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2 out of 3 ain't bad? Incredible BF but not 'in love'

(27 Posts)
boxesticked Tue 05-Feb-13 00:02:51

Have been seeing BF for 6 months. It is everything a 'good' relationship should be - respectful, equal, kind, supportive, communicative etc. He is hard working, loyal, loving, attentive, adores my DS etc. Physically, I find him very attractive. We make a good team, we are on the same page in most respects. He fits in fantastically with my friends and family, and his/my/mutual friends are pleased as punch that we are together. However... I don't feel like he sets me on fire.

I suppose I felt like I would grow to love him but the more our relationship progresses, the less likely this seems. I have recently broached this with him and we have talked a lot, which has eased the pressure a lot for me and I feel like I am relaxing and enjoying it without worrying about my lack of/feelings for him. He has said that ordinarily, he would simply walk away but he feels like I/we are worth holding out for, to see if my feelings strengthen in time.

I don't want to throw away what could be a fantastic partnership, but equally I would not 'settle' for someone who ticked all the boxes but I didn't love, really love, as this will surely only create problems down the line. I wouldn't want that for my BF either, he deserves to be with somebody who is crazy about him.

I know only time will tell for us, but I am just interested to hear others' experiences.

badinage Tue 05-Feb-13 01:06:25

Well I was never one for letting relationships 'grow' tbh. If the sparks weren't flying right from the start, I knew they'd never ignite so there was no point in continuing. I think a lot of women (from what I've seen on here) pay far too little heed to the importance of great sex and so they settle for the nice but dull bloke who will always be in work, is good with children, parents and animals and is never likely to hurt them. So then they end up hurting him years down the line when some chancer shows up and makes them feel 'alive' again. Or Mr. Niceguy gets fed up of not being desirable and finds some doozy who thinks he's sex-on-a-stick.

I do know some people who 'grew' into their relationships but I think this is about knowing yourself isn't it? I knew I wasn't a 'grower' so I didn't compromise and only gave up my singledom for the bloke that was worth that. He still sets sparks flying now decades down the track, so that was the right decision for me.

deleted203 Tue 05-Feb-13 01:11:33

I'm the opposite to bandinage TBH. Every serious relationship I've had has developed slowly from liking someone, enjoying their company, finding them physically attractive to the point where at some point I realised I did love them, actually, and we did have that 'spark'.

I suspect I'm simply not someone who falls madly in love until I know someone really well.

I would carry on with BF for a while longer to see if my feelings grew strong enough to not want to end things.

Juanca Tue 05-Feb-13 01:43:48

I'm in the sowornout camp. Every 'sparky' relationship I had was so tempestuous; full of games and petty arguments - but great sex.

By the time I met DP I was worn out! We were friends for six months before we got together and when it happened it just felt so right. He's reliable, kind to the elderly and loves animals and children - but also has a wicked streak and we've had a lot of fun together in our 10 years.

"So then they end up hurting him years down the line when some chancer shows up and makes them feel 'alive' again."

It's not just nice guys who are cuckolded. And it's not just women in 'spark-less' relationships who have affairs.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 05-Feb-13 01:52:09

You have been with this man for 6months.
Half a year!

Why are you with him?

badinage Tue 05-Feb-13 02:22:43

I'm obviously not explaining myself very well. Of course affairs can happen to anyone and in any relationship. In fact, I've seen them happen in really good relationships where the 'spark' was there right from the start and pretty much kept on burning. But there does seem to be more of a risk of it happening if the chemistry was never there and one or both of them has 'settled' for someone who ticks all the boxes, except one that is pretty darned important to you personally.

Again this is about knowing yourself.

For some people, sex is not a big deal and that's fine if you couple up with someone who's on the same page. It's just bad news if one of you is suppressing that bit of your psyche.

It's just as much a risk if you place too much importance on sex and fireworks - and not enough on shared values, emotional connections, compatible temperaments etc. So if someone's a talker and a sharer, paired up with a silent brooder - that can cause problems too, even if the sex is great.

What I suppose I'm saying is that if you're looking for the long haul, it's better to hold out for someone who ticks all your important boxes and they'll differ from person to person. It didn't matter a fig to me about a partner's earning capacity for example, because I knew I'd always earn my own money. It was more important to me that I was with someone who 'got' me, who loved conversation, politics, reading books, who was kind and who was great in the sack wink

I'd suggest OP that you work out what your most important boxes are - and act accordingly. But don't short-change yourself on the really crucial ones.

Roseflowers Tue 05-Feb-13 02:58:29

I was in the same position a few days ago. Been with BF 6 months, he was lovely, kind, reliable, got on great with my parents and friends, did all the right things. Alas, like you I just didn't feel that spark or connection that really set my world alight. Unlike in previous relationships, he wasn't making me unhappy. Unfortunately, he wasn't making me really actively properly happy either, and I started to realise I'd probably never be in love with him. I think for me the 6 month mark is a good indicator of if strong feelings are going to come about, its still the honeymoon period where you feel the most madly in love! For me, if they haven't by that point its always meant they won't. I guess the important things are this; does he make you happy? Could you easily see yourself without him, on your own and happy? I agree with badinage, don't just settle but think if this is what you really want, for the long haul. In the end I broke up with my boyfriend because what we had simply wasn't enough. Hope this helps.

