Ambigamy

Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

“Do You Still Love Me? No, Really?”

"Are you tired of being with me?", "Are you bored with me?", " Are you about to dump me?", "Are you no longer attracted to me?", "Are you OK with me?", "Do you still love me?", "Do you really love me?" If you ask or are asked such questions, read on. Read More

recently i asked my

recently i asked my girlfriend that she loves me or nt then our relationship went in a bad way. Is there any way to make our relationship better?

Recently i asked my girl

Recently i asked my girl friend does she love me. Then our relationship went in a bad way. Is there any way to make our relationship better?

Did it go bad around that

Did it go bad around that question or something else?

Jeremy

yeah. "do you love me or not"

yeah. "do you love me or not" was the question. please is there any way to make things better?

Alas, psych advice isn't like tech support

Hi Ashray,

I feel for you. It can hurt so much when something changes and instead of charming your partner with everything you say, you can't find a thing to say that doesn't bother your partner, and you're eager to find something that will make things better. I've been there.

And sometimes I have computer problems that make it impossible for me to get things done. My computer was cooperating with me, and suddenly everything I do doesn't work.

With computer problems, I can usually go on line and find the solution or I can call IT, describe what's not working and get a formula for fixing it. I wish we could do the same when our love lives malfunction. A lot of us do, which is why so many articles here have titles that promise a formula for solving a psychological problem.

But I would need to know a lot more about your situation before suggesting something and anything I suggest could backfire.

I find that very interesting. There's a big difference between fixing computers and fixing relationships.

Anyway here's one suggestion that might help.

Put yourself in your partner's shoes, which means really distancing yourself from your heart's yearning to get your partner back.

Think of it this way.

The customer isn't always right but you'll do better if you assume he/she is.
In business, love and science, to get what you want you have to set aside what you want long enough to see what is. Then, better informed you'll be better able to get what you want.

You want your partner to love you? You have to set that yearning aside to see what's really going on with your partner. Once you know, you'll have a better change of appealing to your partner. Not a surefire formula. For example you might figure out that your partner really really is over you and no quantity of effort by you will win your partner back. That is a possibility. But if there's any opening whereby you could rekindle your relationship, you're most likely to find it if you can quiet your own yearning and really imagine what it's like for your partner now.

In practice that means giving your partner time and space free from your yearning. It means asking questions out of authentic curiosity that carry none of the weight of your yearning. It means listening to the answers and even paraphrasing them back to your partner neutrally, or as if you were your partner's lawyer making your partner's case. It means staying absolutely clear of any signs of shaming or blaming your partner for their feelings.

I should say that I have lots of experience failing to be able to do what I suggest. My hurt and panic can be so strong that I can't find my way back to simple curiosity about what my partner needs. I think one thing that can help is meditating on the possibility that it's really over. Like my 10th suggestion in the article.

Ultimately we can't force love. And if your question gave your partner an opening to say what's really going on, and if what's really going on is that your partner is truly ready to move on what can you do? Make a life without your partner. If you can't face that possibility it will be impossible to listen openly to where your partner really is.

But if you can listen, maybe you'll figure out that there's actually something you can do, maybe even something simple that warms things back up.

I guess in a way it's like asking the computer "What's bugging you, because maybe I can help?" Which you can't do with a computer but you can do with a human, if you really ask calmly and neutrally so the human knows its safe to answer.

Jeremy

Great words of wisdom

I agree that this is very difficult to do, but I believe it's the only way to truly salvage a relationship when it gets to its potentially final stage. Not everything is in your control. It requires great self-esteem and self-confidence (not narcissism). Once you have mastered this, you can't lose in life! Your happiness isn't dependent on anyone but yourself.

thank you for your advise

thank you for your advise doctor.

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Jeremy Sherman is an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.

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