Head vs. Heart debate: can it work if I am not 'in love' with him?
March 1, 2014 8:13 AM Subscribe
For just over a year I have been with a guy who is perfect for me on paper. He is sweet, kind, intelligent, hardworking, loves me and would do anything for me... we get on with each other’s families. We share values, interests, friends, ideas about where to go on holiday. But although I care about him a lot I’m not 'in love' with him, and I’m not sure I will ever be.
posted by Britchick35 to Human Relations (65 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
He, on the other hand, he has made it clear that he thinks I am the one. He often tells me he's waited for me all his life, that I'm the best thing that ever happened to him. But instead of feeling happy it makes me cringe and feel horribly guilty because I don't feel the same.
If I had to put a finger on what's wrong I guess the main reason is that he doesn’t have much grrrrr – he’s quite needy and apologetic, and he never really stands up for himself –a bit of a pushover, a yes-man, and I find myself getting irritated with him easily over little things. We also have totally different senses of humour. I often feel he doesn't 'get' me.
Don't get me wrong, we do have fun. About half the time all this doesn't bother me too much - I tell myself to be grown up, that everyone has faults and I should focus on the positives not the negatives, and then I can visualise it working out and us both being happy long-term. Yet at other times I feel this strong urge to get away asap, like I can't be with him a moment longer and in my head I start thinking about how I am going to end it. Sometimes I experience both extremes within an hour. (I wouldn't say I'm an emotionally volatile person usually - in fact I'd say I'm usually pretty calm and rational).
We both know how each other feels and we both know it’s not ideal, but at the same neither of us is ready to call it off.
Part of me thinks I should end it now so that he can find someone who gives him the love he deserves, and I can find someone who feels really right for me.
But… firstly, he doesn’t actually mind that I’m not in love with him (I told him this because he asked me straight - he thinks that as long I’m happy enough to commit eventually, it will work itself out.)
Secondly, if we did break up, who’s to say either of us will find those people? After all, I am 35 and he is 39, and we haven’t yet. There aren’t as many fish in the sea as people think. I’ve witnessed a lot of my friends now in their early 40s (all nice, normal, attractive people) play the dating game for decades and yet still miss the boat and go through all the pain that entails. Singledom isn’t usually a choice, and it doesn’t just happen to crazy people.
So the dilemma is this: do I stay with him and have all that entails: the predictability, the companionship, children (hopefully), a comfortable lifestyle, the close families, the network of friends … Yet all the while feeling like something is missing and I’ve settled for something that’s not quite right, and wondering ‘what if’. Do you think it possible for either of us to be happy in this scenario long-term?
OR… Do I break his heart (his fear) and risk losing everything and ending up single and bitter (my fear)?
This probably comes across as horribly selfish - I've just tried to be very honest and blunt, and have said things in this post that I haven't told a soul. In spite of how this sounds I know he hasn't deliberately done anything wrong and I want to do the right thing, not just for me but for him too.
Thanks in advance,