4/24/14 Not In Love

Saturday , 19, April 2014 Leave a comment

Dear Susan:

I’m a 26-year-old guy. I’ve dated around since I was a teenager and have had some long-term relationships. I’ve been with my current girlfriend for about three years now and she is pushing for us to get married. She’s a great woman, smart, beautiful, accomplished. I know love her, but I just don’t feel like I’m in love with her. In fact, I don’t really think I’ve been in love with any of the girls I’ve dated. Is it just me, or have I not found the one yet?

Not In Love

Dear Not:

I hear it all the time: “I love her (him, them), but I’m not IN LOVE with her (him, them). And I know exactly what they mean. I am fortunate (or unlucky) enough to know what it feels like to “fall in love”. I’ve fallen in love with actual men, but I’ve also fallen in love with fictional characters and media stars, who may as well be fictional. But ask me exactly what that feels like, and I’m as much at a loss as everyone else to describe it.

Ask the scientists about why we are attracted to one and not the other and they will talk about such exciting things as shoulder to hip ratios, pupil dilations and body odors. And they are undoubtedly right. There is something automatic and instinctual about it. But from what I’ve seen, people who go with that animal instinct fall in love with the WRONG one much more often than they fall in love with “The One”.

But they stick with it no matter how dysfunctional and hurtful it might be! Years of pain and suffering and the mere memory of that first, intoxicating attraction is enough to keep them coming back for more. Even if they never feel it again! Powerful stuff.

I have to wonder why you have been with your girlfriend for three years if you knew you weren’t “in love” with her. You have to ask yourself what you really want out of a relationship. Companionship? A help mate? A best friend? Family? Security? All of the above? Your girlfriend must be meeting a lot of your needs or you wouldn’t still be there.

Don’t pass up a good thing on the chance of having an intense attraction to someone who might be all wrong for you. Some people never fall in love, and who knows if they might not be happier for it? But don’t let anyone talk you into getting married if you aren’t ready, either.

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