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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a new relationship about a month ago. He's been a friend of the family for several years now. I never really paid much attention to him until recently, everyone kept telling me he was a great guy, that I should give him a chance, so I did. We've been getting to know each other--over the phone, during the weekends he comes to visit me, etc. etc. He seems to be really into me...and I like him as a person, but I'm not sure if I like him, like him, the way that he likes me. He possesses alot of the qualities that I look for in a partner-committed, faithful, understanding, compassionate, positive, respectful, honest, mature, responsible and supportive, but I don't feel the butterflies in my stomache when I'm with him or when I kiss him.

His name is Luis btw, he's 12 years older than me and he's had a crush on me since the moment we met (which was almost 4 years ago)-he never revealed anything until a few months ago. I was a bit reluctant at first to give him a chance, didn't think we had much in common, but now I'm confused. My question is: does love grow with time? I'm still with him because this is what I've been told. Is this true? He possesses most of the qualities that I look for in a partner, not all, but I think our relationship might have the potential to turn into something more. There's just one thing missing-the chemistry, the spark, the love (on my behalf).

I don't want to hurt his feelings or lead him on, should I continue the relationship, or should I move on?

Gena320
 

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It sounds like you see him as a good person and a friend, but aren't attracted to him at a gut level. I'd definitely tell him that you'd rather just be friends ASAP for both of your sakes. I had a girl who wasn't really attracted to me string me along like this in a "relationship" for over half a year, and when she finally ended it, I never forgave her; it did irreparable damage to my self esteem and ability to trust the opposite sex, because the idea that a girl could make herself "pretend" to like me as more than a friend for such a long period of time is so frightening and something I hadn't previously thought possible. You aren't doing him any favors by putting on a happy face if you don't see (or perhaps more accurately, feel) him as relationship material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I'm just confused...can't tell what I really feel. I'm a bit of a human yo-yo emotionally speaking. Most of the time, I just feel like he's a good friend, but once in a while, I feel like there might be something more than just friendship. I like his company and I don't know if I want to go back to being "just friends."

I have no intentions of playing with his emotions or lying to him, I never tell him I love him, I reserve the L word mostly for my family and people that I really, really, really love. I'd like to be upfront about my feelings but I don't know how to open up the dialogue, the lines of communication, without hurting him or sounding dumb.

I think I'll just give our relationship another month to see what happens. I don't know how trustworthy it is to rely on one's feelings in a relationship, feelings come and go...Luis possesses most of the qualities that I look for in a partner, and I can't really ask for anything more.

This whole love thing is hard...and frustrating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences.

Gena320
 

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I sounds that you only got with him because of what others felt would be good for you. So it's been a little while and you write like you should like him but you don't (at least that spark is missing). I would call it quits. If you feel this strongly then I dont think love will ever grow out of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I started the relationship not so much to please my family but to give him an opportunity. When it comes to love, if someone says they are interested in me then I try to give them a chance, just to see what happens, I don't like asking myself later on down the road, the "what if?" question.

Anyhow, of all the relationships that I've been in this one is the only one that seems to be the most promising. I don't understand why I don't feel any sparks, any magic. His positive qualities far outweigh, his negative qualities, and I'm never going to find anyone who meets all of my expectations anyway. I think what probably holds me back from giving him my heart are my doubts, (1) physically speaking he's not my type--but I don't want to focus my attention on his appearance, also (2) I think he wants to have children in the future and I'm not sure if I want to be a mommy yet. He says the most important thing he wants for me is to make me happy, he focuses his attention a lot on meeting my needs, which I value. But with my doubts, insecurities and fears I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely open my heart to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know...but I always thought love was supposed to be followed by some type of a feeling, kind of like a sign. Something inside of you is supposed to tell you that you're in love. Aren't we all embedded with an internal love detector or something?

Maybe we're not...I don't know. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to love.
 

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I think it would be wise to pay attention to your feelings; they are important indicators. If the spark is not there, it may never be. I have been in relationships that lacked any spark and there would always be a niggling doubt in my mind about the person. Eventually you realise the spark is what glues a relationship and makes it special, and without it you can eventually find yourself craving it. You may even fall in love with someone who is not your partner several years down the road and have to finally confront the issue of not being in love with your actual partner.

I recommend taking some space so you can consider the issue and/or meet others to make acquaintances or form friendships. I have found that once you become involved with someone, they take care of certain needs and your life adapts around them such that it can become increasingly difficult to separate from them with time.

An important indicator that there is a spark in a relationship is that you crave the other person and just know that you want to be with them.
 

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I don't know...but I always thought love was supposed to be followed by some type of a feeling, kind of like a sign. Something inside of you is supposed to tell you that you're in love. Aren't we all embedded with an internal love detector or something?

Maybe we're not...I don't know. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to love.
I don't know either to tell the truth, but I can relate to a certain feeling one gets that says this person isn't right for me.

