What it means and what you should do if you are experiencing fading romantic feelings for your partner.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has been with his girlfriend for five years. She was his first real love and wasn’t as experienced with women like she was with men. She seems like the perfect girlfriend, but he feels like he is missing out and like the grass is greener on the other side.
He doesn’t always feel in love with her and wonders what he should do. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
I’ve got an email from a guy who has been with his girlfriend for about five, going on six, years. And, quite frankly, everything he tells me about her, she seems like a good woman who’s really devoted to him and really does all the right things. I would say, after going through his email, a big part of that is because it’s obvious she’s more into him than he is into her, therefore, he’s doing everything right. He’s displaying his masculinity in a very healthy way to where she’s seeking his attention and validation. But he recognizes sometimes he doesn’t feel head over heels in love with her. And because he was young, I think he was 21, 22 years old when they started seeing each other, he didn’t have as much experience with women as she did with guys.
So, by the time she met him, she had had a few boyfriends, had dated a bunch, kind of knew what the market was like, and what was out there, and the way certain guys are, and she liked him the best. Well, he has a very similar situation to what I had, that I wrote about in How To Be A 3% Man, when I was in my early twenties and I got together with my wife. I just didn’t have a lot of experience. And because I hadn’t dated a lot and hadn’t been through several relationships at that point in my life, I was behind the eight ball. It took me time to mature. Therefore, I was in a relationship with somebody that I really didn’t want to be in a relationship with long term, but I didn’t know how to get out of it, and I just kind of went along with everything because everything was so good.
But, deep down, I knew I needed to have other experiences. And so, that’s why I left and moved on. It was the toughest thing I ever had to do, but it was the one time in my life that I went against everything that felt right to me on the inside. And all of the great experiences that I’ve had since then, I would have never gotten to experience if I would have stayed.
As a man, it really helps that you get enough experience so you can feel certain. But like Bill Parcells, the former NFL coach and NFL executive, said, “Sometimes better is the enemy of good.” A lot of guys wonder, and this is what kept me in the relationship with my ex-wife. I just wanted to date and have a good time. And then, eventually, I figured I’d move away and then we would just kind of go our separate ways. But I was always terrified and worried like, “This is the best girl I’ve ever found. What if I never find anybody else that treats me this way? What do I do then? Then I’ll want to go back. Then I screwed up, then I’ve lost the love of my life.”
That feeling of fear, because of my lack of experience, was something that just absolutely tortured me for the three or four years that we were together. And at the end of the day, I listened to my heart, my curiosity and my intuition, because that was the right decision for me personally.
First of all, thank you very much for all you do from a long-time fan. After many years of listening to your advice, this is my first time reaching out. I am currently struggling with a crossroad situation with my next career step and my long-term girlfriend. We met in 2016 during my exchange year and we started as good friends, which eventually developed into a serious relationship.
Well, when you can get along really well with somebody else, that just makes things go a lot better, a lot easier, and a lot more effortlessly.
We were only 21 and 22 years old, and it was exciting for me as a first serious relationship. I had to return home to finish my studies and we kept a long-distance relationship alive until I returned to live with her. At the time, we were still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase and I would do anything for her.
The other thing to note, the difference between your situation and my situation, is there never really was a honeymoon phase with myself and my wife. I loved her, she was a great girl, she was a great wife, a great human being, but I never was head over heels infatuated with her. She was just easy to be with, because she really loved the shit out of me. She just thought I was the shit. For whatever reason, I did it for her. And that was new to me. That was the first time that I had experienced that. And I remember back in the day, in the late 90s, when I was talking to the late, great Doc Love and I was telling him about it, he said, “Oh, you married interest level.” And he was right.
Since then, she has grown up, matured, and become even more invested and devoted to us succeeding as a couple. She has a good job, takes care of herself, is very family-oriented, and is compassionate towards me. She has been there for me when I’ve been at my weakest, and she is the only one that truly knows me.
The important thing to remember is that you had an infatuation and a honeymoon period, so you got to experience what that’s like. But it doesn’t last; you get 6-12 months of that. And then, there will be times in your relationship where you feel that, and there will be times when you don’t. But at the end of the day, if you leave her and you go date somebody else, you’re going to go through a honeymoon phase, and then that’ll wear off. Then you’re back where you were with this particular woman that’s been your girlfriend, your loyal girlfriend, for the last five or six years, even when you’ve been long distance, and even when you’ve been down in the dumps. That’s pretty damn awesome.
This last year we are again doing long-distance, due to me pursuing a master’s abroad. When leaving, I knew this could hurt our relationship but decided to do it anyway.
Well, a man does what he must, and so you must follow your purpose in life. You’ve got to fulfill your destiny. You’ve got to accomplish your purpose and your mission, as a man. Otherwise, you’re going to feel like your life is a waste. You have to have some kind of life’s work that excites you and lights you up on the inside, and so that was the right move.
A good test for whether or not the woman you’re with is the right woman for you is, does she support your purpose and your mission in life? And obviously, it sounds like she did. She knew it was going to take you away from her for a year, but she loved you and she supported you through it. That’s a good, good, good sign.
Fast forward to today, we still have a very strong bond and are both lovers and best friends after 5 years. We have matured into grown-ups together and share a lot of good memories. However, I have noticed a stronger interest in pursuing the ‘unknown’ and other women around me that show interest. I have very few sexual encounters compared to my girlfriend, and feel I have ‘matured’ late and missed out somewhat.
