Jump to content

Wanting to feel again how I used to about my relationship


Recommended Posts



I'm sorry that I'm posting as a new member but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and wanted to see if someone here could help me. The basic situation is that I'm 30 and have been going out with a girl for about 5 years. I was very shy when I was younger and she is only my second girlfriend, and the previous one was about 15 months, and we broke up by what ended up being a mutual decision (I think she'd probably thought the same thing), as we were both moving countries for work. So I've never been dumped nor dumped anyone, and by relationship standards I'm obviously inexperienced apart from this one.


For almost all of the 5 years we were really happy, we never argued or fought, we travelled together, and I was positive she would be the girl I was going to marry, to me she was perfect. Most of the best times in my life have been since I've been with her. Then about 4 months ago, a few months after we moved in together, I started feeling like I was "disconnecting", I can't really explain it. Nothing untoward happened or anything like that, she hasn't changed but things that I never noticed before started to bother me. I can't find anything funny any more, and this is a big thing for me, I just can't laugh with her any more and I don't know why. I found myself feeling distant and not looking forward to thinking about the future. It's really depressed me, I find myself just crying sometimes when I'm by myself not knowing why this is happening. When I'm with my friends I'm ok, I don't feel like this, but that isn't enough to overcome how I feel with her the rest of the time. It's also ok if we're together with friends, but that may be because I end up talking to other people more of the time, I'm not sure.


I don't know why this is happening now, it's way past the "honeymoon" part, and I was happy for so long. I don't want anyone else, I feel like I'm too old to be feeling like this and she is far better than anyone I've ever met. She's even been so understanding while this has been going on, even though I've found it very difficult to explain what's going on because I don't even know why I feel like this, I can't even give her a reason. She knows though that I'm unhappy. We've tried having a break and she's found her own place as well to try that, but nothing seems to be helping. I've been seeing a counsellor (just by myself) for about 3 months and while he obviously can't tell me what to do, he is saying recently that I really have to listen to my heart and if I'm not happy for this long it's not a good sign. What has really bothered me even more is that a couple of weeks ago I went home (to see my parents) for 2 weeks alone and during that time I didn't feel like I missed her, which really hurt me to realise.


I've been searching and this thread struck a few chords with me: hmm I can't link but it's thread 253916.


The result for that poster (assuming it happened) is what I think I want, but I don't know what I can do to feel happy again in my relationship. I feel like I've tried everything I can think of, and I love her and care about her but I can't find a way to be happy again about doing things with her. Is there anything else I can try? I would love to stay with her and be happy but I can't find anything that is helping, and now I'm also feeling worse and worse about seeing her worried for me, as I know it's my fault and I don't want to put her through more, I've already made her wait while I've been trying the counselling and everything. If anyone has been through something like this and has any advice that would be so helpful. Thank you.

Link to comment

Hum, well, at first I was thinking maybe it was because you moved in together. That troubles many relationships because you no longer have the wanting and build up of the next time you will see each other - they're just always there. But if you've taken a break and that hasn't changed anything, I would agree with your counselor. If you don't miss her, it's not a good sign. You didn't mention how long your break has been to this point. All I would suggest is to give it a bit more time, with little or no contact, and try to think about her and the good times that you've had. Have you and your counselor explored any similarities between this and the end of your last relationship, as in, maybe you have some lingering commitment issues. Otherwise, sometimes love does dissipate - it's no one's fault - it just goes away.

Link to comment

Yeah I thought that too, but yeah her moving out hasn't helped and nor did having a break. The break wasn't that long, about 3 weeks. Well the break did seem to help a little I guess as we decided to see each other again, and I remember missing her during it, which is different to the trip home recently. But afterwards I very quickly felt the same again. That's kind of the weird thing about it, if I think about the good times and read old emails and things I still feel very strongly for her, but then when I'm with her it's not the same. So I have these wild oscillations back and forth, where my memories and my current feelings don't seem to match. I try to think of happy times and look at photos of her, because I still think she's as gorgeous as I always have, but then when we're alone I can't feel connected to her. I guess the best description for how I feel now is that she feels like a good friend, I like hearing how she's going, seeing her happy, but I don't miss her more than you miss a friend or feel like seeing her all the time.


I've gone through a few things with my counselor but he didn't think there was any obvious commitment issues (hard to tell I guess though when I've only had 2 relationships!). I don't have any feelings of being scared or smothered or anything like that.


Do you think more time will help? I don't like making her feel like she's waiting in the dark, it feels awful. I don't know what else I can try though.

