Love vs. Forced Love

edited April 2011 in Personal Issues
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this site but I love the Tasbeha community! I usually don't ask for personal advice on forums like this but I've been thinking about this extensively and coming to no conclusions so I'm hoping you can help me.

I guess my question is for those in a relationship already: How did you know he/she was the right one? How do you know if it's true love? What does that kind of love feel like? Ever since I was little, I used to watch movies where the heart pounded and there were butterflies in the stomach when the girl falls in love... I know that most mmovies are unrealistic but I sometimes wish I felt like that even a little when I see my soon-to-be fiance.

What do you guys and gals think? any advice?



  • Movies are fake.  They are make believe.  How can you put faith in pretending.

    Actually, I read an article the other day that stated that women need to decrease their exposure to chick-flicks because they paint an unrealistic view of relationships and life.

    Go with the Bible.  Go with talking to him and your parents.  Let a proper heart, led by the Spirit of God, help you make your decision.
  • Thanks for your advice! I know not many would reply because this is a difficult topic to talk about, but I appreciate your help.

    The thing is, I can't find a reason not to love him. He's almost everything that I've ever prayed to have in a husband. But it's like I feel neutral towards him... I don't have those strong feelings usually associated with love. Does that usually come with time or should it come right away?
  • I can't answer further.  No experience to that level; never been married.

    You will have to ask the wiser, lady-type, cadets on the site.

    I believe Fr. Peter has addressed this issue with full sagacity.  You may want to do a search through the posts.
  • lol no worries! Do you have the link to Fr. Peter's post?

    Also, are there any engaged or married people on this site that can share their experiences?

  • God be with you
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9985.msg122097#msg122097 date=1289592369]
    I can't answer further.  No experience to that level; never been married.

    Experience isn't essential to answer such questions, but wisdom is.
    Anba Pola was never married :)

    I don't think my input would be appropriate since I'm young and have not experienced the world past textbooks and study materials, but I love HGBY's response in Abounasarecool's first link.
    I am curious to know what Father Peter and ilovesaintmark think. This is very interesting and an issue indeed.

  • TITL,

    I defer to Fr. Peter, because he is a father in all aspects of the word.  This is a situation that requires a father's input (inclusive of the priestly aspect).

    I would be very superficial and ask:  'How much money does he make?', 'Are his parents from Alexandria or Cairo?', 'When he serenades does he sing nasal?', 'Does he have a good pension?', 'Do his parents tell him how to dress?', 'Can he eat with a knife and fork?', 'Is he compatible with my sports team affiliation?', 'Does he like my mother's cooking?' [Naturally, these are all questions from the female perspective.]

    You see I'm very superficial.  I would not qualify as a proper source of information.  I am what you would call immature, nor am I married.

    I'm surprised Zoxsasi, has not put in a comment.  I believe he is married. 
  • But what if he has a good income, doesn't sing nasal, parents don't tell him how to dress, eats with a knife and fork, likes her mother's cooking, and is from Cairo, BUT she still doesn't get sparks with him. I think that's what Batates74 was asking. She said he was perfect for her, but she doesn't get butterflies in her stomach. That's a problem, I think.
  • If he is perfect, then there would not be any hesitancy.  Obviously, there is a deal breaker in there somewhere.  The question is:  Is one truthful and honest enough to address the issue?

    Batates, may be candid with her comments, but sometimes there is a little shyness in giving the full account.  She is correct about airing such issues on a forum such as this, because you will get crackpot comments like mine interspersed with good comments.  These issues are very personal and need analysis, in an honest fashion, from all regards with a good fatherly presence.

    If she doesn't want to marry the guy now, then table it for a while.

    I was actually going to make a Kumbaya joke at this point, but I refrained in order to sound somewhat credible.  Although, I think that Zoxsasi is tuning the guitar for me to start the sing-a-long.
  • Butterflies do not remain for the rest of your life. Feelings are not stable, they change.
    At the other hand, if there's no chemistry at all, according to what anba Bola advices, continue the relationship and see what time does.
    Feelings can develop over time, and if they are somewhat mature feelings, they will last and be real, instead of the kind of "love feelings" that you see on tv. If there's no feelings at allll even after many months of courtship, then seek the advice of your elders (parents and priest). I believe it is also very important to be extremely honest towards one another. If you see a problem, talk to him about it. See what he thinks.
  • Thank you so much for your replies. ilovestmark, I don't know what the deal breaker is in all honesty. I tried to find one to explain how I feel, but I just can't.

    Although, I do appreciate your advice, I'm not really asking for people to tell me what I should do because i think that decision should come from me and what I feel is right. Rather, I'm asking for those in long-term relationships to share their experiences on the matter... or even those who had or know someone who's been in such a relationship.

