But He Doesn’t Love Her


You can’t help but smile when you see my girl and her guy – their affection for one another is infectious. They’re sweet to each other, but they’ll call each other out on bullshit when necessary. They’re touchy-feely, but not to the point of being nauseating. They finish each others sentences sometimes, but more often they listen to one another with interest and each of them delight in the other’s intelligence. They support each other. They have each other’s backs.

Not that they don’t have their issues – they definitely do. She’s wildly irresponsible and he’s always trying to get her to grow up while she debates on a monthly basis whether it’s okay to spend her rent money on shoes. He’s reticent to the point of catatonia at times and it’s like pulling teeth for her to get him to open up and talk about his feelings. She’s afraid of her parents even though she’s grown and will evade questions or omit details to avoid their wrath. He’s the original mommy’s boy who worries more about what his mother would say about his girl than what he really thinks of her.

Yeah they have their stuff but they’re also willing to work at it. They make their needs known and they ask their partner to meet them. Neither of them is losing themselves in the relationship or changing who they are to please their partner, but they do the work necessary to make their relationship work. It’s not always an easy road and they often want to shank each other, but they’re in their relationship. They’re committed to one another.

Now I’m not a particularly envious person but I think my little green-eyed monster would be rearing its ugly head were it not for one thing: My girl’s guy is great and I wish I had one just like him. He treats her like gold and makes her feel like she won the lottery. But he doesn’t love her.

Yep. Her boyfriend is awesome and treats her better than she could ever have hoped for. He makes her smile and laugh and cum her brains out. He considers her, makes her feel special, and is charmed by her weirdness. But he’s not in love with her and it makes her a little bit crazy.

To be clear, this is not a particularly new relationship. They’re past the point where anyone could accuse them of rushing into things if they got married or knocked up or shacked up.  They’ve met each others families, had their first and second fights, been together long enough to stop being charmed by each other’s annoying habits.  She’s not jumping the gun or putting the cart before the horse or being impatient. She’s just someone in love who wants to be loved back. And we can probably understand that.

I don’t know a girl who doesn’t feel like she’s pissed part of her life away furiously loving a man who – in hindsight – so clearly didn’t love her back. I’m the first to admit I’ve wasted years of my life on that particular fool’s errand (hello Spectacular Asshole).  By the time you get to my age, most women have experienced that. And that feeling – that “I am so stupid” feeling you get when you’re out of the situation and you look back with clarity and absolutely cringe at the many many signs you ignored that the person you were so devoted to didn’t love you. Well, there’s nothing worse than that feeling.

The difference between that feeling and the situation my homegirl is in right now is that a woman usually doesn’t know she’s in a relationship with a man who doesn’t love her. Or at least they don’t admit it. Most women are lied to, misled, sold a dream of love and marriage and babies by a man who was really just trying to get over on her. And as mean and as vicious as that is, at the moment my girl is waxing nostalgic for those days because she’d rather have the illusion of love than the ice-cold knowledge that the man she is devoted to; the man who looks at her like the sun shines out of her ass, the man she wants to pin her life on, doesn’t love her won’t even do her the courtesy of lying about it.

When my girl cries to me about this, I really don’t know what to say to her. On the one hand I think that in a relationship, behaviour trumps all. So does it really matter if your man doesn’t love you if he treats you right and makes you happy? Part of me wants to remind this girl that there are women all over the world whose men are desperately in love with them who get treated like shit on a regular basis. Part of me wants to go Tina Turner on her ass and ask her “what’s love got to do with it”?

But the other part, the girl part of me I suppose, understands where she’s coming from. The irrational part of me that knows the thrill of hearing those three little words from the man you love. The part of me who knows from experience the resentment this kind of iniquity can breed, the part of me that wants the very best the world has to offer for my girl says no. Fuck it. Yes you deserve to be treated right and made happy and to get fucked properly on a regular. But you also deserve to be loved. And if this dude doesn’t, there’s someone out there who will.

But what say you guys? Have you ever been in my girl’s situation? Do you think someone can be happy in a relationship knowing that their partner doesn’t love them? Is my girl making a big deal out of nothing or holding on to a pipe dream? Speak your piece in the comments.