Link to comment

So, you love her as a friend, but you're not in love with her. If you still think she's attractive and can think back about the good times fondly, something has definitely changed along the way. It seems strange that you lost it shortly after you moved in together - especially after 5 years together. Did you have any expectations that weren't met? Have the two of you fallen into a rut as far as socializing and sex? You and your counselor should really explore this because your mind can play tricks on you. As I said earlier, the bloom comes off the rose once you move in together. Before, you have the build up of waiting to see each other, and when you do, you're both excited and on your best behavior. When you live together, you can dwell on an accumulation of less desirable little things. Like her never knowing what she wants for dinner, she's in a bad mood 1.5 days each week, she always leaves her breakfast dish on the counter, she messed up the laundry and made all your white underwear pink, she doesn't think she should contribute to the cable bill because she doesn't watch tv, and...before you know it, you're consumed with negative, mundane items that overshadow why you're together in the first place. Some people cope with this stage of the relationship better than others. And yes, keep in mind that there are more stages to a lasting relationship than the honeymoon phase and then whatever happens after that. Burning lust subsides into an intense bond. Have you listened to your thoughts while the two of you are together? Could these negative snippets floating around your head be turning the love of your life into an annoying roommate? It's amazing how these little, unchallenged thoughts can change your mood and opinions. Just a thought.

Link to comment

Sorry it's a bit long this one, tried to explain exactly what the problems are!


The odd thing is that we never had any disagreements or problems like the ones you listed. She is the most lovely person I've ever met, she's never in a bad mood (sometimes she'll be stressed or annoyed about something at work for example, but it just melts off her as soon as she's with me), she's always relaxed, I can't even think of her making any "mistakes" like the laundry or anything. So it wasn't a build-up of things like that as such. Sex-wise there were no problems at all either, we were always both very happy with that.


The things that began to bother me were sort of different. I'll try to be brief, it sounds like I had a list of issues but it wasn't like that at all, these are just the problems that came up. Some might sound a bit doofy but it was a combination of it being my first long-term relationship, and hers (she's 4 years younger), being so into each other that we felt unable to say something that might sound like criticism, and both being naturally very accommodating/non-confrontational people.


The first issue was that she moved here from a different country (as I did) and until recently she had no friends here, other than her best friend, who is going out with my friend (we met at the same time). We do things as a group all the time, which is great. But outside that, her life revolved totally around me and my friends. This was quite overwhelming and meant that I had to plan and organise our entire life. We talked about this and she actually said she felt bad about relying on me, and she started going to a fitness class and made some friends at her work, and now she has quite an active social life and is quite happy to do her own thing sometimes and vice versa. So that worked out well.


The second issue is that she is very reliant on me, personally. She asks me what to wear, what to eat, what to buy, what she should do, she'll even say things like "will I be cold in this jacket?", which I could never be able to answer. It sounds minor but it makes me feel like a parent or older brother, rather than a partner. I've tried everything to coax her into being confident enough to make some of the decisions on her own but without much success. It's not that I'm controlling, the opposite, I would love her to not be like that! In fact she complains I'm not "jealous" enough. She's always been like this, and I don't know why it bothers me more now than before.


The biggest thing though is something that I can't talk through with her. It's also the strangest, it makes no sense why I was fine with it till now and then not. Recently I've found that talking with her has become really difficult. We seem to either talk about her work or my work, and nothing else. We have small talk but I almost find it a chore now. We've always had pretty "shallow" conversations as we don't have particularly similar interests or tastes, I've looked at old emails and we don't really talk about much, but it never bothered me before. Maybe I've changed, I don't know. I've found myself avoiding being at home just so I can talk to friends instead, which I enjoy more. It's almost hard to tell if it's a symptom or a cause, but I just find it really hard to talk with her anymore. As I said in the first post, I find myself not laughing with her, I joke around and she laughs a lot so I'm trying but I just feel "serious" all the time with her.


I've talked about all this with my counselor and he has given me some ideas to try over these months, but I still can't seem to shake the feeling. I try to actively be in a good mood and not have negative thoughts when I meet her but it quickly seems to move towards silence of the uncomfortable kind, and then I start thinking again. I do worry exactly as you say that my brain is ruining this, but how I do stop it? It's like I really want to "reset" it and look at it fresh but I can't find a way to do that.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I'll tell you, something that has really helped me....me and my GF talking about our spirituality together, and going on that journey together. That is something that you can't make shallow just by its nature. Really, the crux of the issue is how each of you are doing as human beings, and whether you love yourselves, and whether you are celebrating love with each other. Me and GF do not have similar interests, tastes, sense of humor...but in reality those things are superficial. The real heart of any relationship is actually your relationship with yourself and everything around you.


For instance, if she is very reliant on you for every-day decision making, that is a sign to me that she is not taking responsibility for herself, and hence you start to respect her less--and it is very difficult to interact and laugh with someone who is acting like a child in some ways, and not holding up their end of the relationship. So, don't blame yourself for that.


I would look at each of your issues, and how you are handling them. Is she working on her sense of self and direction? Becoming more secure in her ability to do things herself? If not, then of course your relationship is going to be affected. That's how relationships work--each persons issues feed into the relationship and affect it.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...