He's Not Sure He's IN Love With Her - Intimacy and Seduction - Relationship Advice

Dear Veronica,

I came across your site while scouring for advise on what to do next. Please help.

My partner and I have been together for 6.5 years. He is 35 and I just turned 33. We have a condo together and we are BEST FRIENDS. We have so much in common, we love each other, spend days together and never fight. I've known he is the 'one' since 3 mos into our relationship. I never wanted to get married until I met him. And I know he has felt the same way about me. But in the last couple years, we have witnessed (seemingly) all of our friends get engaged, married and starting families. He has known for a couple years now that I am ready. And I can't see a reason why we wouldn't take the next step. Until recently, when I started to lose my patience on the topic (and trust me I've tried so hard not to push), he finally told me (and honestly) that he had to start to ask himself "why don't I want to marry?" and was afraid that one of the answers is that he's not in love. BUT he's not sure! He is confused. What does being in love mean? all that stuff. And I'm smart enough to know, that you KNOW if you are in love with someone. But I also believe so strongly in US. We have built a life together, and have discussed the future, kids, etc in the past. He says that he's only started to question whether it is ME, in the last year or so. Things have not been great on the intimacy level so I offered up that we should work on that. He is also starting to go to counseling so eh can figure out if he's just scared, or if the pressure is just too much or if it is me. And he tells me that it's not any of my actions, that he does love me, but that is the scary part. What if he is not IN love with me?? I've also suggested we go to counseling together at some point when he is ready, but its killing me softly... and I'm not sure whether to tell my friends, or wait it out. I cry every evening (its been 3 days)... please help. I can't image my life without him, and he says he hasn't thought that far. That him admitting his feelings was a break through for him. But it hurts me so bad, and he knows it and wants me to tell him how I'm feeling and not keep it inside. But I'm afraid if he knows how bad I'm hurt, he'll feel worse, and things will just go downhill from here...

notsureanymore

Dear notsureanymore,

I'm going to go right for the jugular on this one.

You capitalized BEST FRIENDS and you mentioned that there are intimacy issues.

My impression of him is extremely favorable. I give him a lot of credit for being honest with you about his confusion and fear. And, in turn that means I have to give you alot of credit for creating the kind of partnership where he feels he can truly be honest with you.

That dynamic is hard, and rare. And beautiful. And exactly what you want in a healthy relationship. So many of my relationship advice pieces are over issues that occur because someone doesn't listen, and the couple does not have that honesty and trust.

It's hard to admit you're confused. It's really something that your bf admits this. His going to therapy to work on this and get to the root of it is fantastic. That shows me he really wants to figure this out, and he really wants to be with you. He's looking for the way to do that.

And you! You are awesome. You are accepting his "breakthrough" of emotion, his honesty, his seeking help, and you are supporting him through it despite how much it hurts you. You my dear, are truly ready to be a partner. You are ready to be married. You're a catch.

It's absolutely great that you two are best friends. It's probably why you can communicate so well, and admit truths - no matter how hard they are - to each other.

Since it seems to me he's a good guy really doing everything right, and you're a smart and understanding woman trying to figure this out, you really don't need all the ethereal and fortifying relationship advice I might normally gravitate towards. Instead I believe I can jump right in on the hardcore, down-and-dirty, 3 martini advice.

I think you need to seduce this man.

This advice would not work for all situations. There are guys that love their gf's and have great sex with them, and are seduced by them, but aren't in love with them. Seducing a man doesn't equate to making him fall in love with you.

But I'm looking at the words you chose, and how you chose them, and the order you gave them. I think in your case, all the components are there for him except for that animal-place.

Like it or not, men connect on that animal level. They click chemically for their lifemate in an innate way. He wants to feel it for you. I'd bet that he used to feel it for you, or you wouldn't have come this far. But somewhere along the way the intimacy changed. Maybe one or both of you have intimacy issues. Maybe something happened - it could be self esteem rooted like the loss of a job or a weight gain, it could be emotionally rooted like the loss of a parent or a change in social status. It could be as simple as just becoming too comfortable together and forgetting how to keep the mystery. It could be something left over that needs closure, resurfaced, like an ex getting married. Maybe as the friendship and respect for each other grew it just became bigger than the romance.

Whatever the reason may be, I think you'd agree with me that the bang isn't there. I think the part of him that knows for sure that he loves you is the real-deal. The part of him that wonders if he's "in" love with you wants that animal connection. You said you offered to work on this with him. Even if he said that's not it, I think it is. He may be confused about this too. He may think what you're saying has to do with sex.

There's a huge difference between sex and seduction.

Sex is great, being willing to please, being open to trying new things and to be approachable to each other's needs is of course healthy and fundamental.

