Falling out of love?

Toshiya

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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Sorry guys, this is a loooong post, didn't realise it was going to be an essay till I wrote it!

So, I've been with my boyfriend about 2 years now and we've lived together for the past 1. For the most part it's been the best time I've ever had, I've had a really good couple of years, graduating from uni and getting my new job etc.[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]However, over the past few months I've had the odd niggling doubt that he is who I want to spend my life with. It has usually gone away within a few hours and when he's come home from work I've been happy to see him etc. We've got all the plans in place - we'll buy a house by next year, get married in 2020, have 1 child (he wants kids and I don't really so this was a kind of compromise) and probably stay where we live now (Cumbria) forever.[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I've just been away for a week with the air cadets (I am a staff member) and met some amazing people on the way. Having a couple of conversations with people in the week has made me doubt everything I've got planned in. Firstly, the more I think about it the more I don't want any children, and I would regret it if I had one just as a compromise. He wants kids and I don't want to take that from him so this is the first doubt - are we compatible with what we want from life?? I had a conversation with another lady during the week who said that as much as she loves her kids, she never really wanted any and if she could go back and do it all again she and her husband wouldn't have any. I don't want to end up like that. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Secondly, I spent the week abroad among some people not much older than me that wanted to move out there and had all these exciting plans for their lives. This made me realise I definitely don't want to be in Cumbria forever (I already suspected as much). We live in the middle of nowhere, which my other half loves, but I hate it, and would love to move back somewhere more buzzing. I might even want to move abroad, and if I had to pick somewhere, I'd probably move out to Gibraltar, which he would hate. Again it's making me wonder if we are long term compatible with what we actually want from life. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]So I started really thinking about whether or not we're compatible and thought about having a conversation with him about it all. Then I thought about what I would do if he said he'd rather be with me without a child and not in Cumbria than lose me for those things, and it got me thinking, do I want to be with him even if these issues weren't a thing?[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I think I'm bored. We've settled into this routine and my life is SO boring, and when I talked to these other people they all just seemed to have so much passion for life. I've just been away for a week and I didn't miss my other half at all, or daily life really (I know, who misses their jobs anyway...) but I thought I'd at least be quite happy to be home. And I'm not. I think what has made it worse is when I was out there, I met someone I 'clicked' with. Nothing has happened but a few conversations and smiles etc but this is the first time I have let myself even look at someone else since I got together with my boyfriend - before I've been entirely uninterested in anyone else. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]After all the thinking I've done over the past few days, when I got home earlier and my other half put his arms round me and said he missed me I just felt horrible saying I'd missed him too. We've done all the promises that we'll be together forever, and all the plans. I care about him too much to just up and leave, after we've started renting our house together, bought all the furniture etc (and a cat!) without warning from me (as I obviously haven't told him all of this yet as it is a recent development). But if I'm already doubting it 2 years in how am I going to feel 20 years in? I don't know if I am reluctant to break up with him because I do want to be with him and I love him, or whether I just don't want to have to go through all the pain of sorting out the stuff and the house and hurting him during the breakup. He's a great guy he just doesn't excite me anymore and I feel guilty whenever he is affectionate towards me because I don't want to cuddle... or anything else really.[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]I've asked my friends and they've all said to stick it out a bit longer and see how I feel, maybe it is just a blip and I'll sort myself out. But I really haven't felt this bad before. One of my friends has had the same sort of thing happen - she went on holiday for a couple of weeks without the guy she thought was 'the one' and realised something must be wrong when she hadn't missed him at all. They broke up and she's happier now on her own. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]So, have any of you been through a similar thing? What did you do, stay or go? If you stayed how did you fix and if you went do you regret it? That is probably my biggest fear - that if I go, a few years down the line I'll be sad and lonely and kicking myself that I let him go... but the way I'm feeling right now, if I just stay as I am I'm going to explode.
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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]If you haven't been through a similar thing then any thoughts are still appreciated. When my friend went through a similar crisis my advice to her was to leave her other half. But we are all terrible at following our own advice after all. [/FONT][/FONT]
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Edit: I should also say we've JUST signed a 6-month extension on the housing rent, so if we do call it a day soon then one of us will be paying 2 sets of rent or it'll be an awkward house share for 6 months. Which makes it so awkward...
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Shu

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Well I'm by no means the Dr. Love. I've been in relationships since I was 19, so I have a little experience in that department. I guess if you are looking for validation in terms how you feel with him, I think it's a little hard for anyone "forumer" to give you that due to personally not knowing the either of you.

