- 6 years ago
Have you (or someone you know well) loved someone but weren’t “in love” with them (had a strong, warm, happy relationship but one that wasn’t very intense, passionate, etc) and gotten married/been in a long-term partnership?
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2.5 years we’re both in our 20s although he is older than me and it’s my first real relationship . We love each other, are great friends, are very affectionate, have a lot of fun together, make each other happy, respect each other, are really compatible in ways big and small, etc. He’s a wonderful person, and my life is better and happier because we’re together. The only issue is that our relationship is and has always been more warm-and-fuzzy-and-comfortable than intense and passionate, without butterflies or sparks even at the begining as we were already friends, were just not that excited about each other!
He’s been ready to get married for awhile now– I’ve been reluctant, partially because I am an extremely indecisive person who agonizes over even small decisions let alone big ones like this, partially because I’ve really struggled with the lack of that intense in-love feeling (which I am mostly familiar with from a series of major crushes– my comfort level with the idea of marrying him has gradually grown, although I still felt somewhat panicky and trapped thinking about actually finalizing the decision in the short-term. (He knows all of this stuff, by the way. He thinks we’re a great couple, and that passion fades and is overrated, and that divorce is a risk worth taking)
on one hand I am ridiculously lucky to have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful guy who wants to marry me. So what if I can think of other things I’d like to have in this relationship but don’t, including feeling really “in love”? There are so many fantastic things about him and us, why on earth would I throw that away to start hunting for someone else who I feel in-love with but who’ll surely be missing some of these other wonderful things? on the other A whole bunch of what-ifs kept jumping up in my brain. I can still feel that gut feeling of rightness about the idea of getting married, but it seems tiny and distant and overwhelmed by this anxiousness and doubt.
And the biggest doubts are around this feeling that this is not what marriage is “supposed” to be like. I’m supposed to be crazy about him. I’m supposed to not be able to imagine myself without him or with anyone else. I’m supposed to want those wedding readings that everyone else has, full of the intensity of love and the amazing joy of getting to spend the rest of your life together, I’m supposed to feel powerfully “in love” with him, not just warm and fuzzy and happy. Part of me is ready to dismiss that as watching too much Hollywood, reading too many love stories. But a little voice says “Don’t kid yourself. You know they’re not just pulling that out of thin air. You’ve seen plenty of smart, real-life people that say that it’s a mistake to stay with/marry someone you love but aren’t “in love” with. It may be over-dramatized in fiction, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a real reason why it’s important to feel that way about your spouse.” And I worry that marrying him would maybe be irresponsible, would be setting him and me and maybe our future children up for a painful divorce, where I should’ve known better because everything in society was telling me I didn’t feel the “right way” and I didn’t listen.
What I really want to know is– do you think, from personal experience, that it’s problematic to marry/partner with someone you’re not “in love” with exactly? If your relationship is good and strong but without a lot of spark? Of course, I would also really really love to hear stories about people who didn’t have that traditional in-love feeling and are still happily with with their partner!)