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I love him but I'm suddenly not "in love"

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  • #402844
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tilly:

    “I struggle with the comments from other people and how society tells us relationships should be… I’ve heard many people say that love can’t grow overtime , it’s either there or it isn’t” –

    – the relationship with your boyfriend is between you and him: 2 people. other people and many people do not belong in your relationship.

    Plus, whomever says that “love can’t grow overtime, it’s either there or it isn’t” is talking about sexual attraction, not about love. True love in its nature grows over time. Sexual attraction, on the other hand,  is unstable and never stays the same: sometimes it gets stronger, at other times it gets weaker; sometimes it dies, then it resurrects.

    I would like to reply to you further in the morning (in about 12 hours from now). If you are reading this before I return to you, can you tell me if as a child you were often criticized: told that what you were thinking was wrong and what you were feeling was wrong.. anything like that? (If you answer this, it will help me understand better when I return to your thread).

    anita

    #402852
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tilly:

    The basic conflict= on one hand, you love your boyfriend: “I know that deep down I love my boyfriend… some sort of deep understanding and love for him…  I have never had the deep connection to someone else like I do my boyfriend… our love had grown deeper over time and in the early stages I wasn’t sure about him, it took me time to realize I want to be with him… he treats me so well and we have a very solid relationship on the whole”,

    But on the other hand, you are not very attracted to him: “I never felt intense attraction, butterflies or infatuation for my boyfriend… I have felt instant attraction to people before… He is not my usual ‘type’ physically. I do find him attractive”.

    What you heard and read people say: “that love can’t grow overtime, it’s either there or it isn’t… it will never work out if the instant attraction isn’t there and that their partner deserves someone who thinks they are their type… that I’m with an ‘average’ guy that I can do better”.

    How you feel: “anxiety around loving (my) partner… I worry that this means our relationship is wrong… I feel very guilty… It upsets me that these comments bother me so much…  I am also very sensitive to other peoples opinions and comments”.

    You asked: “please can you provide your insight on this?

    I think that (1) like many people, you are predisposed to care too much about what people say, including people you never met, people in forums like this one, and (2) part of the reason you care too much about what people say on this particular issue is that you partly agree with what they say.

    Fact: your boyfriend is physically not your type, and because he is not,  you have experienced from the beginning of the relationship an absence of physical (sexual) attraction to him. Not a complete absence perhaps, but an absence that’s enough to distress you.

    Assuming that you are having a sexual relationship with your boyfriend, this means that you feel this absence while having sex with him. Feeling guilty about it, maybe you pretend to enjoy it with him while you do not, or maybe you pretend to enjoy it more than you do (?) And this absence is a secret that you are keeping away from him (?)

    This secret-keeping in itself (if you are indeed keeping this as a secret) is hard to keep, isn’t it? And pretending (if you are pretending) in a relationship that should  be about honesty and love is difficult, isn’t it?

    Let’s say that you are in your 20s or early 30s, and you marry him. After five or ten years of pretending, you meet a man who is very much your physical type: would you, could you feel that it’s about time that you experience the sexual feelings that you are deprived of with your husband, and venture into a sexual affair with the other man.. and maybe with a series of men, over time?

    I can’t answer these questions but you should be able to answer these soon enough, before you commit to marriage and such.

    In regard to what is fair to him: 1) it is not fair to him that you marry him and then have an affair or affairs (so to.. supplement the marriage with what it is lacking for you), 2) it is not fair to him that you express to him in any way that he is not good enough for you, that he is below your/ society’s standards.

    A suggestion: maybe, if you express to him that you need to be more stimulated sexually (without telling him that he is not your type etc.), maybe the two of you can figure out ways to make it happen and then… his type will be your …new type.

    As you can see, Tilly, I am not suggesting that you break up with him or that you ignore the issue and proceed with the relationship as is because (non-sexual) love is all that matters. There are questions I asked in this post that I don’t have answers to because you didn’t answer them. Maybe if you answer them, and if you respond further to my two posts, maybe I will be able to help you reach your own answer as to how to proceed.

    anita

    #404690
    Pop
    Participant

    Hello everyone! It’s the first time I am writing on this kind of website, but I am desperate.

