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Author Topic: He doesn't love me
MeiMei
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So yesterday I told my boyfriend of over six months that I loved him. I've never told anyone that before. Things are good with us -- we have fun, are affectionate, make each other happy, and I thought that he loved me back.
He told me that he didn't know if he loved me. I talked to him about it... and it's not that he doesn't NOT love me (he says), but he doesn't love me. I asked if there's a chance he might someday, and he said he didn't know.
I got really, really upset... and I could tell he felt awful and kept saying he was sorry for hurting me.
He said that he does really care about me and wants to be with me... but the fact remains that I seem to love him and he doesn't seem to feel that way.
This is killing me. I've never felt this way about anyone before, and it hurts so much that he doesn't love me... all signs point to the fact that he does (I thought).
I already had some pretty heavy self-esteem issues and depression and this is making them much worse. I just feel like I'm not good enough to be loved... and maybe no one ever will. I just can't stop hurting about this.
I don't know what to do. We both want to be together, but I'm wondering what the point is if he doesn't love me. I don't know if I can have sex with him knowing he doesn't love me... the idea seems to bother me now (but that could be because I'm really upset).
What should I do? Will this stop hurting so much? Everyone else in a relationship is loved... what is so wrong with me that I can't have that?

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Jordan
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Well I'm not sure if this will help you much but it might do something for you.

Now you say he doesn't "love" you, but he cares alot for you and it will come in time that he will relieze and be more comfortable with that exact phrase. He still cares for you but has mixed feeling like most of us do in our relationships. Just give it a little time. And don't be upset about it ok [Smile] I hope this can make you feel better.

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Life is only what you make it...nothing more, nothing less.

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happy*little*me
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hi Mei Mei.

Your post really got me thinking. I have heard several friends who are in relationships say, "I love him/her.. i really know I do." and then, "DON'T TELL HIM/HER THAT I SAID THIS.. I DON'T WANT HIM/HER TO KNOW." The issue of love can become tabboo in relationships, with people being afraid to tell their partners what they are feeling. I think that you should feel really proud that you had the confidence to tell your partner how you feel.

This brings me to what happened with you, after you told your partner how you felt. The thing with telling someone that you love them is that it can sometimes feel like a gamble. With my current relationship, my boyfriend told me that he loved me really early on, and i felt OBLIGATED to say that i loved him too (my feelings did end up matching to my words though as we continued our relationship). I think that it is really incredible that both you and your boyfriend were able to be HONEST with each other. I mean, you wouldn't have wanted him to say that he loved you when he wasn't sure..

The thing is that everyone defines love in different ways..and that everyone has a different comfort level with phrases like 'i love you.' if your boyfriend treats you well, and you enjoy being with him, and the relationship is generally good (or great), then i think that it is OBVIOUS that he does care about you. I mean, why would he be with someone that he doesn't want to really be with? Just because he doesn't say 'love' doesn't mean that he has no feelings for you and doesn't really really really care about you.

However, you have to be comfortable with the relationship for it to continue. I nor anyone else can tell you to stay in a relationship that you don't feel comfortable with. And you should DEFINITELY not have sex with him if you now feel uncomfortable with the idea.

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greenapp1es
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My boyfriend also told me that he loved me early onto the relationship...long before the feeling was completly mutual. I usually responded to this with a "thank you" or something of the like. I didn't want "I love you" to simply be a response, and that if I was going to say it in my first relationship I wanted to to be a honest description of how I felt...so I held off on saying it back until I did so. My boyfriend did appreciate the honesty in the end, but I know he probably did feel a bit vunerable for a while while his heart was on the line and I was still figuring out all of what was going on.

That said, I did know and did tell him that I probably would love him...as I cared deeply enough for him that this was very conceivable...and this occured much much earlier in our relationship than you are describing. I just needed time to figure out exactly what I WAS feeling, and he was very good at giving me the time I needed to do so.

I second what was said by happy*little*me. Just because he hasn't said love as the word doesn't mean he doesn't care for you very deeply and in a very real way. And for different people love can mean different things...it is possible he hasn't identified that feeling yet...or that it even if it isn't there it won't come. That said, as said before, you have to be comfortable in your own relationship. If you are looking for love in return, try having a conversation where both of you put out your long-term goals for the relationship and see how compatible they are. Once you know what each other is looking at, you can decide how the two of you want to continue to develop your relationship or otherwise proceed.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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quote:
I'm wondering what the point is if he doesn't love me.
....yet.

It takes different people different time to get there. To boot, that word means so many different things to so many different people, that our individual baggage with it can make a big difference in how comfortable we are voicing that, when, and what feelings we do associate with that word. What some of the other posters have shared here should be really helpful to you in understanding some perspectives on this.

