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chokolatcake's avatar

I love you but I can't be with you, what does it mean?

Asked by chokolatcake (111 points ) January 20th, 2012

Since I have been on the subject of love, I do not get what it means when some one says I love you, I will always love you, I am deeply in love with you and always will be… but I can’t be with you. What does it mean? Is this something that players do? I know love is more complicated than it seems but I think when some one uses this line they don’t love you, and it is wrong to use such a strong word. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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20 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

It’s wide open. So many different possible reasons. You could be in a situation where you can’t be with someone. You might already be involved with someone else. You might be about to go into the Army and fly off to Afghanistan. You may have obligations—all kinds of obligations—that keep you from being able to be with the person you love.

And yes, it could also be a line. I can’t be with you for whatever reason, but I really do love you. Why don’t we have fun in the stolen moments we can catch. I guess it works if the person never asks why they can’t be with you.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Sounds like a bunch of sappy, romantic BS to me!

I know I am synical, but I hate sappy, insincere “love” talk. When I had boyfriends that couldn’t stop saying “I love you” I just wanted to tell them to get a life!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Always take someone on their word. There is no need to question the meaning behind it. Really.

If someone said to you, “I like you, but I don’t love you” don’t question it. Same goes for “I love you but can’t be with you”.

Since some people are able to lie without flinching, @chokolatcake, here’s another tidbit:
Actions speak louder than words.

Love should feel good. If it doesn’t, it’s not love.

marinelife's avatar

I agree that the sayer does not really love you when they say that.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s what a rational person in a toxic relationship might say. Like living with an addict or alcoholic, “I love you but I cannot be with you while you are drinking or using.”

Or what an abuse victim should say: “i love you but I cannot be with you because you keep beating me up, I don’t want to die.”

It’s what a mother should say sometimes: “I love you but I have to take the child away because you are beating/emotionally abusing/sexually abusing our child.”

There are lots of good reasons for saying it, it should probably be said more often.

@Skaggfacemutt There’s nothing sappy about this, it’s not someone trying to convince you, it is someone trying to break away.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I was referring to the line before. “I love you, I am deeply in love with you, I will always love you” part.

Moegitto's avatar

There’s only 2 reasons a person would say this. 1 would be because they actually mean it. Some times a person has everything that would make them ideal but they might have something that might make them so unattractive that a person can’t bring themselves to love them wholly (traits like nose picking in public, diggin inbetween their toes, not showering type of stuff). The other situation could be the person might acknowledge your feelings but they don’t feel that way about you, so this is a way of letting you down easy and slow.

Blackberry's avatar

That’s too vague.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It means you hear and want Eros when they say and mean Agape or Philia.

Blueroses's avatar

I honestly don’t think you are asking these questions to create a shitstorm. I think you are dealing with these very difficult issues and jumping topics because a previous question does start to get oppressively one-note from people who do mean well but aren’t going to address a separate issue within that thread.

If I’m following your situation correctly, this is an admission of wrongdoing on his part and an admission that your behavior triggers or enables his behavior. That would be an insightful admission on his part. If he can realize that your love for him allows him to (or triggers him to) behave badly, he is starting to know himself.

He is saying you aren’t good for each other right now. Very, very hard to hear but inside yourself don’t you agree?

WestRiverrat's avatar

What it means to a lot of the folks around here:

I don’t love you, but I want to keep you hanging so that when I need a fallback girl or guy if things fall apart, you will be there for me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree @WestRiverrat It’s usually done to keep the line open for booty calls

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You nailed this one, @WestRiverrat . I gave you a “great answer” but this one is too good to leave it at that.

Nimis's avatar

There are so many possible reasons, both good and bad.

The only real answer I can give you is what I meant when I said it to someone.

For me, it meant that I really did love that person. But that we shouldn’t be together because we weren’t good for each other. The highs were high. But the lows were so low. At some point, you realize that you don’t want to be on that roller coaster for the rest of your life.

I didn’t like the person I had become in that relationship. And as much as I believed that it would be hard for him to find another person who loved him as much as I did; I did believe that he’d find someone who would make him happier than I could. And I wanted that for him. For both of us.

No hidden agendas.
No booty calls.

Just meant exactly what I said.
Probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to say or do.

@SpatzieLover Love should always feel good. But, unfortunately, that’s not always true.

Charles's avatar

It’s what people say just before they say, “I want a divorce.”

saint's avatar

It’s bullshit for “I don’t want you around”

DaphneT's avatar

You can love another and still be unwilling to sacrifice everything for that person. It just means that that is the level of love you are at. English only has one word for love, but it has a thousand meanings.

If you are at the stage of everything or nothing love, and the other person isn’t, they may not feel able to be with you. A year from now you may enter a different stage of love and so might they.

It is just a kinder way than saying I don’t want you around. If it makes you angry, then BS it is.

chyna's avatar

Exactly what @saint said.

filmfann's avatar

It’s male-speak for “I don’t love you, but my dick is gonna miss you.”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It means he’s already happily married? And the lovechild payments will continue in secret.

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