Q: What does it mean when a man tells you he loves you but is not "in love" with you? This is a man of whom I have been extremely supportive. I have known and cared about him for many decades, and we have had the most intimate emotional connection imaginable. We deeply loved each other and were truly soul mates as far as I was concerned. He wants to end our relationship even though he "loves" me. I didn't think there was a difference between love and "in love."
-- S.S., Williamsville
A: Because you have spent so many years with this man, it's no wonder that he cares deeply for you and loves you as a person; however, there is a difference between this kind of love and actually being in love.
When we're in love, there is romance, intimacy and sex. It's the kind of love that is necessary for healthy relationships to thrive. In other words, he's trying to tell you that he is no longer interested in you romantically, but still considers you an important person in his life. Sometimes feelings change over time and there's nothing we can do about it. Once the romantic love dies, it's hard to bring it back to life.
My advice to you would be to separate yourself from this man and try to move on. You deserve to be with someone who is as much in love with you as you are with him. It will be painful and difficult, because there's nothing quite like the sting of unrequited love, but it will be in your best interest for the long run. Remember: self-love, self-worth and self-respect.
Weight gets in way
Q: I've been plus-sized my entire life, I'm divorced, and in my mid-30s. For several months, I have been dating an awesome guy. He treats me very well, and my family adores him. All and all, the relationship seems perfect; we talk about getting married and perhaps having a child together. However, our sex life is not great. We have sex a few times a month, and occasionally it is wonderful.
Recently after a night of drinking, he told me that he didn't feel like our sex life was up to snuff because of my weight. He said that he didn't feel attracted to me because of it, but that he loves me for who I am. The next day, he was very apologetic and said that he shouldn't have said those things to me. Now I'm afraid to even think about initiating sex, and I know I have been much less "cuddly" and affectionate because I feel like he isn't attracted to me. Should I just chalk this up to a drunken rant?
-- T.M., Buffalo
A: Unfortunately, in vino veritas (translation: "there is truth in wine"). However, if your weight has been the same from the beginning of your relationship, it doesn't make a lot of sense why he would date you in the first place if he didn't feel an attraction. Without physical attraction, a relationship won't last. Men are physical creatures by nature, whereas women tend to form an attraction on a more emotional level. If your weight is causing you personal distress, you might consider talking with your doctor about a potential diet/exercise plan.
You should talk to him soberly and tell him how you feel about what he said. Ask him to be honest with you about how he feels in regard to you and your relationship. The last thing you want to do is waste your time with someone who doesn't like to have sex with you, especially since you haven't been dating him for very long and are already discussing things like marriage and children (which, by the way, is too soon in my opinion).
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). E-mail questions to email@example.com and include your initials and hometown.