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No more drama

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 22, 2009 09:48 PM

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Today’s letter comes from someone in Waltham who just isn’t feeling it.

Q: Dear Meredith and LL readers:

Unlike some posts, my situation doesn't contain a lot of high drama, but has been eating away at me for a few months now, and it would be invaluable to know what you think.

I have been involved for almost two years with a man who is fundamentally a good person. He's stable, reliable, responsible, and he adores me. The problem is that I'm not feeling a deep connection to him at this point. We're both in our 40s, and he is the sort of person I feel like I "should" be with, but he just doesn't satisfy me on a number of levels. Sexually, there's almost no spark left and I'm no longer physically attracted to him. I feel more like he's a sibling than a lover. We do have some basic lifestyle choices in common, which is nice, but in terms of excitement or passion, I'm not feeling it, mentally, physically, or emotionally.

I've never been married and would like to settle down at some point, but I am worried about settling with this man. I don't really want to have children if it's not with the right person, so I don't have to worry about my biological clock ticking. I do worry that good men really are hard to find and that I would be giving up on someone who would be a stable, steady, long-term companion who would always be there for me in exchange for an unknown future.

Many thanks,

-- Sparkless, Waltham

A: Sparkless, may I quote you?

“I'm not feeling it, mentally, physically, or emotionally.”

I’d love to say this is a seven-year itch sort of thing, but you’ve only been dating the guy for two years. It shouldn’t feel so sparkless so soon.

You say you want to settle down “at some point.” Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Regardless, it doesn’t sound like you’re interested in settling down now, especially not with this man. It sounds to me like you’re sticking around because you think it’s the thing you’re supposed to do.

My guess is that your guy notices that you’re not as interested in him as you used to be. What you owe him – and yourself – is some honesty. Tell him that as of now, you’re sticking around because he’s a good companion, not because you're in love with him. I have a feeling he'll come to his own decisions after that.

Unknown futures are scary, for sure. But they’re usually full of sparks – good sparks and bad sparks. If sparks are what you’re looking for -- if you want to go searching for a man who feels like a man, not a sibling -- get to it. It won’t be easy. But to me, unknown futures are less scary than committing to someone out of fear or obligation.

Readers? Will the sparks come back? Is Sparkless just feeling the social pressure to settle down because she’s in her 40s? Share thoughts here. Submit a letter to the right. Twitter with me here.

-- Meredith

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124 comments so far...
  1. If you are openly asking for advice as to whether or not to stay with someone then you already know the answer..

    Posted by techdood June 23, 09 09:29 AM
  1. The progressive modern woman is so fickle and shortsighted. It's really a sad thing.

    Poor guy.

    Posted by ModernMan June 23, 09 09:31 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith. I think there are many people out there for each of us and just because you're in your 40's doesn't mean you won't continue to meet men that you connect with on all levels. You need to be authentic - not confined by what you "should" do or feel. Plus, it's only fair that he has the chance to meet another woman who will feel a spark with him. Good luck.

    Posted by alipie June 23, 09 09:34 AM
  1. You are unhappy. Tell him so. You should probably let him go so he can find that someone special. Sounds like a great guy on paper. I am sure there are other 40-somethings out there that would appreciate this man.
    You need to do some soul searching to determine what you want and what will make you happy. I don't think you have any idea right now. Anyway, I wish the both of you the best of luck.

    Posted by JohnB June 23, 09 09:40 AM
  1. This letter certainly does lack in the drama factor. I would 100% want to know if my partner felt this way about me - or I should say, I would 100% want my partner to break up with me if he felt this way. Sparkless isn't doing her boyfriend any favors - he deserves to be with somebody who adores him.

    Posted by Monty June 23, 09 09:41 AM
  1. What Meredith said. People should still have loads sparks with each other after 2 short years. Tell him the truth and it would be nice if you could set him free to find someone who finds him sparky.

    As a 40 something gal myself, I think you already knew what you should do and the advice Meredith is giving you is hardly a surprise.

    Posted by Lain the Blunt June 23, 09 09:42 AM
  1. you know you are in your 40s, right?

    Meredith says unknown futures are usually full of sparks. I think Mer is being honest but too soft (she notes "It won’t be easy.") Well, let's make it clear. Unknown futures are maybe full of sparks in your 20s or 30s. But in your 40s, finding that spark might be very difficult.

    Most likely, your real choices are: leave this guy and be lonely, or stay with him and be unhappy. Forget about the sparks... You should be honest with him. And he should dump you.

    Posted by MS June 23, 09 09:47 AM
  1. Wow!
    Did he gain 200 lbs or have a life-changing event? It took you 2 years to figure out you have absolutely no desire for him?

    Sparkless, please don't continue leading this man on. You are no longer interested in him on many levels. It's not fair to him. If you are not feeling it, mentally, physically, or emotionally, then why are you with him? Please don't waste any more of your life or his.

    Posted by DrK June 23, 09 09:50 AM
  1. Sparkless, what has caused that lack of a spark? Sometimes a spark does fade. Physical attraction doesn't last forever in a relationship. Has the dynamic in your relationship changed? Is it a fear of commitment and thinking that this may
    be the right type of guy to settle with that has you so wound up? How long has this spark been gone for? Is there someone else who ignites this spark?

    You've made a very good point. Good men are hard to find. They are, but if there's no spark, you should evaluate why. Either way, you should be honest with this man. It's not fair to him that you stick around for something you think is only mediocre.

    With that said, what are you looking for in a man to settle with? I think this is really a time for reflection to figure out what's going on in this relationship and to be honest with your partner. Further, it's a time to see if your expectations in a long term partner are realistic which may change your perspective. Perhaps, it's cold feet at knowing it's something serious. Perhaps, you just aren't that attracted to him. Whatever happens, I hope things work out for both you and your partner.

    Posted by RITKat June 23, 09 09:50 AM
  1. What's up with the recent female bashing on this site? Yesterday we were sluts and today we're fickle and shortsighted? Can we stop with the generalizations and ignorant sexist commentary?

    Posted by alipie June 23, 09 09:50 AM
  1. I'm wondering... is there anything that could be done to rekindle any of the spark that initially attracted you to him? Have you tried anything? I'm not going to go into detail here but mixing things up might be a place to start. If you've done that and it's still not working then I think you should move on. You are settling. There is no reason to stay with someone who is 75% of what you are looking for when you could be out there finding someone that is 100% what you want. Find someone that makes you completely happy, anything less just isn't worth it.

    Posted by Kathleen June 23, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I'm wondering... is there anything that could be done to rekindle any of the spark that initially attracted you to him? Have you tried anything? I'm not going to go into detail here but mixing things up might be a place to start. If you've done that and it's still not working then I think you should move on. You are settling. There is no reason to stay with someone who is 75% of what you are looking for when you could be out there finding someone that is 100% what you want. Find someone that makes you completely happy, anything less just isn't worth it.

    Posted by Kathleen June 23, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I'm wondering... is there anything that could be done to rekindle any of the spark that initially attracted you to him? Have you tried anything? I'm not going to go into detail here but mixing things up might be a place to start. If you've done that and it's still not working then I think you should move on. You are settling. There is no reason to stay with someone who is 75% of what you are looking for when you could be out there finding someone that is 100% what you want. Find someone that makes you completely happy, anything less just isn't worth it.

