to want to marry for stability not love?

(75 Posts)
Stabletoplate Mon 11-Feb-13 15:55:39

DP proposed just before Christmas and I said yes, and we're thinking of getting married some time in late 2014. Most people have been happy for us but one of my friends has been dropping comments and saying things in conversation for some time which make it clear she thinks DP isn't right for me and I'm 'settling' so shouldn't be going through with it. Problem is I think she's right that I'm 'settling' but completely wrong that this is a bad thing.

I'm absolutely sure I love DP, but I'm pretty sure I'm not 'in love' with him. He doesn't make my heart leap when I look at him, I don't feel like my life is suddenly worth living now I've 'found' him and I wouldn't want to die if he passed away. By the same token though I'd be very upset if I lost him, I have a very happy life with him and treasure having him. I just don't feel though that he's 'The One' or 'my everything' or feel some kind of earth-shattering overwhelming joy that I'm lucky enough to be in a relationship with him. I feel that we both get on well enough and have enough in common/enough interest in each other that we want to share our lives together but in another time on another day it could easily be someone else I was sharing my life with.

I don't want to sound completely unromantic - I love romantic films and love the idea of finding someone so special that you couldn't even imagine being with anyone else, except that's a nice idea but there's no guarantee of it happening for me and I don't want to risk my current happiness on some vague possibility of much greater happiness. Same way winning the lottery would be amazing but I'm not going to spend our food budget on tickets just in case.

I had a long time on my own as a single parent and can honestly say I got to a point where I was happy being single and wasn't casting around for any man but I'm happier with DP than I was then so don't see the point in chucking him just to wait for 'Mr Right'. I could reel off lots of complaints about DP, like how getting him to notice housework needs doing is an endless struggle, but there's plenty of ways I'd be much worse off without him too. He's very gentle (have history of DV), gets on well with ds (not his) and is willing to be a full and equal parent to him. I have health problems DP gives me support with and we're trying for another child which I want dearly and might not get the chance to have without him (am getting on a bit). Not trying to make it sound too one sided though, am not using DP for all these 'benefits', I put in just as much too, am just trying to say I feel I'd lose out in many ways by hanging out for 'The One'.

I can imagine many ways my life could be even better and some of them are up to me to make happen but some would automatically never happen by sticking with DP, but there's no guarantee they would if I left him. By my logic I'm making DP happy and he's making me happy (and both making ds happy as far as I can see) and we all seem to think we're better off with each other than without so what's the problem in wanting to stick with that rather than gamble it on the chance of something better coming along? (especially as I'm very loyal and take relationships seriously, it wouldn't be a case of me running off on DP in 10 years if someone that looked good turned up)

Am I being reasonable and practical about my life or am I 'letting myself down' and 'leading DP on' by settling for a stable life instead of a 'wonderful' one?

EuroShagmore Mon 11-Feb-13 15:58:32

I found I feel out of love quickly with the ones who made my heart leap. It is the slow burners that have worked best for me (and my husband is one of these and absolutely the right choice).

EuroShagmore Mon 11-Feb-13 15:59:16

fell not feel!

KellyElly Mon 11-Feb-13 16:02:25

I think as long as you are happy with this then that's all that matters. All consuming, passionate love affairs are just that. Some people are lucky enough to carry this on into their marriages. I think it's probably many of these types of relationships which end in divorce tbh as it is unsustainable for many people when the mundane aspects of life take over.

Stabletoplate Mon 11-Feb-13 16:04:02

Thanks Euro - same here to be honest. I think back to a couple of ex's and the idea of a date with them (if we were both single) does give me a few butterflies, whereas it doesn't with DP. The idea of spending a week living with them though gives me shudders, which DP definitely doesn't!

