I love him but I don’t know if I can *love* him?

Kind of long sorry. There’s this truly amazing sweet handsome etc. guy and I care deeply for him but no matter how much I think I love him...I just...I don’t know. I don’t love him, I don’t think. He’s in love with me or very close to it as far as I can tell (we've informally-but-legitimately talked about marriage) and it’s wonderful thank God - and he’s my best friend and I think I could be happy with him God willing but I just don’t *love* him.

I’ve been in love with...let’s say two people in my life. One was my best HS friend - I was friends w/him for 10 years, in love for 7 of those years, and finally broke off our friendship because I couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s been about 3 years and I still think of him on rare occasion.

This current guy has reallllly taken the time to get to know me, drops everything to help me, etc. I am not trying to be selfish or immature or whatever - I am really honestly trying to care *that* much back (and I do care for him and am attracted to him). I don’t know what’s missing. The only thing I can see is that I don’t have the same...connection with him that I’ve had in the past. There are very few people with whom I truly connect physically/mentally/emotionally but when I do it’s like we light each other up. And this guy is not one of them as far as I can tell. (The ones who did weren’t necessarily as kind or generous or whatever as him as far as I can tell, but being with them is like finding myself in another person, I don't know how else to describe it.)

Thoughts? Again I care for him a looooot, but I feel...neutral, vaguely positive, toward him when I think about actually loving him on the level I’ve found myself capable of loving. I just don’t want to hurt him, God forbid.

(Maybe am afraid to let him be with me. I don't know. Am kind of afraid of men in general, to be honest. Thoughts welcome.)


Most Helpful Girl

  • Firstly, that's not love, it's care.
    Second, you don't know what you want.
    Third, you're still missing the other guy.
    But mainly, you're giving illusions the that guy that loves you. That's not cool if you don't feel the same.

    I'm sure you'll love to love him like he loves you, but you can't. Not because something is missing, but because you're not truly opening your heart to him.

    The guy you knew for 10 years is no longer with you, and you need to accept that and move on.
    This guy is someone new, someone different. Someone that is willing to do anything for you.
    I don't know what happened on your last relationship, but it's over now for good.
    If you don't like this new guy, then stop leading him on.
    You're obviously emotionally unstable.
    Take a breather.
    To enter a new chapter into your life with this guy, you must finish your chapter with your ex.
    This new guy isn't any of your exs. He's different. Do you love him no matter his flaws like he loves you?
    If not, do him a favor and be honest.
    Nobody likes to be used, lied, nor played.

    Find someone else that will give you that connection you want.

    • I don't think it's emotional instability so much as inexperience - but I agree that I'm possibly leading him on God forbid.
      The current guy and I have agreed to just be friends for now. And I do love him despite his flaws. I'm just not sure that I can give my love to him at the same level that I've been capable of before. And yes I know that the guy I loved is out of the picture. When I said I think about him it's rare and more curious than anything.

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    • I don't think so, why?

    • It shows that you can love him without fearing of being hurt because he never gave you a reason to question his feelings.
      The only thing that's stopping from being happy is yourself.

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What Guys Said 1

  • You are approaching this the wrong way. You can't "fall in love" just like you can't "fall out" of love. Love is a choice, you choose to love someone. Most people confuse Lust for Love--they lust after a person but as soon as something happens in a relationship (typically financial) they "fall out of love" and leave.

    If you have a sibling you "love them" despite their atrocious actions and manners and you don't "stop" loving them if they piss you off you choose to--same with relationships.

    • I might be confusing love for attraction - but is it possible to be in lust with someone for 7 years do you think, and wanting him to be happy even if it wasn't with me? I'm talking about looking at someone and feeling a type of...recognition is the only word I can think of, like you've known them forever...that you don't with other people. It's much more than simple attraction or a crush or whatever. It's like being half of a giant magnet.
      I care a lot for the current guy and understand the concept of love as a choice. I guess I don't understand what the connection is that I feel with these other people - God knows. It's not just lust I don't think - I once knew this guy that looked like Matt Damon, not exaggerating, hottest guy I've ever seen, and we even had a thing for each other thank God but *that* connection wasn't there.
      Am working on/mulling over the love-as-a-choice idea.

