You can survive those awful words.
For most of us, the dreaded words, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you," are devastating. They chill us to the bone and we begin to fear for our relationship. Those six words bring back past memories when we loved someone deeply, but they just wanted to be friends.
If someone says it you, it may trigger the pain of a previous relationship. So, what do you do? Here's what to do when he's not in love with you anymore.
1. Move beyond your fear to hear what he needs.
When we're afraid, all we can think about are the disasters we're certain lie ahead. We ruminate over increasingly dramatic and tragic occurrences: "He doesn't think I'm attractive. He's probably going to leave me. I'm going to be all alone the rest of my life." Does any of this sound familiar?
Get a hold of yourself. Don't go down that path. Instead, ask yourself, "What does he need?" He may be telling you he needs to recapture his passion for life. Many men say they are no longer in love with their wives, but what is really going on is that they are no longer in love with their lives. Talk to him about where he feels stuck and what things might excite him.
It may take time, but with patience, he will open up to you and reveal that he's lost some of his passion for life. Together you can recapture what was lost and find a new zealous happiness for life.
2. Become the new woman of his dreams.
When you think about it, biology tends to push men toward other women. All women reach a point, usually by age 50, when they can no longer reproduce. However, men are able to have children later in life. For women, there's no reproductive advantage to leaving their partners to find someone younger and more attractive. That isn't the case for men.
He may love his spouse and want to be with her forever, but there is a biological pull, usually unconscious, that says, "Look, staying with a woman who can't have more children isn't going to help you populate the world. Fall in love with someone that can still make babies."
Rather than ignoring this biological reality, make it work for you instead. You don't have to go on a diet and get back to the weight you were when you were 20 or get your body plucked, peeled, and perky to look like a 25-year-old. But you can take care of yourself to make sure you feel and look good at any age. You can make changes in your attitude and appearance to become a new you.
There's a story. Maybe it's even true. A woman puts her profile up on a dating site. She focuses on the good qualities she has and thinks about the kind of man she'd like to meet. An interesting stranger answers her ad and the way he describes himself seems exciting and dreamy. And it turns out to be her husband.
You don't have to go that far. You can break up the old mindset that says, "we're an old married couple" and think like the girl you were when you were excited about finding that special someone. It can be fun to reinvent ourselves periodically.
3. Remember: You can't keep your relationship alive unless you're willing to lose it.
Most of us are afraid of losing the one we love. It's so frightening that we do everything we can to block the fear out of our minds. So when he says, "I'm not in love with you," we do everything we can to hold the relationship together.
But think about those early days of passion and promise. One of the things that made it so exciting was the fact that we didn’t know for sure that the relationship would last. Remember how we'd agonize over something small hoping that it it was an indication of something bigger? And remember the feeling of ecstatic joy we felt when they gave us that special look that let us know that we are loved?
At the beginning of a relationship, we don’t have as much to lose. We can afford to take some risks, try new things, and reveal parts of ourselves that we're not sure will be accepted. Living on the edge of possibility is part of what keeps relationships exciting. If we remember that, we can take the risk to speak our truth even when we’re afraid it might endanger the relationship.
In any long-term relationship, there are important thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams that get suppressed because we're afraid that revealing them will end the relationship. For many, the passion and excitement they lost is able to be rekindled by taking risks and telling the truth about wants and needs.
What can you do to develop the courage to move towards your fears? What are you willing to do to create a new relationship with the guy you are with?
This article was originally published at Scribd. Reprinted with permission from the author.