A Reader Writes…
My boyfriend says he hasn’t fallen in love with me yet even though it’s been almost a year since we first met.
After reading your book, ILYBINILWY, I realize that what he is missing is the Limerence feeling, which is what he equates to “falling in love”. The reason why I think this is because I had asked him once what made him fall in love in the past, and he said it was the cutesie things they did (even though he tells me I’m cute all the time). He said that he used to fall in love very easily when he was younger but the last time he fell in love it took several months. The thing is, we already have the Loving Attachment part down, where we’re very physically affectionate, support each other, and will go the extra mile for each other.
We also give each other tender looks often but I will also try the Limerence exercise given in the book. Do you have any other suggestions? We are also together practically 24/7 outside of work, which may be affecting it? Is it possible to go get the Limerence feeling after we’re already in the Loving Attachment phase?
It sounds like you’ve got the makings of a great relationship, so what’s stopping him falling in love?
It could be something to do with him – perhaps he’s been badly hurt and finds it hard to trust again. Maybe his parent’s marriage was a disaster and he’s frightened to let go and allow himself to fall in love because it will only lead to pain and misery (and if you don’t love you don’t get hurt). I know he’s fallen in love before but when you are – for example only sixteen – it is ‘safer’ to let go because it’s not really likely to lead to marriage, kids and a life time together.
Perhaps this explains why he’s finding it harder to fall in love as he gets older and relationships become more serious. (If this is the case, his ‘inability’ to fall in love could be a complement as it suggests that he has deep enough feelings to be scared and holding back.)
Next, the problem could be something about you. It sounds like you’re working really hard at this relationship and clinging on with two hands. Once again, this has its roots in childhood pain but instead of telling yourself ‘I’ll be cool and not get too close’, this version says if ‘I get really, really close, he’ll never leave me and I will finally feel safe.’ Unfortunately, that can seem a bit claustrophobic to other people and they pull away (which causes panic and working even harder.)
Does it sometimes feel that you can never quite get enough intimacy and that other people keep on letting you down? I explain more about why intimacy is something that we crave but fear and the different coping strategies in my book ‘Are you right for me?’ Seven steps to getting clarity and commitment in your relationship.
Finally, and most probably, it is a mixture of both of you. Certainly, I wonder if you’re spending too much time together. You need a balance between ‘us’ and ‘me’ time and maybe a little distance/ independence will help him be more aware of his feelings and allow him to tip over from cool love into passionate love.
I am going through a similar situation. I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 and a half months now, and I already have fallen in love with him. Things were going great and he would go the extra mile for me. Do everything you think a guy in love does. Someone who really cares about you. But recently he dropped this bomb on me that he doesn’t think this related will go any further than this because his feelings haven’t developed into love yet. We live 3 hrs away from each other so we have only been meeting over the weekends. Everything was going great, we are compatible, want similar things in life and I genuinely thought, through his actions that he loves me too, but is just giving it time, because he doesn’t want to rush into it. But obviously I was so wrong. On probing him further he said it’s hard for him to love people, and I don’t think he’s really ever been in love. He’s 32, and the longest he’s been in a relationship is 2 yrs. But he still doesn’t think he really loved her. I am heartbroken and torn between letting it go and moving on or telling him it needs more time. Because what we have is incredible. And I can see in his actions he really cares for me. What should I do?
Andrew G. Marshall says
I would ask him about his mum and dad and what lessons they have given him about love. It will probably be at the heart of why he can’t fall in love. When you’ve listened, ask him if he wants to spend the rest of his life avoiding love? He might consider going into therapy and healing the legacy from the past. If not, I would read all about ‘attachment theory’ – which I cover in my book ‘Wake Up and Change Your Life’ – because he sounds like he has either fearful or more likely dismissive attachment. You can then make an informed choice about what to do next.
I’m going through something similar my boyfriend of 8 months says he never fell in love with me his 38 n I’m 27 we see mostly on weekends cause his work schedule and he had a divorce that was bad they was together for 12 but she cheated and did a lot of things and now its like his going through a depression cause he says sometimes he just wants be alone. At this point I’m trying to decide between trying to work it out and see what happens cause now it just not me and him it’s his kids and mine involved but at the same I’m like is it worth it
Andrew G. Marshall says
Try talking to him and finding out if he can listen to you (without closing down or getting angry). Does he truly want to sort this out or is he going to just push you away? Maybe he is too hurt from his last relationship to be available to fall in love?
I’ve been with this guy for 10 months and he told me he can never fall in love again and it’s not me. Deep in my heart I think I’m in love with him already so I want to give him more time. But I’m afraid the more it drags the more I will get hurt. What should I do? It seems like hiss past relationships made him loose the faith in love.
Andrew G. Marshall says
How much time are you prepared to give him? Remember, you have a few key years to find a guy, fall in love and have children. Don’t waste the most important ones with someone who is not available for love (or prepared to look into sorting this problem out).
I am in this situation but on the other side of it. I would really appreciate some feedback and I think I’ll buy the book too. Basically, my boyfriend and I are great to each other, work really well together, and treat each other with a lot of love and respect. Unfortunately I’m not passionately in love with him. It makes me feel at peace to have him around but I don’t desire him or crave touching him the way I did when I was in love as a teenager or in college. Before this relationship I was seriously hurt by my last partner, I mean soul shattering hurt. But I thought that if I put in my absolute best effort to build something healthy and happy that the falling in love would come naturally. Something inside me won’t go there anymore and I don’t know how to beat it
Andrew G. Marshall says
If your soul was shattered (which in my book is even more profound than having your heart broken), you are going to put up a shield because you’re into much pain to let any one close in case they trample on the pieces of what’s left. It sounds like you have some work to do repairing yourself after your break-up. It seems time and another man are not enough. You need deeper work. I would suggest talking about it to a therapist. I think it will be money well spent. If you’re thinking of getting some of my books… have a look at Heal and Move On.