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 16:07:10

Hmm. I can totally see where you're coming from. But, having been with DH 11 years this is my take on it. I think that life can get super shit and even the best partner can become incredibly annoying. IMO (and this is entirely my own experience, based on one serious relationship) it's that "spark" that special feeling that DH is more than just someone I happen to love, he's someone who I truly am in love with, that has helped us get through those tough periods. If we had just been basically loving friends who decided to make a life together I don't think we'd have got this far. We'd have given up. Living with someone, day in day out, parenting with them, facing death of loved ones, illness, hormonal days etc tests a relationship. When all the politeness and all the "you're a good person" is gone, and you're looking at the other person thinking "why the hell am I even bothering with you?" it's that spark that keeps it going along until things get better and you start to enjoy each other again. If I'm in a strop with DH I can't look him in the face because if I meet his eyes I just give in and want to kiss him. That special something, that tingle, has meant that even in really shit times we have been able to connect. It's been the saving of us more than once.

There are a couple of people in my life who could easily have fulfilled the role your DP is fulfilling for you. One in particular would have married me in an instant if I'd asked. I'm glad I never did. I was never in love with him and I know it would not have worked. Much and all as he would have been a great husband and dad he just wouldn't have been the right partner for me.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 11-Feb-13 16:07:12

If you're happy, that's what's important. Different things make different people happy.

I would rather be alone than "settle" or go for stability, personally. My relationship with my partner is not 100% stable, we are both quite selfish and bad at compromise, but I love him and have done since the moment I saw him.

We don't want kids though. If I did, it would be different I think.

TessTing123 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:08:41

There is an awful lot to be said for sharing your life with someone kind and loving who likes you and you like him too.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 16:09:27

As long as he understands how you feel and you are letting him have the choice of whether to marry you or not, knowing that you aren't 'in love' with him, then you are doing nothing wrong.

However, if you let him believe that you feel like he is 'the one' then you are leading him on and that is a horrible thing to do.

Trills Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:49

He doesn't make my heart leap when I look at him, I don't feel like my life is suddenly worth living now I've 'found' him and I wouldn't want to die if he passed away.

I think you have an unrealistic idea of what "love" is supposed to be like.

nothing wrong with that OP.

My MIL found herself as a unmarried mother in '72. She met FIL in '73 and they married in '74 when DH was 2. She freely admits it was for stability. She came from the wrong side of the tracks, him from the right side. They have been married 39 years this year and they love each other very much and have a lovely life, and are very comfortable with each other. If you go into this marriage being honest with yourself then that is what matters.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 11-Feb-13 16:16:09

I know where you are coming from OP - much of what you say I can sort of empathise with. I think there is this idea that you have to have a massive, Hollywood style romance and feel like you would die without your DP etc, but having experienced both the wildly-out-of-control love thing and then the more comfortable version, I am happy I went for the latter.

It's no bad thing to value the wider elements someone brings to a relationship - kindness, stability, trust, reliability etc, particularly where children are involved. The hearts and flowers view of romance is a relatively modern concept, egged on by films and books.

Stabletoplate Mon 11-Feb-13 16:17:54

Cailin - that sounds amazing and I do wish I had that. But if having that was only a vague possibility and the loving friend was a certainty would you hold out for that?

Clouds - I've told him I love him, which is completely true but I've never said he's the one or said he's not, I don't think he thinks he is my 'one', he doesn't seem to think like that, he seems satisfied that we're both happy to share our lives, so I'm not sure what help to either of us it would be pointing out that he's not 'the one'.

Mechanical - that definitely has a lot to do with it for me. If kids weren't in the picture there's a lot of things I'd do differently in my life, possibly (but definitely not certainly) including DP, but definitely need to consider dc in everything.

fromparistoberlin Mon 11-Feb-13 16:18:53

yanbu

i wish you well xxx

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Feb-13 16:20:45

OP - from what I read, you are marrying for love. Real better-or-worse, richer-or-poorer love. Love is far more something you do not just some - usually rather ephemeral - feeling.

mummymeister Mon 11-Feb-13 16:20:48

there is no such thing as Mr right only Mr compromise and only you know how much you can compromise. this idea of love being heart leaping, or foot popping is a bit pants imo. Have been married for 20+ years and respect, mutual values, compromise, mutual support and sense of humour have been just as important in our marriage as love. go into it with your eyes wide open and remember that it takes work lots of it to make it work and you wont go far wrong.

Bejeena Mon 11-Feb-13 16:22:11

A long time ago I had a situation very similar to yours with a boyfriend who I was together with for 4 years. I did used to imagine how different my life could be and thought of how it would be without him.

