I was talking to a friend last week and we were discussing you. Well maybe not you personally but women in general, more specifically HIS woman and that word men appear to be so afraid to say...
He confided in me that his girlfriend of many years was amazing.
She was always there for him.
Incredible in bed.
But then he looked at me puzzled and stated,
"But I don't love her!!!"
He looked down and was clearly disappointed.
It made him feel guilty. Almost like he was also disappointing her which clearly made him sad.
The thing is, they're happy together. They found each other. They both have lived a complete life, children marriage and all, and both now in a comfortable position to enjoy themselves in what is commonly known as their "golden years".
Well after he listened to me for a while he finally popped the question,
"Why I don't love her?"
And then even a bigger question,
"What do YOU think love is?" - Which I don't get into today but still feel you'll learn something about it today.
I reasoned it all for a while and then came out with my gut reaction because honestly I'm a guy and men just don't think about that kind of stuff very often. Fortunately for him, it's what I do - think about dating, relationships, life, AND love too.
I said in response to his question about why he doesn't lover her,
"Well she seems like a great nurturer. Even though she can never replace your wife (she passed away way too early long ago) she, from what I know of her, doesn't seem to challenge you enough. She gives and gives and gives, and of course she knows how to give it to him straight when he's being an ass... but it's like she's making it TOO easy on you."
You see even when his past wife admitted he "had" her when they got married and raised a family together...
She still made him chase her a little.
She still expected him to live up to his own potential.
She never let the slack go.
She appealed to his very logical, analytic and strictly "neatish" ways but she always managed to challenge his creative side.
Mind you without forcing it or being to over-bearing.
Your first assumption is partly correct:
His long-term girlfriend just doesn't challenge him enough in ways to make him feel like he's in love, whereas his departed wife did all that and more.
For a man to go from the "let's just see where it goes" to unconditional feelings of love, the challenge must be great enough so the work he does makes her happy (which makes him happier) AND also makes him feel accomplished in getting her and keeping her too.
And although the frequency can vary over time, it must NEVER end because once it does for a certain unknown period of time - his love becomes FLEETING and he'll feel like he's fallen out of love.
However - based on my vast experience in this area - just challenging a guy will NEVER be enough to make him FEEL LOVE.
It's certainly PART of the package but not the whole of it.
You might think IF his now long-time current girlfriend would challenge him more in the right way (because believe me there are many more ways to do it wrong which is covered in my book - "Understanding Men Made Simple" starting on roughly page 39.) he'd begin to love her BUT it's not the case because...
We passed over something very important and equally shared among all men even when the circumstances are totally different:
The LOVE of his dearly departed WIFE which can NEVER be erased.
Which I believe is the MAIN reason why he may never fall in love with his girlfriend and if he begins to feel something more, it will never feel the same.
For him to admit this new love would lessen the love he's already experienced AND in turn would make him almost feel like he was cheating on her.
Granted - this case is an exception. I'm sure it happens but it's not a situation most men and women find themselves in BUT...
What IS common or a shared experience among ALL men is that once a man FEELS it and gives everything he has to nurturing and growing that love, is not so easily replaceable and is certainly not something which can be erased from his emotional mind.
I'm not saying a man doesn't have the capacity to love many or experience it many times in his life...
Just that with each new one he feels can and will always be connected to his last AND how that love caused him pain or happiness.
Another point to be made here is admittance.
MAYBE, just maybe he DOES love his girlfriend but won't admit it to himself - again because of his passed wife.
There's this clever test I found which can help us figure that out AND if you're involved with a guy deeply but you're not sure if he loves you, because he won't say or admit it OR has a previous love he has not worked through yet - you can also take it for yourself:
Either way, you'll get a quick easy score for yourself.
I took the test for my friend and not surprisingly he got six points out of seven.
So MOST signs Do point to him actually loving her and gives us every reason to believe:
- He won't admit it to even himself out of respect for his past relationship.
- He truly believes he's not feeling it because he's constantly comparing the love he had for his wife to his girlfriend and since it feels different - it must not be love.
- His current girlfriend does challenge him, just not in the right ways to prove to him without a doubt that he does love her.
Love is often a messy and complicated area to discuss starting from all the different but similar definitions, all the way to how men and women seem to describe it from their own gender specific perceptive.
In the case above - it was clear he FELT bad for believing he's wasn't in love with his girlfriend.
It actually disappointed him to ask me WHY and he obviously wanted the real answer to make himself feel better about it.
Based on his personal situation a few things about men and love got a little clearer and hopefully it's something you can use in your current or future relationship with a man.
Yes - a man's feelings are certainly made greater or are built on how he is challenged by a woman.
There are many right ways and unfortunately more wrong ways which could have him walking away AFTER the challenge is met - which again is covered in my book you can get below for just signing up. Keeping in mind it's NOT the whole point of the book so that must be stated.
I believe a man's love is not confined.
He does have the capacity and ability to love many over his lifetime BUT it's not proven or correct or even a fair assumption that his past love can be so easily replaced because it will ALWAYS be connected to his present which means you can easily meet and date a man who:
- Won't admit his love for you out of respect of his last relationship.
- May not go there with you because he refuses to move on or is worried about screwing it all up again.
- May never FEEL or ALLOW himself to feel love because his mind is constantly comparing one of his past loves to his feelings with you.
Now I understand this hasn't been pleasant news but if you go through the post again you might notice before the conclusion...
Just because a man won't admit it or believe it or say it doesn't mean it's not there.
Men show love in many ways and if you're getting the bigger ones from him - getting him to say it and follow through with it may just be a simple matter of time, a little of the right kind of space, AND the ever-important skill of communicating to him so the points made today originate from his thoughts - carefully guided by yours.
Related posts you might enjoy reading:
- Out Of Relationship Mode, What Goes On In A Man’s Mind After A Breakup
- The Words He Uses To Speak His Love For You Means Little Without These Four Things
- Can A Man Be In Love With A Girl & Still Want To Stare At Other Women?
- Why Guys Have Every Reason To Be Afraid of Commitment? His Every Fear
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