3 Ways to Deal With Mixed Feelings in a Relationship - wikiHow
Relationships filled with drama and excitement are often confused with love. If you happen to meet someone who has a very conflicted relationship with an ex- partner, (For information about my books, please see my website: your article has made me understand more about how im feeling as I've let. If you're agonizing about whether or not to stay in a relationship, follow these three I'm grateful that my body (and my emotions) won't allow me to stay in a. It sounds like her boyfriend is sending mixed signals, which is so confusing! He wants her to be around, yet wants his space. Sometimes this a normal part of.
This moves passionate love to compassionate love. You're young; if you want passionate love that's nothing to be ashamed of. You can have it. If compassionate love is unappealing to you in a relationship now you should end things with your girlfriend. I only hesitate because I detect so much anxiety in your question. As soon as you can. Be honest about what you are feeling, and be as gentle as your honesty will allow. You need time to figure your life out, she needs the courtesy of not being lied to.
I can't fathom a situation in which "toughing it out" will be fair or useful for either of you. Relationships do take hard work, but forcing yourself to still be in love with someone is not the kind of work you should be doing.
Fallling out of love does not make you a bad person, but pretending to still be in love crosses the line. As almost always is the case, honesty is the best policy here. If those positive feelings don't return, then you need to tell her. As for an explanation: For many men, the "turn off" can be quick and sudden, just as the ability to love many women at the same time, for a long time. Please tell me if I'm doing things that are making you unhappy. However, I don't really understand how science types are measuring attraction so I haven't ready closely and can't pull up the key cites.
She immediately detected that something was off in me, since day one. At the time, the feelings were so new and so intense that I really didn't know how to articulate them to myself, let alone to her.
I also figured that, considering how great our relationship had been, and with the huge roles we play in each other's life, I owed both of us the courtesy to test the waters and see if perhaps things might improve with time.
I know honesty is the best policy--especially at this point--but I'm a proponent of not rocking the boat unless it's really necessary. Like I said, we're both fairly independent and real easy going, and tend to handle our problems on our own. From all I could tell, at the time, this was primarily my problem, and I just needed my time to understand it better, and to fix it.
Only recently have I accepted the possibility that breaking might be the solution. But yeah, she's not unaware that my feelings have changed. We've talked about it a number of times, but the conversations haven't helped elucidate anything. I don't think she knows that I've been considering the possibility of breaking up.
I think she's convinced it's possibly a matter of depression, or some other external, and fixable, dilemma in my life.
This could be a hormonal issue with your histocompatibility. Has your girlfriend started the Pill recently? If so, her hormonal profile could have changed to one you find less pheromonally attractive.
If that's not the case, I would still say wait it out. It could be depression or even something hormonal with you. You could end up making a decision you ultimately regret.
It's only been three months since you started feeling this way, and you have nearly two years of not feeling that way.
It seems like such a sudden change, and that is highly unusual. I'm not sure I'd write it off as the normal waning of limerence. Explore all the physical reasons this might be happening first. If it were me, I would give it at least another three months. Unfortunately we stayed together for another 2 years. Do not do that. If you value the sanity of either of you, find some objective measure to see whether things improve at all and soonrather than hoping feelings will magically change.
It's easy to tell yourself you can wait it out, but if you don't give yourself a deadline up front, you can keep waiting for years in a miserable situation.
Just all around confused about my relationship - relationships resolved | Ask MetaFilter
Did you have plans to be in the same city before your feelings for her evaporated? Did you make concrete plans for your future together?
Most of the young marrieds I know got married after a year or two of courtship. If not, it sounds like the relationship wasn't and isn't compelling enough to continue. That's not to say that it isn't a very special relationship or worth attempting to save. It's just that it's probably not the relationship you want to be in for the rest of your life, despite the fact that it is a very good one. I had a very similar emotional experience to yours. After graduating from college, I moved away for graduate school without concrete plans for our future.
We just assumed that we would always be together, because we worked so well and were so in love with each other. We grew apart so slowly and stealthily that it was a huge shock when he came to visit and I realized I felt no passion for him anymore.
I felt repulsed, as you did. Up until then I'd been a very steady person, but the immense freedom that I experienced after graduating changed me in ways that I could only barely articulate to myself.
I also felt a great deal of pressure to define myself and find my calling. When I asked myself those hard questions, I realized that I didn't necessarily want to be with him for the rest of my life. The guilt I felt at that was the source of repulsion I felt towards being with and around him.