In the end I decided I deserved more than that so broke up with him.

Now with my husband I feel totally different. I cannot imagine life without him, I never want to be without him, the thought of him not being there makes me sick.

I had to kiss a lot of frogs in the process but I have totally 100% married for love, and because we have this love this brings stability. I am a firm believer in all you need is love.

If I am honest from what you describe I think you deserve a lot more.

Branleuse Mon 11-Feb-13 16:22:17

as long as he knows you're not actually that into him and just see him as practical, then your choice but i think its a bit of a shame to settle. I think its very easy to do when you've had bad relationshipS though. I settled with my ex without the in love stuff and it did become an issue.
in love isn't a fantasy that never coincides with good dependable people. You can have both, and its worth waitung for.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 16:22:24

But what would happen if you do meet someone who makes you melt and your heart leap?

So, to summarise: You give each other support and companionship, can have fun, but also get through challenges together.

To me it sounds more like you're 'in love' with him and attracted to him, but just not madly 'in lust' with him. Pretty good basis for a long-term commitment if you ask me! grin

Tindertree Mon 11-Feb-13 16:24:23

How do you respond to your friend when she says these things?

ChestyLeRoux Mon 11-Feb-13 16:27:51

Its your choice,but I couldnt of done it.I believe dh is the 'one'.I think its important as thats why we get on so well,still have passion for each other etc.Most friends that didnt have that type of relationship have broken up ime

GilmoursPillow Mon 11-Feb-13 16:28:05

I think you've just described my DH. I'm fairly sure that's how he feels about me.

It works for us.

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 16:28:51

I find it really hard to answer that Stable. I honestly don't know. I met DH when I was 19 so I haven't really played the field!

I don't believe in the concept of "The One" - it doesn't make any sense to me at all. I think there are loads of people I could fall in love with and have a great life with, it's just that I happened to meet DH and I'm glad I did.

For me, being "in love" doesn't mean something mad and passionate, or wild and out of control. It's a feeling that we belong together, that we "get" each other and tickle each other's tickly bits as my DH puts it grin. It's not a crazy, heart-thumping feeling, it's a feeling of certainty and security, a feeling that we "fit" together and enjoy each other, not just as friends but as lovers and partners. It goes beyond the day to day humdrum. We might piss each other off and get sick of each other but deep down that love is always there, a solid platform that stays regardless of what's happening in the moment. He is special to me in a way that no one else is. That alone is worth fighting for when things get tough. I do wonder if, if you're basically just friends, and all the superficial good things disappear (through illness etc) do you start to question what you're fighting for?

LessMissAbs Mon 11-Feb-13 16:28:59

Settling can suck the life out of some people, but for others it can work perfectly well ((until you find Mr Perfect). Almost as if you could be with anyone you get along with if you work hard enough at blocking out those little voices in your head.

Personally I'd rather stay single, its not the1600s any more and there are fates worse than being single for women. I think you should be honest with your DP and see if he still sticks around.

twentythirteen Mon 11-Feb-13 16:31:50

I made a similar decision, my oh is wonderful with one glitch. In the early days of our relationship I spoke with a lot of people, and some of the comments gave me a perspective I hadn't considered, and that was helpful, but it also really muddied the waters for me emotionally. I decided to keep the relationship to myself for a year while I thought about what I wanted. At the end of that process I chose him and am so glad I did. Can you take some time out and just think about what you want, op?

Thingiebob Mon 11-Feb-13 16:32:21

I think if I had married the one that made my heart leap and so on... I know I would be a very hurt single mother right now. It would have never lasted as would have burnt out very quickly.

The one I did marry is my best friend. He is my rock and I can't imagine life without him. He is a reliable, loyal, stable family man who holds the same values as me. He respects me, doesn't expect anything of me, and loves me no matter what problems I have, and I have had some serious health problems. Before we got married, I was very ill and he without any hesitation helped bathe me, fed me, cared for me and was basically a saint. It takes a special person to be that selfless. None of the others would have done that. I know that for a fact.

I think it was at that point I realised that he would be a fantastic father and husband.