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    • Women have been indoctrinated for so long by the Hollywood Romance Industrial machine that they have put "love" on such a high pedestal that it can never be attained and a man can never attain it. How many romcoms have rich millionaires and are able to give the woman everything? How many men in the real world are actually millionares?
      So, on gag you can see women constantly fantasize about getting married and imagining what their dress is going to be like and the marriage etc...but then as soon as the deed is done, a few month's later reality hits them and they freak out.
      There are two ways you can look at life.
      1. There is love
      2. There is no such thing as love and people are interchangable.

      1. If you take this stance, you will always be chasing an unattainable goal and nothing in a man will make you ultimately happy longterm (especially since women are so obsessed with these unrealistic romance books and movies)
      2. If you actually take this stance...

    • 2. If you actually take this stance, that you accept that there are a lot of really good looking people and you could be with anyone of them. Since in fact they really are interchable..Anyone who has ever had a pet and then lost 'em has regret and emotion but then once it's replaced we forget about the 1st one and 'love' the second one.
      Humans are pets. So you consciously choose to "love" someone and be with someone.
      However, since we are all selfish and indoctrinated by hollywood most of us won't ever be happy with accepting marriage for what it is--an exchange. An exchange for security and sex. No we want it all; security, sex and love, forever.

What Girls Said 3

  • I can't believe I've stumbled upon a question so similar to mine! If it is any consolation, I am in a very similar position to your own. You know that ex you say you think about on a rare occasion but had too break off your friendship because it hurt so much? I had to do the exact same thing with my ex, and I loved him, I'm sure in the same way you loved your ex. But he left me alone and in tatters.

    Anyway, this new guy came along, kind, caring, sweet and gentle. He has an open heart and we've been dating for roughly 3 weeks now. I know already that he's falling in *love* with me and he would do almost anything for me. Bless him. But although I care for him so deeply, I'm struggling to love him like he loves me.

    I want to. I really want to be able to develop feelings for him. But I just don't feel smitten like I should and it's killing me. I don't want to hurt him, or play him, but I just don't know what to do.

    He might be the nicest guy I've ever came across, but I'm just lacking the spaark.

    It's a horrible position to be in, but I'm so relieved to know that i'm not the only one out there in this kind of situation. All the very best to you, whatever happens :)

  • You aren't in love with him. Don't marry someone you aren't in love with.

    • It's not fair to you OR HIM.

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    • Read my response to the other commenter and I really don't know.

    • I did...I think when you find someone you are truly in love with you will know it, and you won't have to weigh the pros and cons. And yes that person is out there.

  • girl. I am in the exact same situtaion. like to a tee. If I only knew the answer to your problems. Unfortionately like me, somethings missing. You could settle for your life and never really know, you could say no now and have missed out, or you could just wait it out. Either way, the options aren't the best, and probably not what I or anyone else really wants to hear. It comes down to you being the only person that can make the desicion and if you have the balls to stick it out alone and find someone better, hoping there is someone that does "it" for you. God knows I'm useless at taking my own advice as I"m the kind of girl to wait it out until I find and escape plan or I setttle. Do yourself a favor and do what will make you happy.

    • I just...and thank you for the help btw...I don't know if it's better to go for someone who I am pretty sure God willing would treat me like a queen, understand me very well, etc. ...or go for the ones with which I might have a degree of slight conflict but with whom there is magnetism, and I don't mean sexual only. It's like when I look at pix this guy is so sweet but I just...like you said something seems to be missing. But I can't tell what :(
      Haha am bad at taking my own advice too.

    • yeah. Like I said I'm there too. Sweetest guy in the hole world, sorta attractive, but that heat just isn't like it should be. If I had balls I would cut it off and let him go-- its better for him that way any I know it-- but I think its the security of him being there, and his freindship and our compatibility as friends that prevents me from leaving. I don't want to loose it, but to find something full, i fear it's the only way to go.. It's a gamble but then again so is life, and you just have to do what you think will make you happy. Life is about mistakes and taking chances. You just have to be brave enough to change things up. Thats the tough part. Hopefully this gave you some comfort. God knows with problems like these there nothing a stranger can tell you that you don't already know yourself.