Submitted by Sydney Rosenthal
I’ve started seeing someone and I love the comfortability and consistency of our relationship, but I don’t feel a spark/strong romantic feelings or like I’m crushing on him. I’ve been open and honest about where I’m at with my feelings, but I feel like I’m using him. Should I just end things so he doesn’t get hurt?
Sincerely, It’s Complicated
Dear It’s Complicated,
Of course, there are endless types of relationships but for me, if I’m in a romantic relationship with someone I need to feel romantic feelings towards them. The feelings can be brought on by everyday things, like my partner making me laugh or telling me how pretty I look. When my current partner does these things I get those sparks you’re talking about.
Before my current boyfriend, I always used to tell myself that I didn’t need those feelings. For me, those past relationships felt unbalanced and although I usually did end up caring about those partners deeply, without that spark I felt like something was missing and that something was wrong with me. My two most serious relationships started by my friends convincing me into them, but in my gut, I didn’t feel strong feelings towards either person. Instead, I felt idolized by them: they made me feel wanted. I wanted desperately to feel romantically towards them but something always held me back. I still can’t explain that something in a more eloquent way than, I didn’t love them.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always feel huge sparks with my current partner, sometimes he annoys me or makes me angry and that’s normal to an extent. I feel like we’re conditioned into believing we always need to feel fireworks and butterflies when we talk to our partners, which is frankly unrealistic.
Ask yourself what you want out of your relationship. And ask your partner too.
My worry is that you’re settling for comfort out of fear of putting yourself out there or out fear of hurting your current partner. These are both things that I did. If this is the type of relationship you want to be in then you shouldn’t feel guilty about your feelings. Your relationship shouldn’t be based on the expectation of what you “should” be feeling. Everyone has a different definition of what the ideal relationship is. If you and your partner are happy with your current situation and are on the same page in regards to emotions and the end goal of the relationship I see nothing wrong with your situation, just make sure that’s the case.