Falling in love is easy, taking care of love every day, not so much anymore. Because there are people who take love for granted, care as unnecessary and constant dialogue as something that is too tiring. Autopilot relationships soon hit a dead end.
Do you use the car for work? If so, try to answer the following question… How was the ride home yesterday? You probably don’t remember. You can’t tell exactly how many times you changed lanes or how many traffic lights you ran into. And you can’t, because driving, like many other activities, is done on “mental autopilot.”
Our brains, so to speak, make our lives easier and do so by automating routine behavior. In this way, we save energy, both physical and mental. After all, the most important thing for this complex yet elementary organ is to survive, not to wait for us to make decisions and reason every second.
Therefore, it is the unconscious that takes control for many hours of our lives. Getting up, showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast, going to work, completing certain tasks, going home… Our lives are often so routine that our psychological autopilot controls our daily routine.
We spend much of our time out of touch with immediate reality, allowing ourselves to be carried away by simple automatisms. Now then… And what happens in the affective field? Can love also fall into the realm of the unconscious?
The answer is yes. Let’s dig deeper into this topic.
Relationships go into autopilot mode when we are no longer paying attention to each other.
Love on Autopilot and Why Many Relationships ‘Fall’
Let’s face it, nothing costs us less than falling in love with one person. There are times when certain presences enter our life, turn it upside down and fill it with unexpected illusion and almost irrational passion. And we let ourselves go because attachment is like that. Effervescent, intense as it dominates itself, magical and of course, gorgeous.
Now, what happens when we move from the infatuation phase to the formal and casual relationship? What is going on in this couple that has been in a relationship for 3, 4 or 9 years? You risk entering the automatism phase. Autopilot love occurs when a relationship gets caught up in the everyday, letting everything happen by itself, without mutual commitment.
Let’s look at some characteristics that make up this type of situation.
If a couple takes their relationship for granted and assumes that nothing will change, they can fall prey to mind-numbing monotony and illusion. We must understand that we are all human beings in constant change and that love can disappear at any moment if we do not take care of it.
Dropped calls: Did you hear what I said?
Conversations cut off from the interlocutor are a vivid example of love on autopilot. There are also those who simply listen to their partner while they are talking, but without paying attention or understanding the message. Losing the thread of the conversation and completely detaching ourselves from what our loved one is saying is as annoying as it is harmful.
Letting the mind wander to other topics and thoughts, neglecting the present moment with the couple, is more relational automatism. These are those situations that end in discussions and tension. The sender, that is, the couple who spoke, may get angry when they notice that the other person is not paying attention or listening with interest.
It may also be that you communicate something important that the other party doesn’t pay attention to and that later causes problems and misunderstandings.
Poor emotional connection: You’re here, but I can’t feel you
As a University of Washington study explained to us, a significant part of our daily lives involves navigating stable contexts: work, home, walking, shopping, and so on. In these contexts, our brain turns on this autopilot, capable of responding to very simple demands as well as routine.
Life as a couple can lead precisely in a context marked by routine. When this happens and much of the action is repeated, the brain stops responding emotionally. It makes these two people be like two cold stones dragged by a river, letting the current eat away the love, the illusion and the fun…
Autopilot love moves on momentum, taking affection and even mutual commitment for granted. However, if anything has this type of connection it is, In the midst of this artificial movement, the couple ceases to connect emotionally with each other. They can live together and suddenly feel like two strangers.
Automated love: when monotony is suffocating
Many couples reach a point where they mistakenly assume that achieving relationship stability means not having to invest more effort and energy, that everything is done and achieved. Thinking that a stable relationship doesn’t require more investment than what’s already been done, makes us fall into the trap of rituals and routine. Communication is a ritualiza (how was your day? Well, are you cooking dinner? OK)routines become automated and even sex becomes predictable.
Little by little, this attachment surrenders to that mental autopilot that makes everything predictable and even monotonous. Life is no longer novel in sentimental territory, and almost without realizing it, we create an insane attachment to this person. We like her there, in our lives, we want her by our side, but our emotions are at a standstill. There is something that fails us and suffocates us at the same time.
How to turn off autopilot in a relationship?
If you feel that your relationship is dominated by autopilot attachment, you need to get back in the driver’s seat. You need to take control and take action before this relationship collapses and falls apart completely..
If boredom, routine and automatism dominate you, you will have reached a stage marked by frustration and a lack of emotional intimacy. What should we do under these circumstances? These would be some keys to ponder.
- No matter how busy you are, find time to be together. Making time means giving presence to the other, making them see that they are valuable to us.
- Talk about your short- and long-term dreams and goals. What do you want as people, what do you want as a couple for the future? Awaken your illusion as a couple when making plans.
- Break the routine by surprising you, arrange meetings, getaways for each week, try new experiences together.
- Reframe the idea of what love is. Attachment cannot be taken for granted, people are constantly growing, our needs change, and we need to contribute to each other not only with security, but also with love, attention, challenges, new knowledge, experience, etc.
Being a couple means continuing to grow together without stagnating, without taking the relationship for granted just because we love each other. Love isn’t everything, constant commitment, yes. Let’s think about it.
You may be interested…