Did you wince at the title of this blog? I did when I typed the words. The effects ricocheted around my body like the ball on a pinball machine and touched memories of times when I have felt this about people I have dated and times when exes have felt it about me.
This blog is not about answers to why we love and then we don’t, because only the Universe can know such secrets. It is merely an exploration of where you maybe at right now with someone you love dearly and how in reading this you may find a direction and some comfort as you try to navigate through this tricky dilemma.
Are you with someone you love but are not in love with?
If so, my heart goes out to you! Maybe you have been together for years and the habit of daily living and the interwoven nature of joint finances, mortgages and children keep you so busy that you don’t stop to think about your relationship. It’s what you do ...right!? Or maybe you haven’t been together that long but things have changed and you just don’t feel the same way as you used to. Tricky to address because, sure as eggs are eggs, you carry around the knowing and the feeling that something isn’t right.
Subtly and surely messages, in the form of movies, songs or even the comments people make, thread into your consciousness and bring to the surface that knowing, that no matter what you do the feeling remains the same when you look at your partner. That love that you once gave you butterflies is no longer there. You love them to bits but that essential, unquantifiable ingredient, is missing.
I always bang on about the relational space, which Hedy Schliefer beautifully describes in her work. It is the space and energy between you where no words are needed. We are ALL aware of it. I am sure you have a good sense right now of how it feels being with your partner, even if they are not there with you. Whether we address it with words or not, makes no difference. The truth lies in the energy and feeling every time. When love has died or moved out, each person knows.
But what does “in love” mean anyway? Have you ever tried to analyse it? It’s like trying to cut shapes in the air! A pointless exercise. It cannot be rationalised. It is heart centred and not for the mind to meddle with. When you feel in love at whatever stage of your relationship, you know it. It is just known! When someone asks you, “Are you in love?”, the feeling is either there or not. How beautiful that we, in fact, can’t explain it away.
This is an area that I find steeped in a kind of Universal mystery, so it isn’t easy to give you “how to’s” but if you are in a quandary, here are some things to fire the thought process, about why you may feel like “in love” is not here anymore.
1) Some people associate the end of the honeymoon stage as “falling out of love”. Several weeks or months in things start to change as the bonding chemicals wear thin and the deeper work is begging to happen. There are those who are honeymoon junkies and cannot bear to roll their sleeves up and do the work of “childhood to adulthood” in partnership. When the conflict kicks in many think it’s time to say goodbye. Oh to reach all those people and say “hold your horses”...love hasn’t even had time to be born yet! Honeymooners are chemically intoxicated...know the difference!
2) Conflict over load killing what you had. People genuinely want to love and start out full of hope, but the deeper stuff that didn’t bother you in the early days now starts to find an erosion pattern. Conflict as I always say, is healing and growth trying to happen. It’s a well my worn mantra! But if you don’t understand the nature of rows and arguments and more importantly can’t find your way to navigate safely through the tough bits, it hangs around like a bad smell. Invariably one or both people may eventually find that the repetitive strain of conflict literally puts out the light of love over time. Anything that erodes doesn’t grow. It’s not rocket science to see why this happens.
3) You have healed the past and what you needed in the relationship before, no longer serves you. This is a fascinating one and touches those relationships of maybe 2+ years where one person, or even both people are doing a whole heap of self development work and as they grow and find themselves and as a consequence have healed some inner child stuff, the “requirements” and attraction to the current partner may have shifted. Let me elaborate. Remember I said that unconsciously we search for a partner who embodies the negative traits, essentially, of our parents so we can play the old negative movies again and get it right this time? Well there you are with your honey, but somehow the relationship is not aware enough to create the fertile ground for healing. One or both of you begin to seek healing in self development (books courses blah blah) which is doing some of the necessary work and so as the energy shifts between you, the deeper bond and need for healing dissipates between you. This can be very painful especially if one person is growing and moving and the other doesn’t’ feel it.
4) Destiny. Call this what you will. It is my word for “it was just going to be that way”. We are not in control of anything despite our protestations! A dear friend felt, after 25 years of marriage, that something that he once felt for his wife had just gone. There were no affairs or really bad times. Something died and he struggled for months to understand what had happened. I really believe we are meant to be with certain people in our lives. Our paths cross in prime moments, Universally planned perhaps, but then sometimes it is time to move on despite all that you try and do. Watch Sliding Doors. An excellent example of fate. Believe what you will.
5) I just don’t fancy you like I used to. Love and sexual attraction are often linked. Some people feel not in love anymore when sexual chemistry has waned. Tricky one, because without a sex life you are essentially good friends. Sex creates the ingredient of relationship that distinguishes it from companionship. Can we be in love without a sexual relationship? Now there’s a question that I am asking you to comment on! I don’t have answers, only an opinion that says, sexual union is fed by Divine intervention and that full presence of both “beings” defines “in love.” Can I be a body in love? No, it’s my soul showing up that is the magical ingredient.
Ok so you may have picked a “that’s me” from above. But then what? I will always advise that knowledge and education about what is happening in you and in the relationship makes the difference to the “in love” or not feelings, because there is a lot more you can find out about you. Every day we learn without fail. With knowledge we have “ah ha” moments that can take us deeper into love than we once thought possible and from there we have endless opportunities to have a new view. I highly recommend the book I Love You But I’m not in Love with You by Andrew G Marshall. Marshall firmly believes that falling out of love does not mean the end of a relationship. His insightful advice makes it hard to disagree. Enjoy.
I don’t recommend taking love lightly. It the most precious gift we have and where possible we must give it freely. Let your heart take the lead. It knows way more than your mind will ever be able to intellectualise. Love is the feeling which ultimately begins and end with you so being “in love” is just what it says on the tin...we are in love all the time if we choose.
‘Til 2011. Blessings and love for a safe and happy transition.