Well, you’ve got to remember, women are going to mature faster than guys do, just because they get more experience. So, women tend to be about 5-10 years ahead of men, and you guys are the same age. You’ve got to remember, a pretty girl, especially when she starts blossoming in high school through her mid-20s, that’s the period of time when she gets more attention from men than she’ll ever get in her entire life.
Women constantly have dicks thrown at them, basically, as long as they’re fit, and in shape, and they look good. They’ll get more dicks thrown at them than they’re ever going to get thrown at them in their entire life. And so, they get a lot of experience. They get a lot of repetitions. They experience lots of interest, dates, lovers, having boyfriends. And as a guy, he blossomed later, just like I did. I didn’t even lose my virginity until I was 21, so that’s totally understandable.
I now have to decide to choose between a job opportunity back home or finding a job where she lives and moving in with her. We are now 27 years old and things are most likely getting more serious if I move back. Taking one year at a time does not really work anymore.
Well, the important thing about your job that you have to consider, regardless of your relationship with her, is where do you want to live, as a man? Do you want to live in her country, or do you want to live somewhere else? That’s the important thing. And you shouldn’t be moving back there just to please her. You should be living where you want to live. Because, if you move back there to please her and you don’t really want to be there, that’s going to have a negative impact on your relationship. So, it’s super important to be real and honest with yourself about that.
That’s first and foremost, your purpose, your mission has to come first, and you’ve got to live somewhere where you want to live. Pleasing a woman is weakness, so you don’t want to move back there just to please her. That’s what I did with my wife. I married her to please her, because I hated seeing her crying and upset and wondering why I wasn’t in love with her like she was with me. I was just young and I was inexperienced. I didn’t know any better. I was a little bitch back then. It is what it is.
Week by week, I am torn between what to do. Follow my own path and break a relationship that is seemingly working and a girlfriend that supports me and loves me? But at the same time, I feel she is more loving and dependent on me.
Well, again, if you don’t want to live where she lives, you’ve got to go live where you live. And if you want to continue dating her, she should come live with you. I assume or hope that’s possible. I don’t know where you guys live. Maybe you live in Europe, not really sure. He didn’t say in his email.
Or, continue the relationship and hope that this nagging feeling will be resolved and remove the idea of a ‘fairy-tale’ story is needed for my long-term girlfriend/future wife. It’s hard for me to express what qualities or feelings I am missing in our relationship.
Well, you know you’re missing the experience. And part of it is you’re also wrestling with moving back to where she is. The important thing is you’ve got to go where your heart compels you to go. And if that’s somewhere other than where she lives, then that’s what you have to do. And it might mean the end of your relationship. But keep in mind, if someday you get into a new relationship and you go through the honeymoon phase, that will eventually wear off as well.
Do I have commitment issues, thinking ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ and ruining something over some potential casual sex? Or am I doing a disservice continuing this relationship when I am second-guessing these decisions after 5 years together?
Only, you know it’s in your heart. But like I said, the first place you start with is, where do you want to live? Where do you want to execute your purpose and your mission in life? And that’s where you go. And if it’s possible for her to come and join you, and you want her to, then great. And if it’s not, you have to live where you live, and that may mean the end of the relationship.
I love her, but at times I don’t always feel ‘over the heels in love’ with her.
Well, you’re not always going to always feel that, like you see in the movies. That bliss doesn’t last forever. Six to twelve months is typically how long it lasts. And then, you’ll have moments where you absolutely love her, and there will be other moments where she drives you up a fucking wall. That’s just the way it is.
Every time we meet, I somehow get pulled back in and could imagine a long future with her. Am I just young and worried about never finding someone comparable again?
It’s definitely understandable. Really great loves don’t come along every day. That’s just a fact of life. Just like, how often you meet a new best friend? How often do you meet somebody who becomes a close friend? It hardly ever happens, maybe one or two a decade.
Could I turn this feeling around by nurturing our relationship more? I know this might be an obvious case, but I would appreciate any guiding words from you.
Well, like I said, your purpose and mission should come first, and that’s why you need to go where that takes you. If she can join you, great. And if she can’t, you’re not going to sacrifice your purpose and mission to please her, like I did with my ex-wife. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for her. You follow your purpose and mission, and if she can come with you, and you want her to, great. And if she can’t, then you should see other people. That would be the determining factor for me.
I love everything you said about this. She seems like the perfect girlfriend, the potential perfect wife. You’ve been through a bunch of ups and downs and she’s always stuck with you. You’ve been through long distance multiple times, she’s always stuck with you. So, it really boils down to logistics.
But again, keep in mind, with the next girl, the same thing will happen, the infatuation will wear off. The thing that I didn’t understand when I was younger was, I assumed the love and the bliss would last forever. I didn’t realize it would just last 6-12 months. And because I’ve been through this a number of times over the years, that’s just the process. You have to decide, do you want to be with that person long term? You either do, or you do not.
So, if you’ve got a question or challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“The honeymoon or infatuation period in new relationships typically lasts from six to twelve months. You’re not always going to be in blissful love with your significant other. Sometimes you will wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. That’s why it’s important to get as many good experiences with different lovers to figure out what you really want, need and desire long term. Experience gives you peace of mind. Lack of experience makes you uncertain.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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