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Long-time Gf/bf Isn't Sure Whether Or Not They Love You?


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Okay, so I struggled with whether or not to post this, but it’s a situation which is kind of rough for me, and I thought it would be a good idea to get some opinions from people who aren’t emotionally-involved in my situation in anyway—as those opinions tend to be the clearest, and least biased. If you’ve been through a situation that’s somewhat similar if you could talk about it that also might be really helpful, and I welcome you to do so.


My situation is the following:


I’ve been with my girlfriend for a little over 8 months, and I’ve been in love with her for pretty much the entire time. I knew I was in love with her by the second or third week in, and I haven’t doubted it since for a single second. It’s completely unlike any relationship I’ve ever been in, we just clicked the moment we first met. From the beginning we talked about how nice it would be to live together, eventually have a family together, we spend more time together than with anyone else. We’ve only had one real fight in our entire relationship, and it was for the following reason (I'll explain it because it relates to my topic):


One week about 4 months into our relationship, after we had both been kind of busy and hadn’t been able to spend much time together lately, I felt her level of affection for me go down. I didn’t understand why, if I did something wrong, what exactly the problem was. I asked her about it and she told me it was because she didn’t feel as strongly for me as she had before. We got into talking about all sort of kind of darker relationship stuff, I guess I was feeling sorry for myself, and I made the mistake of asking her whether she’d leave me if she met someone else she liked. She said she didn’t know, and that’s what scared her. I recognized a lot of this might have been caused by the fact that we hadn’t really been around each other much lately at that point, so I talked to her about it, and we agreed to try to spend more time with one another. Which we did, and quickly (within a day or two), her level of affection towards me went back up as high as it had ever been, if not higher.


Things were fine until last night, when I asked her how she felt about me. It was kind of just a silly question, because we had been in the “I love you” “I miss you” lovey-dovey phase for the past 8 months. But her answer caught me completely off-guard. She told me that she liked me. And when I asked, “What, you don’t love me?” She said, “I dunno, how do you even know if you love someone?” I felt sort of like I had been punched in the gut. We got to talking about it, because I didn’t want to leave it at that (I was semi-distraught over the idea that I’d spent 8 months believing that someone loved me, only to realized that they have no idea whether they do or not), so I asked her whether she felt like she could live without me, or would be okay with me simply going away. She said she wasn’t okay with it. We got into a discussion and she said that she still doesn’t know for sure whether or not she would leave me if someone else came along, that she can’t promise anything/doesn’t trust herself, and that she doesn’t know whether she wants to marry me eventually. She clarified that she doesn’t think about these things, she’s too young [she’s 18]. We continued talking and I told her that I know she loves me even if she’s not sure of it, just because of the way she is around me. She’s spent 8 months trying to spend every free minute with me, confiding in me all of the secrets that she can’t tell anyone else, even her best friends, always there for me when I’m down & constantly thinking of me first even before herself. Also I know that she loves me based on the way that I’m able to make her happy unlike anyone else. After that we kind of made-up in more ways than one. tongue.gif


But, my question is this: what do you feel I should do in this situation? My personal interpretation of the situation is that she’s more afraid of commitment than anything else. She doesn’t want to commit to loving me, to commit to being with only me, to commit to the idea of being with me long-term and eventually commit to marriage. At least not now, because as she said, she’s “too young” to think about any of that right now.


Do you think though that she should know by now whether or not she loves me, and that the fact that she doesn’t means that she never will? I think that’s the thing that scares me most. I can tell that she’s willing to stick it out with me, but I guess I have this fear that I’m falling deeper and deeper in love with her, and that if it turns out that she can never commit to love, I’ll be all alone basically and heartbroken. I want to be with her for the rest of my life, I’ve known it since the first few weeks I met her and it hasn’t changed since, but what do you do if the person you feel that way about isn’t sure about their feelings for you, even 8 months later?


Should I stick it out because I love her and I think she loves me (even if she doesn’t call it that), or should I leave now because if she doesn’t love me after 8 months she probably never will?


Any advice or similar stories that might help to broaden my perspective on this a little are very much appreciated.

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It depends on what you want. I don't think that your girlfriend should have to know whether or not she wants to marry you right now. She is only 18, and I can't imagine that she has had a plethora of serious relationships before this point in time. Past experiences with other people are good (although sometimes painful)--they teach you what you want and what you don't want in a partner, and allow you to identify your own habits, likes and dislikes. Chances are, at this point in time, she hasn't had many opportunities to do that. And, while I'm sure you're a great boyfriend, there is no guarantee for her, or for you, for that matter, that no one will ever come along that proves to be a better match for her.


You have only been dating for 8 months, getting to know each other. 8 months is what I like to call the "breaking point" for relationships between new couples. It is the mid way point: it's not TOO late in the relationship, but, at the same time, it's long enough that you have gotten a better sense of the person, and the "honeymoon" period is ending. It's often at this time that people take a look at their partner, and quietly ask themselves, perhaps in a blunt manner: Could he be the one for me? Should I spend any more of my time with this guy, or would it be a waste?


Although I'm only in my twenties, I believe that I have found the "one for me". However, when I was 18, I too was in a relationship with someone who I loved very much. He was a little like your gf in that he wasn't sure "what love was", or if what he was feeling was genuine love or just deep fondness. I, on the other hand was sure of my feelings--so, I can definitely identify with you and how you are feeling right now.


However, let me make the point that it was never really clear to me that we would be heading to the altar one day--I just wasn't in the place where that even seemed a possibility in the near future. So, perhaps your gf feels the same way as I did when I was 18, and had had a few relationships, but nothing serious: Now is the time to enjoy life, enjoy the person that you're with, but not to think too deeply about the implications of that relationship in your life. She wants to be with you, she cares for you, but, perhaps, to her, the love that you describe and/or feel for or towards her is more evocative of a different level of commitment, and a different time in her life. For example, while I know that I loved my ex-boyfriend from my late teen years, I am aware of the fact that the love in my current relationship is deeper and stronger--a fact that arises from our innate compatibility--which I wouldn't have been able to realize, were it not for my experiences with my past "failed" relationships.


Perhaps you can just give her time. You don't neccessarily need her to tell her that she'll be with you forever, do you? I think she was just being honest with you. Being young, she hasn't had the experiences that will allow her to even come close to identifying you as the undeniable "one". Either way, her continued experience with you will allow her to feel her way around and see what she really wants for the future. This is why young love is often so difficult to make last--because we are growing and learning about ourselves so quickly, and things can change in a heartbeat.

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How old are you? Are you guys the same age?


At eighteen it's hard for someone to really know what they want. And if she hasn't been in love before or has and had a bad experience, then it's really scary to fall in love.

Also some people have different/looser/stricter meanings of the word "love". It's hard to define! Maybe she's not sure if she wants to go to that level when she's still finding out who she is.


For me, I had a bad experience with a relationship before, and I'm finding it incredibly difficult to trust someone again. I'm seeing this guy that I like a lot, but I can't say I love him, and I don't even know how long it will take until I will. He knows that, and is willing to give it a bit of time while not letting himself get too carried away.


In any case, even if I was completely besotted with him, I'm certainly not getting married until I have some sort of career underway! Way too early for that. You need to cool your heels if you're thinking about marriage after eight months.


(Edit- I'm 20)

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