I Love My Fiancé, But I'm Not Sure If I'm "In Love"
When you agree to get married, you may fear at first that this isn't truly what you want. This may just be a case of cold feet, but it may also be your gut instinct warning you that you're about to make a huge mistake and that you need to get out while you still can. How can you know the difference? Are you "in love" with your fiance, or do you just love them as a person? And if you realize you're not "in love," then what do you do?
Meeting Someone New
Perhaps the best way to tell whether you're still in love with your fiance is if you find yourself falling for someone new. You must be unhappy if you're looking elsewhere, right? Not necessarily. You have to be careful here. What may at first seem like a good idea may be your setting yourself up for a bad pattern. If you find yourself hopping from one relationship to another because the new person "makes you feel alive," then chances are this won't be the only time you do this.
What you're doing in this situation is simply put, chasing a high. Falling in love is a chemical reaction in your brain, and it's only temporary. While you may feel young and alive again, that feeling will not last unless you change something within yourself to fill the void that you're trying to fill with a new relationship. And then the tragedy comes years down the road when you realize you gave up a pretty great relationship because you thought the grass would be greener on the other side.
When it comes to physical attraction, simply put: looks fade. Have you ever seen a hot 90-year-old? You may be able to see hints of the good-looking person they once were, but that's the difference: it's who they once were.
Everyone ages. We all get gray hair (or lose our hair), wrinkles, and some extra chub around the middle. If you're with someone simply because you find them attractive, then you are bound to be disappointed, and sooner rather than later. Once middle-age sets in, it's all downhill from there.
Some people still look fantastic in their 50s and 60s, but the reality is that you will be much happier if you marry someone for their mind, rather than their looks. Yes, physical attraction is important, especially for a healthy sex life, but it's not everything. If you find yourself consistently telling people how hot your fiance is, and not much else, then you may need to re-evaluate not only your relationship but who you choose to marry (and why) in the future.
Pro tip: find someone who will make you laugh and with whom you share great conversation. These things are lifesavers when you fall on hard times, or even if you just need a pick-me-up after a hard day. A communication breakdown is one of the most common causes of a breakup. Find someone with whom communication is easy and fluid, and you have a way better shot at finding lifelong happiness.
An Argument Does Not Always Signal The End
If you find yourself arguing a lot with your fiance as of late, this may not necessarily mean that you're no longer a good fit. Every couple has rough patches. Is he having a tough time at work lately? Are you finding it difficult to find a job? Are you stressed out about your family, his family, your biological clock?
Some things can stress us out and get in the way of enjoying time with each other, but that doesn't mean that the relationship is necessarily doomed. Get this: most couples have issues that will simply never resolve. The key for couples that last isn't that they overcome all of their problems, but that they find ways to manage the problems they have effectively.
Your Sex Life: Yawn…
Many of us are ready to throw in the towel when sex gets predictable or boring. You may feel like there's nowhere to go from here, like sex can never be exciting with your fiance again, so you have to find someone new to enjoy yourself again. But this doesn't have to be the case.
Perhaps consider trying things you've never tried before. Some people find that having an open relationship keeps things fresh, but you should do your research to determine whether you could truly be okay with such an arrangement. Not everyone can handle knowing their significant other is having sex with someone else.
On a slightly less extreme note, you could try sex toys, different positions, and different sexual techniques. You may also want to consider seeing a licensed professional who specializes in sex therapy and who can help guide you and your fiance into making the best possible decisions for your particular relationship.
Understanding Mature Love
When you understand what mature love is, then you can better determine whether that is what you have with your partner. Sure, the early days of falling in love are a blast. The flowers, the unexpected gifts "just because," the spontaneous romantic getaways, the phone calls that keep you both up all night. But all of this fades, and what's important is what's left when the dust settles.
True love, mature love, is about commitment. It's about wanting to do everything you can to better your partner's life, and your partner wants to do the same for you. It's about communicating with each other, sharing everything with each other from your hopes and desires to a bad day at work. And it's about you wanting to comfort your partner on those bad days, and s/he comforting you in return on yours.
True love is not about love notes in a locker or romantic gestures in the rain. True love is the mundane, day-to-day…when you get home from work to find that he has done the dishes and put dinner on the table…when you grab her a coffee on the way home, even if you don't want to stop for anything for yourself because you know her favorite coffee shop is on your way home.
Being "in love" is just a high, like feeling stoned or drunk. True love is about selflessness and about loving every day that you get to spend with your partner - even the boring ones.
Changing Your Thinking
What do you do when you realize that you are, in fact, chasing a high? That there's nothing wrong with your partner, yet still you desperately desire to feel that "in love" feeling again? The first thing you must understand is that the adage is true: you can't truly love another person until you love yourself.
This is because to love another truly, that feeling comes from a confident, self-assured, and secure place within ourselves. If we don't feel confident and secure, then we can't possibly develop a strong, secure bond with another person. If that key ingredient is missing, then you may need to do some soul-searching on what you need to do to make yourself happy and change your outlook on life.
You may need to seek professional help to sort things out, and that's okay. It can be incredibly difficult to figure out on your own how to solve a problem - especially one as big as a fundamental change within yourself.
So if you feel like you need to keep constantly chasing that "in love" feeling, this is a signal that you are not completely fulfilled as a person. This has nothing to do with your current relationship and everything to do with making that change within yourself.
Infatuation is fun, no doubt. Who doesn't want to be giddy in love, adored by their partner, and living by the seat of their pants, anxious to see what each new day brings on this whirlwind romance? But the fact of the matter is that infatuation can't hold a candle to real love. Infatuation is child's play. When you fall in real love, now you're sitting at the adult's table.
Maybe It's For The Best
Maybe you've evaluated your relationship, and you've decided that you know what? You aren't "in love" with your fiance anymore. First thing's first: thank the lucky stars that you realized it before you tied the knot, rather than after. Second, be sure to address the issue sooner rather than later.
You don't want to drag the situation out for the sake of your partner's feelings. This never works. Ultimately, your partner will realize you've been unhappy for a while and will resent you for not ending things sooner. Yes, this is difficult to do and quite sad, but the longer you wait to break things off with your fiance, the more you delay both of you the chance of meeting someone new and finding that true happiness.