Absoluteeightiesgirl Tue 05-Feb-13 05:24:18

Mine was a slow burner to. In fact I binned DH three times in the early days, a fact he enjoys reminding me about. I had always believed that if there was no weak knees and rip clothes off feelings then it meant a r'ship an no future. DH tuned all of that on its head.

boxesticked Tue 05-Feb-13 16:20:13

Thanks for all your responses, I suspected I'd get a mixed bag!

I'm generally a 'spark' person, but there's something in this relationship which suggests longevity.

We are very compatible sexually, and it's not that I don't fancy him because I absolutely do! Seems like all the boxes are ticked apart from 'makes me roar with laughter'... But I think this is an important box for me confused

boxesticked Tue 05-Feb-13 16:30:37

does he make you happy? Could you easily see yourself without him, on your own and happy?

Oh sorry, in answer to these; I will copy and paste your own sentiments! he wasn't making me unhappy. Unfortunately, he wasn't making me really actively properly happy either. This!

He did recently go away for a week, and although of course I missed his company, I did realise that I wouldn't be devastated if he wasn't always around... I think it was a bit of a test for me, hence why it's come up now.

badinage Tue 05-Feb-13 16:35:31

Yes laughter's important to me too. I suppose that's one the things I meant about DH 'getting me' because we make each other laugh and find the same things funny.

Dahlen Tue 05-Feb-13 16:45:25

I'm not sure the week's separation means anything TBH. I'm the sort of person who's capable of feeling deep emotions and loving someone passionately. However, because I've spent a lot of time on my own and always enjoyed complete independence, I never really miss someone when they're not around.

Most people comment on how close I am to my DC (definite advantage of being a single mother) but if I go off and leave them for a night or something, I don't miss them either. I remember the first night out after giving birth and everyone said, "you'll end up ringing after a couple of hours to check they're ok" bla, bla, bla. Did I hell. hmm

I don't think any individual person should 'make you happy'. You should be happy because you're happy with your life in general. Your partner should simply be the icing on the cake IMO. Which means that you might not ever feel that overwhelming sense of loss if that person isn't around.

deleted203 Tue 05-Feb-13 17:49:58

I would agree with Dahlen on the above post, too. I love being on my own, frankly, and enjoy my own company. DS1 has gone off to Uni this Sept and I feel a bit mean to realise I don't particularly miss him, despite loving him to bits. He is a lovely person, cheerful, easy going, great company - and it's great when he comes home once every few weeks. But about once a week I think, 'Christ! Better phone the boy and check he's still alive'.

Like Dahlen my DH is the icing on the cake. I love him deeply, but am still happy pottering around on my own if he's away for a few days, rather than aching desperately for him to return.

I think if bf generally ticks all your boxes, you fancy him, are sexually compatible, he's kind, loves you, adores your son, etc then I would hang on in there. No one is ever perfect - and it would be a shame to end what sounds to be a pretty good relationship for 'the grass is always greener'. However, at the end of the day only you can decide.

boxesticked Thu 07-Feb-13 13:16:51

(that's not to say he's completely devoid of humour, btw! Just not my exact sense of humour)

Yeah i'm very similar sowornout and dahlen. I also relish the days when DS isn't here and silence reigns!!

I am hanging on in there for the time being. Now that we've talked about it extensively, it feels like there are no expectations, the pressure is off and there are no immediate decisions to be made, so I have relaxed hugely and feel much closer to him as a result.

Helltotheno Thu 07-Feb-13 13:35:01

So is it his personality then? Do you just find him boring?

boxesticked Sun 24-Feb-13 13:06:35

Apologies for leaving you all hanging.

Well the inevitable has happened and I broke up with him last night. I just said I still feel the same (i.e not in love) and I don't see that that's ever going to change. He was pretty shocked as thought we were doing great since we talked a few weeks back. He thought I could be the one etc... He listed all the positives about our relationship, none of which I disagreed with, but it's still not enough without being in love with him.

I feel awful because he is very hurt, but I knew it was crunch time for me and that I had to decide what I wanted in the long term. I know that I've done the right thing for me. But feel really crappy about hurting someone who I like and care about, and who has done nothing to deserve it sad

akaWisey Sun 24-Feb-13 14:19:30

Two days after you posted your thread I ended it with my then BF.

I was in a similar situation - we did begin with a spark but over a year on and it had changed for me. He didn't make me unhappy but neither was I happy, and I kept waiting and hoping it would change for the better. In the end I was consumed with stress and doubt and guilt. So I 'fessed up' and ended it.

I think you have done the right thing for both of you boxes. My BF asked me if I thought I could be happier on my own (i.e. without him) and I asked him if he could settle for being with someone who he thought was with him rather than be alone. He couldn't of course.