Idk, I guess these little things pile up and damper stuff. I'm always one to think people can talk about their issues but this may be one of those things where you can't? If so, then perhaps you should try and talk to him about it. If you can't, then what other option do you have besides waiting?
 

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Can someone please define "sparks" and "magic" for me? And please don't just say "chemistry".
Sparks. I felt this once. Everytime you look at them you want to kiss them. Seeing them gives you a rush and makes you feel happy inside. When you see them from across the street as you are walking towards eachother, you are happy. Having them touch your hair on your face is the best feeling in the world. You feel this connectivity and you miss them when they are not there.
 

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Sparks. I felt this once. Everytime you look at them you want to kiss them. Seeing them gives you a rush and makes you feel happy inside. When you see them from across the street as you are walking towards eachother, you are happy. Having them touch your hair on your face is the best feeling in the world. You feel this connectivity and you miss them when they are not there.
That's exactly it. Great description.
 

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I think I started the relationship not so much to please my family but to give him an opportunity. When it comes to love, if someone says they are interested in me then I try to give them a chance, just to see what happens, I don't like asking myself later on down the road, the "what if?" question.

Anyhow, of all the relationships that I've been in this one is the only one that seems to be the most promising. I don't understand why I don't feel any sparks, any magic. His positive qualities far outweigh, his negative qualities, and I'm never going to find anyone who meets all of my expectations anyway. I think what probably holds me back from giving him my heart are my doubts, (1) physically speaking he's not my type--but I don't want to focus my attention on his appearance, also (2) I think he wants to have children in the future and I'm not sure if I want to be a mommy yet. He says the most important thing he wants for me is to make me happy, he focuses his attention a lot on meeting my needs, which I value. But with my doubts, insecurities and fears I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely open my heart to him.
I can understand that you wanted to give him (and yourself) the opportunity to find out. Now that you have gotten to know him though your answer seems to be no.

What helps me make a decision when I could say yes to something that I am not sure about is to picture myself 10 years later. It works best when I describe to someone else what I think life would be like. I then usually know whether I want that for myself or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think we mesh well, we have similar plans and goals, we communicate well and we've been developing a cute little relationship based on trust and respect. I'm sure we'd have a stable, happy relationship if we were to get married one day...I just can't seem to put my finger on what's bothering me about this relationship.

I think I need time to think and consider my options/alternatives before I make a permanent decision. I may not feel sparks, but something inside of me doesn't feel comfortable letting him go just yet.

Maybe I'm just forcing things...I feel like I SHOULD feel something for him, even though I don't (like there's something wrong with me). I don't know...
 

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I think we mesh well, we have similar plans and goals, we communicate well and we've been developing a cute little relationship based on trust and respect. I'm sure we'd have a stable, happy relationship if we were to get married one day...I just can't seem to put my finger on what's bothering me about this relationship.

I think I need time to think and consider my options/alternatives before I make a permanent decision. I may not feel sparks, but something inside of me doesn't feel comfortable letting him go just yet.

Maybe I'm just forcing things...I feel like I SHOULD feel something for him, even though I don't (like there's something wrong with me). I don't know...
Take your time. :yes

I have done a lot of things that I felt I SHOULD do. It's definitely not the basis for getting married, I think. Take your time and when you feel that you WANT to and not SHOULD to then get married. If the feeling is strong enough to persist over time then I think you should take it seriously. You owe it to yourself to listen to it. I have learned that is the only important SHOULD and HAVE TO in my life: take decision that are right for ME.
 

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This is a hard one because my boyfriend and I were 'in a relationship' for a year before he admitted that he 'tried to get used to the affection I wanted to give him.' I asked him why it seemed like he was equally happy in the beginning and he said he figured it was just temptation and that he wasn't used to someone wanting and needing him and liking him. So yeah, the damage to your self-esteem is incredible when you realize that for a year someone has just been tolerating you, trying to 'get used to you and your touch and your presence in their life', and that you really made them uncomfortable when the whole time they are asking you to wait, to be patient, telling you they are trying, and to please not give up on them or the relationship. My ex never really wanted to kiss (after the first few months - huge RED flag) that I ignored, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because of his SA... then he eventually (when he broke up with me) said that holding hands and hugging were out too but he still wanted to be 'just friends'.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you don't have any feeling in your heart for this guy, if you just 'like him', tell him that and be friends with him as soon as possible while you can still keep the friendship if he is willing (friendships can last forever, broken 'relationships' almost always have to end)... it is devastating to have hope for a whole year and think maybe things will get better, maybe they will grow or change only to find out you have just wasted a whole year of your life, falling deeply madly in love with someone who would never love you back.

Good luck, please don't think I am judging you because it is obvious you don't want to hurt him and you don't want to get hurt... this was just my experience with this... if it isn't there, it rarely materializes... you can keep someone in your life but you can't make yourself fall in love with them or be attracted to them and you may grow to love them but you may never feel 'in love' with them and really 'want' them the way everyone deserves to feel needed and wanted and truly loved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the heartfelt replies. I tried talking to him yesterday over the phone, it wasn't the first time I told him that I didn't love him, but he insists that it's because I'm not doing my part, I'm not opening my heart the way he's been opening his heart for me. But I honestly don't know if I have more to offer him.