As far as your personal feelings though, I think honestly re-evaluation in relationships is always a good thing. I know people who planned everything to a T from relationship, to marriage to kids, to well... you know where I'm going with this. I don't think life is meant to be planned. What you are experiencing is by no means unnatural, but advice I can only give seldom.

Before doing the things I am about to mention, take into account his feelings:

1) Has he been good to you?
2) Does he express interest in marriage or talk about the future with you in it?
3) Does he go out of his way to surprise you often?

Sometimes relationships just need a little jolt and things are back on. Though I will say, there are many cold people in the world who will not treat you as well as "said" person. It sounds like you have a good thing, but again, re-evaluation is healthy. So on to what I can advise you.

1) If by being away from him for periods at a time, you don't miss him.. that could be a sure sign you might have fallen out of love.
2) If you are both going separate ways in life, and one person's life might mean the other one's loss of a dream, then I'd say it might be time to be serious.
3) If you look at the person and are truly just sick of said person, then don't hurt the poor guy. If you aren't in it like he is, it's a little worse to leave him hanging. (I know from both ends)
4) At the very best, be happy. Though just remember it takes a journey to get there. If you feel you are missing out because other people are doing fun stuff.. make sure you are founded and happy before you indulge.
5) Lastly be capable to always be self supported. If you are only looking for a way out because you met another person, well there is always a "what if."

Hope for the best Charlotte.

Take it easy.
 

Linnaete

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So in summary you have slowly come to this realisation that you and your boyfriend may be a little incompatible. You both have rather conflicting outlooks that may be a challenge for either of you to compromise on, you feel that spark in your relationship fade and you express a degree of guilt that you couldn't be sincere to him in response when you returned home from a trip abroad.

I'm not too sure at this juncture what I can suggest, though I can categorically say that you will eventually have to open up these feelings to him and appraise him of what's on your mind. I guess you just have to remember that intimate relationships naturally do have these moments when they ebb and flow. It doesn't currently feel right, but it's not necessarily a sign that it's about to give away and come to an irreversible end somewhere around the corner. Though if you hold off on telling him about your feelings, you'll inevitably just be bottling up more and more guilt the more you hide things from him, and further denying the opportunity for a much-needed two-way dialogue between the pair of you. It's not giving your boyfriend the clue and the opportunity to try and steer the ship straight from his end. Even if you both can't reconciliate some of these critical differences in outlook for the future, you can at least be assured that you both put up a frank and honest fight for the relationship, even if the result isn't the happiest one.

So essentially, it could be a lull. I don't feel you're at a stage when you can yet come to any full and wholly informed decision about whether to end it or not, because like I said, it does seem like your significant other is still left in the dark about all this. So I guess what you can also do is take a little bit more time to fully think about how you feel about the relationship as is. Thoroughly assess on your end how you would categorise the current situation. Is it truly a situation where you question your commitment to him at this present time, but you understand there is still value to the relationship that you don't know whether to let it go or not? Or do you think you are still committed to him and perhaps just need a bit of extra motivation to jump start the relationship out of this potential lull? Or are you genuinely concerned that there is no way out of this?

On my end, my situation isn't quite the same as yours, but I suppose the general gist of it is in somewhat similar territory. As some people here are probably aware, my boyfriend and I are in one of these "long distance" relationships (we're still in the same country, so comparatively speaking, it's not exactly as long distance as others) and have been for quite a while. I love the dynamic between us and I would never exchange it for anything in the world; we often take the piss out of each other and compliment each other's eccentricity. We naturally communicate as often as we can, but we live in different cities, have different goals in life and for practical reasons it's been hard for us to physically meet up as our busy lives govern the fact that we're both rooted in the different parts of the country we're in. Truth be told, it does keep me up at night. On a regular basis I do wonder about the long term viability of this relationship. My heart is up here in the North of England, so should I head down to London, which is a place that I have no connection with? We've had heart to hearts about this, but for the time being we only have this mutual short-term desire to keep things as they are, work our way up our respective career ladders and y'know, hope we settle down eventually and be physically together again on a permanent basis?
 

Toshiya

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Thanks for the responses guys.
Shu - in relation to some of the points you made, it is the thing about not missing him that makes me think it may be a problem with my feelings and not just with where we are heading in life being different. Though that obviously needs some kind of conversation - and I think I'm leaning towards talking to him about the kids and location situation sooner rather than later because it is consuming me - I am sitting at work unable to concentrate because of all of this. I don't think I'm 'sick' of him as such - I just feel guilty when I look at him more than anything, for even entertaining the idea that maybe I don't want to be with him any more... I don't *think* I'm looking for a way out just because I met someone else - that relationship wouldn't be a very easy one anyway - it's more a case of whether I'd be happier on my own for now, free to meet other people and live a bit more out of my routine.


