My feelings of being in love seem to fade away

-- Question for John --

What does it mean if a guy has intense feelings of love for someone early on in a relationship (the kind of feelings that make you blurt out “I love you” or “I want to marry you” without even thinking… and make you feel like this is “the one”), but after a short time (probably about the time I start to feel secure with a person) those feelings seem to die down for no apparent reason?

My feelings of being in love seem to fade away. Does this mean I’ve fallen out of love, or is it just a normal thing to go through? I go through this with all my relationships… it feels as if my heart isn’t working right when this happens. I will want the feelings to come back badly, and I will still be physically attracted to the person and care deeply about her and not want to hurt her, but will have doubts about whether I am in love or not and whether or not she will make me happy in the long run.

I might also go through periods where little things she does annoy me or upset me badly which I keep having to tell myself I’m being silly… maybe it is my heart shutting down because of fear of getting hurt… but because I believe that love is more something you give than something you feel, I always stay with my partner and love her the best I can… becoming very attached to her, until she ends up hurting me and leaving. (I get hurt easily, and tend to end up with girls who get mean easily which causes things to get bad).

If the one you love breaks your heart so badly that you feel bitter and unhappy and untrusting, but circumstances change and you choose to forgive and give it another try with the same person, assuming the same thing is not repeated of course, will the bitterness heal and good feelings come back?

-- Answer from John --

What you are describing is normal. And the normal thing to do is to look at it as an impossible problem. Your feelings change. You start to have doubts. You wonder if it’s the right person. You worry about being hurt again. The normal thing to do, that most people do, is to look at this as a real big problem. So you are normal.

The abnormal thing to do is to see the opportunity there. The opportunity to take all those issues and turn them around into the strongest and most satisfying relationship you can’t even imagine.

I lay out a step-by-step process and give you a set of tools for dealing the issues you speak of — and more — and turning a potentially great relationship into a lasting relationship. I’d recommend you get the book and read it. You are immersed in a pattern and you need to find your way out of it. The book will open your eyes to what is possible and how all of the things you mention can fit into the path of finding and keeping true love. It talks about how to break through old self-destructive patterns and to heal and move on to find and have a healthy relationship. It can be done.

About your last question, again I don’t think the bitterness heals by itself. You need to be involved in that healing yourself. You need to know how to move yourself from the place of fear or bitterness to the empowered place of freedom and loving you seek to be in. This can be learned. Consider committing to that!