Oh and p.s.: the homey Sardonically Barbed wisely pointed out in the comments that I didn’t say how she knows he doesn’t love her, so let me be clear: he told her he doesn’t. He wants to, he’s trying to, but he doesn’t. So this isn’t a case of her misinterpreting his behaviour or his words – it has been made very clear to her.

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 11

  1. maybe i am missing something but you did not really go into detail regarding “how” she knows (for a fact) that he does not love her

    I think sometimes people get held up by their personal idea of love [ex: the type of love exhibited by their parents whether good or bad] and they assume that their significant other can manufacture that kind of love and shower them with it.

    is it possible that he loves her in the way she knows how to love?
    she sounds pretty happy except for that bit, i think she’d be better off staying put than jumping back into the abyss and hoping to find another guy with all the same traits and the kind of love she thinks she has to have.

    1. max says:

      Ah good point. She knows because he has told her repeatedly that he’s not in love with her. He wants to love her – he’s trying to love her – but he doesn’t.

  2. novelty718 says:

    I have learned that when a man says “he wants to love you and is trying to love you” that he is settling and so are you and at some point it will not work out and the one that feels the love will get hurt.
    I think the guy cares about her and has deep affection, but that type of love that would lead to marriage NEEDS to be in a relationship for it to withstand. IMHO, to me I would always wonder if someone new could come along and receive what affection is given to me and have it turn into love.

  3. RP1496 says:

    If they have been together for a extended period of time, then I have to say she needs to cut her loses and move on.

    Men know what they want, and what he wants is someone to fill a void until the next woman comes along.

  4. If he wants to love her and can’t…and she’s REQUIRING that…she should skate. She won’t though, so I fully expect your next post to be how he left her for someone he was in love with and how pissed off she is.

  5. novelty718 says:

    I also think what is ill-advised is that he has said he “is trying to”…that comment alone has had me moving on. To me it made me feel like it was a chore.

    I believe the type of love that would take the relationship to the next level (i.e. marriage) can’t be forced. Either it is there or it isn’t. Time away from each other “might” change that but don’t cut ties believing that time will make someone love you the way you want to be loved.

  6. So Flyy says:

    I’m thankful for the comments b/c I had soooo many questions…

    So now that some of them have been answered, I guess my question is:

    Because he says he doesn’t love her (but is trying) are all plans for their future hinged on him achieving that love he is looking for?

    I don’t think men are wired the same way as women and some part of me says that love aint’ got sh*t to do w/ sh*t. His loving behaviour and desire to do right is what makes this a great relationship, b/c there are assh0les out here that claim love everyday but wouldn’t know a loving gesture if it dropkicked ’em in the sac.

    1. max says:

      Yeah see I’m with you (as usual). As much as we all want to pretend that love is all you need, it’s not enough to sustain a relationship. This dude acts like he loves her, treats her like he loves her, prioritizes her like he loves her…that is nothing to sneeze at. Maybe the love will come later and maybe it won’t but as far as I can see she’s got a pretty good thing going right now. I would let it rock if it were me.

  7. Novelty718 says:

    I guess the question of is what she gets from the relationship enough to make her happy? Is she completely satisfied?
    Because I’ve been in this situation I know for me it wouldn’t be enough. Loving gestures are great while dating but is he there for her beyond gestures? Does he provide emotional support? But as long as the woman is happy and knows the risk to each is own.

  8. Tanya says:

    Or maybe he’s just a really good boyfriend. Maybe he’s of the Dudley Do-right variety and doesn’t want to treat a woman wrong. If you say he’s a momma’s boy then that may be the reason. Finishing each others sentences happens with time. The affection might just be the way they both naturally are. My ex wasn’t in love with me at first, but we were great friends and he treated me like a queen. Like…walk to my dorm room during a blizzard with just a sweater because i was sick and ran out of meal swipes.

    Or maybe he just doesn’t know what love is. Maybe he has a fairy tale idea of love because not many people have seen real love before. I’m hoping it’s the latter.

  9. Carmen says:

    My question is does she feel loved? If she feels that he loves her but just hasn’t said it then she should stay. If she reaches a point where if it is not said she cannot continue the relationship then some type of ultimatum should be given. I do believe her quarrel is valid and no one like to show their hand while the other still holds their cards.

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