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To ask if anyone decided to just 'settle down' (with a partner)

(126 Posts)
RedHareWithBlondeHair Tue 04-Apr-17 22:01:30

Not really in the spirit of AIBU but I could do with a bit of perspective.

Has anyone just decided that their partner was 'nice enough' and decided to stay with him (or her) because it just seemed to be working well despite not really being in love. (I don't mean those that stay for the children or because they're financially unable to leave).

I'm struggling to articulate exactly what I mean as I know that being madly in love with someone isn't all about hearts skipping beats and drama. And in many ways it manifests itself in for example making them a cup of tea or remembering what their favourite brand of chocolate is or whatever.

I'm with someone who is a very good man. Caring, affectionate, successful career with a very good wage and kind. It's just I am not in love iyswim?

At times I think perhaps it's unfair on him and I should let him be free to meet someone who'd walk over hot coals for him or had that sense of urgency of loving him so deeply. As far as he's concerned we have a healthy, honest and good relationship. The other day he came to meet me with a certain type of drink that I had been drinking when we first met (nothing extravagant - when we had our first date I had been walking to the bar drinking a latte with cinnamon).

We've been talking a lot about the future as of late and I'm finding myself increasingly thinking well he's not a bad man and I'd be happy and secure. I do love him but I'm just not in love. I'm sure he'd make a great father and we'd be happy but I just don't really think it's fair on him.

ImperialBlether Tue 04-Apr-17 22:03:07

I think if you don't have children together, you should let him go. If you had a family together, I might have suggested otherwise, given all his lovely qualities, but tbh I think he deserves someone who really, really loves him.

UppityHumpty Tue 04-Apr-17 22:12:28

What do you mean by 'in love'? Not everyone feels that movie level of romance so even if you let a good man go you, there's no guarantee you would feel that way about anyone in the future.

BuckingFrolicks2 Tue 04-Apr-17 22:19:07

I have a safe, good man. Never had the fireworks. After 21 years (of ups and downs, some big downs tbh) we are still together and happier than ever while too many of my friends have spit.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 04-Apr-17 22:23:09

Your way, madness lies.

Let him go or forever shushhh and understand you will be responsible for creating children who are relying on you for their whole lives in one way or a other.

They will want and benefit from you being together. Can you be certain that your sense of dissatisfaction will not become so overwhelming that you need to run?

Meekonsandwich Tue 04-Apr-17 22:25:15

Apparently people in the last 30 years value true love over anything else,
Whereas before then it was very much who was your best friend and could work together.
Divorce rates have increased, but there could be other reasons for this.

But did you know!! After 10 years, people in love marriages and people in arranged marriages report feeling just as happy! Literally makes no difference. They make it work, I dont think being in love in the beginning dictates how you'll feel in 5 years time when you've been through good and bad times with that person.

I think love comes with time, like you said, its the small things they know about you.

But would you feel guilty that you aren't in love with him? Like you were wasting his time that he Could spend with someone else?

goodpiemissedthechips Tue 04-Apr-17 22:30:49

My relationship is a bit like this. None of the dramas and ups and downs that marked my previous relationships.

We have bad patches of course, but in general we rub along ok and he is a good, caring husband and father. When I'm really worn out and am getting a migraine he'll tell me to go up to bed, bring me my tea on a tray and deal with the children downstairs.

He's also lazy and messy and all the rest of it, but we are happy. He is a good man and treats me well (hopefully he would say I treat him well too).

KindDogsTail Tue 04-Apr-17 22:33:35

Do you love him, respect him, admire him, trust him, share his values, enjoy each other's company?

If so, that could be much more important than being in love in the heart skip sort of way which would not go on for ever in any case. The only problem would be if you are repulsed by him physically.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 04-Apr-17 22:36:28

Jeez OP, I'll have him! I can't seem to find a good, stable bloke like that for love nor money.

RedHareWithBlondeHair Tue 04-Apr-17 22:40:03

Can you be certain that your sense of dissatisfaction will not become so overwhelming that you need to run?

We have a very good life at the moment. I can't see myself ever wanting to 'run' as such - everything so far is going well. I don't dislike him at all - on the contrary I love him but I just don't feel fireworks and shooting stars.

Meekonsandwich I agree with you. And I think that if he wanted to leave me he'd do so. He's everything on paper and if I were to describe my ideal future husband / father or children he'd fit the bill. It's just I can't bring myself to that level of love where you can't live without someone. I sort of want that confused

whoknewitwastrue Tue 04-Apr-17 22:40:43

Are you attracted to him physically? How is your sex life?

I think the trouble with settling is you may want more as ten years go by.

Avioleta Tue 04-Apr-17 22:41:03

I don't think it's fair on him TBH. He deserves the chance to find someone who's mad about him, not just someone who thinks he's 'nice enough'. Unless you're prepared to have an awkward conversation and level with him about how you feel, and give him the chance to walk away, I think you should end it.

RedHareWithBlondeHair Tue 04-Apr-17 22:41:41

Do you love him, respect him, admire him, trust him, share his values, enjoy each other's company?

Yes. All of these things. In fact this is probably the only healthy relationship I've ever had!

LilacSpatula Tue 04-Apr-17 22:44:06

I don't need shooting stars. I have a wonderful husband who is a good person and we look after each other. Definitely enough for me.

