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