Medical Questions > Relationships > Dating Forum

Partner wants to date others

I have recently in the last few weeks entered into a relationship with a woman i have known for years. I have more than liked her for a long time and she says she has had strong feelings for me for well over a year, we have been very close friends for a long time but neither of us persude it, it has all just happened somehow. Anyway she says she loves me and i believe her and i know i love her, you would think its all a bed of roses but its never that simple is it?

she says despite loving me she wants to continue dating other people for the time being but remain faithful to me and remain chaste. I cant understand why she wants to date other people
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replied December 29th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
she wants to see other people? why?

that doesnt sound like love to me :/
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replied December 29th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
I know thats what i thought and i was hurt but I asked her to be honest with me and she said that she does love me, and i am pretty sure she isnt lying I know her well enought to tell if she is lying and she is a very honest person. I just wonder if it was around about way of asking me if i wanted to see other people because she asked me if i wanted to see other people after she said that, i said no i didnt, that i only wanted to see her.
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replied December 29th, 2007
Experienced User
Just be careful. I know that you said you have known her for years. Is it possible that maybe she is mistaking loving you for actually "being in love" with you? There is a huge difference.
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replied December 29th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
No there isnt, that is a misconception, love is love but it can be on different levels.

There are 3 types of love

1) Eros love - known as "erotic love". It is based on strong feelings toward another. It usually occurs in the first stages of a man-woman "romantic" relationship.

This love is based more on physical traits. Say a person says he has "fallen in love" for a woman, because "she looked like an angel" (sheesh). Or a woman "falls in love" for a guy because he is intelligent, etc.

The weakness with this type of love is obvious. It is based more on "self-benefit", of what can benefit you rather than the other person. This is "I love you because it feels good, and makes ME happy loving you." See? The keyword is the word "ME".

When that person doesn't "feel happy" anymore in loving that person, she/he is led to believe that she/he has "fallen out of love". Actually, there was never "true love" in the first place. The fact is, love by feelings alone cannot be called "true love" simply because they do not know each other that much yet.

Two people feel this strong emotional attraction towards one another, though they barely really know about each other's personalities. A person usually puts her/his best foot forward, showing only her/his good side. In order to be sure if "true love" exists, two people must know and accept each others' good and bad traits.

Furthermore, they must have gone through a lot of time with each other, going through BOTH joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures, and still end up together. A lot of sacrifice towards each other is therefore essential.

It is love that is untested by hardships, and therefore may or may not last in the long-term. It may or may not develop into a higher form of love - philos love. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

The romantic feeling common in "eros love" is natural, and an important part of a relationship between a man and a woman. Romance also plays a role in strengthening the bonds, especially at the start of a relationship.

What you need to be careful of is assuming a relationship must be "real love" just because it is romantic, because all we feel is happiness. As with most anything in life, we must learn to use both our heart and mind to judge if something is real.

we need to be careful also of being in love with the "concept of love" itself, rather than for who the person is. TV. movies, media has "romanticized" so much, it is often hard to see reality from fiction.

true love means we must love a person for her/his uniqueness, not because we simply want to feel the joy of "being in love." Such a love is concerned more with the "self" rather than the partner.

Over-relying on pure emotion without the balance of logic is a recipe for failure.


2) Philos love - a love based on friendship between two people.

It is true that two lovers that start out by being friends first before becoming partners usually are the relationships that last more, long-term.

Friendship is the foundation of a successful relationship. This is true whether it is marriage, or boyfriend-girlfriend, relationship betweeen family members, relationship with co-workers, employer, etc.

In the case of a man-woman romantic relationship, the advantage is you get to know each other first, before committing to a more serious relationship above friendship.

You start out as friends, then admire each other, then possibly strong emotions can suddenly appear over time and you both realize you miss each other more. It takes time, and is patient (love is patient, love is kind!).

This is in contrast to a man-woman romantic relationship which starts out by "eros love", meaning you get attracted by physical/mental traits alone. Strong emotions start almost immediately (some would even say "love at first sight"), though you do not even know each other that much.