Yes sometimes I watch this romantic movies and remembered those first passionate love fuelled moments but then I look at my husband and he is the first person I want to be with after a long day, the first person I want to call and the only person I want to chill out with at home.

atthewelles Mon 11-Feb-13 16:33:02

I couldn't imagine marrying someone I felt like that about. But I'm sure many long and happy marriages have been based more on friendship and genuine liking and respect than heart jumping love and passion.
But when I see people marrying simply for stability or because they really want to 'be married' I often wonder what will happen if they subsequently meet the person they really love.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 11-Feb-13 16:36:33

It doesnt have to be either/or.Your dh can be the one who cares for you,your best friend,the person you are most attracted to,grand passion etc.As well as being the one who when your apart you think of little things you have together and wish he was there to see it.

You can have the love/whirlwind feel it in your stomach thing as well as the steady,dependent thing.

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 16:36:40

Thingiebob, the way you feel about your DH sounds like being in love to me. I think the heart leaping thing you're talking about is more infatuation and lust isn't it?

MaxPepsi Mon 11-Feb-13 16:36:56

YANBU
If you are happy and he's happy then it's no one else's business.

If your friend is truly concerned for you she should come right out and say it, not drop things into conversation.

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 16:38:05

What I mean to say is, I definitely feel very lustful after my DH but he is also very stable, kind, genuine etc. He is my best friend. I don't think passion and a deep stable love are mutually exclusive.

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 16:38:56

OP, might sound like a silly question, but do you feel excited about the prospect of your DP becoming your husband?

MrsKoala Mon 11-Feb-13 16:39:48

I love dh. But I married him for stability. He is really hard work and I'm not sure we will be together forever. Before we got married we discussed divorce in 10 years time as an option. I have given up a lot for him which he understands so marriage protected me. We adore each other don't get me wrong, but I can't see myself being able to have the energy for him forever and it would be unfair if after everything I have given up I walked away with nothing.

Owllady Mon 11-Feb-13 16:42:17

Life long companionship with someone you love, what do you think is wrong with that? He doesn't make your heart leap, but you love him

He is stable, supportive, loving and caring - if times are hard that will carry on wont it?

Antipag Mon 11-Feb-13 16:43:37

To me, the idea that you are 'settling' is based on the Hollywood idea of love, and that isn't what a long term relationship is built on IMO. You need trust first and foremost, which is clear that you have. I am guessing that the relationship(s) where you were subjected to DV must have had that element of all consuming 'love' that you are talking about and I think that you may be mistaking that lack of 'fire' as a lack of love. I don't believe in The One. I believe you find a person in life who you love enough to want to build a life with because of their flaws and not in spite of them. I believe being in a partnership is about compromise and shared values. BUT if you do commit to this marriage be clear in your mind that you are doing so accepting that the kind of love you talk about will most likely never be a part of your relationship, meaning you won't be running away if you meet someone in the future that lights your fire. I am assuming you do at least fancy the guy? If not, then I do think you should consider your choice very carefully. x

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 16:43:39

I can't imagine spending everyday with a man I didn't utterly adore, because marriage and a life together isn't about the good bits, but quite the reverse, it's about being able to live with someone's flaws... I couldn't live with DH's flaws if I didn't love him to pieces.

Saying that, YANBU, though you have gone into a LOT of detail in your justifications, you don't have to justify it. So long as you love and respect him enough not to leave if something better comes along then I don't see the fact that you're not goofy about it as wrong.

Love isn't like the lottery, that's not a good comparison. I wasn't 'lucky' to have met DH, I hadn't even bought a ticket!!

I really do wish you the best of luck, only you can answer whether you really are 'settling' - I hate that expression, we ALL 'settle' in a way. I settled with a good man I'm crazy about, there could have been someone out there richer, younger, etc etc., you are settling with someone you comfortable with settling with. You are doing nothing different than anyone else in a relationship in that sense. We all know when we're happy to stop searching. We all know when we're happy.

Tell your friend that you are flattered but you're happy. Ask her to not mention her 'concerns' ever again, until such time that you divorce, at which point, tell her she is free to say she told you so, but until that time, to mind her own business. x

Corygal Mon 11-Feb-13 16:44:34

I got the collywobbles for a friend in the same way your friend did - exactly the same way (settle v hearts 'n' flowers) as did all her friends too.