    I was in a relationship for almost 7 years with a guy. At first, we were amazing, we had chemistry and I thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life with him, but a few years ago things have changed. I felt in my soul that he was not the right one for me, so I decided after a long struggle to end the relationship. This was just the introduction. A few weeks after, I met a nice guy, and he caught my attention. He is everything I have ever hoped and dreamed for. We started talking and we realised that we are very alike, that we make a great team, that we don’t have to speak to be able to comunicate, I felt he is my soulmate and he felt the same (I know it sounds a bit cheesy but I am 27 years old, and he is 28, we talked very maturely about our feelings, and we both seek a serious relationship). But after a month when someone reminded me that I have gotten into a relationship too soon after breaking up I felt a void and suddenly all my feelings were gone. He felt that and he started questioning whether I am over my ex or not. He now accuses me that I am loving him rationally not emotionally, and he is somehow right. I have moments when I feel more in love with him than ever and others when I can’t say I miss him because it is not true. I haven’t experienced this kind of mixed feelings before, and I don’t know what to do. I read what others wrote, and the fact is I want to spend time with him, I am my best version when I am with him, and his presence makes me happy, but I am always afraid that my confusion will come back, he feels it, he mirrors my behaviour and after that we both feel bad.

    I have a great relationship with my parents, so I don’t think that might be the issue, but my ex relationship was pretty hard on me. I have lost myself, I became very anxious, nervous, I started lashing out at people, I couldn’t get a job, I was always expecting for something bad to happen, for him to be mad at me, and it was really difficult to find the strength to leave him. He used to tell me that I will die alone with my cats if he won’t marry me, and that I do not deserve everything I think I am.I am thinking that I am traumatised still, and what my ex told me really impacted my mind. I am certain that I don’t love him anymore.

    With my new boyfriend, I started being who I was before, I feel powerful, confident, strong, I wanna get out my comfort zone, and this was noticed even by my parents who said that they have never seen me this in love before, that I am glowing when I speak about him, my mom even started crying because I have changed so much and she is so happy for me. How do I look in love if I am not feeling like that??? Is it possible that I am too scared, and stressed that the confusion will come back that I don’t let my true feeling come through?

    I hope this isn’t too long, and I apologise for my grammar mistakes, I am not a native speaker.

    Please help me!!!

    #404721
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Pop:

    You shared about your first boyfriend: “At first, we were amazing, we had chemistry and I thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life with him“, but later: “He used to tell me that I will die alone with my cats if he won’t marry me, and that I do not deserve everything I think I am” –  your in-love feelings for him misled you as to the reality of who the man really was and what life with him was likely to be. You felt that he was the one… but he wasn’t.

    Your new boyfriend: “He is everything I have ever hoped and dreamed for… I felt he is my soulmate“- maybe seeing that your feelings misled  you about the former boyfriend, you are afraid that you can no longer trust your feelings… that maybe even though it feels that he is your soulmate, he is not?

    After a month when someone reminded me that I have gotten into a relationship too soon after breaking up I felt a void and suddenly all my feelings were gone“- seems like following your troubled relationship with your former boyfriend,  you lost trust in the ability of your feelings to indicate what is true, the Void being your lost trust.

    I have moments when I feel more in love with him than ever and others when I can’t say I miss him because it is not true. I haven’t experienced this kind of mixed feelings before, and I don’t know what to do… Is it possible that I am too scared, and stressed that the confusion will come back that I don’t let my true feeling come through?“- seems to me that following your troubled 7-years relationship, you lost trust in your feelings of being in-love. Therefore, without being aware of it, you “chose” to not feel in-love feelings for your new boyfriend. Next, you panic when you notice that your in-love feelings for him are gone.

    Does this seem true to you?

    anita

    #404724
    Pop
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    So, do you think that this happens because I am afraid that my feelings will betray me again, so I kind of developed a defence mechanism when it comes to love and relationships? When I first started to be with my former boyfriend I was infatuated and I didn’t really think about his faults, and after a while they started to become really obvious, but with my new boyfriend it just clicked when we started to know each other, and I felt in my heart that he will be my husband. It felt like in a second everything felt in place, and I had my future very clearly planned ahead of me.