    Posted by Kathleen June 23, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I feel your pain. It's not easy because you have a great guy but the feelings just aren't there. The last thing you want to do is hurt this person. But trust me, you will if you let the relationship continue when you're just not feeling it.
    I was with someone for 7 years before I got the courage to leave. Everything was/seemed great the first 5 but then I started to feel the same as you. I thought it was just normal after so much time that things fizzled out. I was convinced it would pass and I would feel the spark again eventually but it just didn't happen. The worst part was not wanting to hurt someone you cared about but in the long run it was the best for everyone. Good luck!

    Posted by bgcomreader June 23, 09 09:55 AM
  1. This letter is as boring and dreary as the view out my window...

    Yes, leave this man in the most tactful & respectful way as possible. You are not happy. The both of you deserve to be happy. You describe him the same way I would describe my Grandpa.

    There are plenty of good men out there. There are 6 Billion people on this planet. Don't worry about that.

    Posted by trueluv4eva June 23, 09 09:55 AM
  1. Sparkless, be prepared to get a lot of angry responses accusing women of never being satisfied, and you of thinking relationships should be all puppy dogs and fairytales forever. IGNORE THEM.

    Your situation is very common. You're in a relationship with someone who is perfect on paper and who cherishes you, but you just don't love him like that. Now, there are many people who would be perfectly willing to sacrifice romantic love for stability, mutual respect, companionship, etc. And that's great - for them. But you're not happy, and no matter how great this guy is and how much he loves you, if you stay with him, you're settling. Yes, you'll hurt him badly when you break up, and you'll be giving up a lot - he sounds like a catch. But don't settle for something you just don't really want out of fear. It's not fair to you or him. Doesn't he deserve better that what you're giving him right now?

    Don't prolong it any longer.

    Posted by Rae June 23, 09 09:57 AM
  1. Not to be mean, but you talk like a 20 year old and you need to start to come to terms with your age. Settle down "at some point"? Have kids "with the right person"? Maybe you are stuck on this guy who you describe as someone you "should" want to be with because he fits your idea of who you thought you should be with when you were younger -- now that you are older and have different concerns and interests, be free to look for the person you really CAN spend the rest of your life with.

    Posted by move on June 23, 09 09:59 AM
  1. That two year mark, wigs us right out, doesn't it? There's some timeline in our heads that we don't even know we have, about when this and so should happen in our relationship. And if we notice we might not be on that timeline, OMG!!!!! Just relax a little, go with the flow.

    As for sexuality, that comes from you, not him. You need to work out what you need and what you want, and communicate that, and be okay with what you want and need. You become sexier, he becomes sexier, your relationship becomes sexier.

    Men I think want to make us happy, but we think they should be able to TELL what makes us happy. But it’s us that needs to do the telling. You need to be open about wherever you're at; don't pretend. Because, you don't know where he's at. And if you two can have that conversation (and it’s hard), and the relationship survives it, the relationship is renewed.

    If you can’t survive that conversation, then you’ll have your answer.

    Posted by Carolyn June 23, 09 10:00 AM
  1. There's such a stigma attached to being a single woman as you age, I am not surprised that you are feeling unsure of what to do. Also, this is someone with whom you've shared a relationship for two years, and that's not exactly a short time. Could the relationship be worked on; can you get back to what made you fall in love with him? Only you know the answers, but if you love him but you're not "in love" with him, you owe it to him to let him go. Just because someone's a great person and looks good on paper doesn't mean that they are the right person for you. He deserves real, passionate love just like you do -- you deserve to feel it and he deserves to receive it in kind. Sure, love isn't always fun and dramatic and amazing -- but when you are in love with someone, you should be able to resurrect that feeling sometimes, and it sounds like you can't get to that point anymore. Take stock of the relationship, really think about if you can work on things or not, and leave. It might hurt him in the short term, but, having loved him once, you owe it to him.

    Posted by KT June 23, 09 10:01 AM
  1. The age old dilemma, for one reason another, many of us lose the "spark". It is simple biology, humans are simply not meant to be in long-term monogamous relationships; that is an artificial state, created by the necessitation of maintain property rights (land and money etc.). If you feel like this now, how do you think you'll feel in 5-10 years? Well let me tell you personally, after two decades it is pure hell. I can 100% guarantee the divorce rate would be astronomically higher, if many of us weren't pigeonholed by the devastating financial and emotional fallout that follows. You have what few 40-somethings have, you have your freedom, use it or lose it!

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 10:03 AM
  1. While there is something to be said for accepting someone even if there are issues because they are overall a loyal, caring, good human being, this is too much. This guy may be perfect, but that doesn't make him perfect for you. If you care about him as much as you seem to, you will be honest with him and set both of you free to find someone that you have a more lasting connection to.
    My husband drives me crazy half the time, we never have sex, and my in laws are crazy, but in my heart and soul I know that he is simply the most wonderful, true hearted, brave soul I have ever met. if you don't have that "pull" towards someone, that deep love, you shouldn't be with him.


    Posted by anon June 23, 09 10:07 AM
  1. Rico is on a roll with simpole answers...here is another one:

    Rico thinks you need to either figure out why there is no spark. Is it because you get bored easily? Do you have a checklist of things? Is it he gained weight or something? What made you lose the spark or did you ever have it in the first place? Why are you with the guy after 2 years to begin with if there was no spark? Free dinner and shows? Not to sound too rude or anything but were you looking for a love or a supporter? Rico thinks you need to re-evaluate how you find/pick the guys in your life if this is the case. You need to fix what is broken and if you can' fix it toegther then move on and let him find someone that appreciates him for who/what he is. There are plenty of fish in the sea so both of you will find others in time. Rico will check in later if he has time and see what else he can add. Rico suggests you write back and give him some more information.

    Rico will be back later...

    Love always,

    Rico

    Gears not Gas

    Posted by Rico June 23, 09 10:08 AM
  1. Lord-don't do him any favors by staying...he deserves someone that loves him in the best way possible. As do you. And you deserve to be at peace with what you've got-be that alone or in a relationship. You sound numb-very blah.
    One thing...did you once have that spark? That is my only question...did it fade or were you two about other things from the beginning.? If you've lost it, maybe you can get it back? But again, this whole letter screams you're out of there. You don't need our permission. Live your life.

    Posted by pb June 23, 09 10:09 AM
  1. ModernMan - your comment is so bitterly transparent. Don't bring everyone else down just because you are sitting home alone.

    Posted by Brightonite June 23, 09 10:10 AM
  1. Break up with him, it is not fair to him to stay in the relationship when you know it's not going anywhere. Sparks should not go away that fast - I am in a 9-yr relationship and they are still there! Don't settle.

    Posted by L June 23, 09 10:11 AM
  1. You are a woman and women are never satisfied. After you leave him, you will realize what you gave up and regret it for the rest of your life. Go ahead do it.

    Posted by FickleBroadsNeverLearn June 23, 09 10:13 AM
  1. You're in your 40's. You want a bad boy not a book worm. You're a cougar looking for fresh young meat. Go hit the clubs, shack up with some younger men for a bit and then settle down when menopause hits. Or take the bull by the horns and spice up your sex life with your current Beau. Maybe try out some fantasies with him and if you tap into some inner passion.

    Posted by SoxSupporter June 23, 09 10:14 AM
  1. "But to me, unknown futures are less scary than committing to someone out of fear or obligation".