It wasn't that he was any less attractive; it was that I knew it was over and didn't want to face it. We limped along for a few months after that realization, but I fell in love with someone else and broke us up for good. It was messy and we don't speak anymore. I regret handling things that way; I wish I'd been self-aware enough and strong enough to face facts.
It's a tough thing to go through. You're by no means alone, though; many of my friends have gone through the same thing. I haven't seen any long distance relationships survive this sudden lack of feeling. It's been six years since that relationship ended, and I don't regret it. I'll throw out a completely different possibility: What if you're protesting too much, and what if you're pre-emptively withdrawing from her because you can't deal with your own feelings of dependence on her?
What if you're the one who's deeply in love with her, and you're worried it isn't reciprocated? I put it to you that this is one of the most common reasons for dudes wanting to suddenly bail on great relationships, and I don't believe it can be ruled out based on what you've divulged here.
I think young hearts are fickle. Independence is good but it's all a matter of degree. I think some degree of dependency is also necessary in a relationship in order to form a close bond. Because your feelings went cold so fast I'm guessing your attachment wasn't that deep to begin with, and maybe this is why. If you are very independent in general it may also be difficult for you to form deep attachments to people. Do you generally find this to be the case?
Also, if your relationship was mostly easy-going it may not have been very deep. I think a relationship needs both light and heavy moments in order to stick. This would be unfortunate since it has nothing to do with her, but it sometimes happens and there isn't much that can be done. I agree with others that you should break up with her now and save her more pain.
It's been three months and your feelings haven't changed. This kind of sudden, inexplicable falling out of love is one of the saddest things that can happen in a relationship. It's why I think more people should hold off on serious relationships until they're in their mid twenties. It's an admirable protective strategy, but it wasn't voluntary in your case-- I'm not sure it ever is or can be-- and will tend to ruin any relationship that triggers it, just as it's destroying your love affair.
I think it could have been triggered for you and your girlfriend simply by the separation that took place after college, even though that may have been mutually agreed upon and perhaps inevitable.
In technical terms, you have an attachment disorderspecifically, I'd say, inhibited reactive attachment disorder: Inhibited symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. The child is extremely withdrawn, emotionally detached, and resistant to comforting. He or she may push others away, ignore them, or even act out in aggression when others try to get close. Compare this to your description of how you feel about your girlfriend, particularly this paragraph: Lots of therapists specialize in this these days, and with your insight and ability to articulate, I imagine you'd do extremely well with a good therapist.
Being in a life-long relationship is about behaving lovingly even when you don't feel the love, accepting that our feelings play tricks on us, put us in jeopardy, determining to behave with constant love and affection for the rest of your life, not allowing feelings to determine whether or not you will stay.
There are many advantages to committing to a life-long relationship, but it isn't for everyone. Sometimes I wonder in situations like this how much our feelings for another person are a matter of luck. For example maybe the OP was in a weird mood when his girlfriend came to visit that time, which caused him to feel detached.
But what might have been a passing mood was solidified in his brain by mulling over it, feeling guilty, wringing his hands, retracing the same neural pathways until he couldn't get unstuck and it was a permanent change in his feelings. Had he been in a better mood that day when he visited maybe none of this would have happened at all.
Especially if she's holding on because things or you might go back to normal, maybe with her support. I would do the same in her shoes to a point. If you've already talked about all this it's not going to be as much of a shock, and it's likely crossed her mind as well.
Nthing one of the worst things about getting dumped is wondering how long it was in the works. If that's where your heart is, do it kindly as soon as you are able.
I think it's really impossible for most people to keep a close relationship in good shape while this is the mindset and behavior. After the infatuation dies, there is nothing left. Also, I don't think this sounds like the typical "settling into deeper companionship after early-stage infatuation". It's more than that. Really, it's over, your mind and body say so.
Something for you to consider: Also, maybe you like the idea of a SO as a convenience, rather than a partner, and this is your way of reinforcing it. Only you can tell. And, hell, maybe your subconscious just mulled it over and pulled the plug.
Then--and this is important--she deserves whatever space and time she needs to recover from the suckerpunch of your sudden breakup and move on to a new normal without you. If you care for her, please give her that space. It sounds like your own feelings are pretty mixed-up right now, and involving her at all while you sort through them might make this ending even more confusing and painful for her.
If you need to end it, do, but then make the kindest, most decisive exit possible and leave her alone. Sometimes these things happen, and you need to honor your own feelings here if it's time to end it, but don't drag it on for her if you know she is still in love with you. Ending the relationship before we got married we both agree years later was our greatest mistake.
For her she didn't know if she could be "alone" or if she needed to. For me, I was finally not the awkward, shy guy I'd been through high school and college and ladies like me.