Better to have done this now. smile

Alittlestranger Sun 24-Feb-13 14:36:57

I think you did the right thing OP. Your post wasn't about the lack of a spark, it was something more fundamental. A relationship doesn't have to have you bouncing off the walls but it shouldn't feel like something is actively missing.

In my mind settling is necessary, but settling means not having all the boxes ticked, not foregoing the essentials like love, trust, connection.

It's also important to remember that a couple-relationship is not compulsory. It's fine to be single. And I think you were absolutely right to dump this man, because sooner or later having him 'in love' and 'waiting for you' would have become a tedious burden to you. Onwards and upwards!

Mosman Sun 24-Feb-13 14:44:55

He isn't the one, the one is out there you can't meet him if in a relationship with this one.

MewlingQuim Sun 24-Feb-13 14:55:19

I had doubts like this about 6 months into my relationship with DH. He was just so bloody 'nice' I thought I would surely get bored of him and want some exciting bad boy instead.

Well obviously he is now DH and we have been very happy together for 15 years now!

IME, fireworks always fizzle out. grin

MewlingQuim Sun 24-Feb-13 14:58:15

I hope you find someone suited to you. and he finds someone suited to him

Mumsyblouse Sun 24-Feb-13 15:04:29

Fireworks don't always fizzle out, sometimes they dampen down to a nice steady sexual attraction which is extremely useful when you are tested by life's trials.

OP, I think you have done the right thing all round, for him and you. I really think a relationship in which you feel something is 'missing' is not right at all, and would rather be on my own.

There's a big difference between steady and steady but something missing, and you simply can't spend your life with someone just because they seem nice on paper (and there is more than one nice on paper man out there).

Hissy Sun 24-Feb-13 19:49:13

How were your relationships before? Sparky and dangerous?

Mine was, and it was hell on earth. Proper DV in the end. I've heard recently that the SPARK is unrecognised instinctive FEAR. Sounds plausible.

Someone else said it was us detecting Testosterone confused

I'm now with someone with similar mirror experience to mine, so sweet, GAWJUS, caring, attentive and perfect in almost every way.

At 6m in I was head over heels, now We're together almost a year now I am a little cooler, I can't see any reason to leave, and many reasons to stay. Like he is a rare person that would understand implicitly what I have been through and me him. Like he is interesting, fun and makes me laugh, he cares.

LIFE however conspires to get in the way a bit and finding US time is nigh on impossible.. If I get this balance better, i'll be in a better place to judge.

I know we both have shed loads of 'stuff' going on in our individual lives atm, and this may be clouding things a little, but I am questioning how I'm feeling a little. I'm not really sure why, it could be that everyday life is getting in the way, and we are not 'dating' as much as we were. Childcare issues, work, money etc.

I'm also wondering if this feeling is because I am somehow missing the drama of my previous relationships?

//rambles

madonnawhore Sun 24-Feb-13 20:32:27

It's hard isn't it because everyone's experiences are so objective.

To some people 'spark' = that horrible emotional roller coaster of being pissed around by someone you're infatuated with. (Been there, done that shit.)

To others it simply means chemistry. Where you 'click' with someone mentally as well as physically.

I had a couple of boyfriends like the OP's ex before I met my current DP. Both guys were lovely people; good looking, intelligent, funny, successful, kind, into the same things as me... But with both guys I just knew I could never love them the way I wanted to be in love with a partner. And that was purely down to chemistry. All my friends thought I was crazy to break up with them but I just knew it wasn't right for me even if it was perfect on paper.

When I met DP, I knew almost instantly that he ticked all my boxes. And he still does years later. But it's nothing I could put my finger on really.

startlife Sun 24-Feb-13 20:55:12

I think you did the right thing as well. I've had a similar relationship - lovely guy who adored me however I just didn't feel the same. It worked when everything was OK but when the relationship hit a tough period I didn't have strong enough feelings for him to get through it. He didn't make me laugh and I wonder if that was the missing spark, as like you, I was very attracted to him.

I stayed longer than you because on paper he was perfect - well done for making a decision.

boxesticked Mon 25-Feb-13 10:50:23

Pleased I've got so many affirmative responses... although I do know I did the right thing regardless!

startlife that's what I said to XBF, my lack of feelings wouldn't be enough to sustain the relationship if there wasn't that determination to stay together, although day to day we rolled along ok.

madonnawhore ''with both guys I just knew I could never love them the way I wanted to be in love with a partner'' - this is just how I felt. For me, spark means mental chemistry and shared sense of humour.

sgb I'm starting to come round to your way of thinking! grin ''having him 'in love' and 'waiting for you' would have become a tedious burden to you'' - this is exactly what was happening. In the end I thought if it hasn't just happened naturally, then that's that!

I felt certain that I'd reached the extent of my feelings for him, so my only option was to end it. I felt it would be very shortsighted to keep ambling along just because we rubbed along ok, not to mention very unfair to him.

Thanks for all your insights.

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