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I see too many people settle and get married for the wrong reasons. That why I'm in my 30's and still single! But a woman in her 40's is under a little more pressure if she wants kids someday.

    Posted by Jon June 23, 09 10:15 AM
  1. "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips.
    And there's no tenderness like before in your fingertips.
    You're trying hard not to show it, baby.
    But baby, baby I know it...

    You've lost that lovin' feeling,
    Whoa, that lovin' feeling,
    You've lost that lovin' feeling,
    Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooooooh."

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. You shouldn't settle down and commit to someone you feel you "should" be with, you should do it with someone you WANT to be with. First, you need to be fair to him and talk to him about your feelings. Then you can both discuss what to do about it. The Righteous Brothers were very wise indeed- and I think your man has already realized that. Maybe you can both do something to get that spark back. I honestly doubt it, because 2 years is a pretty short time to already be losing that lovin feeling, but never say never.

    It sounds like you genuinely care about this guy, but are afraid of hurting him. Especially since he adores you. No one wants to break someone's heart who they care deeply about. But breaking it off with him now is a million times less hurtful than staying with him because you "should." He deserves someone who wants him, needs him, and desires him. And so do you.

    Posted by Skyler June 23, 09 10:18 AM
  1. Spending some time apart and dating other people may help you both realize if you want to be with each other. It sounds like it couldn't hurt.

    Posted by Mike June 23, 09 10:18 AM
  1. You're in your 40s and "would like to settle down at some point". That is a classic.

    Posted by Michele June 23, 09 10:19 AM
  1. Open up your relationship by adding another man or woman. That will bring the spark back and everyone is a winner. Polyamory is where it is at, trust me on this one.

    Posted by Don Juan Boston June 23, 09 10:24 AM
  1. An unknown future? Bit redundant, wouldn't you say? Boo.

    I hate to be harsh -- wait, no I don't. I think it's your *self* you don't have a physical, mental or emotional connection to. Get right with your self. Leave him out of it.

    Badly done, Sparkless. Badly done.

    Posted by Sally June 23, 09 10:28 AM
  1. alipie - the answer is NO.

    Posted by SoxSupporter June 23, 09 10:29 AM
  1. Dear Sparkless, I fully understand your dilemma; I don't know if anyone can really offer advice on this one, but listening to all the "before" (marriage, long term relationship, etc) and "after" might help you to make what I call an informed decision; and I know that a lot of people will strongly disagree, but here's my experience for what is worth: I've been married for almost 20 years, with kids, and marriage IS a ROUTINE with NO SPARKS EXCEPT THE ONES YOU PUT IN IT. Choosing to live with one person for the rest of your life means endless compromises ("as long as you both shall live" isn't a meaningless cliche'), and the "sparks", in bed and out, never last long;eat the same cheese for 20 years (pun intended J), and I don’t care if it’s the best in the world, I can guarantee that, at times, you’ll get sick of it. It is then that the real marriage starts, when you start working on creating the sparks with this man (whom you deeply care for, and who’s been with you, reliable and strong, through thick and thin), rather than dream the “chemical” sparks at the beginning of every relationship; the sex drive fades when you feel too comfortable, because there’s nothing more to discover; however, sex is about mind games: it’s about exploring the dark side that it’s in everyone, even the “nicest guy/girl”… actually, they’ll be the ones to surprise you the most ;-) So, if this is a person you can comfortably talk to, who’s reliable, and strong, and kind, and SHARES SIMILAR VIEWS ON LIFE (key element if you’re interested in parenthood), you’re right to give a lot of consideration to the thought; most marriages fail because people expect roller coasters with impossible heights and low-lows: that’s unrealistic, and very typical of young age. It’s more of a long, winding path, where you turn corners, and sometimes they’ll be good, and bad some other times… it is up to you to create “oasis” along the way, where you can have fun, and rediscover the partner all over again, because we all evolve with time, but we all tend to assume that the other stays the same: he doesn’t. So, dear Sparkless, if you think you found some real gold, give it a chance: start working on this relationship, see if you can MAKE it sparkle…
    otherwise, plenty of jewelry around…and lots of fool’s gold. Good luck and keep strong.

    Posted by Creativecook June 23, 09 10:29 AM
  1. This was a rebound relationship. He wasn't the typical guy you go after my guess.
    Are you youth 'obsessed', keep yourself looking and feeling younger than you are. Is age just a number? There is definitely a 'cougar trend' right now ( trust us guys..20-25 year olds are going to win all the time, the other guys are looking for a mommy, or easy and experimental sex you wouldn't try on a woman you might consider settling down with). Don't take this in a negative way, I am just trying to be honest. I think older women are hot, but just for fun. Maybe you know this, maybe you are afraid of commitment..did your parents have a bad marriage?
    You don't want to get stuck for the rest of your life so to speak, thats your fear.

    Posted by f.F.C. June 23, 09 10:37 AM
  1. And don't listen to anyone who says "Find ways to spice-up your sex life", that is merely nothing more than polishing a turd. DVDs/Toys/Games are nothing more than an artificial diversion, just a simpler version of inviting a third person into bed. Leave those substitute for the trapped marrieds, whom have no other choice.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 10:41 AM
  1. Why are the sparks no longer there? What happened a couple of months ago? Sparks don't just go away, you know. Has he gained weight? gone bald or balder? Have you gained weight? gone bald or balder? Have you ever loved him? I'm sure he's been the same person from the beginning. Did you find/or like someone else(a crush), perhaps? In long term relationships, the sparks are not always going to there everyday. Everyday is not going to be a honeymoon, you know. People get distracted, especially if you have kids add those to the sh**y New England weather... yuk!!!!! most days will be hell. But, still, at the end of the day, you should know that this is the person you want to be with. The grass is not always greener on the other side,. But it seems like you've already made up your mind about
    It the relation. It also seems like you just want to bail out of the just because for a couple of months you've not been feeling your man. Ummm... WTF is wrong with you? You are the problem here!. Maybe you feel like you can do better than him.

    I have been with my BF for 3 and hlf years, sometime we have amazing, out of this world sex for like a month straight. Sometimes the sex is so so, sometimes its horrible. It all depends on our moods, I guess.
    So if you're really not feeling him anymore( or are bored with him), then, I guess theres nothing left to do but to leave him be for another woman who will love him more than you've ever could.

    Luv

    Ida

    Posted by ida June 23, 09 10:43 AM
  1. Why are the sparks no longer there? What happened a couple of months ago? Sparks don't just go away, you know. Has he gained weight? gone bald or balder? Have you gained weight? gone bald or balder? Have you ever loved him? I'm sure he's been the same person from the beginning. Did you find/or like someone else(a crush), perhaps? In long term relationships, the sparks are not always going to there everyday. Everyday is not going to be a honeymoon, you know. People get distracted, especially if you have kids add those to the sh**y New England weather... yuk!!!!! most days will be hell. But, still, at the end of the day, you should know that this is the person you want to be with. The grass is not always greener on the other side,. But it seems like you've already made up your mind about
    It the relation. It also seems like you just want to bail out of the just because for a couple of months you've not been feeling your man. Ummm... WTF is wrong with you? You are the problem here!. Maybe you feel like you can do better than him.

    I have been with my BF for 3 and hlf years, sometime we have amazing, out of this world sex for like a month straight. Sometimes the sex is so so, sometimes its horrible. It all depends on our moods, I guess.
    So if you're really not feeling him anymore( or are bored with him), then, I guess theres nothing left to do but to leave him be for another woman who will love him more than you've ever could.