    Regarding your last comment, you might be right, I think I may have chosen not to feel in love with him, because I lost trust in my feelings, so I started to panic and I just made things worse.

    My question is how do I get over this confusion? Should I take a break from him and try to answer all these questions alone or should I just try to spend more time with him, without any pressure, and see if the feelings come back? Do you think that if I had such strong feelings for him once, I can have them again some day? How do I stop thinking so much about everything, relax, and just listen to my heart?

    Thank you! 🙏

    #404727
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Pop:

    You are welcome. “So, do you think that this happens because I am afraid that my feelings will betray me again, so I kind of developed a defence mechanism when it comes to love and relationships?“- yes. You are afraid that your feelings will betray you. You are also afraid to not feel in-love with him anymore.

    I may have chosen not to feel in love with him, because I lost trust in my feelings, so I started to panic and I just made things worse“- I think that this is what happened. Also, Fear and Love don’t go together, strong  fear takes priority and it cancels fear, for as long as the fear is strong.

    Should I take a break from him and try to answer all these questions alone or should I just try to spend more time with him, without any pressure, and see if the feelings come back?“- I’d say continue the relationship with him and spend some of the time with him, and some of the time without him.

    Do you think that if I had such strong feelings for him once, I can have them again someday?“- yes, I am sure that you can feel strongly about him again.

    How do I stop thinking so much about everything, relax, and just listen to my heart?“- (1) lower your anxiety level overall and you’ll be better for it: daily exercise, better nutrition, guided meditations, and/ or yoga, walks in nature, listening to calming music, and/ or painting etc., etc. (2) regarding your fear about not feeling strongly in-love with him again, you have to find a way to not be afraid of this anymore because the fear itself will keep you from feeling strongly about him and/ or it will cut short the feelings once they appear.

    Feelings are not something tangible and solid that you can hold in your hands and therefore, you can’t keep them or lose them: they come and go like air. Also, no person in the whole wide world (!!!) feels in love with another person at all times, not even most of the time: everyone gets tired or angry or hungry or depressed and loses all positive feelings for a while. If you terrorize yourself with repeatedly asking yourself: do I love him NOW? How about NOW…? You will be feeding the fear.

    anita

    #404750
    Pop
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you very much for your advice!! I talked about my feelings with him, and we agree to go on a trip for a week, to try to reconnect, and relax together, without any pressure. Do you think this is a good idea? how should I act around him to make everything as good as it can be? Do you have any advice?

    Thank you!!!

    #404752
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Pop:

    You are very welcome. A week trip is a good idea only if he (as well as you) fully understands that the purpose of the trip is not to make you feel- or not to feel- any particular way, only to relax together, just like you stated in your recent post.

    He (as well as you) must put absolutely NO pressure on you to feel or to express affection, attraction, and/ or love for him. He has to understand that the emotional happenings of recent (fear=> loss of in-love feelings=>panic)  is not something that you chose or something that he caused: it is something that happened to you and it has nothing to do with him individually. Therefore you cannot choose it to be gone any more than he can.

    As humans, we can’t police our (or others’) feelings: we can’t decide to feel X about this and Y about that. We can’t brand a feeling “bad” and put it away in a jail cell and continue our lives without it. We can’t punish ourselves for not feeling X or Y. The very efforts to police feelings is nothing but destructive to our health.  Also, he has to understand that no one (not even him!) feels in-love with anyone else all the time or most of the time: no one in the whole world. So it is unfair to demand it from anyone.

    I suggest that the two of you decide on a few ground rules before the trip so that you are prepared for all possibilities. A few possible ground rules- for you and him to decide:  * to not talk about certain topics, * to not use the words “love” and “in-love” (and/ or whatever other words can trigger your or his anxiety), * to have this kind of physical contact but not that kind.

    anita

Viewing 8 posts - 166 through 173 (of 173 total)

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