Liv - it was quite a sudden realisation really. Before this last week I've always thought I'd be happy staying in a cosy life in Cumbria forever and having a child - until last week I was sort of reminded that I don't want to do that...
the spark is gone, but I know that for the most part in relationships the spark doesn't last forever. The spark went a while ago but we could still enjoy each other's company etc, but now I just feel uncomfortable - this is the part where I don't know if there's just a bit of a lull that will go away, or if that's it for us and it's unrecoverable.

Overall I am mostly worried that if I feel like this now, even if we get over it and are happy again for a while, what if in 5 years time when we're married and we've bought a house I feel it again? It'll be a lot harder to get out, will cause a lot more pain, and we'll have both put a lot more time and effort into it.
I know I am only young, and that if we break now I am not 'past-it' so still have a good shot at settling down before I hit 40, but I do also worry that if I call it quits then I'll never find anyone else I want to be with either and will end up regretting that I ended my 'good enough' relationship in search of something better that never materialises.
 

Lirael

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I actually think you should break up with him. Regardless of how you feel, you are both very different and your differences are incompatible.

I have never wanted children either so I can understand where you're coming from on this one. Personally, I don't this is something you can compromise on. One child consumes your life just as much as two would! You'd have to sacrifice your career, your money, your free time, your health (women can become crippled through childbirth in extreme cases!). 99% of the time, the women have to make the sacrifices; it is very easy for men to want children, and then to live as they did before children. Do. Not. Compromise. Do NOT have children you don't personally want. It isn't fair on you because it'll mean giving up the life you want - and it isn't fair on the child, who will be able to sense that they are unwanted. My mother never really seemed that keen on spending time with me and I firmly believe she would have preferred life without me. She is career focused and, because she works very hard, she likes to choose exactly what she does in her free time - which meant she did not take me to see friends at the weekend, and she never took me to theme parks or children's events. When I tried to hug her, she'd push me away because she just wanted space. She didn't enjoy helping me with homework or anything, and she didn't really have the emotional energy left to support me when I went through the typical teenage problems emotionally. Obviously, I am very glad to be alive, but it's pretty upsetting to be born to a parent who resents spending time with you. I would not want to make a child feel that unwanted - but I also know I'll feel tremendously unhappy if I have to make the sacrifices I wish my mother had made for me.

Furthermore, I don't think you two can compromise on the living arrangements. Life in Cumbria is vastly different to life in a city and neither you nor he should be forced to live in an area which will make you unhappy. I could NEVER live in the city and absolutely adore the middle of nowhere, so my future partner needs to feel the same way. I wouldn't even want to live in a city for a year! I did during University and it was the most depressing time of my life because I couldn't see fields, mountains or trees when I looked out of the window, and I am used to seeing horses when I walk down the road! I imagine your boyfriend is much the same. If he has fallen in love with Cumbria, he should stay there because city life will probably be stressful and depressing for him. If he chooses to move elsewhere, he may resent it, and then he may end up feeling the way you do now.

Perhaps you are starting to feel meh towards him because you are thinking about the long-term future and you have realised that you are incompatible. This is more than just a 'blip' with the perfect potential partner. This is a 'blip' with a man who is incompatible.

You will meet someone else - and so will he! Leave whilst you feel in the right place. Don't wait to fall in love again because you're setting yourself up for more pain.

In terms of renting a room, could you ask a friend to move in, or could he ask a friend to move in?
 
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Paddy McGee

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Here's my two cents, if you'll have them.

Incompatibility is a mountain that, in all honesty, relationships struggle to climb. The aspects that you and your partner seem to differ just happen to be two of the most
important things in a relationship; where to live, and whether or not to start a family.

In my opinion, the two of you have ideas of life that don't necessarily match up. You can get over this hump, reassert your love and then... What? Having a child is a huge bomb on a relationship. The changes children cause on a dynamic that people just can't predict. The changes on your body, your whole life; do you really want that?

Living in an area you don't want to, while maybe not as big an issue as having children, could cause resentment and anger. Think about the pro's and con's: is the relationship worth the years of your life which you'll miss out on(if it ends later), living in an area which you don't want to?

Falling in and out of love is part of life. Sometimes people will fall out of love with you, sometimes they'll be taken from you by unforeseen circumstances and sometimes, you fall out of love with them.

