What to Do When You're Not Attracted to Your Significant Other Anymore
- Kris Swiatocho, Cliff Young
- 2016 4 Aug
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to [email protected] (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years this coming June. We’d been friends prior to entering into a relationship and it was clear from the outset that we both wanted to have our relationship end in marriage. We are both Christian, attend the same church, are both active in ministry and our relationship with Christ. This was the first serious relationship for both of us. My problem is, I don’t feel attracted to her in the same way anymore. We’d had a mild fight over the phone (which hardly ever happens, we just haven’t ever fought much). The next day or so we met up and discussed the issues we’d fought over and I thought everything had been cleared up.
However, after that, it was like a switch had been flipped. I no longer missed her when we were apart, I didn’t really look forward to hearing from her (texting or calling), I found myself not attracted to her physically anymore. I still care about her and don’t want to see her be hurt. But I just don’t feel like I want to marry her. I’ve prayed and prayed, that God would either restore those feelings or else end the relationship in a way that is mutual and agreeable.
The other side of the coin is she is a wonderful woman. She loves God and I know she loves me a ton. I’m afraid that if I did find a way to move on, I would end up regretting it. Another issue is, like I said we attend the same church, help at the same youth group, and her entire extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) are some of my closest and best friends. If we ended our relationship as boyfriend/girlfriend, I would hate to see it cause a rift and end other friendships. I pray about it every day, multiple times a day, surrendering it all to God, but right now, I’m just so confused and I have absolutely no idea what I should do. Any advice or help you can offer would be appreciated beyond belief.
SEE ALSO: What to Do When Feelings Fizzle Out
First of all, you are definitely NOT the first person to lose interest in your significant other, nor will you be the last. Whether it’s a dating or marriage relationship, many dissolve as a result of some lack of attraction – emotional, physical or spiritual.
With that being said, as I think and pray through your question, one fact continues to stand out - you are (only) twenty-three and she is (only) eighteen. What you are seeking and where you are as a twenty-three-year-old can be extremely different to what you see as a twenty-year-old.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for a person (individually) to take the time to mature emotionally, socially, relationally and spiritually. We (as a society) seem to be rushing children to grow-up too fast, and then we expect them to act, react and respond in an adult manner without having the life experiences to base them on.
No matter how compatible or spiritually connected you are at this moment, there is a lot of life you both still have to live and many accomplishments, struggles and changes to go through. This is not to say you can’t stay (and mature) together through this and future seasons in your life, but for now it seems like you both may need some space to grow on your own.
I understand how difficult a situation like this (first love) may seem at this point in your life, and I’m sure many have shared that you’re both young and have lots of life to live; however, there will be many even more difficult situations you will face than this.
You can always rest in the fact that if you both continue to love and seek the Lord, if you were meant to be together, He will bring you back together.
This is very difficult. I am so sorry you are going through this. Based on what I am reading, it sounds like spiritual warfare could be part of the issue. While I do believe you are both quite young and will change, and that can include feelings for each other, I believe you have a solid history, supportive family, and shared ministry work in the Lord that shows a committed and deep relationship grounded in God. So what should you do?
SEE ALSO: What to Do When Rejection is Unclear
1. Get some counseling from a friend, mentor, or pastor as there may be something else going one that you are not aware of.
2. While I see your concern of how this affects her family and your church/friends, they are secondary to your relationship. Your first priority is Christ (Matthew 6:33) and then your girlfriend as she would later be your wife. You need to sit down and talk to your girlfriend, being honest with how you are feeling. If you break up with her over a fight (which will be over something small), she will be left confused since she doesn't know what you've been feeling lately. Don’t allow the enemy to take control. Remember who the author of confusion is, the enemy. Not only put on the full armor of God but keep it on to stand against the enemy. Ephesians 6:11 - Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
3. I think you need more time to make a decision. You have invested a long time in building this relationship so take time in making a decision. Continue to invest and pray over what God would have you to do. Don’t make any rash decisions based on feelings.
4. Seek a married couple (younger and older) who you can talk too. They may be able to share some insights on how our feelings can change in our relationships and how the enemy attacks. This way you can be better prepared against his schemes.
Please know, if you are truly falling out of love for her, despite how amazing she is—how amazing your church and family is—then it is what it is. But I do not believe you accidently fall into love nor out of it without an outside source interfering such as your work, family, stress, etc. Bind the enemy, get counsel, communicate with your girlfriend, and allow the Lord to take you through this hard season. Though confusing, this season will prepare you for marriage down the road. Allow the Lord to protect what HE has brought together, whether that be a continued relationship or a friendship.
>2 Thessalonians 3:3, "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to [email protected] (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: August 4, 2016