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“I love you but I’m not in love with you”


What Do I Do?


Let’s face it – no one in a relationship really wants to hear this. It’s painful and quite hard to accept. Basically, it means that one half of the partnership has decided that the passion and desire has died. There may still be affection, fondness and friendship but the spark has gone (or at best dimmed). We all want to love someone and be loved in return.

So what do you do if you find yourself in this position? if you are the person whose partner is not in love with them anymore? Is it the kiss of death or can you coax the love back into your relationship? It’s incredibly challenging to be in a relationship where you feel the other person doesn’t care about you – you feel devalued and destabilised. Is it possible to build attraction and make your spouse love you again?


What Could It Really Mean?


If your partner says they are not in love with you, they may mean:

  • I’m not enjoying our relationship anymore
  • I’m starting to notice we have some issues and I don’t like where our relationship is heading
  • I feel uncomfortable about our relationship and I feel you are the cause.
  • You don’t make me feel the way you used to
  • I want to slow down our relationship
  • I am not feeling the same towards you
  • I don’t feel the same way as I did at the beginning of our relationship


Why Does This Happen?


Sometimes a couple who once felt mutual love loses it through the demands of living, raising a family or not understanding each other’s needs. Sometimes one partner feels neglected, ignored or undervalued but this doesn’t necessarily mean the love is gone. Often, the love can be resurrected. Relationships need to be tendered and cared for – you need to put in work or they stop growing.


What Can you do?


If your partner says, “I’m not in love with you”, believe it. Don’t simply ignore the statement, thinking that they are just having a bad day. The good news is love, desire and passion are just states of mind and can be rekindled. Here are some tips:

1. Ask questions: Ask your partner where they see the relationship now and where they would like the relationship to be in a few months.

2. Try to talk more: Communicate. Over time you have drifted apart. Get to know each other again. Learn to share one another’s worries and problems.

3. Find romance: Don’t take your partner for granted. Be demonstrative and show your partner love – it could simply be a morning hug or a kiss before leaving for work.

4. Give your partner space: Maybe you have been too demanding of your partner’s time or affection? Maybe parenthood is overwhelming? Everyone needs ‘me time’.

When you first hear the words, you may tell yourself that the relationship is over and emotionally check out. However, if you leave too soon, you will never know if the relationship had a chance and if it was possible to overcome this challenging period.


Is it always a bad thing?


Let’s face it, in many parts of the world, being “in love” is not a prerequisite for a successful marriage. Many arranged marriages work because each partner has a commitment to making a success of the partnership and, despite the fact that the initial infatuation is missing, deeper love and respect grow through devotion to shared core values and a desire to work together to form a successful union.

It is possible to strike a happy medium between practicality and passion. There are many variables that influence compatibility in love and marriage. In many cases, the love in an arranged marriage grows after you tie the knot (so to speak).
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Author: Clare Mansveld

Photo: Ali Yahya of Unsplash