Ah but seduction... that's a whole different animal. It's not just knowing - "OK It's Saturday, we'll do it tonight." It's not just doing it, or knowing that you can. Seduction is the art of lure and intoxication. Seduction is about being unable to resist. Being taken, being titilated and excited. Entranced in your charms. Seducing him means making him feel he will die of hunger and thirst if he can't have you right now.

And now I'll let you in on a little secret.

Many men need to feel wanted. Not just loved and appreciated. But WANTED. In that intoxicated seduced animalistic way. It makes them feel.... well, it makes them feel like men!

I think this is the thing that confuses people into thinking men like sex more than women do. Of course that's not true. It's not that they like the sex more than we do, it's that their egos are hardwired into how much they think we want them.

notsureanymore, in your mind your relationship is so much more than the physical things. It's best friends and real love and forever. It has elevated to a better place than the earthbound animal. To him, it hasn't. While he obviously loves how ethereal and strong the relationship has become - if he didn't he wouldn't be in therapy - there is still a normal and healthy part of his manhood that is rooted in his animal connection.

If he's aware of it, he is probably a little embarrassed by it. Or, he's confused about the difference between sex and seduction. He may have an awarity that he needs that physical validation that you're "into him" but he may not be able to articulate or understand that he's not reducing it to sex.

Look, I could be way off here. But from what you gave me, and all the reading in between the lines and syllables, I really think this is something you need to recapture and try. Let go of the seriousness, and the pressure. Let yourself go. When you look at him, don't look with the eyes of a friend. Look with the eyes of a woman enchanted. Allow the man in him to see that the woman in you melts under his touch.

You're instincts were dead-on when you offered to work on intimacy. Trust your instincts.

It's healthy, normal, and actually very sweet that deep down he wants to be the man that rocks your world. He wants to be the Tarzan to your Jane. Let him feel that you don't think that's slighting or silly. And you certainly understand that it only serves to enhance the rest of the beautiful best-friend trusting relationship you've built.

Less talking. More doing. Don't tell him "Tonight we're going to play an intimacy game! We're going to get naked and get as close as we can without touching." Just pull him in with your gaze. Touching, lingering. Licking. Reinforce that he's The One. Not just in the emotional way, but in the animal way. Let him know he's your Man. And prove it.

notsureanymore, if my advice, or anyone's advice, doesn't feel right in your gut, then disregard it. But your instincts told you - intimacy. I'm validating that. Give this a shot. See what happens. If he truly isn't in love with you, this won't have hurt anything. But if he really is in-love with you, this will be how he'll find his way to forever.

Need some relationship advice?

Send me an email through my profile.

All text is original content by Veronica. All photos are used with permission. All videos are courtesy of Youtube. 

Thanks for reading!

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12 comments

notsureanymore 6 years ago

Thank you so much for your quick reply, and so detailed! I had to read it twice before I could reply. I am going to try the seduction thing for sure. And hopefully this spurs him to seduce me... We had another great chat last evening and I think he's starting to realize that we can really build on this tough time, and help us get to a new level even. I called it a 'growth spurt'. He told me I'm amazing for all my patience and not turning the other cheek when he was honest with his confusing emotions. He regrets telling me, only b/c of how it hurt me, but I'm thankful we have the chance to work together on it.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again, you're very insightful.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

notsureanymore,

I'm so excited for you! I have a good feeling about you two. Wow, he really sounds special. You totally have what it takes to make it. And yes - when he feels sexy and that he can satisfy you as a Man, then YES he will naturally be more seductive himself.

Best to both of you. xoxoxo


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

May I point people who seek advice, from my site to your site, please?

Email me if you wish, or comment on my site or whtever is more convenient to you


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

De Greek,

i'd be honored. Thanks!

xo

V


notsureanymore 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

So it's been a few weeks (slow, slow weeks). We've been talking lots and doing lots (in bed!), and things are seemingly going to be okay. He has been to see the counselor once, and seemed really happy about their meeting - almost like a weight was lifted - he shared some stuff with me, but he needs time to think through some of the stuff she brought up. He says he's not going to go back for another week or so - which I guess makes sense, but some days I just feel so sad and lonely, and even, unwanted. I'm still scared and a little untrustworthy, since the big "i'm not sure if i'm in love with you" talk. I'm longing for the day he turns to me and says "I was a fool to do this to you, please say with me forever". Some days I feel like I resent him a little bit, but all these bad feelings are often pushed aside when I think about what we have, could have, and how much I love him.

Anyway, I guess what I'm looking for is some encouragement here. I'm going to start talking to a therapist tomorrow (I'm actually seeing two to find out which one I like better).

*sigh* just trying to hang in there.

Thanks :)


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Smart of you to see a couple therapists to find the right fit. And it's great that he's still seeing a therapist and really thinking about things he's learning in therapy.

I don't like that you're waiting/hoping for him to one day say he was a fool and all wrong. It kind of feels like in your mind it's you against him, if that's the case. It should be you and him, fighting for the relationship together.

