Are We In Love?
How Important Are Relationships?
Years ago I heard a story (possibly a TED talk) where a woman was talking about being called to counsel a group of women who were fleeing from a village that was overtaken in the middle of a war. These women walked over 100 miles to get themselves and their children to safety. Many people they knew were killed, many of them lost relatives. When these women were pulled into counseling, the counselors did not hear what they expected. Instead of talking about the hardships of their situation, these women were more concerned with their relationships with their significant other. The women spoke of husbands who cheated and so on. In essence their relationships took mental priority even in the middle of a refugee situation. What does that mean? How do we even explain that behavior? People center their lives on their relationship status. Don’t believe me? Tomorrow change your Facebook relationship status and see how many women comment. Relationships are as important to women as breathing.
Is It Love?
The bottom line is “if you have to ask, it isn’t love”. Many seemingly good relationship matches have lasted for decades even though neither party truly loved the other. In the United States alone an estimated 2.5 million weddings occur each year. That is a lot of love or is it. The divorce rate in the United States is 2,400 a day. Is it love or a need for security that pushes us down the aisle?
Recently the topic came up “How do you know if a man loves you?” I’m going to give you the top ten ways to know he doesn’t love you or you don’t love him.
- Never says “I love you” that would seem obvious, yet many women waste years thinking someday a man will throw those words out in the middle of a concert. Once you get to know someone, you know if you love them. Getting to know them can take a while. I worked with my husband for almost two years before we even had a personal conversation. Once you have hung out with this person, talked on the phone, spent time together, you should start to feel something and see the change in the relationship from casual friend to possible spouse.
- He never discusses marriage. This is a tough pill for women to swallow but, if your man isn’t saying things like “I can’t wait to marry you” then something isn’t right. You shouldn’t have to bring it up first, you shouldn’t have to hint or push.
- He wants to move in even though he never does either number 1 or 2 of this list. Men move in with friends, they move in casually without a thought for the future. Do not move in with a man, this sends a clear message that you will settle for a live in friend instead of a husband. Also, men will stick around for sex even if they do not love you. Men do not need love to stay, they just need their needs met. However, if someone else meets their needs and is better looking, you may be paying the rent alone. Do not move in with men.
- He takes forever to introduce you to friends or family. Some men won’t go to the trouble of bringing you home to meet mom and dad when they don’t love you. They may even say I love you, but if they have a serious hesitation about meeting your parents or you meeting theirs, it’s because parents are good at outing someone who uses other people.
- You often feel like you are last on this persons list. You go out of your way for this person and they seem to forget everything you care about. My husband confessed to reading my articles today. It was so cute that he took the time to read something I wrote. When you love someone, you care about what they do and how they feel.
- The compliments are mediocre. This one is a huge tell. When a man is in love, he has no problem telling a woman what he likes about her. She’s smart, funny, beautiful etc. When he’s not in love compliments are vague and often solicited. Men in love don’t have to be cornered into a compliment. There are men who are not good at compliments however, even those guys will throw out the awkward compliment with sincerity.
- He’s never apologized. This is also an indication of a disorder but, we will leave it at if doesn’t admit mistakes and apologize, it’s not love.
- You can’t be yourself around him. If you catch yourself being fake , this is not love. You should be able to be yourself around the person you love.
- You are not happy. This should be obvious, at times I think women get so caught up in worrying over is a man loves them that they neglect to see that they are not happy with him anyway. If you are not happy, move on. While it’s not his job to make you happy, you shouldn’t be unhappy with someone. If you feel like that person creates negativity in your life, get out of there.
- You have to talk yourself into staying with the person. You catch yourself having conversations in your head where you rationalize why you stay. This is also not love.
- One of the truest tests of love is being able to visualize yourself growing old with that person without a lot of effort. I've noticed that this is easy for people who love each other, and not easy for those who do not love each other.
Why Are You Still With This Guy?
You are in love with being in love. Being in love is the best. Most people feel a high from being in love. Yet some people fall in love all the time. If your friends have a tough time keeping up with your relationships, it may be because you are in love with being in love. Relationships are great but, you shouln't tell everyone you date you love them. You shoudln't be constantly going from one love to another.
Be careful that you are not projecting your emotions onto another person. This is easy to do. At times we get trapped in our perspective and think the other person “loves” you, when in reality they are just in like with you. You are just their “BEST” option right now.
You need a roommate and this is easy. It happens all the time two people date and they move in together because it will save them money. Consider this, when you and a friend have a falling out because one of you isn’t pulling their weight itis bad. Now apply that to a relationship when you moved in to save money but, one of you ends up paying and then you split up. That is going to be an ugly break up. It is those types of situations that lead to one person’s belongings getting pitched out a window. Moving in is not a commitment, if it were your friends would never screw you out of rent.
You have a fear of being alone. This is a tough one. Loneliness is real. At 3am when you wake up to a noise, it can be tempting to hunt down the nearest available guy to act as your stand in “life partner”. All the jokes about showing up to a wedding alone are true, it’s lonely. Coming home from work staring at your gold fish does not fix the problem. Get a dog and a good hobby. You don’t need a man, you need the right man. Don’t fall for the desperation fill in guy. Be strong.
Maybe you are in love. It happens all the time, one person falls in love with another and the feelings are not mutual. As you reading this you want to cry because you strongly suspect that your significant other is not in love with you. All the signs are there. Only the strongest of people can walk away from this type of one sided relationship. Usually these relationships end in cheating or a casual goodbye. Many of us have had our hearts broke by the thoughtlessness of others. Take heart, you will find the one.
Why Can’t You Find Love?
Love can’t be forced or timed. Not everyone meets the right person in their 20’s. One day my husband and I were sitting around talking and we realized that seven times in our lives we were in the same town and did not meet. How strange is that? I’m talking about different states and towns where we just missed each other. Coincidence or did the timing have to be just right?
If you feel yourself jump straight into a relationship, you probably are not ready for a relationship. Desperation leads to poor decisions. Women who are quick to jump are easy prey for abusive men. Try to keep your head about you, make sure you are falling in love with the person and not the idea of the person. Know that there are no knights on horses or princes looking to save a maiden. Be real about the kind of person you want for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that looks fade, money comes and goes, and illness is real.
My grandmother had one piece of advice for me when it came to relationships: Marry your best friend. She was right. Your best friend is the person you can talk to about anything. He is the person you can count on. Your best friend tries to cheer you up when life is rough and celebrates your success. Your best friend has your best interests at heart and would never intentionally hurt you. Marry that person.