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I Love Her, but I'm Not IN Love With Her

I just read an article in a magazine that truly stunned me, and we all know what I like to do when something makes me turn my head to the side and say, "hmm..." To the blogosphere I go!

So here I am, readers! I'm going to pick your brains on this one, and perhaps you'll be able to shed some light on what appears to me to be sheer lunacy. Maybe I'm wrong, and you can change my opinion. I doubt that'll happen, though. I have the sneaking suspicion that you'll be right there with me in my confusion.

It was one of those advice columns in a Reader's Digest-esque magazine that you buy in airplane bookshops for $2 to bide your time while on a layover. All of it is pretty light reading consisting of clean jokes about simpleton farmers and Sudoku puzzles. You don't expect to come across anything that requires much more than skimming brain power.

Imagine my surprise when I actually came across something that made my synapses fire like mad.

It started out simply enough: "My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for 5 years, and I love her..."

However, it quickly deteriorated from there on out. "But I'm not in love with her. Truth be told, I haven't been in love with her for a while now."

Ok, good sir. You have my attention. Continue.

He backpedals for a moment to make himself seem like less of a dick. "I mean, I love her. I do. I'm just not in love with her. I'm not even sure that makes sense."

He goes on to detail his history with this woman, how they've known each other for a long time and were there for each other during very difficult periods of their lives. Her parents might as well be his own, and the same goes with his parents for her. He explains that he doesn't want to do anything to hurt her, but she keeps pressuring him for a wedding ring.

I can completely understand her insistence. They've been dating for 5 years. Surely a ring is just around the corner... right?

"I don't want to marry her, but I'm afraid that I'll lose everything I have with her if I don't*****. I have a family, pets, a life... She's a great woman and knows exactly what I need when I need it, but I'm just not in love with her. I also know that if we do get married it will only end in divorce."

His question was as  follows: "Is being in love with someone absolutely necessary to foster a successful marriage?"

If this man was standing in front of me, I would slap him in the face. Not only is he leading this woman on, this woman who obviously loves him and does for him what he needs to be happy, but he is also choosing to create a future with her that he knows will end unhappily. He has allowed her to waste these years with him when he has no intention of spending the rest of his life with her.

The worst part is that he's not in denial. Oh no, he knows that he doesn't love her. I mean, really? Who is this man? What is wrong with him?

Am I wrong here? Does what he's doing make any sense at all? Because I just don't get it.

What are your thoughts?


*****Notice that he doesn't say "I'm afraid that I'll lose her." He's worried about losing what he has with her, not her. Tragic...


Jeff Evans said…
I understand what he's saying, but I'm not in sympathy with it. What he's calling "love" is the romantic, sexually charged feeling you get when you're getting to know someone you are attracted to. That will either eventually fizzle, or grow into a more mature love where you appreciate the person on a deeper, more intimate level. When someone goes from being a lover to being a lover and a friend, I guess. Anyways, it sounds like he's expecting that initial fire to burn continuously, and it normally just doesn't work that way. In other words, he's immature. Which also explains why he won't tell this woman the truth--that would be something grownups do.
Marlia said…
I have a different opinion. He is in that place where if he walks away now he is universally condemned. That's the trouble with so called modern society. We pretend we are liberal, but when it counts we trap people in meaningless relationships and brand them if they walk away. I say relationships should be on 5 year contracts. Then we move on unless both parties agree to continue another 5 years.

And why is it that just because a woman wants to marry that she becomes the 'good' one in the relationship? How do we know what she is really like? We never do. We just love to blame. It takes a brave and self-aware person to say what they really think and feel. An even braver person to walk away - that is the toughest part. But then that whole article could have been written by a desk jockey on the payroll. I've read quite a few versions of that story in those mags.

Good talking point. Thanks

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