i love you, but i’m not in love with you

she looks way too happy to be delivering a message like that.
i think she must be evil.

*peeks in*

anybody still here?

hellooooooo?

i’ve got my computer back and i’ve been cured of SARS, so we can resume the nonsense i spew here now.

ready?!  OH!  KAY!

“i love you, but i’m not in love with you” is one of those phrases you see a lot and sometimes wonder if anyone has ever actually said it.

let me assure you, they have.  and by they, i mean me.  it’s how i turned down a marriage proposal.

it’s official, sharideth.  you’re a terrible person.

yes, i am, but not for saying that to someone.  we weren’t even dating when he asked me to marry him.  had only dated for about 2 weeks a year earlier.  he was a good friend and i did love him, but i was most definitely not in love with him.  i wasn’t even in like with him.  he was just my friend.

my friend who’s heart i squashed like the spider who crawled across my eyebrow last night.

some people think this phrase is a cop-out.  i call those people, The Wrong Ones.

you can feel genuine love for someone, but not be in love with her.  happens all the time.  even with those you date.  we can’t just run around falling in love with everyone.  that would be madness.  MADNESS! i say!

let’s define both parts of this phrase, shall we?  we shall.

“i love you…” – i have sincere feelings of caring for you.  i would probably take a bullet for you, but would at least back you up in a bar fight.  you matter deeply to me and i want nothing but good and happy things to happen to you.

“…but i’m not in love with you.” – i don’t have those romantic feelings of can’t-live-without-you.  i tried to.  i wanted to.  it didn’t happen.

anyone who finds himself in a position where he has to use this phrase, or some variation thereof, feels like pond scum.  it’s not fun.  and it’s not a cop-out.  cop-outs don’t make you feel like pond scum. 

“i love you, but i’m not in love with you” is a legit expression of reality.  cliche or not.  but that doesn’t make it suck any less for either party.

have you ever had to say this or had this said to you?

what are other relationship cliches?

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17 comments on “i love you, but i’m not in love with you

  1. becca3416 says:

    Never actually said it, out loud. Definitely have known the feeling though. Man, wouldn’t it be great if we could control who we loved. Life might be a lot easier, but it also may be a lot more boring.

  2. Interesting discussion. I think it entirely depends on your definition of love and in love. Here’s my definition of love:

    A commitment to protect and provide, based on the will of God, that may be undergirded by an emotion.

    That emotion is the “in love” part I would say. I think it also explains how you can love an enemy. You may not feel warm and fuzzy about them, but you can protect and provide for them.

    HOWEVER, the commitment is essential to. When I made the ultimate commitment to my wife in marriage, I committed to loving her even during those times when I don’t feel like I’m in love with her. That is something that a lot of people forget these days I think. Just because you don’t feel particularly in love with your spouse doesn’t mean you give up. It means you remember your commitment and work to fall in love again. When the commitment is there, the falling part can be much easier.

  3. I have said this, and had it said to me. It sucked equally both times.

  4. daterofboys says:

    I’ve said it to 2 people now…when I broke up with them.
    Hurts like hell to say it.

  5. My girlfriend didn’t like when I explained how the two were different for me. I told her rather soon how I was madly in love with her, but waited to say I loved her. Later, she mentioned how I told her I loved her for the first time, and I disagreed. When I was in love with her, I was describing a strong emotion. When I told her I loved her, I expressed a choice, a commitment maybe. Now I have both sides, but I can totally relate to your argument. I love many people, but I’m only IN love with one.

  6. Boy, I think everyone has said this or at least thought it! Good post, and a great follow-up to the post by Evan.

    Love is essentially a choice…even if you think it isn’t 😉 The feelings will not always be there for the person you eventually marry—just ask any married couple. But when you choose to love, you are able to truly love no matter what your feelings are in any given moment. 1 Corinthians 13 is a great chapter in the Bible to check out with regard to what love is really all about.

  7. Bekah Hope says:

    Oh how timely. Very afraid I am about to be faced with one of these conversations… never thought I’d find myself in that position.

  8. Emily says:

    Other relationship clichés? I’m hoping this means follow-up posts. That would be stellar.
    -“It’s not you, it’s me.”
    -“I’m not ready for a relationship right now. Now’s not a good time.”
    -followed up with, “My heart is still healing from my last relationship.”
    and my current least favorite. . .
    -“I gotta get home to the ol’ ball and chain.”

    Let’s be honest, I’ve used the first and second ones. Meant the second. Whoops on the highschool break-up reflected with the first one.

  9. torcon1 says:

    Great post and I just wanted to say that I love your blog but I’m not “in love” with it. It’s not you, it’s me.

    BTW, according to the Internet you swallow eight spiders a year during your sleep – but it seems you’ve managed to successfully reduce your arachnid intake by one. Nice job!

  10. atkins5614 says:

    Man. I hate that phrase.

    I think it can be a cop out. In your case, Sharideth, I don’t think it was. However, my wife told me that she wasn’t in love with me anymore and then cheated on me. That was a cop out. She just didn’t want to try to fix and work on our relationship. That phrase is just so often, at least in my head, associated with crappy situations like mine that it really makes my butt pucker. But I do think that it has its place, just not once you’re already married.

  11. just blogged about this. love those excuses….ooops I mean genuine reasons…for ending a relationship (or not starting one). At the end of the day, all it means, is he’s just not that into you….ouch.

  12. Regan says:

    OK, here’s a question that’s been on my mind for no reason whatsoever. If you feel this way about a guy (love him, but not in love with him), should you date him to see if there might be more later? Or should you just own up to your feelings and try to find someone else?

  13. asoulwalker says:

    I don’t know why a girl would feel the need to say the “I love you” part if she is going to follow it with “but I’m not in love with you.” There is a time and place for everything and just because something is true doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you to say it right now. You have to know that saying the two together in that context has a very high chance of hurting the man’s feelings a lot more than just saying the one. I’m not sure why you would want to make things worse when you are delivering what you expect to be very bad news for the other person.

  14. Ann says:

    I told this to a guy that was thinking I was like so into him. I mean I love being around him because we laugh and have fun. But I got bent out of shape when he said,”I think this is moving too fast” I was thinking for who me or you? So I waited at least a month before I called him because by then I had calmed down and could talk without it being emotionally. I told him, “Do I love you, most definitely”, Am I in love you, no,” Could I fall in love with you most definitely” I went to tell him we just don’t know each other well enough for these kinds of feelings.
    I didn’t feel it was mean to be honest and tell him that in a good and decent way. I was irked he misconstruted how I was feeling.

    Was I wrong???????????????????

  15. Kelli says:

    My looking for a reason my husband said this to me is driving me nuts. We were married a year and he told me this after i knew hes been talking to another woman. I feel like its her but he says no its not. He says he feels things fir her he hadnt w me and we were together 11 yrs! How do i wrap my head around this and make sense of it. I love him deeply but looking back at the years it makes sense i guess:( i want to be able to make things work w him but why? For the kids maybe? He seems to be pretty adament about his decision. But i just dont see what happened or what i did for him not to “be in love”. What we had was good there where issues emotionally w him but his actions showed differently. Lost and confused but maybe ready to let go considering the facts.

  16. annie says:

    I know its the right thing to do, and I really do love him, I love so many things about him but I think I’m in love with someone else. Its beginning to even confuse me cos I’ve found myself asking -well, myself! – whether I’m no thinking I’m in love with this other person cos I’ve been with him for much longer and he’s “familiar”… HELP!

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