Question: Dear Luise: This all happened when I was 15. I had never been in love and didn’t plan on falling in love when I met this guy. (16) We met, by his best friend and became a couple. In the beginning of the relationship, I wasn’t all that into him because I didn’t want to get hurt. I thought that just because of his looks that he was automatically a player. I ended up giving him a chance and falling head over heels for him because I found out that behind his “player” looks, he was a really good guy. We had it all. There was love, passion, fun, everything! We would talk all the time, hangout, etc. Yes, we’ve had our ups and down…revenge…lies…but we managed to stick through it. Occasionally we got in fights, that lasted less than a week but we would always end up going right back to where we started. But now, lately, ( 2 months) he seems to not love me how he used to. He used to always call, always use little cute text messages, always make me feel special. Now, he doesn’t do any of that. He claims he loves me, I try to believe he loves me, I hope he loves me but I really don’t know if he loves me. L.
Answer: Dear L.: Most guys can’t keep that up. The novelty wears off eventually and they just aren’t willing to stay in the romantic mode where it all started. There are exceptions, of course, but there are also many definitions of love as it matures and grows…some being less intense than others.
When “feeling special” depends on something or someone outside of your self, it can be a roller coaster. You are special whether another person perceives you that way or not. Yes, attention is great and flattery is nice to hear but your self-worth needs to be an inside job. Then you aren’t at the effect of the often-unreliable whims of others.
It’s a good idea to learn as early in life as you can that others are going to do (and not do) what suits them at any given time…not necessarily what suits you. It may be what you want or it may not be. You can’t direct and orchestrate the behavior of others. They have good and bad days, many distractions and varying interests. Therefore, you will come and go from their conscious focus. You need to build change into that formula, as well.
Men and women are basically different. The fairy tale Prince Charming may find conquest more stimulating than the ordinary day-to-day routine that longstanding relationships require. He may choose, either consciously or unconsciously, to leave a lot of the romance behind. Romance may be seen as high maintenance and not “natural” over the long haul.
Talk with him. Not the “do you love me talk” but the “what do you need (both of you) and what are your expectations talk.” Then the next step is to see that filling each others needs and expectations is not your job. Your job is to support his meeting his goals and visa versa…to learn to be direct and honest and willing to be responsible for your own well-being while sharing a life together. Simple but not necessarily experienced as easy. Blessings, Luise