We were both so dumb. It could be depression. An attachment disorder seems like a stretch. It could also be garden variety ambivalence. On the surface it seems like a fickle heart, but isn't quite the same thing - ambivalence runs deeper. What you're ambivalent about is up to you to figure out, but start there.
But you guys aren't seeing each other every day and it doesn't appear that your girlfriend is any way needy or overbearing. Sometimes, people can grow apart. Maybe you've changed over the last year and half. Heck, maybe she's changed And of course, there's always the possibility that you're depressed as others have said. But at the end of the day, you may just be experiencing a loss of attraction to your girlfriend and it may never come back.
While I think the end result here could be the end of your relationship, I'm gonna go against what some others have said here I don't think you should break up with her right away. Give it another 2 months.
Actively try focusing on simply having fun with your girlfriend. Try to get back to what first made her attractive to you. Enjoy the times that you don't spend together I don't think you'd be a dick if you broke up 2 months from now.
By giving it another 2 months you're showing respect to what appears to be a pretty dam good relationship and at least giving it a shot to get back to where things were I'll go further to say that in 50 years from now, all the physical attraction in the world isn't going to be what keeps you together with your wife.
What to do when your relationship is stressing you out
He doesn't want to be with me, but doesn't like the idea of not having me in his life, but isn't capable of actually being a good friend to me right now, and I'm still in love with him but I'm so terribly angry at the bullshit he's put me through over the past several months Don't be like us. If you can't see yourself regaining those loving feelings for her, and FAST, break up right now. Under no circumstances should you try to be friends until a significant amount of time has passed, so that you both have a chance to heal and move on.
I hope things end up better for you than they have for me I wish you both the best of luck. Not having any fights isn't a sign of things going well; it means you haven't achieved meaningful intimacy or taken emotional risks. Maybe one or both of you held back for a good reason.
But be watchful of this tendency in future relationships. Nobody can tell from reading your post that you have attachment disorder. IANAD but attachment disorder is a specific condition caused by childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse. You are obviously not feeling attached to your girlfriend right now but that is well within the bounds of emotional health. In fact, growing out of someone or out of a limited relationship is a sign that you are growing emotionally.
Above all, trust yourself. I think your soul is trying to get an important message through here. After about 18 months together, I went overseas for two months, and when I came back, the attraction was totally gone.
Even though I had been missing him right up until I stepped off the plane, in person was different. Partly I think I noticed the annoying things about him more after a period of absence, and partly I had got a bit more used to being on my own, and his presence felt a bit more invasive than it used to.
I just wanted to be alone. And I was, happily, for a year or so after that, once I broke up with him. Looking back, we were totally wrong for each other, so it was the right decision. A loving relationship is a two-way street.
Both parties must be committed to learn what each other really wants and needs and then be willing and happy to provide it. Hoping another person will love us the way we want seldom works, and often leads to confusion and sadness. Deciding to address relationship confusion is an important first step.
It can create the energy to close and fix the perceptions around confusion, or it may be the action that ultimately ends a relationship that would never meet yours or the other's needs.
Each of us needs to decide for ourselves what we want and will accept, and understand that we can only control what we think and do. Enjoying a relationship to the fullest requires two people taking care of each other's needs. Action Here are some coaching tips to address relationship confusion: Validate why you want this relationship. Emotions are powerful, and they can blind us. Sometimes we want what we can't have, without understanding why we really want it.
What are the top three things this person provides for you? If you're struggling to list them, perhaps you're not sure why you want this relationship, and that can be a source of relationship confusion. To benefit from a relationship you must be clear and have evidence of what this relationship provides you. If the relationship is not providing you anything, then are you really in a relationship?
Clarify the type of relationship. Relationships fall on a continuum from new acquaintances to friends, dating, dating with intimacy non-exclusive, dating to exclusive, partnership, to even marriage. Sometimes confusion happens because the parties are not aligned on this continuum, didn't talk about it, or made assumptions. It's best to be clear and set boundaries and expectations.
Get agreement on where you are, and if you'd like to be further along the continuum, discuss the milestones required to move to the next step. Seek clarity on relationship gaps. One way to resolve relationship confusion is to ask your partner to have a conversation to seek clarity on what you're confused about. Make your concern clear and what you want to happen to resolve this confusion.
If the other person isn't open to listen to you and how you feel confused and help you sort through it, then you most likely are not in a real relationship. If this is the case, you haven't lost a relationship; you've gained an opportunity to seek clarity and to decide what you want to do with this information.
Bill Howatt is the chief research and development officer of work force productivity with Morneau Shepell in Toronto.