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Thread: Boyfriend says he likes me a lot romantically...but is not in love with me.

  1. #1
    retrochick
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    Boyfriend says he likes me a lot romantically...but is not in love with me.

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Erin and I'm a 24 year old from Australia.
    My boyfriend and I have been officially seeing eachother since about July last year. We have known eachother since March 2011 though.
    2011 was not an easy year for me, there were plenty of ups and downs- but heaps of downs. My boyfriend stood by me through most of these times- but he seemed to pay the cost when helping me through my downs, getting frustrated and pained by moods and situations. I know these times wore him down and pushed him away from me- he has said this himself.

    To cut to the chase, today I asked him whether he was in love with me. I know I'm in love with him, I can feel it. I've felt it all along. He said no, that he wasn't (not in that blunt a tone) but said he likes me a lot romantically. He also said that he believes in the possibility that he can and will fall in love with me.
    However, I've felt devastated by what he said. He shows definite signs that he could be in love- we spend a lot of time together, have a lot of fun, he visits, we give eachother little gifts...it goes on.

    Yet, he said this. In a way I don't feel surprised, I mean, he kind of acts in a way that isn't the definition of someone in love. I can tell he cares and likes me a lot. But I can see his restraint and wariness. I don't hold on any blame toward him, I know I've been frustrating at times, I'm trying to get sorted though.

    My questions are the following: Can a person fall in love later in a relationship? Is it too late for him to fall in love with me?
    I feel corny writing such things. I just find it hard to imagine that a person can fall in love later on in a relationship...I feel these things normally happen in the beginning. I've spoken to friends and they feel it's still possible....but I don't know.

    Any feed back would be wonderful.

    Thanks,

    Erin

  2. #2
    wlh22
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    What was your motive for asking him the question? Clearly he seems to care about you and is with you... anyways - who knows what 'in love' stands for? If you are concerned he may not continue to pursue the relationship seriously (which doesn't look like is the case), then it is a conversation worth having. Also, for some people, commitment builds over time (I am one of them .... notice I said commitment not love) and for some people that also means love (although I am not one of them).

  3. #3
    bulletproof
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    It's only been six months. I don't think it's an absolute that a person would feel love in that amount of time. I do think that feelings change all the time, and there is often a lot of push and pull, and shifts in a relationship, so perhaps you want to continue dating and see how it goes.

    I find it interesting that you asked him if he loves you, rather than just telling him you love him. Keep in mind that there's no shame in feeling love for someone, regardless of whether he's in the same headspace as you. Try not to get immersed in a power struggle, i.e., start worrying about who holds the card in the relationship. It shouldn't matter. Just enjoy yourself and take it for what it is for now, and perhaps reevaluate down the road.

  4. #4
    retrochick
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    Hi wlh22

    Thanks for being so prompt in responding.
    I asked him because I felt like lately I've been doing all the legwork in our relationship-organising dates, seeing him, phoning, texting...you name it. I was thinking about it today and I can only make this analogy: it's like I've got the demo version of a boyfriend that there could be more to it if I had the real deal, if he wasn't so hesistant around me. He's great at doing all the skeletal parts of the relationship...but I can clearly see his heart is not in it. That's what bothers me and made me ask.

    I like how you had definitions- and said commitment instead of in love. I think that is an excellent way of putting it. However, what is commitment without enjoying the other person fully? You know, getting tingly feelings or for me, getting excited when I hear my gate open.
    I don't think he feels any of these things and it makes me feel really sad.

    That's all.

  5. #5
    retrochick
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    Thanks bulletproof for your reply also.
    I'm too scared to tell him I love him, especially now, I've been dying to in the past but I've been scared of his reaction. I was speaking to one of our mutual friends earlier (who has known my boyfriend for a good number of years) and she said that she doesn't think that my boyfriend has said he's ever been in love. So maybe he's scared of getting hurt again- as that has happened to him. I don't know. It's hard to say.

  6. #6
    wlh22
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    Is there a change of situation in his or your (as a couple) life? such as ... him having a bad boss, recent financial issue or parental/family issue etc.? Maybe there is something else going on in his life which is causing him to pull away... If nothing, then I think it is fair to ask that question and expect him to be fully available too... however, in my experience sometimes it's about needing a little bit of a breather... and at such moments communication is key... expecting him to 'hear' your inner feelings is not the best solution. I think you are doing the right thing by not being overtly reactive etc. but are still putting your concerns out there. I can understand your feelings...

  7. #7
    bulletproof
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    Don't tell him you love him if it makes you uncomfortable. But it's okay to have the feeling, and enjoy that feeling. Nothing has really changed in your relationship. You just have new information. However, this information doesn't have to affect how you feel, how you treat him, and your happiness, necessarily.

  8. #8
    wlh22
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    Also, I really like BulletProof's comment "I find it interesting that you asked him if he loves you, rather than just telling him you love him. Keep in mind that there's no shame in feeling love for someone, regardless of whether he's in the same headspace as you. Try not to get immersed in a power struggle, i.e., start worrying about who holds the card in the relationship. It shouldn't matter. Just enjoy yourself and take it for what it is for now, and perhaps reevaluate down the road. "

    And that's exactly why I asked you what your motive of asking him was...

  9. #9
    wlh22
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    Okay... maybe I misread before... but you haven't told him if you love him , but you asked him? for me that is a bit weird... I would feel put under a knife in some sense... if my partner told me she loves me and then asked if I did, it would be a whole different situation ....

  10. #10
    Keyman
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    I define being in love as "Not wanting to lose that person from my life." But so many people think that being in love with someone is all about feeling butterflies, and having sexual chemistry.

    You can fall in love later in the relationship, although again, I think people more relate in love to that infatuation feeling.

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