Is it Me, Is it Her, or is it Us?

Dear Dating Coach,

I recently entered a relationship with a woman who is sweet and a little dense at times, but nonetheless intelligent and trustworthy. We started dating just a few weeks after meeting, but after only one week, my feelings changed. It just happened as we spoke on the phone one day, and even though I have tried to suppress it, I just don't feel the same towards her. It is a feeling in my gut that is trying to tell me something. This is the second relationship in which this has happened. It is not as strong with the person I am currently with, but it is consistent and makes me feel ill at ease with her.

There is nothing about her that is causing me to feel this way. By that I mean that she is very sweet, attractive, honest and interested in me. The only possible issue for me is that she is not quite on the same intellectual level that I am--but I don't think it is fair to expect everyone to be my match in this area. For instance, when I asked her what she believes in, it took her forever and a day to answer. This shouldn't be such a serious issue and I wish I could make the feeling go away. I have asked people if they have you ever been with someone they know is loyal, kind and trustworthy, but despite that they had a gut feeling that something was wrong about you being with her? Most people say, something like yes, or I understand that feeling, or that's when I usually break it off.

Can you give me some insight on this feeling and how I can overcome it, and perhaps talk to her about it rather than just breaking things off? --Lost the Feeling

Dear Lost the Feeling--

If you reread your question to me, you may see the reason that you have lost that loving feeling. In your very first line you use the word "dense" to describe her just before you list some of her finer points. Then you go on to elaborate on her strong points right before you state that she is not on the same intellectual level as you are. In fact, you reference her denseness three times in your email. See the pattern here? While you may not expect everybody to be on your intellectual level- it appears that this is an important part of the chemistry you need to have with any future partner. It may not seem fair to have these feelings, but they are after all your feelings--and we know that feelings are not right or wrong, they just are.

One of the three important elements of relationship chemistry is intellectual attraction. It is important to feel a mental stimulation and to be with someone who challenges us and matches us well in this area. For some couples it is a lesser part of their chemistry than, say, physical attraction or friendship. For you, it seems to be the piece you can't live without. My advice is to be honest with yourself, set her free and begin to look for your intellectual soul mate. Otherwise, you will very likely end up meeting another "sweet, attractive, honest" woman whom you will date for a time, then loose attraction to. This is not fair to the woman or to you.

(from March 2008)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"A Place in His Heart- or Holding a Place for Someone Else?"
List of more
"Compatibility Issues"

"Right Chemistry But Wrong Religion?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


Copyright 2008-2015 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.

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