We were all completely wrong. 20 years on they adore each other.

Happy life, OP: you deserve it.

amillionyears Mon 11-Feb-13 16:48:22

Your post confuses me.
Your title says "to want to marry for stability not love"
Yet in your post, you say "I'm absolutely sure I love DP.."

I think you are confused and so am I.

fwiw, I think you do love him.
So you would be marrying for love.
So you could tell your friend that if you wanted to!

miemohrs Mon 11-Feb-13 16:49:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Mon 11-Feb-13 16:49:38

I think you are marrying someone that you love, but you are confused because somehow you have become convinced that the kind of love you have is not enough and you should be aiming for some higher kind of love.

I think you are wrong.

madamezouzou Mon 11-Feb-13 16:51:24

Life isn't like the movies.

I think it's natural to start questioning things before you make a big decision, like marriage.

Only you know if you want to share your life with him.

One question- did you have a period of intense infatuation at the beginning, and then it faded into something a bit duller, but more real?

Most relationships have that mad, crazy, all-consuming love at the beginning- it's normal for that to fade, though.

If you didn't have that period and it always felt 'stable', so to speak...that might be something to think about.

miemohrs Mon 11-Feb-13 16:52:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miemohrs Mon 11-Feb-13 16:53:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twentythirteen Mon 11-Feb-13 16:55:04

Thingybob, wonderful, well said. We have very similar OH's and I loved reading your post.

AThingInYourLife Mon 11-Feb-13 16:55:04

Does he know you're settling for him?

That marrying him is a compromise for you?

That you aren't in love with him?

If not, you are being very unfair to rob him of the choice to look for those things.

Dahlen Mon 11-Feb-13 16:58:41

I think the key part here is that you've been on your own as a single parent for a long time. If you're leading a fulfilled life that you thoroughly enjoy as a single person, IMO it's highly unlikely that you would ever feel that you'd 'want to die' if the other person wasn't in it.

In fact, I don't actually think it's healthy that for anyone's happiness to depend exclusively on the presence of someone else in their life.

I also don't think the spark is necessary to reconnect during tough times (although I'm sure it helps and I can relate to it wink). A lot depends on the level of respect both of you are capable of at the bare minimum when things are really tough. Some people can maintain that even under incredible pressure. Others can't.

I don't see anything wrong at all in marrying for the reasons you've given. But I would advise caution. To use your lottery analogy, what would happen if your numbers come up? Have you thought about how you would prevent yourself from running off and hurting your DP - and even if you would want to? That's what you need to prepare for I think.

StuntGirl Mon 11-Feb-13 17:00:14

Koala your post is so sad and depressing sad

AThingInYourLife Mon 11-Feb-13 17:00:22

I think the advice here is shit, BTW.

You have a weird idea of love, but you are not wrong that there is a difference between being in love and just wanting stability with someone who is acceptable.

Cailín is right - it's the special spark of being with the best person you can imagine spending your life with that is the glue that keeps you together happily.

flirtymary Mon 11-Feb-13 17:01:04

I do think people marry for different reasons, but I don't think the idea of being passionately in love and a stable, calm relationship are mutually exclusive.

Honestly though, if you have to ponder aloud on an internet forum about whether the marriage is right, it doesn't bode well does it?

I wouldn't marry anyone unless I had absolutely no reservations about the relationship.

Moominmamma86 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:01:36

I think love isn't always about that fluttery feeling, there are quieter loves that are worth just as much and sometimes more especially if like you, you have a history where somebody hurt you. If you find somebody kind, decent and gentle then you value that all the more. It sounds to me like you have a strong relationship and you talk about him in a really loving way.

Your friend doesn't really have the right to comment. I'm sure she wants to be helpful but her idea of love isn't the only one.

Congrats on your wedding. I'm sure it will be a lovely day for you, committing to spend your lives together and knowing that it's the right thing for you both will make it feel special. Nobody else's opinion can shake you if you're making a decision that feels right.

miemohrs Mon 11-Feb-13 17:03:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moominmamma86 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:03:58

Yes sometimes I watch this romantic movies and remembered those first passionate love fuelled moments but then I look at my husband and he is the first person I want to be with after a long day, the first person I want to call and the only person I want to chill out with at home.