JustMarriedBecca Tue 04-Apr-17 22:44:38

I wanted that 'heart skipped a beat' thing too and walked out of my first proper relationship on a 'what am I missing' worry. Total mistake. Missed my comfortable, solid, dependable rock who knew me better than I knew myself. Went back after a month and we've been together 15 years (cripes alive). The grass isn't always greener.

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 04-Apr-17 22:46:56

My ex (who I was with for 7 years) was very good on paper and probably the sensible choice for me but I just didn't love him anymore and it felt like torture. I was deeply unhappy even though we were best friends. Leaving was the best decision I ever made.

Meekonsandwich Tue 04-Apr-17 22:47:22

Honestly I really don't think fireworks and all that is really love, or particularly universal outside of movies.

And that omg I love you and can't live without you in fact I cant be in a different room right now feeling, fades. it's infatuation not love.

But over time you do get a I can't imagine my life without you now feeling I think.

ragz134 Tue 04-Apr-17 22:55:47

I've never been starry eyed, head over heels in love with my DH. The early years had enough drama though... He's always said ours is a bit like an arranged marriage, as in we grew to respect and love after having to work as a team through hardship. We work well together, find each other sexually attractive, so that is fine for me. In the early years I used to worry that I wasn't 'in love' but I was younger then (early twenties),I just don't think it is as common as books and films make it out to be. Though it's lovely for those who do and I'm happy for them, I am perfectly happy with my marriage.

It's a bit like religion, I sometimes think I'd love to experience what it feels like to beilive in a God and feel some kind of divine love, but that isn't my life and I am more than happy with what I do have.

FairyDogMother11 Tue 04-Apr-17 23:10:04

If I'm honest I couldn't be doing with the over the top "romance " you see in films. The tempestuous passionate ups and downs are really not for me. The arguing constantly under the guise of passion does not work for me coming from a household where arguments meant bad things. On the other hand we've been together four years and we have an amazing relationship. We were friends first so I suppose I never had that lightening bolt moment. We have mutual love and respect and he's dependable and trustworthy and I know he's there for me. We have a good sex life and I know he is going to be a good dad! I think those things are more important than feeling like a school girl with a crush. But if you don't feel like it's enough you have to consider what you're going to do about it flowers

WombOfOnesOwn Tue 04-Apr-17 23:18:05

I did this. I was really too young to have done it, but for a lot of reasons, I felt like settling was my best chance.

It was -- he and I both agreed, later on -- a mistake. We are still friends, but divorced a number of years ago. Fortunately, we did not have any children.

For us, it turned out that the missing "spark" was chemistry and attraction, in a big way. We each liked things about the other person, but when it came to the bedroom, it wasn't working. We never fought or spoke a word in anger to one another. We helped one another and were each other's allies in conflict.

But of course, we also both had flaws. And not having any spark to us made it so that when those flaws started becoming magnified, I couldn't feel invested in staying. I started to feel like being alone would be better than dealing with more annoying crap from someone who was basically nice but that I just didn't feel "it" for. One day, I just ... left. And I never came back. He called me, begged for me to return, and I told him that it wasn't going to happen -- not ever.

Within 6 months, we were friends again. Not too long after, I had a second (short, disastrous) marriage that was ALL spark and no compatibility.

My third husband is my Goldilocks partner -- "just right." The spark, the comradeship, the humor and the alliance and the sex and the affection, all in one package. If I'd known he was around, I would never have thought settling was my only option.

Polarbearflavour Tue 04-Apr-17 23:37:34

I left my ex-fiancé for what I thought was passionate, exciting "real love." He turned out to be not very nice despite all his money and posh holidays and Michelin star meals.

I often reflect on how my ex-fiancé was a pretty decent, solid guy and that I did love him. He's now married with a baby and I'm happy for him.

TomaytoTomahto Tue 04-Apr-17 23:46:30

I think it really depends on what he wants as well. If you two are on the same page, then brilliant!

Joffmognum Tue 04-Apr-17 23:51:18

You're thinking of limerence. Limerence is infatuation, thinking about them all day, having a crush on them. When paired with a healthy relationship it's the amazing "fireworks" "true love" that is just amazing. Thing is, it's been studied to decline at an average of 18 months into a relationship (but this varies wildly) and you can expect it to be fizzled completely by 3 years in. It's normal to not have an exciting crush on your spouse - but you're lucky if you do.

I'm 2.5 years in and I don't fancy my partner like I used to. But I love him deeply and our relationship is one of trust, stability and kindness and in the long term, that's more important.

Pigface1 Tue 04-Apr-17 23:56:16

You alone are the judge of your own feelings but I would like to share two of the most important things I learnt during my 20s (sorry if they're patronising to you but they came as news to me!!)

a) we (women) are taught from an incredibly early age to have totally unrealistic expectations of romantic love. This indoctrination starts when we watch Disney films as toddlers and continues through to when we are adults.
B) a great many people confuse 'drama' and 'love'.

My marriage is a bit like yours. My husband is kind, affectionate, faithful, funny, clever and good-looking.

Is there electricity every time we touch? Are there long nights of passion? Does my stomach do a backflip every time I see him? Hell no.

But do I love him? Definitely. But it took me a long time to realise this. Because I thought that the absence of drama meant that we weren't in love. In fact I now realise it means the opposite!

GlitteryFluff Wed 05-Apr-17 00:04:18

Really interesting thread to read.

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