Eugenia from Calgary, AB Canada asks:
How could you know if the man you have stayed linked with for five years is the real one or if the relationship is meant to last more time?
Knowing whether to stay or go in a relationship can be very scary and complicated. But, the very fact that you are pondering that particular question is a red flag in and of itself.
While it may be painful, sort through your feelings. Your true feelings, not the ones you think you should have. Just because a relationship isn’t horrible doesn’t mean that it should last forever, but we often like to dismiss our deeper feelings and desires because we don’t have a black-and-white, justifiable excuse to bring a relationship to an end.
Trust your instincts. When your instincts are sending you those nagging sensations that something is wrong, or no longer beneficial to you, there usually is a pretty darned good reason. We may not understand all the intricacies of why we are getting the messages we are, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss or ignore them. We all have instincts and intuition, it’s just that some of us are more in tune and find it easier to trust our inner voices than others.
Spend some time thinking about your present and your future. Are you happy now? If you stay with your partner, can you see yourself being happy with him in five years? Keep in mind, ultimately everything changes. When you open yourself up to your future, especially your visions of a joyous future, can you picture your partner at an evolved state—participating in life and the relationship in a manner that supports you and your dreams, and makes you happy?
Take an honest look at your sex life. When, and why, did the passion start to fade? Is it you, him, or just the circumstances in which you are living that has put a dent into the romance? Do you cringe at the thought of his touch, or does that sensation of revulsion ebb and flow, depending on the day? Do you believe you can get back to a place where lovemaking is blissful and satisfying; and do you really want to, or want to try?
Weigh and measure your role in the current relationship. Are you with him because you want to be or because you feel as if you have to be? Do you feel or fear that you are choosing to cling to something that no longer serves you because the known is safer than the unknown? If so, is that enough for you?
Reflect on the relationship, and look at all the aspects and nuances that brought you to this point. Are there areas of this relationship that can be improved? Have you been honest enough with your partner that he actually knows what’s going on with you and how you are feeling? Do the two of you still share the same dreams and goals for the future?
Make a list of all the qualities of your man and of your relationship. Don’t hold back! Write down all the good and the bad. Make a list of reasons to let go and reasons to hold on. All of this is an assessment of how you feel and what you observe. Don’t worry about how it “looks,” or if you’re being reasonable or fair. This is a very private tool, and the only judgment that comes into play is your own. Unless and until you make a decision, time is on your side. It’s okay to have a contingency plan. In time, you’ll know whether or not you’re going to use it.
Your relationship is, and has been, in a lull. I see your relationship as salvageable; but in the comfortable, companionship kind of way. The love you had for one another has changed. There’s still love there—but it’s no longer the romantic love the two of you started out with.
Your boyfriend was what you needed at the time, but you’ve grown and changed quite a bit from then till now. Your man presents as if he’s sort of been floating along on your coattails, exerting control here and there, but mainly just along for the ride. He really isn’t aware of how deep your frustrations and discontent goes. He does take for granted that the two of you will remain together, and because of that feeling of security, isn’t paying attention to the signs and signals of how troubled things really are.
The bottom line is, this relationship looks as if it will continue on, unless and until you end it. While it can improve, you are harboring some deep sadness and resentments that you may not be able to let go of entirely, and your partner will struggle with his role as well. He can be quite stubborn and resistant, and these traits may keep him from rising to meet your expectations.
Take your time. Rash decisions can often lead to regret. But when you’ve done all that you can do, tried all that you can try, and looked at the good and bad from every angle—eventually, the answer will become clear. When you know, you’ll know.
I hope this helps you.
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25 thoughts on “Red Responds: How Do You Know If It’s True Love?”
Hey, ive been in a relationship for 6 years now and we have a 4 year old son together, im 21 and hes 22, and he was my first for everything! i still love him more then anything, but i dont feel like hes growing up any, were trying to move into our own place but he doesnt seem to want this as bad as i do. i just feel like i need him to stop being so immature when it comes to our future, were allways fighting about stupid stuff and i hate it. were good for maybe 3 days tops and then were fighting for the rest of the week, i just dont know what to do i feel like i need someone thats moving in the same direction as me, ive waited so many years for him to smarten up and he did for a while and now hes starting to act all immature and i dont kno if i can wait fo him any longer, i just wish someone had the answers for me. and honestly wen we have sex sometimes i feel like i just want him to get it over with, and other times its goodd, i read this article and it helped alot but at the same time im still not sure about letting go because i dont want him to be the one that go away, but the article is amaing advice! i just hope if things dont get better then ill be able to take it!
We have been married for 16 yrs and I feel that I am @ a crossroads with my life,not sure which way to turn or even turn @ all.Iam not sure if this is where iam suppose to be,is he my soulmate.We have 2 kids.There is a good friend that I like,not sure what he feels.
It’s onyl God who knows the true love that each of them have.
i am in a relationship with a libra guy and i am a virgo girl but i always have to wonder why is it that whenever he do something that he knows that u don’t like and u talk to him he gets upset to the extent were he doesn’t care about what you say and how u feel after saying something to hurt u. i wonder if he really cares and he doesn’t want to let don’t his guard as a man. i know he loves me and i do love him. please explain this
sometimes i feel that i wanna let go.. but i love him too much that i just can’t.. in spite of all the past negative issues and fears in the present that it may happen again.. 🙁 all i knew God gives me so much strength.. my hopes.. my faith.. :))
I have been looking for reasons why my ex- left me. I was fine with our marriage, and suddenly things changed and he was gone without working it out. I still may not know HIS reasons, but answering Red’s questions for myself gives me something that makes sense. I see now where it was time. That may not remove the pain, but I think the article will make it easier to move on, easier to quit wanting him back… especially the question: “When you open yourself up to your future, especially your visions of a joyous future, can you picture your partner at an evolved state—participating in life and the relationship in a manner that supports you and your dreams, and makes you happy?” No, I can’t.
