"He Didn’t Understand Why Doing This Was An Issue": 17 Times Women Realized They Were Never "In Love" With Their Long-Time Partner

    "Being in a relationship with him was like dragging an open parachute behind me on the ground."

    Even though you may be in a relationship with someone for years, there may come a time when you realize you actually were never in love with them. So when Reddit user u/ThrowRAyz asked the r/AskWomen community: "What made you realize that you weren't actually 'in love' with that person?" they provided very thoughtful and honest answers. Here's what they had to say below.

    1. "When I started lying about my off days just to avoid us being able to spend extra time together."

    Woman looking thoughtful while resting her chin on her hand, seated indoors

    2. "When I realized he was acting like a child more than an adult (i.e. conflict avoidance, lack of self-control, over-emotional responses). Adults manage their emotions and handle things directly and logically. It’s one thing to escalate a situation and defend yourself when it’s called for, but it’s another to either have no boundaries at all or to flip out over every little thing. Both behaviors are extremely unattractive. As soon as I could see any of this in my partners, I was over them."


    "Yeah, my ex was like this. He didn’t seem to understand why punching holes in walls and doors when you’re mad is an issue. He seemed to think that hitting things was a normal thing to do — but when I expressed that it made me uncomfortable, he thought that I was the problem and that he couldn’t 'be himself' around me.

    Honestly, It was like watching a toddler having a temper tantrum."


    3. "He started to have medical issues and couldn’t work. I supported him and took care of him, and I started to feel like I was his mother — then he cheated on me. After 28 years together, I was done. I packed up and moved out of state a couple of months later."

    Doctor handing a paper to a patient across a desk with a laptop and stethoscope visible

    4. "I realized that the person I had in my head didn't match up to the person I was actually dating. I was making a lot of excuses for his behavior and trying to find meaning and subtext where there clearly wasn't any."


    5. "I felt incredibly stuck. I dreaded when they came home. Sitting on the couch or lying in bed, I still felt like the loneliest person in the world despite that body being five inches away [from me]. I was sad, hurt, angry, and had a lot of resentment because of the BS that had happened, and accepting I didn't even 'like' them anymore."

    Person relaxing by a window with closed eyes and a content expression

    6. "When I fell in love with my current partner. I realized I hadn’t ever actually experienced what real, true love felt like until I met him. It took meeting someone who treated me right to make me fully understand that all my prior experiences with past partners did not equate to what love actually is."


    "Absolutely this. I dated a guy, and things were okay, and I remember thinking, I guess I could spend my life with him, it wouldn't be that bad. I kinda figured you just found someone you could tolerate, and that's as good as it gets. We eventually broke up.

    I started dating my husband, and it was like, 'Oooooooh so this is how it's supposed to be!'

    So glad I didn't settle for something so mediocre and miss out on the great love that I found."


    7. "When I realized that I felt being in a relationship with him was like dragging an open parachute behind me on the ground."

    Person sitting by an open door, resting head on knees, with a phone nearby, appearing contemplative or upset

    8. "After getting off a call with my dad where we were planning my mom's funeral, my ex decided it was an appropriate time to shove his hand between my legs. He couldn't understand why I had an issue with that."


    9. "He left me alone during the holidays, which were already very difficult for me, to fly home to be with his family. We were from the same state, but I couldn’t afford to fly home at the time. I was completely alone for the third year in a row since I had moved to a faraway state from my family for him. I realized he did not love me how I wanted to be loved or how I loved him. He always made me take time off to spend time with his family but never bothered to do the same with mine. The nail in the coffin was January 2020, when my parents came to visit for a quick weekend trip. I cried so hard when they left because I had missed them, and I didn’t know when I’d be able to see them again (even before I knew about COVID!!), and he said to me, 'Don’t be a fucking baby.' I broke up with him the next day, moved out, and two months later, COVID hit. I can’t imagine having to have been quarantined with him, and I’m so glad I got out when I did."

    Two women embracing on a porch step, one consoling the other holding a phone

    10. "I couldn’t have sex with him. I spent time with him just because he was my boyfriend, not because I really wanted. I lost the intense feelings a short time after we spent time together. I didn’t actually have fun with him all the time. He didn’t make me happy the way a partner should do."


    11. "Every single last thing he did annoyed the hell out of me. Even the way he held his coffee put me in a rage."

    Man smiling gently while holding a mug, suggestive of warmth or contemplation

    12. "When he dumped me, and I was only sad for one day. LOL."


    "Isn’t it funny when that happens? When my ex dumped me, I sobbed myself to sleep, but within 24 hours, I was over it. Turns out, I had mourned the relationship months, if not years, before that."


    13. "I didn’t miss him when we weren’t together."

    Woman in sportswear smiling against sky, possibly post-exercise, reflecting resilience and joy in fitness journey

    14. "He started moving his stuff into my place, and I had a panic attack about it. I was not excited about us or our future — I was terrified. I broke up with him the next day."


    15. "I found an engagement ring and panicked. It wasn’t what I wanted."

    Person holding an open ring box with an engagement ring, symbolizing a marriage proposal

    16. "My last relationship didn’t work out for many reasons: I realized he was a Nowherian with a lack of a sense of ambition and direction that I need in a partner; he was also very unable to execute adult life and couldn’t move forward unless I was managing his emotions every step of the way. I couldn’t respect him, and I quickly realized I didn’t love him when the haze wore off. In my opinion, respect fuels love because love truly is a verb. Once the respect is lost, I can’t continue the action of love."


    17. "I asked myself, 'What do I like about him?' And I couldn’t answer it."

    A man and a woman having a serious conversation; the woman appears upset and contemplative

    Was there a moment in your relationship when you realized you weren't in love with your partner anymore? Tell us what happened and why in the comments below.