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long term relationship - in love??


blkn

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i'm 27, and i've been in a long term relationship with my girlfriend for 5 years. we have a GREAT relationship. i love everything about her. she has basically every quality i find important in a potential life partner (she's down to earth, very "real," huge heart and very loving, very honest, great sense of humor, athletic, good looking, and she makes me laugh all the time!). i absolutely adore her. the problem is, i don't think i'm in love with her. if we were to break up tomorrow, i think i would be sad, but i think i would get over it relatively quickly. i think she would be very affected, and it would take her a long time. the thought of not being with her anymore is scary, because i feel like i would be losing someone who i could be happy spending the rest of my life with. especially since she's the best woman i've ever met, the best combination of all those things i really value. but again, i don't think i'm in love with her.. i dont often get those feelings of overwhelming love. i think a lot of what i feel might be superficial. i'm really not an emotional person, and i think i might be emotionally out of touch/immature. maybe if i were more in touch i would feel more love??

 

we've been talking about moving in together, because i want to take the next step and see if i would develop more feelings of love. i understand that this could be a bad idea because moving in naturally leads to marriage, and that i would have to monitor myself to make sure i would be marrying her because of love and not because it's convenient, or other reasons.

 

should i break up with her??? part of me thinks that if i'm not in love with her by now, i never will be. another part of me thinks that i'm just not there yet, emotionally, and this is unfair to her.

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yes, she's my first serious girlfriend. i kind of do want to see what else is out there, but i'm always looking around and thinking that whoever else i see i wouldn't like nearly as much as i like my current girlfriend.

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From the sounds of it, you are going to have some MAJOR regrets later on. But perhaps that is something we all need to go through to learn. That love is not a feeling you simply "get". It comes from making a commitment to someone and being completely selfless in that commitment. The big question is, what is it that you're really looking for? You say that want to feel like you're "in love". What's your understanding of being "in love"?

 

Perhaps you should also consider that it's not the relationship that needs a change. That perhaps there are other aspects of your life that you should change first. IMHO, when people who are in good relationships feel a need to change partners, it's not really the relationship that was the problem. And they sometimes have to learn this the hard way.

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yes, she's my first serious girlfriend. i kind of do want to see what else is out there, but i'm always looking around and thinking that whoever else i see i wouldn't like nearly as much as i like my current girlfriend.

 

of course you wouldn't like anyone as much right away, you spent 5 great years with your current girlfriend. for you to like anyone as much or more you will have to get over your current gf first.

 

perhaps you were coasting through the relationship and life in general content with what you had? maybe you just need to get out there an experience other things (non relationship as well).

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my understanding of being in love--well, i think that if i were in love, i would be very affected if i were to lose her tomorrow. i think i would be sad, but i'd be ok pretty quickly. part of me would be relieved because throughout the years, i've wanted to break up at different times. but really, i just feel like my feelings should be "deeper." i just feel like i dont have deep feelings for her. i care about her very much, but i just don't feel like i'm in love with her. i guess mostly because i picture my life without her, and i'd be able to do it fine... i'm sacred though to lose her because of anyone i've met, she's the best, hands down.

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i know it's not fair to really compare my current girlfriend to others, but i think i'm being pretty objective when i look at other women and i think that i wouldn't like them as much. this is because they just don't have the same amount / combination of things i value as i do in my current girlfriend. i do kind of feel that i've been "coasting.."

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Hi blkn,

 

I was in a very similar position to you. I dated a guy for almost three years whom I greatly valued as a person- I loved spending time with him, and we had great conversations together. My family loved him, we had similar backgrounds, and we had similar senses of humor. But I wasn't in love with him, and I don't think I ever was.

 

We finally broke up and it was one of the best decision I made. I haven't dated anyone since, in fact, I've been quite lonely, but dating him felt wrong and I'm glad to be free of that.

 

Every situation is different, so my situation might not apply to yours. I will say that moving in is not a good idea. Moving in never "fixes" a relationship, and most of the time it makes it worse because you have to deal with the roommate aspect of the relationship along with the boyfriend/girlfriend aspect.