    Luv

    Ida

    Posted by ida June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Rae's response (#16) is right on. It is sadly common that two people often don't have the same level of feelings for each other. I have been on both sides of this and both sides hurt. You're either feeling guilty because he loves you more than you love him, or like yesterday's post, you are madly in love and he isn't. If you truly believe that your feelings for him are that significantly less than his are for you, you should let him go. You sound like a caring thoughtful person and so does he. The man you described also sounds like he might want to have a child someday (you didn't address that specifically) so freeing him to find someone who shares his goals would be the kindest thing to do. Then you can both move on to new relationships.

    Posted by J Bar June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Rae's response (#16) is right on. It is sadly common that two people often don't have the same level of feelings for each other. I have been on both sides of this and both sides hurt. You're either feeling guilty because he loves you more than you love him, or like yesterday's post, you are madly in love and he isn't. If you truly believe that your feelings for him are that significantly less than his are for you, you should let him go. You sound like a caring thoughtful person and so does he. The man you described also sounds like he might want to have a child someday (you didn't address that specifically) so freeing him to find someone who shares his goals would be the kindest thing to do. Then you can both move on to new relationships.

    Posted by J Bar June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. I've lived by the motto: never do today what can be put off till tomorrow - but come on; you're in your 40s and still unsure about settling down, open to but not intent on children. When do you plan to make the call on these little nuisance issues? Are you waiting for your AARP card to arrive first?
    Make a life plan for God's sake, before what's left of it passes you by, and then get out there and pursue it. And encourage your companion to do the same, once you've released him from the shackles of the love illusion you've enabled him to harbor.

    Posted by CPThree June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. I've lived by the motto: never do today what can be put off till tomorrow - but come on; you're in your 40s and still unsure about settling down, open to but not intent on children. When do you plan to make the call on these little nuisance issues? Are you waiting for your AARP card to arrive first?
    Make a life plan for God's sake, before what's left of it passes you by, and then get out there and pursue it. And encourage your companion to do the same, once you've released him from the shackles of the love illusion you've enabled him to harbor.

    Posted by CPThree June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. You should try sleeping with his best friend or his father and post it as a live web-cam event... that could add some drama to the relationship.

    Posted by DJMcG June 23, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Rae's response (#16) is right on. It is sadly common that two people often don't have the same level of feelings for each other. I have been on both sides of this and both sides hurt. You're either feeling guilty because he loves you more than you love him, or like yesterday's post, you are madly in love and he isn't. If you truly believe that your feelings for him are that significantly less than his are for you, you should let him go. You sound like a caring thoughtful person and so does he. The man you described also sounds like he might want to have a child someday (you didn't address that specifically) so freeing him to find someone who shares his goals would be the kindest thing to do. Then you can both move on to new relationships.

    Posted by J Bar June 23, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Paco says it's time to dump him as gently as possible. Although it will hurt him in the now, it will be for the best. It will free him up to find someone who will appreciate him, and it will free you up to find someone you appreciate.

    At risk of seeming harsh, Paco will also advise you to take a good hard look at what you require for 'sparks'. Make sure you have a realisitic view of what you want and what is possible, or you will set yourself up for much disappointment in the future.

    Paco hopes you have the best of luck.

    Cheers,

    Paco

    Posted by Paco June 23, 09 10:54 AM
  1. You pretty much answered yourself in your letter. Why are you even asking this, obviously he's not a match for you. If you're worried about your clock ticking, get out and spend the time looking for the right person for you. You're just wasting time staying with someone you're clearly not interested in. I guarantee if you married him it would end in divorce. THAT would be a waste of time and years off your clock, no?

    Posted by you are being silly June 23, 09 10:56 AM
  1. You pretty much answered yourself in your letter. Why are you even asking this, obviously he's not a match for you. If you're worried about your clock ticking, get out and spend the time looking for the right person for you. You're just wasting time staying with someone you're clearly not interested in. I guarantee if you married him it would end in divorce. THAT would be a waste of time and years off your clock, no?

    Posted by you are being silly June 23, 09 10:57 AM
  1. If there is no spark, then, it's ok to move on. There's no sense in continuing a relationship where you are that unhappy - and you don't need anyone else's approval for it. It's your life and you have to face it everyday. Plus, no matter how many judgemental people there are, the reality is, the first thing on most people's mind when they wake up in the morning is themselves.

    40s? whatever. All I can tell you is - after years of dedicating ourselves to our careers, my best friend and I were planning on getting matching muumuus and living in a trailer for the rest of our lives as faux lesbians. Then, I reconnected with the kid who used to sit next to me in geometry class when I was in high school (divorced, MUCH wiser about relationships). It is by far, the most joyful & peaceful I've ever been. My advice - hold out, it really doesn't matter how old you are. It's all about being happy!

    Posted by anonymous34 June 23, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Let him go - its only fair to you both. He might be harboring the same lackluster feeling about the relationship and both of you are waiting for the other to end it...why don't you seize the day and do you both favor. What's the point is the sex isn't stellar and if you're already bored, its going to take a LOT of hard work for the rest of your life to up the relationship to 'standard'. I have both single guy and girl friends who constantly complain that there's no good men/women out there and from what it sounds like you'd be adding 2 qualified candidates to the dating pool. It's summer (sort of) so go live it up. Life is too short to settle for someone you're not completely satisfied with - stop delaying what you already know, you'll look back in a few months and thank yourself. And 40 is the new 30 remember?

    Posted by bowchikabowwoww June 23, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Bleako (#22),

    Your response is filled with assumptions abou the l/w, as your assumptions often are about us. You're putting it all on her. It takes at least 2 years to know someone - now she knows, and she's not happy.

    L/W - Couples counseling before leaving. Give the relationship a shot. Maybe he needs the male equivalent of a Victoria's Secret makeover?

    And Bleako -Stop telling the rest of us to walk in the rain or ride our bikes. I for one already do, and don't need your arrogance. Your schtick is getting old, real old.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 23, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Can i just say "I love this column!". I've become borederline addicted to it...:-)! So nice to see other people's perspective on things,...the funny comments as well. Sparkless...there's an old saying where i come from ..it goes kinda like this: Ask 100 people, and in the end do what YOU think! (roughly translated.) At the end of the day, only you will know if you WANT this person or not! Forget about the "SHOULD's"!

    Posted by voiceofreason June 23, 09 11:00 AM
  1. If you were married or with another for more than 2 yrs. or if there were kids involved, I'd say: "Find out where the spark went, work on your relationship, you owe it that much." But, because you are only dating, for about 2yrs., no kids are involved and, actually, sounds like there hasn't been a spark for a loooong time, I'd say cut him loose. He deserves the truth, if he hasn't already figured it out. You both deserve better. As far as the fact that you think you want to get married, and maybe have kids, but you are in your 40's, maybe you need to get an objective opinion about what you are looking for in a relationship/significant other. Your statement about not wanting to pass on this man because of his good qualities and there may not be more out there like him, speaks volumes. I'd recommend a good counselor to talk about your needs and ideas of what adult relationships and marriage is all about.

    Posted by zazzy June 23, 09 11:02 AM
  1. "Unknown futures are maybe full of sparks in your 20s or 30s. But in your 40s, finding that spark might be very difficult."