(For instance, I've often been far more cautious in using that word with romantic partners than friends expressly because I know the weight it is given by many people is greater than the weight I give it: I don't think of romantic love as higher than any other kind.)

quote:
I don't know if I can have sex with him knowing he doesn't love me... the idea seems to bother me now (but that could be because I'm really upset).
And given he's someone who seems to care for you -- to the degree, in fact, that he was willing to be honest even in saying something he had to know wasn't what you wanted to hear -- I don't see why he'd object to you saying you needed/wanted to hold off on that until such a time as he DOES feel he loves you.

That's totally valid.

quote:
Everyone else in a relationship is loved... what is so wrong with me that I can't have that?
When you said you loved him, was it all about expressing love for him, or was some -- or a lot -- of it about saying that in hopes he'd fill YOUR need?

It's okay if it's the latter, that's often the case for a lot of people, and it's safe to say it's going to be the case to some dgree most of the time for most people.

But being loved by someone, and loving someone, really can't be about filling a void you have in yourself, which is some of why some people ARE reluctant to use that word or to decide too quickly for them that what they feel is love.

Your esteem issues are separate from this, and you've got to deal with those yourself: someone loving you won't fix them (which hopefully, you already know) nor is it sound to use love as a balm for them. Whether or not someone loves you -- and I am sure you DO have people in your life who do -- or who will say they do doesn't make or break your value. You're JUST as valuable without that as you are with it.

And until you know that, actually, you won't really even be able to truly feel someone's love or care for you.

[ 04-26-2006, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
italiana23
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i think im allowed to post over here right ?sorry if im not .. but i just wanted to add something

quote:
Your esteem issues are separate from this, and you've got to deal with those yourself: someone loving you won't fix them
I HAD bad self esteem until me and my boyfriend started going out, he told me he loved me all the time and it made me so much more confident to do more things .. so i think youre wrong there .. but i dont know i just wanted to add that.
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Heather
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Well, long-term study and practical experience in that arena doesn't really support that, italiana.

When the boyfriend leaves, or if the boyfriend suddenly says he DOESN'T love you...will your esteem stay the same? In other words, has that really changed it, or is it a band-aid while it's there only?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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September
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You know that saying, "You cannot love someone else until you love yourself"? It really is totally true.

If you're not stable in who you are, it's going to make a stable relationship with anyone else really difficult. A partner isn't meant to act as a therapist, and if one brings issues into the relationship that really need not be there, then it puts an unnecessary strain on that relationship.

Miz S is right. Feeling good about yourself because someone else thinks you're great is a wonderful feeling. But if you need that other person to feel that way, then you haven't actually learned to love yourself. And you're ultimately going to crash badly when that person isn't around anymore.

[ 05-05-2006, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: September ]

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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oceansize
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quote:
Originally posted by italiana23:
i think im allowed to post over here right ?sorry if im not .. but i just wanted to add something

quote:
Your esteem issues are separate from this, and you've got to deal with those yourself: someone loving you won't fix them
I HAD bad self esteem until me and my boyfriend started going out, he told me he loved me all the time and it made me so much more confident to do more things .. so i think youre wrong there .. but i dont know i just wanted to add that.
I wouldn't agree with you. Personally, I "had" low self-esteem until I met my boyfrfiend three years ago. He frequently complimented me. That did lead me to feel confident, but honestly it doesn't, as I realized. I'm a real pessimistic person, so I assume he compliments me because he's... simply my boyfriend. I still have really low self-esteem and gawd, it hurts.
And in relation to September's post, it really makes a relationship difficult. (And it makes it so much more difficult if you're a person like me that bottles things up.) And I mean.. I like to hear my boyfriend's compliments, but at the same time I don't want to hear it because I don't find it true and it doesn't help myself.

I apologize to Mei if this seems to be going off topic and not contributing to your post, but it pretty much does. He's not on the same page as you when it comes to love, and you can't stay upset long for that. It's only been six months, so give it some more time.
I know it really hurts to feel the way you are, but if you wondered "what the point is if he doesn't love me?" then you should ask yourself if you're being emtionally dependent on him to give you the better self-esteem issues you had or having.

[ 05-05-2006, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: oceansize ]

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italiana23
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wow .. you guys are totally right . i never lookd at it that way

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the stars don't shine as bright without you <33

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MeiMei
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Thank you so much for all the replies! I'm feeling a LOT better about this than I was when I first wrote this... I'm still feeling a little hurt, but I do realize that he does care a lot about me and I shouldn't put so much value in a single statement.

I do realize that my self-esteem issues are important, and I have been seeing a therapist for the past few months to try and work on this. If I don't have love for myself it's hard to see that other people have love for me... and so I'm trying to at least like myself a little more. (I don't know if that makes sense...)

Reading this feedback has really helped me put this in perspective, as has talking to my friends. Just because he doesn't love me now doesn't mean that he has no feelings for me at all... and he might love me in the future (and if he doesn't, it isn't the end of the world!)

Again, thank you all so much for writing... I really needed to hear from other people! <3

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