 

Have you been in love before? Were you in love with your current girlfriend at the beginning of the relationship? Did she ask you out or did you ask her out?

 

Do you mind if I ask if you two have sex? Is it satisfying?

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i know it's not fair to really compare my current girlfriend to others, but i think i'm being pretty objective when i look at other women and i think that i wouldn't like them as much. this is because they just don't have the same amount / combination of things i value as i do in my current girlfriend. i do kind of feel that i've been "coasting.."
This feeling of coasting and that you want to leave suggests that you think there is something else out there. Someone better. It's a risk to find out if that's true or not. I don't know your relationship at all, but from your description, my personal opinion is that you've taken her for granted and don't appreciate just how good it is. But then again, if you simply CAN'T appreciate something until you lost it, then perhaps you need to get out. The risk of course is potentially realizing later that you lost the love of your life. There's no guarantee that she will ever feel the same way about you again.

 

I think this is like playing "Deal or No Deal". Except that you don't know what the highest or lowest amount is. So if the first case you opened had $1 million in it, what would you do? If you knew the other cases only pennies in them, you'd be ecstatic. But if you knew that there were several other cases with $1 billion in them, you might want to take that risk. Without knowing what's in the other cases though, you don't really know what to do or how much to appreciate your $1 million.

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before my current girlfriend, i've dated 6 or 7 others, but that was, unfortunately, when i was really young--middle school and high school. one girl in middle school i felt like i was in love with--but that was when i was so young!

 

i asked out my current girlfriend, and i would say that i was crazy about her. and i still kind of am. but i dont think it's love..

 

regards to sex, yes and yes.

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i DO feel like i appreciate it because i recognize the amazing qualities in her. and i dont want to let her go... i think this might be selfish and unfair.. we have taken breaks before. it didn't affect me too much, though. i would just go on, unfazed. but maybe this is because in the back of my mind, i always thought she would want to get back together. and if she didn't i would be ok with that.

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i DO feel like i appreciate it because i recognize the amazing qualities in her.
Recognizing them does not mean that you appreciate them. In fact it suggests that you don't, since those "amazing qualities" are not enough for you. You want something more, but the only thing more that you want is something you can only describe as feeling like you would be devastated if you lost her.

but maybe this is because in the back of my mind, i always thought she would want to get back together. and if she didn't i would be ok with that.
There's one way to find out. The only question is, do you really understand the consequences if you're wrong and you're NOT ok with it? You seem to have also taken for granted her giving you second, third, etc chances. When she stops giving them to you, you may not really know how you will feel.
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so after reading what i've written and what you all have been writing, i think i should probably break up with her..

 

i think she's deeply in love with me. how do i do this in the least hurtful way? what reason should i give? i dont want to say, "because i dont think i'm in love with you" because i feel like that would be sooo devastating.

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Sounds like the 4 to 5 year itch. Then, there's the brother-sister phase where you wrestle/tease/poke fun...it happens.

 

The fact you compare all other women to her says a lot. A LOT!

 

I think you need to spice things up to find what you did love about her. Go and do new stuff together! Adventure! Activities!

 

If you were in love with her before, and she hasn't changed into some horrid creature, you can fall in love with her again. Relationships aren't turn-key, they require work! Sometimes easy, sometimes tough!

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This is a tough one. I have been exactly where you are in a relationship of 6 years..and of course you know there is no easy way to tell her and now this is going to get even more tough bc you have been agreeing to move in with her. (Which I think is not a good idea for now.) No, do not say you are not in love with her bc you are confused and if by chance you do realize you want to be with her she will always have that in her mind. I can't tell you what to say..It will be hard but I do agree that your at the point where it needs to be done. It has been 5 years and that has been plenty of time for that love to develop.

Sounds like you view her as your best friend and that could be confusing bc who wants to let that go? If you REALLY want to break it off you cannot feel guilty for it. Feelings cannot be forced, it should come naturally. I'm probably of no big help so I'll stop rambling on. Good Luck!

