Not-quite-love doesn’t quite work

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Amy Dick­in­son — Won­der­ing — Michael You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­son. com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy.

DEAR AMY » I have been dat­ing a man for two years. We are both in our early 40s, and be­tween us we have four kids. His are teens, mine are younger.

Our kids have met and like each other, and we’ve been in­cluded in each other’s ex­tended fam­ily events. We spend a lot of qual­ity time to­gether. We want a fu­ture to­gether. He is an amaz­ing part­ner. He is funny, at­ten­tive, lov­ing and ma­ture. He is ev­ery­thing I hoped for when I de­cided I was ready to start dat­ing af­ter my marriage fell apart.

A year into our re­la­tion­ship, I told him I loved him. For me this felt like a con­ser­va­tive amount of time. I wanted to be sure how I felt.

He apol­o­gized and said he couldn’t re­cip­ro­cate the feel­ing yet, but he felt that maybe that was just be­cause of his own is­sues and the tur­moil from when his marriage ended. I said I un­der­stood. I told him I could wait, and that I would rather hear the words later, as long as they were sin­cere.

It is now a year later, and he still isn’t able to say he loves me. I’ve stopped say­ing it to him be­cause it hurts not to have it re­cip­ro­cated.

I feel some­times like he is with me be­cause I’m a good “op­tion,” and I am be­gin­ning to won­der if he will ever love me.

I know peo­ple through his­tory have mar­ried for less and have grown to love their part­ners, but is it wrong for me to want a true love story? Should I set­tle for good enough?

DEAR WON­DER­ING » Be­ing in a com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship with a man who doesn’t love you is NOT “good enough” for you. I know this be­cause you are now feel­ing not-quiteloved, and you are hold­ing back your own hon­est emo­tions be­cause they don’t match his.

Yes, peo­ple through his­tory have mar­ried for rea­sons other than a love at­tach­ment. And yes, these mar­riages might ac­tu­ally suc­ceed at roughly the same rate as love­based mar­riages do.

You need to ask your­self if you want your young chil­dren to be in a fam­ily with a man who al­most loves their mother.

Two years is a long time. If he doesn’t love you by now, it’s hard to imag­ine what cir­cum­stances might arise for him to love you later.

Watch the won­der­ful movie “Jerry Maguire,” which is about a cou­ple with a sim­i­lar dy­namic; un­der­stand that you are not likely to have a sim­i­lar happy end­ing.

DEAR AMY » Re­cently, you de­clared, “I call them like I see them.”

Well, I call them like I see them, too. And you sound just like the very peo­ple you call “racist.”

I sug­gest you con­front some hard truths about your be­hav­ior. And don’t quote the Dalai Lama; it makes you sound way too in­tel­lec­tual.

DEAR MICHAEL » Thank you for mak­ing my point for me.

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