Thingiebob that's lovely!

Thingiebob Mon 11-Feb-13 17:05:53

Aw thanks twentythirteen! It was written very quickly and I wasn't sure if articulated how I felt.

I sobbed all the way down the aisle when we got married and I still feel as though I don't deserve him.
However, I can't remember the last time my heart 'jumped' when I saw him and to be honest my libido as done runner as I am pregnant. But he doesn't put any pressure on me. If anything happened to him, I wouldn't 'die' but there would be a huge desolate hole in my world and I am not sure if I would find anyone else like him again. I think he is one in a million and perfect for me.

Samu2 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:10:24

I felt the same way about my ex husband, it didn't work.

I need passion as well. I don't mean wanting to rip his clothes off every second kind of passion, but there needs to be attraction and a spark as well.

I have that now with my second husband. He is my best friend, I enjoy his company, and he is kind and wonderful and we have that spark and I would never have it any other way now I have experienced a marriage without it.

Eebahgum Mon 11-Feb-13 17:10:53

Why does your friend think you are settling? From something you said or her own perspective? I think you do love this man - and that's a perfectly good basis for a marriage. I personally don't believe in 'the one' or 'mr right' (although I see from this thread that other people seem to have found him & that's truly amazing). I always used to wonder, what if my mr right lives at the other side of the world? How will I ever meet him? I believe there's lots of different mr rights at different points in your life. My dp is definitely right for me now - but if we'd have met 15 years ago would we have felt the same then? Maybe not. I was a very different person back then & he probably was too. But at this point in our lives we have met and we fit really well. Of course there's things about him that are not quite perfect but he's my rock & I'm confident we will have a long, successful & fulfilling relationship. He's the person I want to share good news with first and the person I want to hold me when I'm down. I wish you all the best for a long & happy relationship with this man.

are you always vaguely feeling that you might meet someone better? do you meet new men and wonder what life with them would be like?

if so, i think you're looking out a better fit tbh.

i was in this position with my ex-bf. and then i met dh.

i do think though, that time is not on your side so you have to be pragmatic. and as you say, mr. 100% might not come along.

maybe it's better to leave things as they are at the moment, give you're not absolutely sure.

but think carefully about having another baby with him.

AThingInYourLife Mon 11-Feb-13 17:14:54

"I think love isn't always about that fluttery feeling, there are quieter loves that are worth just as much and sometimes more especially if like you, you have a history where somebody hurt you. If you find somebody kind, decent and gentle then you value that all the more. It sounds to me like you have a strong relationship and you talk about him in a really loving way."

I don't think you talk about him in a loving way. To me it sounds like you are using him for coupledom, stability, another baby, and a father figure for your child.

Which is something he needs to be on board with, and if he is in love with you it will just make him miserable even if he agrees.

It is possible to have butterflies with a kind, decent, gentle man.

Quiet love doesn't mean settling and talking yourself into staying with someone because it is convenient.

Mumsyblouse Mon 11-Feb-13 17:17:49

The million dollar question here is do you fancy him?

Bue Mon 11-Feb-13 17:18:35

Food for thought: Marry Him!

Controversial article, but I think she talks a lot of sense.

Samu2 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:22:20

Of course real love isn't just about passion and alone it is not going to make for a long lasting marriage but it is possible to have both.

We have a lot of children and life is busy so it isn't like we are constantly in a state of passion, we have had ups and downs but I adore him, I miss him when he isn't around, I can't wait for him to come home so we can talk. I would be devastated if he died and I am also very attracted to him which is lovely.

The passion isn't quite the same as it was when we first met (thank god.. that honeymoom stage is exhausting) but it is still there.

It is possible to have a loving deep relationship with some passion and I wasn't willing to settle for anything less. BTDT and I found it depressing and wasn't willing to spend my life with someone I wasn't crazy about.

Sometimes I see my husband walk down the street and my heart still does a little leap.

Some people want different things from marriage but it is possible to have both.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 11-Feb-13 17:29:17

If you think about your dp dying and you are not completely gutted at the thought of it, then imo you should not be marrying him.