The encouragement you're looking for I would love to give you. Everything he is doing is encouraging, and it sounds like you're taking good steps too, from seeking out a therapist to doing more stuff in bed and regaining your sexual/romantic/womanly place in his desires. Keep us posted! Best to you.


Jenn 6 years ago

Hello,

This particular situation may have resolved, but I felt compelled to give you my story because I was in the exact situation - except I was the unsure one in a 6.5 year relationship. i went to a therapist who essentially told me it was ok to feel what i felt, and that perhaps i should take a break from the relationship. so, i did, with the weight of the guilt lifted. well, i never should have done that. I quickly realized it was a mistake and that the relationship we had was the best thing in my life. now we're trying to repair it, but he is so hurt that even though i feel he would like to come back, he has fears and blocks that prevent him from opening up to me again. It's been a tough, tough road. I know it's very hard when you're in the relationship to see how valuable the bond is, and how fragile, because you feel the link between you is so strong. Well, that may be the case, but when iron breaks, you need major repairs, and it may never hold the same way. my advice would be to stick it out. Go to couples' therapy but make it clear to the therapist that you both want it to work, and want to improve the relationship. Don't focus on whether the relationship itself is right or wrong. After 6.5 years, it's normal to feel stuck in a rut, and unsure. You can turn it around much more easily if you avoid the heartbreak of splitting up first. Good luck. I wish someone told me this before.


bridget72 6 years ago

I could have written this post 3 years ago. I wasn't patient (after 3 years of dating in our mid 30's) and we broke up. I think he was heartbroken with disappointing me all the time. I knew he loved me...talked about asking my dad for his blessing, but it never happened. I had a really tough time moving on, but focused on myself. I joined an international non-profit and lived in developing countries - living my dream. He too left the States to pursue his own interests. In between we kept in touch - phone, email, skype, he even came to visit me in the States 3 times when I was in between projects. We've even stayed in touch with each others' parents. In three years, I watched him change, and knew I was changing too.

Now...3 1/2 years since our break up, he's moving back to my city. He knows I'm returning shortly after him. I don't know why he decided to return, he just told me that he got a job offer and he's going back. But he also told me that "it's just a job." (Previously we argued because he's a bit of a workaholic.) We've both seen other people, and admitted to each other that it was never anything significant.

I can't help but indulge in feelings that I've kept submerged. But I'm also terrified of living in the same city and NOT being together. He's asked me if I will take on more international work, but I've picked up a 12 month contract back in the States, so have a year before considering leaving again. I also told him that I am happiest when I only plan 6 months at a time.

He's offered to pick me up from the airport.

I know if it's real love, then he will pursue me and I shouldn't chase after him, just continue to give him opportunities to do so.

I just wish I knew if he was feeling it is now the right time for him (he's now 40, I'm 38). Perhaps he's waiting to see what happens when we're both back.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Jenn,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story.

Bridget72,

You really need to do what is right for you. There's a difference between compromising WITH a partner who is also compromising for the relationship as well, and with changing to make someone else happy. The latter will never end well.


notsureanymore 6 years ago

Hi ladies, thanks for your stories. Here is an update. Obviously a unique situation has unfolded. But it has now been a few months and we've had a couple major breakthroughs. One being just the other nite. This was brought on by a close friend announcing she is pregnant, and of course I'm happy for them but I feel like we are missing out on all those great moments, and could not contain the tears. Anyway, what he finally came to realize, (literally while we were talking about it) is that although he realized he has never dealt with the guilt of how he handled a very personal incident with a previous girlfriend while they were in highschool. It was a joint decision that they had made but I gather that he never stepped up to offer much support to her, and they never talked about it after the fact. He said he realizes the lasting affect that has had on him and never even realized, and whether he should confront her and apologize for his lack of support/behaviour all those many years ago (18 years ago). Needless to say, this made me realize it is not about me afterall, but it is having an affect on our moving forward. He knows that he needs professional guidance on how to forgive himself and allow himself to be happy, and feel deserved. And also learn how to talk about things instead of running away. He's never told anyone these things before. So it really brought us closer again. I wish we had got to this point a couple years back, but obviously he was not ready. I can't say it is easy to be supportive and patient, but I certainly will not leave. I am no longer 'notsureanymore' - I am very sure. I just need to stay strong for us both right now.


mapatti 5 years ago

I've been in this relationship for 3 years ,He cheated on me several times but I keep on forgiving him in fear of being alone as it was very hard to get into a stable relationship .So now I am so confused i'm not sure if I really love him or am scared to be alone please help.


mocl 5 years ago

I am in almost the same position as notsureanymore's partner although I have not told my partner H. We also live together. The significant exceptions are that I have never really felt that I can open up about our relationship or let anyone get this close to me. In our case the sex and intimacy are good, except I cannot say I love you without feeling guilty.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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