Is this settling? Is that really such a bad thing?
December 15, 2012 8:03 AM Subscribe
I'm dating someone who I respect and admire more than almost anyone else I know. He loves me. But I'm not in love with him.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (54 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I think he's a truly special person. Despite growing up in extreme privilege in Manhattan, he's very down to earth. He values spending time with family and friends over money or any other material things. He's kind and considerate to everyone in his life. He's patient, emotionally generous, and caring. We share the same interests and the same lifestyle, both loving to stay in and be cozy rather than go out on weekends. My family lives on the other coast and hasn't met him yet, but he would fit in with them perfectly.
He's loyal and stable. He's smart, and has a good (though subtle) sense of humor. I can easily imagine a contented, quiet lifetime spent with him. But I'm not "in love" with him. I'm 34 and I've had several serious relationships. Obviously, those all ended-- being in love with someone in the past didn't guarantee things would last, or even that we'd necessarily be that happy together. The little I've read of the psychology of love has suggested that we're drawn to people who remind us in some ways (especially negative ways) of our primary caretakers growing up. How important is it to build a relationship with someone you're in love with? After time, after infatuation fades, how important is it that you've had that initial rush of feeling? After time, couldn't the attachment between us be just as strong?
I think he (and I) would work through challenges to stay together, if we decided to commit to one another. We would treat each other with kindness. We would enjoy each other's company, and support each other as a team. If we had children, he would be an excellent father.
I think about arranged marriages, and how if I were to arrange a marriage for myself, I might choose him. Is it unfair to him for me to even consider this? Is it unfair to myself?