I agree with those who said it is the connection, the love between two people which sees them through the hard times. If that love isn't there, then there is nothing to hold you together in the face of all the things that can go wrong in life.

I also think it won't be enough to stop you from hurting him, if you should happen to meet someone that you do find yourself incredibly attracted to.

I can see why it is tempting though - you will be content for as long as you don't meet 'the one'.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 11-Feb-13 17:31:04

I suppose it depends on your priorities. I'm really not fussed about getting married at all. I can take it or leave it, and I'm not that bothered about being in a relationship and would be happy enough alone.

So there's no way that I would settle for someone. They'd start getting on my tits, I'm sure.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 11-Feb-13 17:39:46

I don't think your OP reads as if you're settling. It sounds, rather, as if you have a developed and stable sense of self and know that, should anything part you, you'd be OK - very sad but fundamentally, and eventually, OK.

I too don't believe in 'the one'. My relationship with my dh grew out of friendship - in fact, when we first knew each other I cried on his shoulder about a mutual friend of ours I was infatuated with. We've been together 15 years now and have grown closer - and the sex has got better and better - with the years, with shared history and deepening intimacy.

I was lucky to meet him. But I am realistic enough to realise that if it hadn't happened - our meeting was rather chance - I might well be living just as happy a life - a differently happy life - with someone else, or on my own.

OP, what are the things in your life that won't happyn if you stick with dp? That, rather than the rest, is what makes me wonder a bit.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 11-Feb-13 17:40:56

That should be 'happen'. Interesting typo there.

Mollydoggerson Mon 11-Feb-13 17:47:40

Do you fantasise about shagging him, if not don't marry him.

zeno Mon 11-Feb-13 18:19:27

I have a friend who settled for her dh in the interests of stability and children. He knew this and said it was enough for him.

It wasn't enough for her as it turned out, and the fallout has been horrible to witness, let alone live through.

I think, as others have said, the love is what holds a marriage together through the "worse" bits.

twentythirteen Mon 11-Feb-13 22:15:38

Interesting article bue!

plim Mon 11-Feb-13 22:22:04

I wouldn't marry unless in love, stability is important but so is a spark. I have neither in my marriage now but hey we did in the beginning!! [shocked]

NeverFinishWhatYouStarted Mon 11-Feb-13 23:15:59

I'd take mutual commitment over passion any day. I'm with this guy and the dangerously honest Tim Minchin.

But... is your friend a nosey, interfering sort or a jealous bitch? Why does she think you're settling? I'd set a lot of store by what my friends think (they all love DH but were not at all keen on previous long term relationship). If you're going to marry this guy, she'll have to stop undermining your relationship with him.

And stop thinking about your DP in terms of "settling". "Compatible" is less insulting more positive. wink

ImperialBlether Mon 11-Feb-13 23:32:46

I've heard that the happiest marriages are where each person feels they are the luckiest person in the world to be marrying that man/woman. Do you feel lucky to have found him? Does the thought of him comfort you and excite you and make you want to talk to him?

If not, do him a favour and turn him down. He could find someone whose heart races a little when she sees him.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 11-Feb-13 23:47:55

I honestly think it's a bit much to ask for someone in a long-term relationship to feel 'excited' at the thought of their partner, as a criterion for love. I don't feel 'excited' at the thought of my dh, and my heart doesn't race, but my goodness we had a fabulous time last night smile And I do feel lucky to have found him, yes, but not in an 'it was Fate' sense, much rather that I simply feel lucky we encountered each other and have built a happy life together.

Profound love isn't just about hearts missing a beat.

The ones that made my heart leap made my life really fucking hard and full of unwanted drama.

I have a gorgeous, stable, reliable man who understands me, who I can turn to without fear of being judged. I love him so much more than I ever loved the ex's - it's a different love, but it is SO much better.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 12-Feb-13 00:00:23

I can't imagine not feeling excited by the idea of my partner. We've been together 7 years and I still feel thrilled when I see his face.

Trills Tue 12-Feb-13 08:13:20

NeverFinish - I love that Tim Minchin gestures "bell curve" smile

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