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To think you can't love someone you don't know?

(42 Posts)
Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 22:58:09

Things have never been good between me and DB. Fought as children, then he went to uni and never returned, in that he settled there and visits occasionally. He visits my parents really, but I make the effort and go to my parents house for a few hours whilst he's there etc. We are polite to each other. He's never been there for me, I don't suppose I have for him but he's never asked for help, I have and he let me down.
He never rings. He rang my parents and I happened to be there and my mum handed me the phone as expected. He ended his call as always with "bye, I love you" and I suddenly said "no you don't, you don't even know me" and pressed the red button before I realised I had said it out loud.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 02-Aug-13 23:03:43

I think you can.

If you have a child who is abducted/taken from you as a baby/toddler I think you'd still love them if reunited years later. Don't you?

You have a shared history and a family connection that allows love to exist even though contact is patchy. Do you not love him at all?

NotYoMomma Fri 02-Aug-13 23:07:16

cold sad

Sparklingbrook Fri 02-Aug-13 23:12:03


Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 23:12:22

Our shared history was a childhood of "I hate you" 's and fighting. I just feel let down by him. I can't relate to him. I don't feel anything other than annoyed.
For example, DD has spent most of this year in hospital and he hasn't once called. I've been struggling with depression, lonely single mum etc and he just hasn't even tried.
If he asked anything of me I'd be there because he's family and I have a strong sense of the word family but I can't relate to him.

PumpkinPositive Fri 02-Aug-13 23:12:25

Do you ever ring him?

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 23:15:02

Family love is supposed to be unconditional?

Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 23:15:41

Please don't get me wrong, I have tried so very hard over the years to reach out to him. But him not calling when DD was at her worst really hurt me.
He has his own family and that's just the way it is. After 10 yrs I invited myself to see him but I wasn't asked to stay etc and drove 300 miles and was made to feel like I'd outstayed my welcome after an hour. That was 2 years ago, haven't seen him since.

Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 23:16:17

He never returned my calls, he's much busier than me.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 02-Aug-13 23:18:58

Family love isnt unconditional. i have a relative who has torn my family apart and another who stood by that person. i certainly dont love them unconditionally. if your brother cant be arsed to call when his niece is in hospital then why should you profess to love him? His actions dont show love to you.

Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 23:19:41

Once, exDP beat me up and I asked DB if I could come and stay with him as I was scared to be home and exDP didn't know where he lived. He said no.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 02-Aug-13 23:22:29


Its glib and easy to toss off a, "bye, love you!" Harder and more meaningful to be there for your sister when her DD is ill sad

Family love doesn't have to be unconditional. You feel let down and don't feel loved in any way, obviously.

It's sad. But you don't have to pretend to love someone or feel love just because its faaaaaaamily and you're 'supposed' to.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 23:22:45

People say blood is thicker than water. What a load of bollocks is all i can say. There are good people and bad people, end of, your DB sounds like the latter. Forget him, move on, life is too short.

Bowlersarm Fri 02-Aug-13 23:23:16

Oh Flojo that's not so good sad

WilsonFrickett Fri 02-Aug-13 23:24:56

Bollocks is any kind of love unconditional, especially family love.

Siblings can get 'stuck' in particular stages, as you say, your DB moved away to uni and your relationship never really moved on from how it was the day he left. Which when you think about it, is completely reasonable.

The question is, what do you want to happen now? To move your relationship forward will take a considerable amount of effort from both of you. And it doesn't sound like either of you are in that place, tbh.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 02-Aug-13 23:25:39

There is a difference between not loving someone because you don't know them and not loving someone because they've treated you badly. The thread title asks about the former not the latter.

mmmuffins Fri 02-Aug-13 23:27:25

In general, yes I think you can love people you don't know.

Your situation reminds me of an incident in my childhood. It was Christmas and my uncle, who lived very far away and therefore who I barely knew, telephoned the house. My parents put myume on with him and after some generic conversation I ended the call with, "Merry Christmas, I love you...I think."

My family thought it was quite funny, but it was me realising I was saying, "I love you" to be polite rather than because I meant it.

So perhaps that is why your brother says it. Or perhaps he does actually mean it. You hung up so we don't know what he had to say about it!

LuisSuarezTeeth Fri 02-Aug-13 23:28:44

Ah, this is not as simple as your OP Flo. Sounds like you feel rather let down by him. Some people throw the word "love" around without really thinking about it.

Flojobunny Fri 02-Aug-13 23:29:17

We are always polite, he always buys expensive presents for the kids when he comes. But I feel like its all fake. I can't relate to him, he always seems to be looking down his nose at me. Maybe I'm just paranoid. He often scoffs at me when I say something though.
But all that aside, he doesn't know me and I feel like the "I love you" is fake, so just wondered if I'm BU.
probably shouldn't have said it out loud though, not that it'll change anything, I've tried before.

Jan49 Fri 02-Aug-13 23:39:22

It sounds to me like you don't love him because you didn't get on as children and haven't had much to do with each other as adults and he's also let you down a lot and never been there for you. If you weren't closely related, you wouldn't be friends. It's not that you don't love him because you don't know him, it's that you don't love him because you perhaps never did and his behaviour as an adult hasn't changed that. Perhaps you don't love him because you do know him.

I have siblings and I don't love them. We didn't get on as children. As adults we keep in touch by occasional phonecalls but live in different countries and rarely meet. I don't think we have anything in common other than a chance family link. I think there's an expectation that you love your siblings just because they are your siblings, but it isn't always the case.

LunaticFringe Fri 02-Aug-13 23:43:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shrugged Fri 02-Aug-13 23:45:23

I think I'd be enormously irritated at a sibling I had zero relationship with chirping 'Love you!'

I know my mother is sad that her four children don't even pretend to be close. Tbh, though, our childhood was very poor and overcrowded, and it's not coincidental that we all live in different countries, and are very if fervent people.

skyflyer Sat 03-Aug-13 02:25:33

I agree with you OP. I haven't seen my sister since we were young children. It's been 25 years, we don't know each other and I feel nothing for her at all. Friends are often surprised I don't love her or want to know her, but how can I we know nothing about each other.

petuniapickletits Sat 03-Aug-13 07:36:45

wow..thats pretty cold!

Flojobunny Sat 03-Aug-13 07:50:32

I'm not cold at all, I desperately wanted to know him but I realised over the years that you can't force these things.
I find its happy clappy, over the top presents and I love you's fake.
I live 2 mins from my parents because family means a lot to me.
I don't know maybe having an absent brother who makes polite chitchat every couple of years is better than having no brother and completely cutting ties?
I kept making the effort for the sake of the DC but they just end up more confused, as he spoils them and then they pester me for ages after if they can see him etc. as DD is only 4.

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