With eros love, you see only each other's strengths/good side, everything is rosy, mushy feeling of happiness, etc. Again, you cannot judge "real love" between two people based on strong emotions alone.

Philos love is a love based on "give-and-take", where two people benefit each other in a mutual way. One partner is still concerned with what she/he can take, but at the same time is also concerned with her/his partner's benefit and therefore gives back in return.

Therefore, philos is a higher type of love than eros. Philos love is a mutual, "give-and take" relationship, while eros love is a self-based, form of love that is more concerned with the "self" or self-benefit.

Like eros love, philos love must develop into a higher form of love, the highest love of all - "agape" or unconditional love.


3) Agape - unconditional love

The third and highest type of love is "agape", or unconditional love.

Agape love is above philos love and eros love. It is a love that is totally selfless, where a person gives out love to another person even if this act does not benefit her/him in any way. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit).

Say, you help out a person, even though that person hates you and curses you. Or you take insults from your partner without hitting back, all the while forgiving and praying for your partner to amend her/his ways. Or the famed "unconditional love" that a mother has for her child (her child will always be the most beautiful child in the world to her, even with a face only a mother could love!).

Or the love we show our parents, taking care of them and helping them in their old age. Just like they took care of us when we were young, it is done with or without benefit in return.

However, the highest type of agape love is not human at all, but divine - God's unconditional love for us, His children.
There is no greater love than this. Jesus had no obligation to die for us, but He chose to. It is His gift, His ultimate gift.


First Corinthians 13:4-8 provides a perfect description for agape : "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

In essence, eros love is "physical", philos love is "mental", and agape love is "spiritual". Thus, it is made up of the three fundamental elements of man: physical, mental and spiritual.

Obviously we have loved each other as friends for a long time and the physical attraction present over the last year of so. so we are kind of kicking off at stage two.
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replied December 29th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
I dont want to seem ungretful for your concern and i am being careful, but all i want is for her to be happy, if that means her seeing other people so be it, but i hope that she will love me enough to sacrafice that and even if she doesnt, i will still love her and be willing to suffer, you just cant stop loving someone...

but the problem is i dont understand why she would want to see other people (even though she isnt) I am missing something, perhaps its her way of keeping things from moving too fast.
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replied December 29th, 2007
Experienced User
I am sure that she loves you in love and love are different. I have a best guy friend that I love and would do anything for...is it possible that she does love you and wants to date you but wants to be safe and make sure that she is making the right decision by being more than a friend with you? My now husband was my best friend but we went through a few years of troubles in the end it has worked out to benefit us. I would say just roll with it and not let yourself get too deep and see where it goes.
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replied December 29th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
well it seems plausable i guess, i know she loves me as a friend (Philos) and has a strong "eros" attraction to me but who knows maybe she is just testing the water regarding advancing in a commited relaionship. I dont want to push her into something she does not want to do, i just want her to be happy.

Yeah, just roll with it!

As long as she is happy, i am
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replied December 29th, 2007
Experienced User
That's great! You should just roll with it and see how it works just remember we can sometimes fall into things and compromise ourselves just try not to get yourself into that situation. Give it time and see how it works out I have a good feeling about it.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
If she doesn't want to sleep with others, then it really just seems like she wants to keeping seeing other people casually and take things slow. Maybe she doesn't want to rush into a relationship with you and screw everything up. You have a lot at stake here-your friendship, mainly.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I agree with Jude, maybe she wants to take it slow. When friends become a couple it can either ruin things or make your relationship stronger. But I would still be concerned because it sounds like you are further along in the deal than she is. Just try to give her the distance she needs. If you arent techinically a couple then she has every right to hang out with others, Im not saying that you are going against this or anything. But dont let her lead you on either. Be honest and upfront, but please do take it slow. Above all else your friendship and the love you already have for eath other is what matters most. Best wishes
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