    "You're in your 40s and "would like to settle down at some point". That is a classic."

    Nice to see that ignorant stereotypes are alive and well...

    Posted by JimR June 23, 09 11:06 AM
  1. sparks are transient - everybody has sparks in the beginning and then the sparks settle down to embers. since embers occasionally flare up, I wonder if that is the case here. I don't know what it is you want, but as a 54 year old woman I would be very happy with steady, kind, and loving. Sparks are not everything.

    Posted by linda June 23, 09 11:07 AM
  1. You only live once, find that spark! You already know what to do-thats why you wrote the letter. Good Luck, I know how hard it is to walk away from a comfortable situation but I can tell you it is worth it...

    Posted by RC June 23, 09 11:23 AM
  1. You know, your lack of libido might be physical, no pun intended. Many, many women (and I suspect men, too, but I'm not a guy) lose their libido as they age. Every menopause book talks about this. Maybe it's not him, per se. Maybe you should talk about this with your OB/Gyn or general practitioner. What I'm saying is, if this relationship has good stuff fundamentally, don't throw it away before you investigate that this could be a fixable problem. Of course, if you're often having "cheesy" thoughts about other Toms, Dicks, and/or Harrys, ignore all of the above and listen to Paul Simon: There Must Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

    Posted by Kate's Nonna June 23, 09 11:23 AM
  1. The only reason you're staying with him is fear of the unknown. That's not a good reason.

    Posted by Alvin June 23, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Then go and get some spark!

    You need to create excitement sometimes. I'm sure it's totally legitimate, but I think as you get into the longer stages of relationships, things aren't "new" anymore.

    I've been with the same person for around 7 years and it's not the same, things aren't "new", but we get along, we put effort into doing new things, if we seem to hit a rut, we just go away and do something exciting.

    I think this might be the underlying problem.....you are probably just in a rut and a routine.

    What are you looking for specifically?

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 23, 09 11:28 AM
  1. I mostly agree with the posters above that if the spark is gone because it was never that strong altogether, after only two years, then go.

    I'd first, though, ask yourself: do you have a desire to be sexual, but just not with him. Are there hormonal issues that have made sex in general not very appealing, and if so have you checked with an ob/gyn about things like thyroid issues that can hit women in their 40s?

    If you have sexual desire in general, but it has changed with respect to him from being once-hot to so-so, then I think you should do your best to think why.

    If he never really attracted you that is one thing (go!), but if something has changed (same old routine in bed?) then maybe it is time to communicate better about what you'd like different. I've been married 20 years, and there are ups and downs in sexual desire, but I am glad that I married a man that I found sexy when I dated him and sexy today in our 40s.

    Posted by happyafter20 June 23, 09 11:31 AM
  1. Having recently wasted four good years with a guy who apparently stopped "feeling it" after the first year but played on...and I discovered, played around....please do this nice guy a favor and break up with him. Be honest but kind. Honestly, you're going to have more problems finding someone than he will, because our society is like that (I speak from experience as a woman in her 40s). But that's not what should matter here. Maybe you will find someone, maybe you won't. Life goes on. And maybe you need to take a realistic look at what you really want because a woman in her 40's who is still thinking about settling down "someday" and having kids really doesn't have a grasp on reality. Even if it's biologically possible to have a healthy kid at 45, are you really going to want to put a kid through college at an age when most people are retiring?

    Posted by oldernotwiser June 23, 09 11:32 AM
  1. Sparkless said “I'm not feeling it, mentally, physically, or emotionally.”
    ~~~~~~~
    Doesn't that pretty much say it all? There's literally *nothing* there for this woman with this man - why would she want to stay? You say you're not concerned with your biological clock ticking to have children which, at age 40, is probably a good thing, as actually bringing a child to term only gets harder as the years go on.

    But guess what? Perhaps you're not slated to be "with someone" - and why is that a bad thing? Why do you HAVE to be "settled down" with someone? The assumption is that you have friends - both married and unmarried. Make plans with them. Vacation on your own. Tours in Ireland or Italy are often perfect for singles. You meet new people, you see different sites - you experience life.

    But as many have said - if you feel absolutely nothing for this man emotionally, physically, or mentally, it's time for you to let him go. You're doing him and yourself absolutely NO favors by staying with him because he's a "good man".

    Posted by Linda June 23, 09 11:33 AM
  1. #37 Dude: Why you gotta come here again with your judgments? There's a difference between offering an opinion and passing judgment. So you say "artificial diversions"--that's your hang-up--but plenty of people consider it "spicing it up." Why you gotta judge?

    ps: also, you might explore the correct use of "whom" versus "who."

    Posted by dude get over it June 23, 09 11:45 AM
  1. CreativeCook - #35
    Well, well said! I enjoyed reading your advice - seems spot on! Thank you

    Posted by Linda2 June 23, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Sparkless, I say this in the most sincere way....but you are being selfish. It is very difficult dating and especially in your 40's. A true and healthy relationship is balanced and has enough spark, friendship, respect ect to work or it does not. I am almost 40 and I can relate to what you are dealing with. But you have to respect this man and let him go. There are lots of wonderful single men and women and you both deserve to find the right connection that is a healthy, balanced relationship. One of my favorite dating quotes is....."Don't make someone a Priority who chooses to make you an option." Good luck!

    Posted by Julie June 23, 09 11:50 AM
  1. You're living with a room mate, not a lover/boyfriend. You've already settled for less. The question is why? Do you believe that it's all you deserve and the best you can expect? I certainly hope not, but only you can determine how you arrived at this point in your life.
    Are you scared to death to live alone as a single woman? That's a heck of a reason to shack up with someone. He's your human security blanket??
    Since you're not into this guy, tell him it's not working out. Do yourself and him a big favor by allowing both of you to pursue a more meaningful relationship elsewhere. It's the only decent thing to do.

    Posted by exvermonter June 23, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Sparkless-
    I have been in your shoes before, I met a great guy, he was loving, caring, great with my daughter, honest, open, everything you could ask for in a man, but after a year the "spark" just wasn't there anymore. But as the other posts have been saying you should let him go to find someone who will love him, cause if you continue you'll only be depressed, and you cannot force something that isn't there anymore. That is what I told my ex, and it hurt him REALLY bad, but I just couldn't fake what I didn't feel. It happens, and its apart of life, but you need to be honest with him about how you feel. Good Luck

    Posted by I've been EXACTLY where you are~~ June 23, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Then go and get some spark!

    You need to create excitement sometimes. I'm sure it's totally legitimate, but I think as you get into the longer stages of relationships, things aren't "new" anymore.

    I've been with the same person for around 7 years and it's not the same, things aren't "new", but we get along, we put effort into doing new things, if we seem to hit a rut, we just go away and do something exciting.

    I think this might be the underlying problem.....you are probably just in a rut and a routine.

    What are you looking for specifically?

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 23, 09 12:01 PM
  1. Give me his name and phone number! After a volatile marriage (which is now in divorce court) with a selfish, self absorbed, mentally unstable, unresponsible, controlling, unfaithful man, he sounds wonderful! Unleash him so someone else can appreciate his goodness. I would take reliable, responsible and no more drama anyday

    Posted by cali June 23, 09 12:14 PM
  1. I agree w/Kathleen. You should set aside time for just the two of you doing something you both love maybe something you did when you first started dating like miniature golf or something like that...and see if maybe you've just been distracted by work or family or other things...if after 100% of you attention doesn't rekindle SOMETHING...then you should be fair to him and breakup.