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Also...re-read your first entry...just about very few people in this world who are married/in relationships can say the same about what you've written about your partner.

 

I don't mean to wagggg on...but I really want you to know, what you're feeling is normal. Everyone wonders at some point if the person they are with is the one for us. It takes maturity and committing to that person for it to be true. There's no such thing as hollywood ending...don't throw away one of the best things in your life over a doubt.

 

Question yourself...what makes you believe you're not in love with her...or are you finding a way by using this question to avoid a real commitment (and I mean, the kind that's hard to take back).

 

"i understand that this could be a bad idea because moving in naturally leads to marriage"

 

Um...so not true. I know people who'ved lived together for more than 10 +years...nada, no marriage. And your line smells like mad fear...not about her...all about you.

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Also...re-read your first entry...just about very few people in this world who are married/in relationships can say the same about what you've written about your partner.

 

I don't mean to wagggg on...but I really want you to know, what you're feeling is normal. Everyone wonders at some point if the person they are with is the one for us. It takes maturity and committing to that person for it to be true. There's no such thing as hollywood ending...don't throw away one of the best things in your life over a doubt.

 

Question yourself...what makes you believe you're not in love with her...or are you finding a way by using this question to avoid a real commitment (and I mean, the kind that's hard to take back).

i dont know. i'm a pretty idealistic person. and one of my thoughts is that it might just take maturity and commitment.

 

but i just would expect myself to have more feelings for her, and i dont think i do, despite my loving everything about her. just, the feelings don't seem to be there, inside me, for her.

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Okay...break-up with her.

 

Don't expect her to take you back ever...even if you do it nicely or not.

 

And also, she may deeply love you, but life goes on, and she will too.

 

If you had mentioned something you found missing in her that you needed...okay...But you don't...

 

You've been with her for 5 years...you're each other's best friends...be honest with her.

 

And try finding some relationship role-models...the kind that's been together for 20+ years, married...it's a roller-coaster. Life. One year, you think you're both stinkers, another, madly in love, one indifferent. Some, just straight up attachment...

 

After reading stuff today, just think about it some more with other people's perspectives.

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I always hate posts like this cause usually someone ends up getting hurt.

 

The happiest relationships I've been in are the ones where I've loved the person but not been in love with them.

 

Either way you do this, you're gonna hurt her. I think you need to step back and look at your options.

 

You can leave her- and you lose everything good about her that you might not ever get back again, from her or anyone else.

 

You can stay with her- and always question whether you really love her or not.

 

It seems like you guys are too close, and moving in might not be a good idea right now. I think you need a fix, not a break, cause obviously something is already broken. Maybe spend some time away from eachother, go on a vacation, go somewhere without her, or just spend some time doing things without her. It might just be you've been together so much you're starting to forget how much you miss her.

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we have a GREAT relationship.

 

i love everything about her. she has basically every quality i find important in a potential life partner.

 

i absolutely adore her.

 

if we were to break up tomorrow, i think i would be sad, but i think i would get over it relatively quickly.

 

i'm really not an emotional person, and i think i might be emotionally out of touch/immature.

 

 

ok i agree with alot of people here that you might not really appreciate her. You say shes everything you ever wanted in a potential partner, AND you have alot of fun with her, AND you've had 5 years of what you call a great relationship. I'd say maybe you DO want to see whats out there just for that "intense feeling of love." You said you weren't that emotional so that might be a factor.

 

But you know sometimes that feeling can also just be a result of being insecure/needing the person and needing them to love you too. In a stable healthy relationship its not very normal either to feel a sort of obssesion for your SO.

 

I think you've got someone great and marrige is not something that will work just based on "feeling" overwhelming love. Its someone that you must be compatible living with, spending most of your time with, making important life descisions for the both of you, a shoulder to always lean on, and so much more.... without going at eachothers throats. If you guys are a great team together than i would suggest rethinking this and your true reasons for feeling like youre not in love with her.

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