After dinner and a nice stroll, we settled back in my house for a DVD. But before we could get started, he pulled me to his lap and put his arms around me.
“This is a very hard thing, but I need to say it. I don’t know why, but I’m not finding myself falling in love with you.”
He’d mentioned this a few weeks before, so it wasn’t news. We’d both felt similarly, but knew the other person had a lot of terrific characteristics so thought we should give it a bit more time.
We talked about how neither one of us could understand why we weren’t moving along in the relationship — we both liked, respected and cared for the other. But the loving feelings weren’t developing. We joked that perhaps the other wasn’t dysfunctional enough for us to relate to some old patterns.
He said he felt he needed to bring this up now because we’d planned to spend New Year’s Eve together, and he was feeling out of integrity. He didn’t feel right about acting like we were in a relationship when we weren’t really. While I didn’t feel that celebrating New Year’s Eve together meant we were in a relationship, I didn’t argue.
Of course, the way he brought this up — sensitively, maturely, and respectfully — made me more fond of him. Did it make me love him? No. But I did think, “What a rare emotionally mature man.” Which I already knew, but this was one more example of his being congruent.
I am oddly sad. I don’t fully understand why. It wasn’t as if I was in love with him, either. But it is a loss of his regular presence in my life, his thoughtful and generous gestures, his insightful observations. However, like many of my treasures, we promised to keep in touch.