    Posted by Chris June 23, 09 12:32 PM
  1. want a spark...ride your sybian in the bath tub.

    Posted by SoxSupporter June 23, 09 12:34 PM
  1. As long as this isn't a destructive pattern you have noticed in your dating experience, maybe things really just fizzled. That's ok. It happens. Just let him know and free him up so you both can meet the right ones when they come along.

    Posted by Citychick June 23, 09 12:34 PM
  1. Rico is back...and here are a few added thoughts:

    Rico is curious still what attracted you to this guy in the first place? Was there ever a spark? What was it about him that you felt the spark? Still not trying to be rude or mean but seriously? Was it he made a lot of money and lost his job so no more nights at the Opera? did he gain a few pounds? Did he suddenly get sick or get depressed and sits on the couch all day? Oh, Rico knows, he ran out of those blue pills right? Rico is just confused why you suddenly after 2 years have lost a spark for no apparent reason. Rico thinks you need to let him find someone worthy of his company and go find yourself at a yoga camp in India or whatever it is women of your kind do. And thinking of having kids while already 40 and still looking for that spark? Are you kidding? You really need to check your birth certificate, look in the mirror and then go see a specialist because it seems you may be seeing and hearing things that aren't there. Rico bets young guys probably tell you how good you look? Makes you feel wanted and the old guy you are with can't compete with the 20 year olds. Rico thinks mid life crisis is a great description here...Sounds like what they say about us men over 40...Go buy a red Porsche convertible and drive around with your hat on tight and dark sunglasses.

    Rico will be back shortly to see about updates,

    Enjoy and love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico June 23, 09 12:34 PM
  1. #59 "dude get over it", thanks for being my puppet. You, like all Liberals, are so easy to manipulate. I say the things I say, to make you give the responses you give. This is a blog, with people giving all kinds of crazy opinions; if you want something credible, go talk to a shrink or clergy or something. You show your sheer and total simpleminded stupidity by giving any credence or weight to anything I am saying, I just throw out some crazy opinions and see what stciks. Meanwhile SHUT THE F#@& UP, and leave me to my crazy funky persona!

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 12:40 PM
  1. #70: Dude, so let me see if I understand: you go around on blogs you don't care about giving opinions that don't really mean anything to you for the sheer thrill of provoking people to respond to you? I was wrong -- you don't need to get over it, you need to get a life.

    Posted by dude get a life June 23, 09 12:45 PM
  1. Assuming this is not your first relationship, do you get bored easily in the past ones. Needs an honest answer here. If the answer is no, then leave him and move on. If the answer is yes, then you need to find the root cause and fix it. In any case, he should dump you now. He deserves a woman who love him, too.

    Posted by RootCause June 23, 09 12:50 PM
  1. When you've been all alone for a few years after dropping this stable, reliable, responsible guy who adored you, you should get a cat and name it 'Sparks'.

    Posted by joe June 23, 09 01:06 PM
  1. It's important to unhook two different things here: 1) being honest and 2) deciding to leave.

    The idea that you"owe" it to your partner to leave him just because you're feeling down on the relationship is absurd and shortsighted. What usually works best here is to open the lines of communication about what you're really feeling.

    In fact, you two don't have an intimate relationship at this point, and you bear partial responsibility, because you two are not talking about how you're feeling and not feeling, about the things that are good and the things that are less than good or bad.

    You should start with (1) and see where that leads. It might lead to a more exciting relationship.

    If it becomes clear through dialogue with your partner that (2) IS the right choice, then the separation will be much more meaningful and growthful and positive than if you just decide on your own to leave and announce it without foreplay.

    Spoken from experience.


    Posted by steve in W MA June 23, 09 01:10 PM
  1. Dump the person. And move on. In most relationship spark just very short term
    kind of thing, It is the commitment that you willing to put up with once you are in it
    If you can not put up with that person any longer then just break the commitment
    that's it, it is better for everyone.

    Posted by been there June 23, 09 01:19 PM
  1. "Don't make someone a Priority who chooses to make you an option." What a great quote. It would seem that this column might have been written by my GF. I get the feeling that I am an "option" for her (she has even referred to me as such!). I need to rethink my priorities. I do deserve more than that!

    Posted by sanity123 June 23, 09 01:22 PM
  1. I've been married twice. The first time, the sparks were gone before we got married (right around the two-year mark). I figured it was wedding stress and it would come back. It never did. We divorced after 7 years, and I have no regrets.

    The second time was in my 40s, four years into a relationship that has not just sparks but a raging inferno. Part of the reason I waited 4 years to say I do was I wanted to see if the sparks would last awhile. Well, it's been another four years (total of 8 years together) and things are mellowing down a bit, but we still have lots of sparks and we can still easily fan them into raging flames. Sparks aren't everything but if you don't have them, it's not worth it.

    Posted by not too old for sparks June 23, 09 01:26 PM
  1. you are being unfair to him and yourself. dont keep him stuck with you when he could be happy with someone who appreciates him. my guess is, if you break up you will realize what you lost. maybe you need to spice things up a little? take a vacation maybe? bottom line, its not right to lead him on when you are feeling like that.

    Posted by sparkey June 23, 09 01:29 PM
  1. DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 #37 -

    For Whom the Vibrator Buzzes

    Posted by val June 23, 09 01:36 PM
  1. MY OPINION??? When ya hit the 40's - THE YEARNING FOR SEX GOES AWAY (for most women anyway). THAT'S WHY I'M GLAD I ENJOYED LOTS OF SEX IN MY 20'S & 30'S - The 40's it's more quality than quantity.......IF I EVER THOUGHT ABOUT SETTLING DOWN AGAIN - IT WOULD BE WITH A 99 yr oldRICH MAN WITH ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE AND ONE FOOT ON THE BANANA PEEL - OR A FINANCIALLY SECURE GUY THAT WAS A NICE COMPANION THAT CLEANED UP AFTER HIMSELF AND HAD A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR AND I WOULD HAVE TO BE ATTRACTED TO HIM - BUT NOT AT THE 18yr OLD "RAGING HORMONE AGE" or the nOTORIOUS 20YR OLD MENTALITY - OR NOT EVEN THE 30something with great sex as a must. I've had it all - so I'm content with NO MORE DRAMA - and just want peace and routine.

    Posted by Been around June 23, 09 01:46 PM
  1. Do the guy a favor, he deserves someone who loves him and can cream his corn, and thats not you...because...you're just no that into him, let him go, nuff said

    Posted by pepperlevine June 23, 09 01:55 PM
  1. Listen - You're 40. You know what love and passion feel like. You don't feel it for this guy. Case closed. Don't fall for the trap that you should investigate why you aren't attracted to him. Do people psychoanalyze themselves if they don't like country music? You either like it or you don't. Usually when only one party in a relationship loses sexual interest , the other person tries harder. If this is a case where your partner has not reacted to your lack of interest by trying to me more romantic or agressive, then I would guess he has lost interest as well. Keep him as a friend but keep yourself open for new possibilities.

