I love him, but I’m not ‘in love’ with him. Am I being silly and spoiled?

I love him, but I’m not ‘in love’ with him. Am I being silly and spoiled?

loveI have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for almost two years. He really is a great guy – sweet, thoughtful, kind, funny, agreeable – and we get on well and never fight. We live together and generally it’s great. Only thing is, for some reason I long for something more. While I love him, I am not ‘in love’ with him and never have been.

This is the first serious relationship I have ever had so I am not quite sure what to expect? Maybe I am expecting too much? I am 30 so naturally conversations are turning to marriage and that kind of thing, but as much as I love to spend time with him I am secretly just not sure whether he is ‘the one’ for me. It doesn’t help that we have quite different backgrounds – I work as a doctor while he has an unskilled job. I know my parents (quietly) are not overjoyed with the fact that he comes from a humble background, which is very different from my own.

I know it sounds terrible, and I wish this didn’t affect my feelings, but it does. I am feeling so lost with what to do – I don’t want to end it with him, as he makes me happy, but can’t help but feel there is someone else out there better suited for me? Am I being silly and spoiled? Any advice appreciated. Spoiled

After all the sad, lonely letters we get from women who’d kill to meet a sweet, thoughtful, kind, funny and agreeable guy, yours just makes me sigh. We’ve said it before, but let me say it again: love is hard to find. Good partners who make you happy are hard to find.

You’re clearly not that into him, but I suspect that’s not because he’s not awesome. It’s because you’re a bit of a snob. As are your parents, and you really care what they think – whether you admit it or not.

Your first serious relationship does warrant some soul-searching, sure – but if you were really rapt in this guy, you wouldn’t give a crap about his ‘humble’ background or menial job. None of that matters, in the grand scheme of things. You could be married to a carpenter with a beautiful soul who made you dinner every night and asked about your day and listened to you and loved you unconditionally. Or you could be married to a rich, philandering surgeon or lawyer or accountant who was never home and didn’t care about your hopes and dreams, but looked good on paper and on your arm at social events. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s not about people and where they come from and what they do that’s important. It’s about who they are inside. Their values. How they make you feel.

Also, when we’re inexperienced, it can be so easy to fall into the fairytale trap of thinking that true love equals a 24/7 mad, crazy passion. Trouble with that is, lust isn’t a predictor of longevity – not by a long shot.

I suspect you’ve already made your mind up about this, and if the guy’s talking marriage, he obviously hasn’t a clue how you really feel. So move out. Give him the chance to find someone who considers him a catch – and go looking yourself. Date more. Get the experience you need. Because it’s just not fair pretending everything’s hunky-dory with your boyfriend of two years when you’re having such serious doubts.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

12 Comments

  1. Femmy 5 years ago

    Im curious for an update to this story; how did things turn out, what did you do?!

    I dont think its fair to assume she felt that way because her parents did. I find myself in the exact scenario but no one has a negative opinion of his blue collar background (working on a degree) because I too came from similar upbringing. However, I dont feel that flame after two years either and it has nothing to do with careers. I dont miss him when were away, and dont have a huge desire to get married, ever. For myself (and im leaning towards for the OP), when you’re a strong, (financially and emotionally) independent woman; its difficult to “need” or desire a man with passion. I still dont know why I feel (or dont feel) the way I do but it certainly isnt related to a career path. Ive stayed for two years because I do realize iI would be passing up a great opportunity/man…but I cant help my feelings havent further developed…which is what i suspect the OP is going through but just a guess.

  2. Hot Zone 5 years ago

    How many times my mother wished she locked down that wonderful guy she met earlier in her life and how incredible he was compare to what she has now because she had to settle down with. Of course I wouldn’t of ever been born but would she probably have a better life? Who knows but she felt young and he wanted to get married she didn’t agree so he moved on to start a life with someone else.

    You never know what going to happen in the future and you never know what you got right now because everything is unknown. You might hit the jackpot and get that prince charming for most that never happen. For most all they wish for is a loving caring partner to hold.

