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Alleycat8782's avatar

How can someone you have been dating for a long time just lose feelings for you?

Asked by Alleycat8782 (779points) July 13th, 2009

I was dating this guy for 4 years and we ended up breaking up a week ago. I went to see him today and he told me that he doesn’t care for me or have feelings for me anymore. How can someone just lose feelings for someone else after being with them for so long?

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37 Answers

ryanpowell's avatar

He is lying to make you feel bad. Or to make him feel better. If he can stop caring in a week he is a total dick and it is best to get rid of him now.

MrGV's avatar

It’s pretty easy….

wundayatta's avatar

Often it’s because there’s someone else. Sometimes it’s because he’s been trying and trying, hoping the feeling would come back, and finally he’s given in. If you look back, I wonder if you will see signs you missed when you trusted him. Maybe the sex slowed down. A lot. Maybe he spent more time going out without you. Had more business trips. Maybe you just didn’t talk so much. You must have felt the relationships going cold very gradually. Sometimes it is so gradual, that you excuse everything, and don’t notice that it’s ended up being a significant spiritual separation between you.

chelseababyy's avatar

I went through the same thing. Sometimes people get bored, sometimes people meet other people, sometimes you’re just not what they want anymore. How old are you by chance?

Jeruba's avatar

There’s no rule book for feelings. It probably happened gradually. Maybe he didn’t even realize it and then just woke up one day knowing it was gone.

Once you get over the stunned feeling and start to heal, you may realize that you saw changes too. I know it’s hard, but let it go and don’t think this means anything at all with respect to future relationships. The last thing you want to do is drag a barge full of old junk with you into a new relationship.

janbb's avatar

That is one of the great unaswerable questions of the world….

I feel for you, but having been on both sides of the situation, it sometimes just seems to happen.

Gaignun87's avatar

They found someone other than you, that’s why.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

More likely, it would seem, there weren’t any feelings to begin with.

nikipedia's avatar

I really disagree with all the idea that he met someone else or did something wrong. Feelings are slippery little suckers. They’re hard to define, hard to control, hard to measure, and hard to predict. I think the ugly truth is that these things just happen.

Regardless, I’m sorry you’re hurting. I hope you get some kind of closure and are able to start grieving and moving on.

sap82's avatar

He was a lying son of a bitch that was playing you. You don’t just lose feelings for somebody. That is a choice past the initial puppy love stage. He obviously wants something else in life. Screw him! You deserve the world, not some jerk who can deside he just doesn’t having feelings for you anymore.

CMaz's avatar

Because they are shallow and did not know what they were getting themselves into to begin with.

sap82's avatar

@all Also anybody who says it is easy to do deserves to have there head soccer drop kicked.

brettvdb's avatar

@sap82 lurve for usage of “soccer drop kick”

SirBailey's avatar

Maybe he did not just loose the feeling… Maybe he just got the courage to tell you.

marinelife's avatar

Woah, there is a lot of hostility here from some answerers. I disagree with the posters who say it is not possible to lose feelings for someone.

One possibility: He was gradually losing feelings for you over time, but had trouble acknowledging that even to himself and/or trouble telling you, becauset he still cares for you as a friend.

You don’t mention your ages. I think that is significant if either or both of you are under 20. People go through so much change and growth during that time period (and on into their early 20s) that it is very possible to grow in a different direction from your girlfriend or boyfriend.

It is really not a reflection no you.

One thing I think you need to really take in, is that if he says his feelings have changed, you need to take him at his word.

I am sure you are hurting. Take care.

Jeruba's avatar

@sap82, do you honestly not think that a 15-year-old can have genuine feelings that can also sincerely fade by the time the person has changed and grown to the age of 19? I would not judge such a person harshly. We don’t know how old these people are.

Also even a mature person can lose feelings if sudden cause arises (or sometimes even if none does) without having been a shallow, lying cad in the first place. What if Alleycat8782 didn’t treat him right? We’re doing without a lot of background here.

You don’t have to be cheating to have a change of heart. A lot of other things can be factors.

kheredia's avatar

He’s probably seeing somebody else and just hasn’t told you.

jeanna's avatar

I’ve found, in my experience, that the feelings I thought I had for someone were never really there and I just believed they were. Feelings can change, indeed, but I am not quick to believe that actual love changes so quickly. I could very well be wrong. I’ve really only loved two people in my life, one of which I am involved with now. The other is the one that made me realize how love really feels. I realized the ones before him weren’t actual love, and the few guys I was involved with after (before finding love again) I could easily figure out my feelings for them and see the difference. It happens and it sucks. I wish you well.

chelseababyy's avatar

People change. Their outlook on life changes. Their wants and needs change. So do their feelings, their emotions.