    Posted by NUCGEKKE June 23, 09 02:00 PM
  1. Well...this is a good heads-up for any Waltham men that fit this relationship description. Seriously though, you need to put an end to this. He's probably a nice guy and you love him as a person, but what you described is a FRIENDSHIP, not someone you date. Believe me, I understand. I once lived with my college boyfriend after we graduated and about 2 years in, I realized I wasn't "in love" anymore and that he felt more like a brother. He was a GREAT guy with a GREAT family that had become like my 2nd family, and we had had GREAT times together, but feeling that way was a sign that the love relationship was over...and soon after that, we broke up. My family thought I was crazy and some said that sex goes anyway in a marriage, and that you should marry your best friend, but I just knew...and I never had any regrets. As for you, don't worry about how difficult it may be to meet someone else. People shouldn't based what to do today on what they THINK will happen in the future because guess what...no one can predict the future. What all of us have at our hands now though is just that...THE NOW...and right now, you do not feel connected to this man physically, emotionally, or spiritually. That is friend status, so you should not be in a committed relationship (ie not seeing other people), or giving the illusion of a satisfying committed relationship, if your heart isn't in it. And he needs to know this ASAP....like tonight. Stop selling yourself short and tell him that he's a great guy that you love, but that you need to move on so that it frees up BOTH of you have a completely fulfilling love story with the right person. It is what it is....you shouldn't feel bad about this. We all have to be authentic....with ourselves and with others.


    Posted by bklynmom June 23, 09 02:03 PM
  1. Hey "Dude Get Over It" "DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666", Can't you two "girls" just admit you love each other?

    Posted by Sally June 23, 09 02:17 PM
  1. Another thought: she is 40, which is right about that age in which a lot of women suddenly "Realize that they are a Lesbian". Just throwing that out there!

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 02:22 PM
  1. Gee #70, now you've made me feel gulty. I often comment on several of the blogs on boston.com with my ulta-liberal views because i find it absolutely, mind-blowing entertaining to watch the neo-con, right wingnuts jump right in with their fear mongering and hate. My friends and I find it immensely entertaining.
    we even like to insult the sports teams once in a while to get them going, too. But Dudeguy, etc., don't mess with Meredith, Rico, Hoss , Alvin, Lain, reindergirl and think that you will get away with it. They're here to help,,,NOT mess with someone's head. That's so not cool.

    Posted by Nada June 23, 09 02:22 PM
  1. #71, "dude get a life" and yet you keep replying? Who is the bigger Loser, the "Fish" or the "Fisherman"? Me thinks the Fisherman wins. The outline is authentic, but the Bling is subject to Hyperbole...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 02:25 PM
  1. Sparkless in Zee Battle:

    You need to initiate petty arguments and promote discord in your relationship with your steady teddy. Only then will you realize the potential for passion, zeal and mind bending make-up sex. How’s this for a plot: You…we’ll call you Annie (played by, ohhh, say Meg Ryan) is less than enamored with your boring ‘apneafied’ fiancé Walter (Bill Pullman, perhaps) after you are drawn to the hope and drama of single dad/widower Sam (I’m thinking Hanks). You get hit by a car; leaving you a paraplegic. Sam never pays a call, Walter visits often and the sex is still the same: An Unmemorable Affair. One bush is worth two hands.

    Piers, not PASSion

    Posted by valentino June 23, 09 02:32 PM
  1. My second post. It seems a lot of people think that sparks can be created with toys and DVDs and other sexual novelties. That's not how it's done. Sparks are the result of novelty, which is why most relationships, even ones that don't last two years, have them early on. The novelty of getting to know someone new.

    What kills sparks: moving in together (inevitable consequence of committed relationships). Over-sharing and not leaving a little bit of mystery (hint: keep the bathroom door closed). Having a lifestyle where you do the same old/same old things, day after day (like camping on the couch watching too much t.v.). Becoming stale and boring to your own self (like never learning anything new and not trying new hobbies etc). Too much time together (having no other friends).

    What keeps sparks alive (yes even in your 40s and beyond): retaining a bit of mystery (you don't have to share every little secret about your past - you have an entire lifetime together to slowly reveal these things). Learing new things - together and apart (take a course, learn a new hobby or sport, travel to new places, go to a different restaurant each weekend, read the newspaper or a novel, take a different route to work), have some time apart occasionally (cultivate other friendships and give each other some space).

    The LW should evaluate whether she has fallen into a boring, stagnant rut and become uninteresting even to her ownself, but my bets are that even if she added in some novelty to the relationship, it's not going to restore the sparks in any substantial way. Sparks should still be there at the two year mark! The strategies I list are more for couples who've been together for years and years, and are looking to revive the sparks of the early years.

    It also helps to spend a lot of time face-to-face, gazing into each other's eyes. Research shows this is how we fall in love: we respond subconciously to the microexpressions of our lover's face. Eating dinner facing each other across the table each day (rather than side by side) is good relationship insurance. You needn't even talk while you sit face to face. The important part is to soak up the microexpressions of your loved one. It's what feeds our love and keeps it going strong. Lots of couples fall into a rut, once kids are born, of sitting side-by-side during dinner and afterwards on the couch.

    Incidentally my parents are married nearly 50 years and they STILL have loads of sparks. It's not impossible.

    Posted by not too old for sparks June 23, 09 02:47 PM
  1. This Meredith is a pretty smart individual with affairs of the heart. I say she's right on target. Be honest about your confusion with him, maybe he can help you find a solution. Who knows, maybe it will spark something- with him or without.

    Posted by hippydippy June 23, 09 02:50 PM
  1. This is not a complex issue and doesn't need a lot of over-analysis. You started dating a guy and over the course of time, you realized that you don't love him and it just isn't working out for you. This is the whole point of dating, and it's why we don't marry someone the week after we meet them. Sometimes, when the honeymoom phase passes, there's just nothing left. Two years is really not that long, and it's great that you're confronting the truth of your feelings like an adult rather than pushing them down and letting this linger on for years and years, wasting his valuable time.

    If you're sure of your feelings, and it sounds like you are, your only option is to end it as quickly and gently as possible. Don't even think about waiting for the 'right' time. It doesn't exist. Wait for the weekend if you must, but just do it. He will be very upset and may try to convince you to work it out somehow, go to therapy, whatever. He may say you owe it to the relationship not to give up so easily. If you want out, DO NOT succumb to this. Don't prolong his and your misery out of a misplaced sense of guilt or obligation

    Posted by Rae June 23, 09 03:08 PM
  1. Meredith makes an excellent point: Communicate! It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

    I'm not suggesting communicating will be easy or comfortable or result in what you really want, but nothing changes if nothing changes. Pick a time when you both can be focused, and are not tired or cranky or distracted. And, be ready for change.


    Posted by yupokay June 23, 09 03:13 PM
  1. Life's too short to live without passion. You will meet someone better for you. In the meantime, learn to be happily single.

    Posted by Bee June 23, 09 03:14 PM
  1. I hate to admit it, but there are some women who cannot ever be happy with a man. He can be the ideal that she always wanted but then the spark goes away. He could be the guy she "should" choose, and he could be the guy she "did" choose. The way to change a guy from the perfect man is pretty much to marry him. Then the luster wears off. The guy who charmed your sock off when you first got together now does nothing for you.

    I don't know what to say to this woman. In her 40's, she isn't going to have a ton of chances to meet the "guy she should be with with", and I get a bad feeling if she dumps him and goes and meets a guy she has true passion with, that the next passion will wilt within a few short years.