i’ve been married over 9 months now, my husband has 2 kids from previous marriage. since we moved in together things started to change, i love him and he loves me too. his kids and exwife are my BIG issues. we need to spend time alone together, but that never happen cause seems like his kids are always around even if is not his time with them, i told him we need to, but never happen. he always does what his exwife told him to do. but i guess not me. everytime i talked to him about things that i dont want him to do for his exwife it turned in to a big arguement. i feel miserable all the time, pls help! need an advise
The advice given in this article has helped me significantly. I have been pondering my relationship with my boyfriend of 2+ years for a few months now and don’t know really how to end the relationship. I do care for him and even love him in a way that is not the same as when we first met. The sex is still great but I know that sex is not everything and that he, even though he doesn’t like to admit it, is not as happy as he would like to be. Now that I have read the article I will take the advice and figure out our next step. Thank you.
I have been seeing a married man for 10 yrs. he loves me and i love him , he filed for a divorce so we can marry but there is so many control issues due to his strike culture and me being a American I have met many of his family members and also his children we all get along great and also his former spouse but i just feel because im not of the same they are im seen different you know a thin line drawn .Also there is extreme jealousy through many in his family and friends because of my education and the work i do also the way i dress and present my self to be friends with all and listen to no gossip or opinions of another within their group which is extremely large matter of speaking its a settlement where they all have came to this country and actually settled and everyone knows one another and each others business . And he chooses to listen to their comments toward me and at times becomes very jealous,anxious,and insecure because of my work and the person i am .these people in his group do this because they have nothing better to do because they have done all their dirt to one another so in their group they choose not to listen to each others lies & gossip about the other BUT! when it comes to me every body has a say and at times he will listen because from what i see they are very ignorant and only know 1 way of life and it continues on the same with who ever enters their families and their group , I love this man dearly and want more then anything to be with him the rest of my life whether my education is more higher and my pay is much larger , but in their culture the woman is never suppose to be ahead of the man in no way , I love him and don’t want to lose him > im puzzled in what i should do
Recently i am engaged in a relation. I find myself very close to her & i always show my true feelings upon her…even some times tears come down when i talk with her, but this type of situation never comes with her. She had a relation with another boy in recent past. But now he is now not in her life. they have broke up their relation one year before. Some days before she told me that these days some old things with her old boyfriend are knocking at her heart. I cant understand that what is going on…While she still says that she loves me & have nothing for any one but i am yet confused. So pls tell me that exactly what is going on & in this condition what i have to do. I am Aries & she is Gemini
I’ve been a relationship for about 11yrs now but I don’t really love the Guy and we have not been able to have a child he also having children out side of our relationship.
Here is this Guy who have proposed a marriage. I’m so confuse can you help me.
I think I’ve been wasting my time with my boyfriend of 5yrs we have a 20 mOnth old together and I have an 11 year old from previous. I need to leave but want daily help raising my daughters.
I’ve been questioning my current relationship of over 4yrs. And even though there’s noone else in the picture I feel there’s one around the corner.Every time I turn around he’s done something to really set me off. He’s. A pisces 03/10/74 and I’m. A leo 07/26/74. We also have 2 children together
My x husband has came and said he still have much love for me and want to see were it will take us . I still love him also, But he want give up his mother , mother control him and tryed to do the same with me I know what we have is real but don’t know how to handle it Are aging to get back together are what should I do .
i believe my lover and are meant to be together.he is an aries and i am a capricorn.what do you think?please write me back when you can.
what happens when u are in a relationship with a guy who has a child with another girl. Each time you ask him of what he thinks of the future, he really does not give u an answer but all he does say is i need to sort out things. But when u say u want to move on, he is disturb. yes i do love him but it is not enough for me and the life i want to live. please help me on this one.
i have 2 kids with my husband and i have never trusted him and it’s hard for me to let go each time i think of it ,it hurt me alot .can u please help me on what to do i really need to plan for my future now
I feel like we went througha lot together and thats kind of why we aer still together after 9 years… but i dont know if we still have realy love for each other…. but what you say really makes sense
Right now m having a relation with one married guy. we met in chat and got closer. He said that he really loves me and forced me to love him back. I reciprocated his love but i have a big doubt about this relation and i dont see any future in this relation. Please advise me.
I’ve been asking myself this same question for a while now and “happening” upon this article is a kind of answer in itself! It’s alright to pay attention to those nagging little feelings that keep popping up regarding my relationship. For awhile now I have been examining my mate and trying to see us in 5 or 10 years. I’ve ignored those nagging feelings before and suffered at my own hands because of it! When you get past the sex, there has to be something more to sustain you and when you (I) keep ignoring the obvious, the road to disaster is shorter and rougher to recover from than the last one! Maybe I’m being unrealistic to think that there should be peace, tranquility and harmony in a long-term, committed relationship, (I love passion and excitement, also); but, not at the expense of peace-of-mind! I’m not looking for an excuse to leave, just a good solid reason to keep putting forth the effort it is taking to go any farther!
Thanks. This was really insightful.
What do you do when in retirement, finacially you won’t be able to survive, probably end up homeless if you leave your husband.
Absolutely wonderful advice. I am in the exact same situation as Eugenia. Thank you for the insight.
Thank you! You hit it right on the head, meaning my head. Thank you so much for your input. I see I see said the blind man. Love Eda
That article hits home with me; after a 14 year relationship my boyfriend broke it off with me after his mother died & he decided to move in with his father, who doesn’t like me & dissapproves of our relationship…real self goals here. Sad, but true & most unfortunate.