And, also, sometimes a break is what's needed to gain clarity and reaffirm love. People breakup and get back together all the time, who knows?

Overall I am mostly worried that if I feel like this now, even if we get over it and are happy again for a while, what if in 5 years time when we're married and we've bought a house I feel it again? It'll be a lot harder to get out, will cause a lot more pain, and we'll have both put a lot more time and effort into it.
I know I am only young, and that if we break now I am not 'past-it' so still have a good shot at settling down before I hit 40, but I do also worry that if I call it quits then I'll never find anyone else I want to be with either and will end up regretting that I ended my 'good enough' relationship in search of something better that never materialises.
Look... at the end of the day, is "good enough" really worth it? Do you think "Good Enough" is worth living life the way you want, enjoying life how you want and the chance of finding someone who is truly compatible with you? Do you want force a circle into a square shape? Can you circle turn into a square?

I completely understand the opportunity cost here, I understand how hard it is to end whats familiar for something that's very different, I understand what it's like to be on both ends of this issue. I've broken relationships with people who've meant the world to me. I was willing to uproot my whole life for my last long term relationship, and she still ended the relationship. Of course there are regrets and sadness there, but there's also hope and change. All of ended relationships I've been through, the breakups and dumpings, have make us who we are.

The fact is, is that we don't know what's going to happen in the future. We're stepping into pure darkness. Breaking up with your partner could be the best thing to happen to you; it could be your renaissance. What's worse to think about: The taken chance, and failure, ovr the untaken chance and the unfulfilled potential? Regrets are part of life. Whichever you decide, you will have regrets. Which regrets are worth it is one of the key points in life.

I really, honestly, truly think you should sit down and list out what you want from life, figure out if you're getting it and evaluate. After you have, discuss with your partner, see what can be done. At the end of the day, the one who is responsible for your happiness and life is, well, you. Nobody else can make this decision for you, nobody else should make this decision for you.
 

Toshiya

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Especially the very honest opinions!
I've actually sat down and spoken to him about stuff now. Mainly these two things;

Incompatibility is a mountain that, in all honesty, relationships struggle to climb. The aspects that you and your partner seem to differ just happen to be two of the most
important things in a relationship; where to live, and whether or not to start a family.

In my opinion, the two of you have ideas of life that don't necessarily match up. You can get over this hump, reassert your love and then... What?
I actually think you should break up with him. Regardless of how you feel, you are both very different and your differences are incompatible.
I've asked him to really, really think about our two main incompatabilities over the next few months. My feelings of 'oh my god I don't think I want this any more' have definitely settled down a bit since I got back from my holiday, I think I just got a bit restless out there and felt almost guilty for enjoying myself. But I guess every day can't be like my holiday and I am quite happy at home. That said I am aware we still might not get over it all. But I have agreed to give it a few months to see how things go.
When I spoke to him about children and living locations initially he said that he would rather be with me, and not have children, than split up, and the same with the living thing - he said he's open to moving in a few years time when we have job experience, etc. A compromise, like living perhaps in the outskirts of a city, is probably something we'd both be happy with.
But something still doesn't feel right - like I said I'm trying to give us both time to think about it all - I just don't think he's thought it through enough and there's still a nagging doubt that, 5 years down the line, we'll be married and he'll tell me he's not happy because he wants children. Although he said to me he would rather be with me than have children, when I asked him, if he was with someone else, would he want children - he said he didn't know. So I feel like I'm asking him to give up stuff that I am not willing to compromise on, but I am expecting him to - and I'm just not sure that's the right thing to do in the long term, no matter how much he protests that he doesn't mind what he has as long as he is with me.
For now I'm just trying to enjoy the time we have right now, whilst we still think about the long term, and before we come to a decision. I'm quite glad I've given him some sort of warning though. If we do call it a day in a few months time, at least we can both say we tried, and it won't be a bolt out of the blue like Shu and Livi both mentioned further up.
 

GothicSyn

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This may not wind up making much sense, and seeing as you've already spoken to him that pretty much covers my main piece of advice.

But in terms of what you're saying I kinda get because having been in only 2 what people would consider long term relationships. I get where you are coming from my first was 4 years with one child, and ultimately broke down because ( a ) we were too young and I was far too stupid and focused on the wrong things and ( b ) we didn't talk when our relationship started failing where we should have (All the above is kinda pointless to what I may or may not get at.

