How to love when love can be taken away from you at any time?
March 22, 2012 10:51 AM Subscribe
After a recent and unexpected breakup, I'm starting to feel like relationships can end at any time, and finding it hard to imagine letting myself love again. Help me figure out a healthier way to think about dating in general.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Early 20's female here. I've never really been interested in dating, but my last long-term relationship swept me unexpectedly off my feet. Somehow, without noticing it, I went from skeptical and reluctant to completely head-over-heels for this guy. Then, about 10 months in, he admitted that he wasn't sure how he felt about me. We struggled with for another month and a half before calling it quits.
I suppose he got out of the limerant stage faster than I did, and found no love on the other side. I really can't blame him for any of it; in fact, I have a lot of respect and gratitude for him for recognizing his lack of feeling for me and admitting to it right away. The problem, besides the heartbreak and subsequent crying, is that this has thrown me into confusion about how any relationship is supposed to work out. This guy seemed so into me, wanting to hang out all the time, chat every day and night. We were so compatible and communicative, never argued, had so much fun both with our shared hobbies and just being around each other. If a relationship like this can fail out of the blue, how can I possibly trust another person with my heart down the line?
I've seen my own feelings change rapidly, without me wanting or even noticing it. Maybe if he hadn't broken up with me now, I might have fallen out of love with him later on. How can I blame someone else for abruptly falling out of love with me, when emotions are so mysterious and hard to control? But if that's the case, how can I fully commit myself to a relationship, knowing that it could really end at any time?
In the month and a half that we were trying to figure out what to do about us, I trawled a ton of AskMes and other dating advice forums. It's so common to see questions about breaking up with SO's and spouses of 4, 5 years or more. Is there ever a point where you can feel truly secure in a relationship, and trust that it will last? Or is the only sane thing to do to accept that all relationships might eventually have an expiration date?
I guess I'm looking for a more reasonable way to look at dating and relationships. How do you start dating someone knowing that chances are good you'll break up someday? How do you trust someone intimately when you see people divorcing after a decade of marriage? And is there ever a point where you can feel secure about what you have with another person, when people change their minds so fast and so unexpectedly?