I dated my ex from when I was 15— about to turn 18. We both went through A LOT of changes during that time. I was content where I was, he wanted to try being with other girls, I wasn’t cutting it anymore and he lost his feelings for me. I thought I was in love with him. The harsh truth: I never really was. How do I know that, might you ask.. Here’s how.

After my breakup with him which was not only harsh, hard and long. I decided I wanted to be single for a while. I ended up meeting a guy, talking to him, flying to CA to visit him, and he asked me to stay. That was in Jan of ‘08. Him and I are STILL together, and it’s the best thing in the world. He’s more than I could have ever asked for. When I think back to my ex, I laugh. It was nothing more than an obsession, an infatuation, and even a bit of lust. Did I love him? Maybe. Was I ever in love with him? No. However, I don’t doubt that you can find true love when you’re young. I know tons of people who have been together since their freshman year of HS who are still together in their late 30’s.

jamielynn2328's avatar

My first love, first everything, high school sweetheart dumped me after two years. He said that he just woke up one day and felt differently. We were young of course, and I thought that I was going to die. I recall the heartbreak more than I recall the love. And there wasn’t anyone else, he wouldn’t have been able to hide that, my friends were his friends and we went to a small town high school.

I think that people grow apart. And when you are that young, you are learning and changing every single day. I don’t think it is possible for him to have zero feelings anymore. He probably still cares about you, but has fallen out of love with you. I agree with @Marina that it was probably a gradual thing that snuck up him quietly. And I know that it is probably easier for him to say the things he is saying to you. If he tells you he still cares, it will draw things out even more and he’ll end up hurting you because he obviously knows that it is completely over.

I’m sorry and I hope that you can keep your head held high through everything.

Alleycat8782's avatar

Thanks for the answers everyone, I really appreciate it, even if I didn’t want to read some of those answers. Anyone of those could be right, I mean who really knows at this point. Also, thanks for your support, every bit helps.

@chelseababyy I am 21 and the guy is 23 (almost 24).

@Jeruba I would say that both of us had a fair share of factors, however I thought we had a loving and caring relationship.

@jamielynn2328 this guy was my first true love and everything as well.

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon is right. Guys use this when there is someone else. As far as whether or not he ever had feelings for you or if they just “faded with time” it’s kind of a moot point isn’t it?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

People can change a lot between those ages, and guys in particular as they really launch into adulthood find the world a different place than they thought it was at 19. It’s often not that you’ve changed, but he’s finding himself to be a different person, and perhaps he’s not ready to settle down.

I’m sorry you’re hurting.

LexWordsmith's avatar

Sometimes people just grow away from each other; sometimes one person is slowly changing without realizing it, and the other is not. In either case, there will be pain, but working through that is part of growing up.

Is there someone you can talk to—mom, aunt, big sister, special friend? You need to have the opportunity to talk with someone who will accept your pain as real and not try to talk you out of it. You won’t feel better until you’ve worked your way through this, and in the meantime you’ll feel really down a lot of the time. Remember, the traditional period of mourning for a major loss is a full cycle of the seasons—a whole year. It’s natural, and it doesn’t much matter whether he just grew away from you or was playing you all along—in any case, it’s your feelings, not his actions, that you have to deal with.

Good luck, and i hope that you will be able to find someone helpful to talk with.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

He may have been feeling distant for some time and the circumstance of the breakup has emboldened him to express that, albeit a little late and cold.

Alleycat8782's avatar

@LexWordsmith I have talked to my mom and sister. They both have helped me so much today. I am so grateful to have them in my life. Yes, both of them are saying you can do better then him and assuring me that everything is going to be ok and that’s what I need to hear right now.

