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

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    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).



    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.


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