  3. Dena 8 years ago

    I agree with Tori (thank you!)! I completely understand where Spoiled is coming from. I’m an aspiring medical student while my ex-boyfriend dropped out of college after a semester and doesn’t work a “fancy job.” He’s a great guy — nice, funny, smart, affectionate… While on the surface it looks like “mismatched social background” for “compatibility,” it really came down to us not sharing values and life goals. It was impossible for me to envision a happy future with someone for whom education, ambition (and along with it, other values that I hold dear) wasn’t important. In addition our mismatched backgrounds did make him a bit insecure, which led to him to talk down about my values, hide things from me, and not being truthful and honest with me…which isn’t good for ANY relationship. We broke up after being together for a year because of the mismatched values, and also because I thought we should both have a fair shot at finding compatible lifelong partners who would adore and love us just as we are. And if we were really meant to be together, we’d end up together in the end anyway, right? He was also my first serious boyfriend; I was 26 at the time.

  4. Tori 8 years ago

    I know thus is old, but shame on you people. She is trying to sum up a 2 year relationship in a paragraph. What she said may be the easiest way to describe how her feelings. It comes down to if you can’t picture living the rest of your life a certain way, change it. It isn’t about finding something better it’s about finding the right fit. Whether it is changing your partner, or less drastic hobbies, city, ect. Just because you like a couple adjectives she used to describe a man doesn’t make him right for every person out there.

    The questions she as well as many women have is, how long do you wait? Is it really that bad? Is this normal?

  5. Dennis 8 years ago

    Symptoms of love but not in love include no interest in getting married and don’t particularly miss the person. I have this problem and haven’t left because I am love her, am not in love with anyone else and we have a great relationship if you discount stale and scant sex. The risk is I fall in love with someone. In the meantime I have told her how I feel and she asked me to stay. We are both much happier together at this point and I stay.

  6. Bron 9 years ago

    There’s someone out there looking for him – if you don’t want him, throw him back in the pond for the rest of us….

    And kick yourself in a few years for not realising what you had.

    The nice guys are far outnumbered by the jackasses

  7. Bubble Girl 9 years ago

    Can I ask . . . if you didn’t have that “first flame” for this guy, what business did you have moving in with him and staying with him for the last 2 years???? If that’s the case, then you have just been wasting his time and keeping him from finding somebody who could be truly happy with him for who he is (including what he does or doesn’t do for a living). And that’s not silly or spoiled . . .that’s selfish.

    I do agree that there has to be some spark that gets two people together, but fireworks don’t last. Sometimes that all consuming, breath-taking, butterflies in the stomach feeling is just drama. And drama isn’t love. It’s just drama. Give me a slow-burning love that keeps me warm over fireworks any time.

    I think to be fair to him you should be honest with him and set him free. My guess though is that one day you will look back – after you’ve dated other men who maybe aren’t as sweet and thoughtful – and regret letting go of someone like him. But hey, as long as mum and dad (and you) are happy with the career choice of whoever you end up with, it shouldn’t be an issue right?

    • Polly 9 years ago

      ‘Give me a slow burning love that keeps me warm over fireworks…’

      Hear, hear.

      • Sim 8 years ago

        What’s slow burning love?

        • Author

          I get it – I think it means love that builds over time until you realise one day that you love the person more than you did at the start… rather than the intense passionate infatuation feeling that can die out just as quick as it starts…

  8. L 9 years ago

    Totally on your side, lady – don’t beat yourself up about the fact that there is something missing for you. You’re not a bad person for wanting to fall in love with your partner. Early passion may mellow into something else, but that first flame can also create a lifetime bond. I recently broke it off with someone I didn’t have strong emotions for, despite his loveliness. I think it’s okay to hold out for someone you feel really strongly about…or at least, that’s what I tell myself!

  9. Lola 9 years ago

    Women marry up; men marry down… or do they? This has been happening since the institution of marriage was defined as such. Feminism questioned that way of thinking, but somehow the old model stuck and still seems to show its ugly face here and there… We tend to be pickier than ever, until we learn the lesson: being picky and snobbish just leads us down a self-deception path.
    Spoiled, you have an individual dilemma here. There’s nothing wrong with your partner (at least from your description of him). There’s nothing wrong with having a menial job or with not having graduated at uni. What is plain wrong is to find fault at someone because they aren’t doctors, lawyers or accountants… From the sound of it, you’re inexperienced for your age, and therein lies the challenge. You still seem to be highly influenced by your parents’ way of thinking, and regardless of what you do about your relationship, you need to address that. Mum and dad aren’t always right, and when it comes to choosing a lifelong partner, you can listen to them for sure, but the final decision should be yours, and yours alone. Therein lies the challenge, your challenge. All the best, Lola.

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