My current relationship just hit the 12 year mark, and we have had our ups and down, some of which have actually been quite brutal at times. We have 2 kids and have just moved which has hit a hard reset on things for us, so we have settled down again. But it was getting messy, and there are days I wake and wonder why I still do this (both of us long agreed that we wont hold together for the kids, it isn't fair on them. It does however make simple choices harder). There are patches when we both wonder if we still love each other or simply continue because we are just plain used to it. Neither us wants to get married we both agree we don't need a piece of paper to prove we love each other, and we aren't exactly traditional on most fronts anyway. We have engagement rings but it'#s symbolic to us rather than an actual prelude to marriage.

But here's the thing the thought of not being with her actually hurts, honestly I don't see me without her and I definitely do not see anyone else in my future should the worst happen. Life seems to fall into a pattern for us, wake up at 7, ready the kids for school, take the kids, do the house work, maybe get to catch up summin we missed, prepare dinner, get the kids, war with them, pack them to bed and then go to bed ourselves. Honestly this gets dull, due to certain bits and pieces we don't get much time out on our own. The last time we were out alone without our kids in tow was February! (You haven't got kids so kinda different, point should hold though), we both know we're in a pattern and we both get bored with it.

These make for some really tough days or weeks, this will quietly build and eventually end in a collision in which we have no choice but to talk, usually each conversation will come down to what has us so stuck, what we want to do, we make plans, and we move along for the most part. Still mornings we wake up and wonder if we should still be doing it, or if we want to and it always comes down to that we do. We have had periods apart, she goes to see her brother in London and I visit a friends every few months, its a small break but it is sometimes just needed. I have come to find that communication has to be there, and believe me it took me almost 4 years to figure out this is what I wanted. I want to be here and that for me was ultimately the biggest revelation in my life.

Truthfully even contemplating starting again in any form scares me half to death, not that I couldn't but I don't want to. Yes it gets hard and boring and oh so very tiring at times, but I wouldn't change it for the world. If you feel even a part of wanting to not lose him then it sounds like you need a way to break the lull, which ultimately is down to you to figure out. Ours is (on those rare occasions) we go out, we "meet" all over again, it's silly but it's fun. And a complete lie for the most part as we met online in a chat room!! I can say that we wouldn't have made 12 years, without been able to talk to each other even if we have to mad as hell at each to do it sometimes.

Told you it might not make sense.
 

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Coming from a parent; and I know I'm late to this parade, but I know you well enough to throw my peanut in

Don't ever ever have children for someone else as a 'compromise' you may well change your mind later on in life, but don't do it for someone else in the meantime. He either decides youre willing to take the risk on and wait to see if you change your mind, or you split up now.

It is a topic myself and my husband have dragged out over and over the last few years, we actually tried for a while, then I got a new job, we put it on hold, then a friend got pregnant. And instead of joy for my friend I just thought I'd dodged a bullet and I realised I needed to have a conversation because I definately did not want kids any more as I was happy with my life and the direction it was - and still is going. I am also 34 and already at this point have a 12 year old and couldn't imagine having a kid with such an age gap (i think she was 9 or 10 when we first though about trying and even that was a large enough gap for my liking!)

I had my daughter with a man I'd happily never see again. That is something else you would need to think about as well. This guy would be in your life for the rest of your life, and typically, the woman is the one who is then expected to the lone parent. That's something else worth asking, if you split up, would he be willing to be the 'single parent' if you decided you didn't want to be?
 

Toshiya

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Thanks for that Kel, there's a couple of quotes from you that really stood out.
This first one definitely speaks to me because when I think about the future I want to travel lots, advance my career, move abroad eventually. And so much more... kids are not in the vision at all and I don't think they ever will be.


And instead of joy for my friend I just thought I'd dodged a bullet and I realised I needed to have a conversation because I definately did not want kind ds any more as I was happy with my life and the direction it was - and still is going.


And


That's something else worth asking, if you split up, would he be willing to be the 'single parent' if you decided you didn't want to be?

That second one is something I've thought about before. Definitely not. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that's one of my worst nightmares :hmmm: which probably means I shouldn't ever have kids...

i think we just need to see where it goes for now. I've told him he needs to have a good think about kids and whether he'd be happy without them, because I almost certainly will never change my mind and don't want him to either.
:gonk: I guess the next few months will tell. I'm moving with work for 6 months down to the manchester area next year, so how we deal with that will probably answer any questions.
 

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Lamia
Well, feel free to hit me up when you are in my neck of the woods! :monster:

Good luck with whatever you decide, just don't let anyone pressure you into it. It's seriously life changing. I am only just getting to a point where I can aaaaalmost come and go as I please without having to worry about getting a sitter (I swear to god i can almost taste the freedom and the accompanying cocktails haha)
 
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