Supacase's avatar

My guess is his feelings have been waning for a while now but he was hoping it was just a phase, didn’t want to admit it was over, or didn’t want to hurt you. Once it gets to a certain point, though, it is impossible to keep up the charade; the sudden end is even more difficult for the person who has been in the dark.

cyn's avatar

What a dick!

dannyc's avatar

It’s call fear of committment. Maybe he is too young for such and wants to be free again. Thus it may be easy excuse to say he has no feelings. maybe he is really saying I feel trapped. But sheer speculation i present. Just ask him to tell you the truth, look into his eyes and directly, pointedly and without fear, confront his fear or comfort zone. At least then you will know. At such a young age, you will find love again, I hope and am certain..It is a big world.

chelseababyy's avatar

@Alleycat8782 Maybe he just wanted a change. People go through that a lot. It’s harder when it’s your first love, I’m sure. However, maybe a break will help. I know my boyfriend and I had a time where we were fighting bad. He had to go to Grand Cayman for work, and I wasn’t able to fly out there until A MONTH after he went out. We talked once in a while, but not much (we were still together though). And when I got out there, everything was great again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

skfinkel's avatar

I know how much this must hurt you. There is nothing like the pain of a sudden breakup, especially when you thought everything was all right.

And here is a fact that won’t make you feel better, but just keep it somewhere in your heart—it was much better for the breakup to happen now than in a couple of more years, or after you were married, or after you had children. You are young, you will (when you are ready) meet other guys, and when you find the man of your dreams, you will be happy this breakup happened now, when it did. It’s a challenging perspective to keep in your mind when you are raw from this hurt. Good luck to you.

Alleycat8782's avatar

@skfinkel I mean we did have rocky times but I thought overall it was going well. I think he thought the relationship was more rocky that I did. I totally agree with you in the fact that I am glad this didn’t happen when I was married. The last thing I want to do is to get a divorce and especially with children involved.

@all I just want to thank you so much again for your responses and support. I am young and I am willing to see what is out there for me when I finally heal.

shortysith's avatar

I have been on both sides of the fence with this. I got my heart broken of my boyfriend of three years when he broke up with me for no reason, and I broke up with my ex of six years about 7 months ago because I finally realized I didn’t feel the same way I did when I was 18. I loved him very much, but you change a lot in ur 20’s and I just started leaning a different way. I wish he could have seen that we grew apart and things weren’t the same, but he ended up getting hurt and that was awful for me. I am with someone now who makes me realize even more that it was the right choice even if it hurt, because love doesn’t always make sense. Feelings are indeed the one thing I wish made sense! But eventually you will learn that it happens, and sometimes we don’t know why but you learn, grow, and find happiness again. I wish u the best!

Jeruba's avatar

@Alleycat8782, so—you were 17 when you began this relationship. Those are years of critical change. You both were busy becoming who you were going to be, and each of you had a part in the other’s becoming, but there have been many other influences as well. It seems pretty natural for you both to outgrow this part of your history. He may just have reached that point sooner than you, being older, but I think you’d have got there before long.

Now it’s time to find someone who’s right for the 21— and 22-year-old you. This young man wasn’t it.

When I finally (after many romances) did meet the man who was really right for me, I knew this: everything I’ve done until now served to bring me here.

[Edit] I typed a hyphen (-) after “21” and the automatically helpful interface changed it into an em dash. Please read it as a hyphen.

Alleycat8782's avatar

Update: My ex texted me on Friday night (that was the first time I heard from him) and said he was cleaning his apartment and found stuff that I gave him and wanted to thank me for the good times. So I called him and we just updated each other on our lives and he told me he does care about me. However, he said he still wanted to keep his distance.

I have taken in everyone’s advice by keeping my distance and thought maybe this is the best for me right now. I am going to graduate from college soon, move on with my life, and possibly find someone that is better for me. I mean who knows maybe we will both change and find each other in the future, but for now I am just going to focus on myself. I don’t know what will happen in the future but I am excited to see where life will take me!

Jeruba's avatar

@Alleycat8782, that is a wonderful attitude. You are doing just great. I can tell you have gained a lot of strength and are in a calmer place. Your mother and sister must be giving you great support, and you are finding resources all your own. Please let us know how things go for you.

Alleycat8782's avatar

Update: In early September I was talking to my ex to find out that he never really had the strong “feelings” for me that I thought he had even after us talking about marriage. I haven’t talked to him since and visa versa.
I have graduated from college and now I have just recently starting dating a wonderful guy who cares about me and treats me the way I should be treated. I know it’s only been six months since I broke up with my ex but hearing that he never had strong feelings for me in the first place really helped me get over him. You really don’t know what you deserve in a relationship until you date more than one person in my opinion. I deserve the world and I was getting treated like crap for most of our relationship. I could see our relationship falling apart for the last year or so.

I am really happy now and I can’t wait to see where things go for this new guy and myself!
I want to thank you all for your answers. At the time this happened, reading many of those really did hurt however now I am at a great place and all of the answers make complete sense.

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