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Not Feeling It, Should I Break Up?

Not Feeling It, Should I Break Up?

My rule of thumb: When in doubt, keep going out.


Dear Aleeza,

I’ve been dating someone for three months who is everything I ever wanted…and still I don't feel it. I don't think I feel as excited as I should, or as happy as I should, and I can't help but wonder if perhaps I should break it off because the feeling just doesn't come. How can I deal with this issue?

Not as Excited

Dear Not as Excited,

My first piece of advice is to stay together for now. When in doubt, keep going out. Don't break up until you have more information and clarity—especially before passing up someone who is everything you’ve ever wanted. Most often, the best way to deal with this kind of a relationship is to give it time. In time, your true feelings will surface and you will make a good decision, and not one based out of fear.

From your description, it sounds like this person is everything you ever wanted on paper, or in theory. I’ve heard similar sentiments from my clients: “Aleeza, I really like him/her, but it’s not what I think it should be.” You say that when you are together you don’t feel as excited or happy as you think you should feel. How do you think you “should” be feeling right now?

While it could be that this person isn’t right for you, at this stage, I’m more inclined to believe that your expectations are not in line with your reality. On one hand, expectations are good because they help us figure out what we want and need. However, sometimes expectations don’t come from within. External expectations can come from society, social media or movies/TV. Expectations can also come from your parents, mentors or friends.

I wonder if someone close to you described how they felt when they met their soul mate. Are you holding yourself and your date to that experience? If how happy someone else felt in a relationship is your standard, you may be disappointed in your own relationship. Take some time to sort out your own expectations from any expectations you may be borrowing from others.

I’ve had several clients say to me, “Another relationship I was once in felt better than this.” If you compare a current relationship to a previous relationship, it’s not uncommon to find that you “liked” a previous person more than the person you’re currently dating. Comparing people doesn’t make either one more or less right for you. It’s better not to compare. Memories are powerful…and not exactly accurate. They are usually embellished and more enhanced than reality.

But what if a previous relationship really was “better” or more exciting than your current relationship? Again, it doesn’t mean that this relationship is not right for you. More exciting relationships can sometimes seem like an easier choice; however, they aren’t always the right choice.

Right now you are still in a place of indecision. Don't rush to decide yes or no. Simply keep going out. Over time you will have more clarity. And in the meantime, you'll have an opportunity to continue to get to know someone and build a connection.

The need for clarity is often so strong that it pulls us away from having patience through the dating process. You may need another week, month or few months before you find clarity. Think of this relationship like baking bread: You already have the raw ingredients; now you have to sit back, let them be together and give them enough time to rise to their full potential. Sometimes the yeast fails and the dough collapses. But sometimes, when there seems to be very little movement, that slow consistent movement upwards ends up being quite fulfilling. And when that happens, you get something beautiful.

May you be inspired to build the relationship you desire and may you take your time in dating and allow clarity to rise.

July 15, 2017

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 6

(4) Peta, July 21, 2017 6:58 PM

Give it more time

My advice is to give it a bit more time. The writer is feeling conflicted and like Aleeza said, they may be comparing another relationship to this one. While three months may seem like a long time getting to know a person takes a life time. You will not fully understand and get to know someone in three matter how many moments you have together. Going out and getting to know each other is key. You may find out something interesting about the person. Giving up at three months unless it is detrimental to your safety, is kind of premature. Like I said, you may find out something interesting about the person and giving up, may cause you to miss many opportunities of experiencing the world through their eyes. So stick it out a while longer...get to know the person from a different perspective, and you will get to know this person from a different point of view.

(3) Anonymous, July 20, 2017 2:38 PM

What about the other person?

In the article above, there is no mention of the OTHER person... How does that person feel? Is that person "pushing" for some sort of resolution? Is the other person also "hesitant"? These seem to be importat items to consider...

(2) Bob Renard, July 20, 2017 2:31 PM

Consider Imago Therapy as a guide to dating & relationships

Here is a link or two to consider this new way to consider relationships:

(1) Anonymous, July 16, 2017 2:24 PM

This advice makes sense after three weeks, not MONTHS

Maybe you meet the guy too often (more than three times a week), or not often enough (less than once a week). Or you talk too much on the phone and have nothing to talk about when you meet. Or he doesn't make you a priority in his life. Or he isn't affectionate toward you. Or your dates all look the same and it feels like the first date over and over again. Or you never spoke about deep subjects and don't even know if your lives head in similar directions. Or you are stressed about something else and project it on the relationship. If none of these problems are there, then you probably just don't like the guy or don't find him attractive. You can't make yourself like someone. Three months are enough.

Bunny Shuch, July 18, 2017 5:09 AM

Three months may not be enough

Three months may not be enough to gauge the relationship. I know a couple, happily married for decades, who were just friends for a year before they felt the "chemistry". If the person in question is really "everything" the letter writer "ever wanted" then it's worth giving it more time to see what develops.

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