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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2181
Experience:  Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
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Hi. Im a 36 year old female in a 5 month old relationship

Customer Question

Hi. I'm a 36 year old female in a 5 month old relationship with a 40 year old man. We care about each other a lot, we laugh and are kind to each other, we treat each other well and get along with each others families. He was divorced 2 years ago as was I. About a month ago I began to realize I was falling in love with him. I have not told this to him, but I have told him I was beginning to feel love. He does not feel the same towards me. He says he likes me a lot, cares a lot about me, and enjoys my company, but he does not feel any feelings of love toward me. When I ask if he could see himself feeling love for me down the road his answer is "I don't know." and he becomes frustrated that I am discussing these things with him and tells me when I am serious like that it pushes him away and makes him not want to spend time with me--when I am only discussing how my heart is hurting, and need some room to be honest about that. I do deal with insecurity and have been afraid at inappropriate times that he was no longer interested...this has put strain on us, yes. We see each other every weekend all weekend, but live 30 min. away from each other and can't see each other during the week. This weekend he says it's best we don't see each other because he has to leave for work very early Monday, and Saturday he has to go through computer files and put songs on his Ipod...I'm thinking, "Wow...lost that lovin feeling?" But oh yeah...he doesn't love me! At what point will I have waited too long for him to catch up to me emotionally, and at what point am I being too in a rush and not patient enough? Thank you!!!

**OH yeah...he has only fallen in love twice in his life. He says he does not do so easily, and didn't think he'd find a gf he LIKED even and is very content to have THAT. I am content, but eventually will need more. He says he would never break up with me over not feeling love, he'd remain faithful and accept our relationship for what it is...so it would be ME breaking it off. He does not know why he does not feel love, and says it makes him sad sometimes he does not feel more for me. Says maybe he's being cautious, and at one point tonight said, "Well, sorry you're so impatient." but at the SAME time saying he did not feel too confident he'll love me or ANYone ever again.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 3 years ago.
I don't want to say anything that will upset you but this relationship is not going to go well ever. You have two different levels of feelings here and people don't usually know why they don't fall in love. I am worried that you are spending time in a relationship where there just aren't the same level of commitment. That's why he gets upset. You can continue to wait and talk with him but that usually doesn't change anytime. Don't you deserve a relationship that is totally committed to you. I just encourage you not to waste time with something that won't change. He could eventually examine his emotions but you would have to depend on that. I wish that you would give yourself the opportunity to be really loved
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I will try to answer in a different way although I am as skeptical as psychlady. Are you having fun with him and enjoying his company? Can you practice some mindfulness philosophy and live in and enjoy the moment without thoughts of the future. If so, then take each day as a day enjoying your time with him. When you are not with him, enjoy whatever else you are doing. Fill your time with your favorite interests, cultivate your interests and do not put your life on hold for the next time you see him. Learn to tolerate his ambiguity and not be bothered by it. Do not make your self-worth dependent on his feedback but be self-confident in yourself. Say affirmations, I am a good and worthwhile person. Hold back on letting him know of your intense feelings for him and this makes you look desperate.

To answer your questions, finally, (and this is an opinion or a vote on the subject) if you are not feeling your love reciprocated in one year, you have waited too long. You are in a rush and not patient enough if you pressure him before one year. That's my vote but get some other opinions and then may your own decision with the information you have gathered.

Good luck.
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2181
Experience: Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
Dr. Bonnie and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi. To be honest, i feel that most of the issue is my insecurity and I don't understand WHY I am so insecure. I often feel he is no longer caring about me and he says those are insane questions because of course he still cares but the questions drive him away. So now I know to not make him suffer for this any longer, and as of tomorrow i will pursue fulltime counseling, but tonight I am feeling so low and a bit discouraged as i thought I had come so far only to find that I have so much further to go. The thoughts that go through my head are...(when he needs to get off phone quick) "he isn't as interested or I feel I need more reassurance". A relationshp can't be sustained on reassurance. I have been on my own since age 16 and had a verbally, sexually, and physically abusive upbringing. I started counseling at age 17 because I wanted a normal life. I hope I can have one...I am confident in so many areas, but the idea that he does not feel equally towards me flames these insecurities and it's a domino effect. I need more a life outside of him, and have one, but tend to obsess when it feels like things are not "good" with he and I and I'd rather sit and mull than get busy and not think about it-almost as if it's impossible to not sit and think about it which only makes things worse. I am intelligent, kind, pretty, goodhearted, valuable, a survivor, and so many good things...but when it comes right down to it I don't feel that anyone but myself will truly love me. Can you help with some insight tonight? A night that feels a little low and emotional. (Well, this whole week has been!) Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Also, Dr. Bonnie, he admitted last night that potentially he could see he would have developed "love" towards me if it weren't for these draining issues that make him feel very cautious and tired. And tonight he said that as far as him feeling love for me in the future, he said "I would hope so, because if i can't with you then it means I am impossible of loving again." In reality, he has been very patient with my "stuff".
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Okay...insight...I really think you could benefit from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Your fear of rejection and abandonment is understandable, given your upbringing, as is your tendency to dwell on the negative, the intensity of your feelings (towards him and even tonight) and relationships that go wrong. DBT targets all of these problems in an educational way if done in a group or can be done individually. Even if you have tried it in the past, give it another try. You can search using keywords DBT and your city.
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2181
Experience: Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
Dr. Bonnie and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
<p>And based on knowing this, does that shine any further light on the status of my relationship with Phillip? Meaning, does it seem to make it more understandable his reservation toward that level of feeling toward me(compounded by his past issues and own set of insecurities himself)? He is a sweet and noble man-those are hard to come by. At least I am acknowledging my impact upon the relationship, and that the only way to move forward in my life is to tackle these issues...because he is deadset on living a healthy life and not living in dysfunction...as am I. And due to that there is NO acceptance for such dysfunctional behaviour as maybe some of my past relationships supported because of being, well, too compassionate--to the point it didn't push me to grow (which is my responsibility, I know). This insight tonight is due to a heart to hear with my ex, who lovingly told me that he, too, experienced the things Phillip is saying he's experiencing with me...an impending doom. I will search tonight for this therapy in my area (Los Angeles), and I so appreciate your skill and care and being on this website at this moment I'm needing encouragement. So...there's hope for me? :)</p><p>**Also, Dr. Bonnie, he admitted last night that potentially he could see he would have developed "love" towards me if it weren't for these draining issues that make him feel very cautious and tired. And tonight he said that as far as him feeling love for me in the future, he said "I would hope so, because if i can't with you then it means I am impossible of loving again." In reality, he has been very patient with my "stuff". </p>
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
I think he is just as afraid of being too smothered as you are of being rejected or abandoned. Yes, thus his reservations. In your therapy work on how not to smother him.

Warm regards...
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2181
Experience: Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
Dr. Bonnie and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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