Love but not In Love

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
i am to the point that my relationship with my boyfriend isn't going any where. i love him but i am not in love with him. we have arguement that lead to one of us saying it's over. but then he tries to make up with me when he knows that i am going along with the break-up.

he lives in my apartment, i pay majority of the bills in the house, has no car. he helps out but not like he should and i think that he makes up because he has no place to go if i put him out. i don't want to just put him out without a place to go. we end up have sex about a week later and he thinks we are back and everything is perfect when it's not.

he asked me last night if i loved him? i know that i will hurt him if i tell him that i don't love him and i know that i should tell him the truth. he thinks that i want to break-up so i can get back with my ex-husband who lives in another state. just from what i have told you so far. you maybe thinking that i don't need advice because i should know the answer. but how do i go about it and not feel guilty about it. thank you for your advice and i would be looking forward to your answer. Advice
I don't know that there's such a thing as "love but not in love". Love is a continuum of feelings, but it is a feeling. So to say you are but aren't in love is sort of meaningless. It's far more meaningful to say "I love him in these ways" and lay them out.

In any case, the love you feel for him is not a total love, because there are flaws in the relationship. And they are flaws that aren't being addressed because he thinks they aren't real. So the only way to handle this (and what should have been done before) is to sit down and *talk about* the flaws. Just randomly fighting and breaking up doesn't help at all, as you've seen. Because fights rarely address the real issues.

I have info on the site about how to stage a serious talk. Set the scene. And then sit down with him and REALLY talk about things. Don't say "You do this!!" Don't make it a blame-fest. Do it in a way like "We can't seem to agree on chores that makes us both feel like things are fair". Everything is a two way street in life. So lay it out that way.

And then see if he has real solutions. Who knows, maybe some creative solutions could actually save things. But you can only see that when you have all the real, hard problems on the table. If he says "Hey! I can do X and Y and Z!" and that would meet your needs, then say "Sure, let's do that." But then if he does NOT do X and Y and Z, then you have given it your best shot and you say at that point that it just isn't going to work. You try your best, but some things just aren't meant to be. And with this approach, if you know "we are going to try X for 2 weeks", he is prepared for it. He cannot just live off of you and NO relationship should ever be based on "The poor guy can't live without me." A relationship should be about two people voluntarily together - not a person who is a leech.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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