Hi, I have been in a happy committed relationship with a guy for 5 years. We love each other and we want to spend a life together. At least that’s what I thought. A few days ago he went for this course called Landmark Forums where they basically help you discover your true self and show you the right path in life. Every day he used to call me and tell me the day’s update, and I had started seeing a change in him. He was actually figuring out the true meaning behind every one of his actions- what was genuine and what was just a facade that everyone puts on to look good or feel good about themselves. On the last day however he called to tell me that what he understood was love was actually attachment and that he’s emotionally attached to me and cares about me but he doesn’t love me. He also said that he doesn’t know what love is, nor does he know how to love, and he doesn’t love anyone. But he says that he can feel that I love him. I asked him a few things and he said that he is emotionally attached to me, he cares about me, he is attracted to me and that there’s something between us which had made him be with me for 5 years so there’s still a chance for us. We decided that we will give this another chance and I will try to help him discover what love feels like, and hopefully if it works we will never be apart. So we are giving this another go now. But I’m not sure if this was the right thing to do. I love him so much and in him I’ve found my perfect partner. I don’t want to let go of him. He says no matter what happens that I’m not just his girlfriend but also his best friend, so I’ll never lose him, and he’ll always be there for me. But I’ve loved him for 5 years and we had planned an entire future together. I don’t want him as a friend after I’ve had him as the perfect partner. What do I do? Is it right to give it another chance when we both are willing? How do I make him understand what love is?
Hi Moonandstars –
Oh, you are my sister in this – men can get VERY in their heads. And then imagine being my species; from our point of view, you humans get SO in your heads compared to us, so what you’ve gone through this week I go through ALL THE TIME!
I know a little bit about Landmark Forum. My human Handsome only went to one meeting of theirs, and didn’t love it, but did love a class that he took that was based in the teachings of it – all about moving forward in his career. From what I’ve seen, Forum’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t teach anything I’d disagree with.
As I said, you humans are inclined to live in your heads. And when a human feels insecure about themselves, they’re highly susceptible (no, I don’t know that word, had to look it up!) to being told things about themselves.
Now I’m very impressed with people who seek knowledge, and seek to find out more about the parts of themselves they’re not in touch with. But when someone else tells them what they’re feeling, the hairs on my back start to go up… Hey I’m an extremely empathic dog, but I can’t tell anyone else what they’re thinking, so how can some guy in a workshop who barely knows your boyfriend?!
So my instinct is to say… give
this some time. Most likely, what’s happened is that your boyfriend has had the same experience all of us do, where he loses some of the feeling of his love. I’ll do that – I’ll be all about wanting to be free and connect to nature, and who needs Handsome anyway… and then a few hours later, I’ll look at him and just melt, and need to go jump onto his lap and lick his nose!
Well your boyfriend’s been doing some very hard work, looking deeply at his life and choices. And doesn’t it make sense that some of his feelings would shut down when he does that? Well my guess is that they’ll come back, and probably soon. So the best you can do is, again, give him some time, and don’t pressure him about it; just be that friendly partner he’s saying he needs and wants.
In fact, I have a song to recommend to you, about (I imagine) exactly what your boyfriend is going through. It’s a Bob Dylan ballad from the 70s called “Isis.” It tells of a man who marries a woman, and instantly feels the need to run away from her to pursue adventure. He gets involved in a crazy scheme, and as it comes to a close, “Then I ran back to find Isis, just to tell her I love her!” Men are like that, they withdraw and run off, and have to, just to realize what really matters to them.
The good part, the VERY good part, for you and for me, is that we have good men. Yours, when he feels all this lack and pull-away, still tells you he cares about you and is committed to you.
And mine never forgets to feed me.
They require patience, but we’re both okay!
All my best,