I don't want him to suffer because of me, he's been seriously heart-broken before (in another relationship) and I don't want to put him through that again. I think the problem is that I started this relationship to soon, I should have taken this much more slowly, but I don't seem to be learning my lesson, because it's not the first time I do this.

This is hard...and yes, I do crave the spark. I find myself still looking for it in other men.

This is hard, really, really hard.
 

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Being 'in love' isn't about doing 'your part'... you can't 'try harder to feel something' or will your heart to open or will yourself to love someone. You either do or you don't feel it. Don't let him convince you of that.

You will continue to look for it in someone else - that spark... even if you marry this man - trust me, I've done that too. My first husband was someone I married that loved me unconditionally and he believed that I would eventually fall in love with him and want him.... I didn't --- 8 years later I still was married, unhappy and not in love and craving that spark... don't get me wrong - I was committed, I loved him and we had a good life but it was the way a sister loves her brother not the way a wife should love her husband. He passed away of a hemorrhagic stroke when I was 31 years old so I had another chance.

Warning... the opposite can be true... you can trust that spark too much and get lost in 'the feeling' and not think everything through logically and see warning signs of something wrong... that's what happened with my second marriage. I was so empty and starved for 'the spark' that I jumped at the first one that struck me after my first husband died and ended up in a horribly abusive relationship. So be careful of either extreme.

You have to be honest with yourself and honest with this man and not let him or your family bully you or guilt trip you into being with him. You have really good instincts... to not want to hurt him, to want what you deserve instead of taking what you are offered and to not just take the easiest path of least resistance. You are smart to want to go slower. I think you will make the right choice.
 

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Thanks for the heartfelt replies. I tried talking to him yesterday over the phone, it wasn't the first time I told him that I didn't love him, but he insists that it's because I'm not doing my part, I'm not opening my heart the way he's been opening his heart for me. But I honestly don't know if I have more to offer him.

I don't want him to suffer because of me, he's been seriously heart-broken before (in another relationship) and I don't want to put him through that again. I think the problem is that I started this relationship to soon, I should have taken this much more slowly, but I don't seem to be learning my lesson, because it's not the first time I do this.

This is hard...and yes, I do crave the spark. I find myself still looking for it in other men.

This is hard, really, really hard.
You actually told him that you didnt love him? And he insist that love will grow?

Everyone who is in love wears pink googles... to a degree. But to actually be told that the other is not in love with you and to argue it away by saying 'you are not doing your part' or you have to try harder or whatever is taking the pink goggle thing to kidding yourself.

i dont know you and I dont know him but here is an idea: Could he be someone who craves and desires love but who cheats himself by chasing an ultimately unobtainable love? It is a kind of trap some people set themselves: They want someone badly but they chose someone of whom they know it can never work out with. Then they work really hard at making it work although the writing is on the wall all the time. By now the truth is staring him in the face: You told him.

You said that he was hurt before. What happened there? I am sure you know what he told you happened but could it be that that woman also tried but couldnt love him?

In any case, I dont think you have to feel too guilty. It is painful to hurt someone but he has to take responsibility for himself and stop chasing love where there isnt any.

Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are you referring to obsession? Do you think he's obsessive? That thought has never crossed my mind.

He came to visit me today, we went out today and I observed myself evading his kisses and not wanting to hold his hand. I felt a bit distracted the entire time we were together. I think all of the sexual desire that I had for him at the beginning of the relationship has almost completely diminished.

I don't know what he sees in me to tell you the truth. I've been told that he's shy with women, and that he was hurt in the past, I think that maybe he sees in me someone innocous and innocent; someone who is simple, tranquil and a homebody. I asked him once why his previous relationship ended and he told me that it was because his ex-partner never developed trust in him. She always thought he was out with other women when that wasn't the case at all. He spends most of his afternoons/free time with his family or at my aunt's house. He believes someone in her family just started spreading rumors about him and she chose to believe the rumors instead of believing in him. I get the impression that she never really loved him. But what I don't understand is that, if she never trusted him, why did he propose to her and start planning a wedding. It never made sense to me, but I didn't want to dwell too much in his past or on the topic so I eventually stopped asking questions. Needless to say, he never got married and ended up heart-broken. The relationship lasted a year, he fell in love and needed a great deal of time to overcome his pain. That relationship ended about eight years ago. Eight years later, he doesn't pursue or start any relationships until he meets me. He hasn't had many partners or serious relationships, just that one lady and me. He says now a days you have to look for women with a magnifying glass. He sees me as someone special, someone who makes him happy. He says that all he wants for me is my personal happiness, but I don't think he realizes that I'm not 100% happy with him.

I hope that I made sense. I'll be seeing him tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to be more blunt with him then. Anyhow, thanks for listening.

Gena320
 
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