    I don't want to generalize about women, but this is common. There are many women who meet the MAN OF HER DREAMS and later on, well nothing. he's a slob who sits in on Sundays swilling beer and watching football and not appreciating her and listening to her. The sure fire way to kill the dream is to see first hand the reality.

    So, Sparkless, you can be Don Quixote and go chasing windmills. Keep looking for that one special love, the spark the eternal flame. If you find it, you will be lucky. But remember, while finding the spark is difficult, sometimes it is better to learn how to create a spark. It isn't what you find and what you get that matters in love, it is what you make that matters.

    Posted by S June 23, 09 03:15 PM
  1. I think #92 wins post of the day. I think this guy is "too" stable for her, maybe she would like him better if he spent her money on Heroin and had Sex with all her friends?

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 03:16 PM
  1. #90 "Nada" see us at www.crazyamerica.org

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 03:18 PM
  1. DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 .... take some anger management and etiquette classes. You are a really ignorant turn off. I guess there has to be one real loser in every bunch.

    Posted by sick of this loser June 23, 09 03:24 PM
  1. I'm also sick of DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666.... get some education on life buddy.

    Posted by also sick of this loser June 23, 09 03:49 PM
  1. DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 is the Rosemary's Baby love child between Sally and DJMcG.

    Posted by val June 23, 09 04:11 PM
  1. Go out with one of my X-Boyfriends for a while - AND YOU'LL BE SCREAMING TO GET MR. SPARKYGONZ BACK.

    Posted by Been around June 23, 09 04:23 PM
  1. I'm in a very similar situation except I'm in my late twenties. I've been with a man for over two years who is my best friend, but there is no passion. There was passion when we first met but it faded quickly as I realized he was not an emotional person. For me, passion is significant and I refuse to settle. I was open and honest with my boyfriend about how I felt. I will admit it was difficult, but it is better to be open and honest than to have that weight on your shoulders. You will end up bringing him down as well as yourself. My boyfriend and I tried to create the spark again, but it just didn't work. We have agreed to break up and (hopefully) stay friends. It's for the best for both of us. Initially I was very scared of breaking his heart. Then I realized the one way I will really break his heart is by not being honest and wasting his time. Stop wasting this man's time. He deserves someone who loves him.

    Posted by Kim June 23, 09 04:26 PM
  1. Val, you have a knack for nailing the essence....nice.

    Posted by Anonymous June 23, 09 04:54 PM
  1. Oh and, Sparky? I'm very serious about the whole girl-thing. Not being snarky at all. Not insulting your personal sensibilities. Someone suggested the "dark side" too - but that takes a whole lot of work for a white bread man who can barely appreciate a grilled cheese kind of thing. But it might work if playtime's become a drag for you. Frankly, I don't know why lovers **wouldn't** want to experiment and please each other. Why be together if there are no fireworks?

    And - thanks, Nada!

    Posted by reindeergirl June 23, 09 05:20 PM
  1. Wow, val. That was sheer brilliance! George Carlin is certainly alive and well and living in your mind. Quite a knack for the comedic arts over there... do you play funeral homes as well??

    I'm sorry if some of us come here and express legitimate concerns with the demented operating procedures of a civilization in social decline... Not all of us come here to pander to a bunch of internet groupies in a lame attempt to build self-esteem...... (AHEM!)

    Posted by DJMcG June 23, 09 05:21 PM
  1. To all my haters: Tell Meredith to censor my posts then!!! Somehow I doubt she finds them as egregious as all the whiners here :)

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 23, 09 05:23 PM
  1. Some hunt for happiness, others grow happiness. Whatever you decide, you need to be frank with him. He has a right to know how you feel. He has a stake in this and will need a chance to make his decision. He may not be as hurt as you imagine hearing that he is your backup plan. He sounds like a nice guy. It is very likely that he will find someone else who shares sparks with him.

    Posted by FrankIsRespect June 23, 09 05:27 PM
  1. Women over 40 do not lose interest in sex unless they are in relationships that are not connected. Talking and then likely leaving seem like the best approaches. The one caution is that if Sparkless wants to be a mom, then she'd better hop to it. And, one more for the record, dating over 40 is hell, but friends with benefits is way better than dullsville!

    Posted by Posey June 23, 09 06:33 PM
  1. Don't settle. You need to be honest with your boyfriend and you need to be honest with yourself. Even thinking about marriage with such low expectations is sad and you're setting yourself up for failure (aka divorce). You deserve to be happy and so does your boyfriend and that means breaking up.
    You need to think long and hard about what you want and how to be happy alone first and then with someone else. I did not get married until my mid-30s because I just knew I needed to figure out my own happiness before being with someone else. That is not to say there are not issues but I went into it happy on my own and knowing we'd work towards building happiness together.
    One last thing; the spark is great - LOVE that feeling. Even now a good flirt session is great to get that feeling of "I've still got it" (as long as harmless of course). But the spark is just that - a spark. What you want in real love is a spark that starts a fire; one that you feed and keep working on stoking for the rest of your life.

    Posted by Trixie June 23, 09 08:09 PM
  1. DJMcG,

    You must leave val alone. His fan club is watching your behavior. We might petition for your permaban.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 23, 09 08:11 PM
  1. Dear not feeling it from walham maybe you are the one or reason the thrill was gone. So shut the hell up.

    Posted by sick of you already, I know who you are. June 23, 09 09:08 PM
  1. Dear not feeling it from walham maybe you are the one or reason the thrill was gone. So shut the hell up.

    Posted by sick of you already, I know who you are. June 23, 09 09:09 PM
  1. It is called a "spark" for a reason. It is bright, before it dims; and it always dims...otherwise, it wouldn't be a spark.


    Posted by yoda June 23, 09 10:13 PM
  1. DJMgD....expressing legitimate concerns?? You? Really?

    Some folks do, definitely. YOU don't. You have HUGE problems with women, and you're taking out your rage on a board....you need help. Seek it.

    Posted by SettleDown June 23, 09 11:19 PM
  1. #75 i'm not a dude i'm a lady and did you mean someone else because i'm not trying to provoke anyone...?

    Posted by chris June 24, 09 09:08 AM
  1. No sparks = no future.

    Very simple. Like M said, you SHOULD NOT be sparkless after 2 years of dating regardless of your age.

    Posted by Robin June 24, 09 10:59 AM
  1. DJMcG - Obviously we won't be finding you on Comedy Central. You're not that ventriloquist dummie, Achmed the Terrorist?

    Posted by val June 24, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Val, your rosemary's baby comment is spot on, especially in the case of DJMcG, who I suspect is the same as or a twin with DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666, or part of triplets with TheDude.

    Posted by thanksforthelaugh June 24, 09 11:39 AM
  1. DJMcG- What's for dinner...Pea Soup?

    Posted by val June 24, 09 02:53 PM
  1. No, I'm not either of them. Don't hate me because I am unique, and make you see the truths you wish to ignore. Think of me as this forum's "Benjamin Linus", and therefore Rico is "John Locke". You can love me or hate me, but either way *I always have a plan*...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 24, 09 03:07 PM
  1. To SPARKLESS - BOTH OF YOU SHOULD TAKE HIS & HER VIAGRA!!!!! That's what Middle-Age SexIsOn Couples are doing. When the Spark dies out at the end of the day or beginning - BOTH OF YOU GO ON PROZAC TOO. Then You MAY NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING FOR A WHILE ANYWAY.

    Posted by Been around June 24, 09 05:17 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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