I’m in love with a man I’ve been dating for six months. I think of him, dream of him, dress for him, and even plan what I’m going to say to him.
I’m a 32-year-old woman with a good job, doing fine on my own ever since I broke up with my first long-term relationship six years ago.
I met this new man, 34, three months later.
I believe he’s the perfect man for me, and think he’d be a great husband and father. I never wanted children before meeting him, and now I can picture us raising a family together.
But I’m not sure he feels the same way as I do. We’ve seen each other on a date or quick lunch weekly for most of these past six months, and we usually chat every day or so.
We became intimate after two months’ dating and it’s been good, improving over time. I’d like it even more often but he’s not the cuddly type that I am.
Recently, he said he found me “loveable.” I was only half-happy but didn’t show it. I wanted him to say he loves me, but at least he came closer to it.
My biological clock isn’t racing ahead yet, but it will be in a couple of years.
Do you think he’s starting to love me but trying not to rush it? Or is he just liking me a lot, for now? Can our relationship be okay if he loves me, but isn’t as “in love” as I am?
Right Guy, Wrong Word
The difference between loving someone and being “in love” with someone can be subtle, or it can be huge.
You may love your parents, for example, but most healthy adults aren’t consumed with thinking about their parents, or wanting to be constantly with them.
In the throes of being romantically in love, however, the desire for togetherness and for expressions of love and lovemaking are frequently at a high level. It seems that you’re already there, emotionally, but he’s not. At least not yet.
Six months of dating is a strong start. Clearly, you both enjoy each other’s company and there’s more than sex involved since you also meet for lunch and chat regularly.
You’ve become aware of the desired time frame for a woman to try getting pregnant, but it’s likely that hasn’t yet crossed his mind.
It’s time to gently raise some topics, without pushing for definitive answers: Ask him about his family life growing up, and you may learn something about his feelings regarding kids, without scaring him off.
Tell him some of your own childhood anecdotes, so that you’re learning about each other without rushing to decisions about the future.
Stay “cuddly,” it’s part of why he finds you loveable. Regarding sex: Learn more about what each other likes, give him opportunities to initiate and try to discern when his somewhat-lesser libido is affected by alcohol, fatigue or stress.
Sometimes, save intimacy for when you’re both equally excited about it, to highlight the joy of shared passion.
Give this relationship another three months to grow your connection through talking about who you both are, and what you each want for your future.
Marriage can also bring periods of loving your partner while not always feeling in love. When that happens, it often has to do with too-busy schedules and a need to find “quality” time to re-connect.
My four-year-old daughter has play dates at the home of her same-age friend. I often stay for the visit.
Recently, her daughter started rubbing herself in a masturbatory fashion on a couch-arm’s edge. My daughter hasn’t copied this behaviour but if she does, I’ll tell her there’s nothing “wrong” with it, but it’s done privately.
What should I say to the child’s mother?
It’s normal for young children to touch themselves on their “private” areas, and to rub against something that repeatedly gives a pleasurable feeling.
Telling your own child that it’s wrong but must be done in private can sound confusing and contradictory.
Distraction to some other pleasure – a game she likes, story time, dancing, – can move her attention elsewhere.
Telling another mother what to do, however, requires tact, especially since she hasn’t found it necessary to comment at all.
Say nothing. If she raises it, respond without judgement.
Tip of the day:
Being in love isn’t necessarily the same as loving someone. Knowing each other longer and deeper will tell which emotion prevails.