her own feelings/opinions.
  26. Spark (noun) – In this article, the word is used figuratively to speak about an ‘imaginary’ fire that should always burn in a relationship to keep it strong. When speaking of relationships, if this ‘spark’ of fire goes out, the relationship will end.
  27. Prepared (verb) – to get ready
  28. Spice (noun) – In this article, the word is used figuratively. ‘Spice’ is added to food to make it taste better. It is common for people to use the word ‘spice’ concerning relationships to speak of doing things to keep the relationship healthy.
  29. Remember (verb) – to think about something again
  30. Intelligence (noun) – an ability to understand difficult things
  31. Without a Trace – A common phrase used to describe losing something without the knowledge of how to find it again.
  32. Abusive (adjective) – use or treatment of something or someone in such a way that he/she/it was never meant to be used or treated.
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