Ask Dr Louise: I don’t want to marry my girlfriend

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Couple arguing. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Couple arguing. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

David, email

My girlfriend and I have been going out for several years now – since Grade 12. She expects me to ask her to marry me – I know because she’s hinted as much. But I’ve realised that I don’t want to marry her and that my love for her is more like that of a brother for a sister than of a man for a woman.

I feel so bad about how much it will hurt her to tell her that I don’t love her anymore, but at the same time I become extremely anxious at the thought of marrying her. What should I do?

Dr Louise’s advice

We can’t command our emotions. We feel what we feel, so unfortunately you can’t make yourself love your girlfriend. It simply doesn’t work that way. You started dating when you were quite young, and over the years you’ve both grown up and may have changed with time.

There’s no easy way out – you’ll need to be honest with her about how you feel. Explain that although you love her, it’s not the kind of love that sustains a romantic relationship because it’s not the kind of love a man has for a woman.

She might be extremely angry with you at first, but if she’s mature enough she’ll realise in time that you did the right thing. It would be far more traumatic to get married only to divorce later because it became clear you don’t love her as a husband should love his wife.

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