    Again, I thank you all very much and ask that you remember me in your prayers.
  • May be it's a late reply...

    I think these are important points you'd honestly ask yourself about:
    - Have you asked God for wisdom, for His guidance and His blessing for your feelings?
    - Have you ever contemplated marriage before? How?
    - Do you think it's too early for marriage or like you said are you actually afraid of this long term commitment?
    - Do you ever miss him or feel happier when you see him?
    - Do you think his feelings for you make you resist yours for him?
    - Chemistry: is there any attraction at all? If no, why?
    - Do you have a common intercessor?

    A dynamic chemical reaction requires a source of energy. Seeing him for 3 years in the same building without having had good conversations could give you false negative ideas about your relationship (like I never noticed him etc.). You should give yourself and him a good chance as Abouna and your families suggested, exchange your ideas and goals to know each other better. Share more spiritually, praying and attending together in church. Good luck.

  • I'm not very knowledgeable about Marriage, but I've found two very helpful links.

    Here is one article about How to Choose Your Life Life Partner:

    Here is another by St. John Chrysostom:

  • AnbaBola, thanks for sharing those great articles! They’re very helpful and give great advice  :D

    John, you raise some very interesting points about the issue. One thing that really caught my attention is your question: “Do you think his feelings for you make you resist yours for him?” Can you expand on that? Surprisingly, I’ve read that before in a psych analysis of myself (before this relationship even started) and that’s why I think it may be true….although I hope not because that would be very backwards!!
    God Bless!
  • Hi guys, i wouldnt really have much advice on this but i thought i would post something anyway!

    Have u tried reading a book called "Is dating your roadmap for engagement?" its written by George M Bassaly but has alot of Anba Moussa's views and opinions in it.
    Its an excellent book telling us not only about how to chose ur life partner but also how to confirm that the relationship u are in, is infact the one for u and whether or not it has that spiritual connection aswell as the "chemistry!"

    There is a chapter towards the end called "steps to engagement" and "advice in deciding whom to marry" which sounds like what u are looking for.

    also,, i wouldnt be too worried about the movie love stuff! ur heart doesnt need to beat like crazy whenever u see the person, u just need to feel happy in their presence and know that the person is a genuine person :)

    hope that helped and that u can get hold of that book, it will definitely help  alot :D

    God Bless!
  • [quote author=KyrieEleison link=topic=9985.msg122215#msg122215 date=1289770632]
    "Is dating your roadmap for engagement?" its written by George M Bassaly

    Uncle George is my sunday school teacher.. *was* my sunday school teacher. I don't go to sunday school anymore lol
  • I had a feeling someone was gonna say that cos most of u are outside of europe lol
    but yes u are very lucky to have him :) lol
  • Well when you said you don't get sparks when ur with him thats a good thing because if u do that means your brain brings out0 a chemical thing called P.E.A which is what you get because you only like a certain thing about them but they will eventually lose that thing. when u don
    t then we you marry your relationship will grow in a right way toward God. its called endorphine when u don't but yea u can learn it all from Abba Youssef's  links :D
  • Since Abouna and your families released you from being too official, I think it is good if you allow yourself this opportunity by accepting the fact you are loved, don't be afraid. Become friends, reciprocally. Try to find things you both like and expand on these common interests. If possible don't be too demanding though, nobody's perfect.

    Pray and given some time with God's grace you'll know .

  • There is a great book on Marriage by H.G. Bishop Bola at this link:
    The first chapter specifically is called how to choose your partner, and I feel that it can be very beneficial to you.

    Please pray for me,
    Anba Bola
  • well i am not one to give advice on this topic as i am no where near getting married (still in high school), but i just wanted to make a comment. Can u imagine an  American movie on a Coptic Orthodox wedding or sumthing like that. It would be noooo wheeereee neeaarr the other chick flix and love movies and such that are based in a family without much religion and such. hahah. that would b a weird movie hahah. can u imagine something like  "MY BIG FAT COPTIC ORTHODOX WEDDING" hahaha. u know like "my big fat greek wedding" ahhaa. sooo ummm yeh well sorry for this not being bery advising but yeh, i dont think any advise coming from me would b very helpful due to my inexperience and very young age. well anyway. cya
  • Marriage is slavery. Uhhhh wait no I mean yea its fun.
  • [quote author=Ioannes link=topic=9985.msg122431#msg122431 date=1290195862]
    Marriage is slavery. Uhhhh wait no I mean yea its fun.

    Lol your wife has an account on here? 
  • [quote author=TITL link=topic=9985.msg122440#msg122440 date=1290205742]
    [quote author=Ioannes link=topic=9985.msg122431#msg122431 date=1290195862]
    Marriage is slavery. Uhhhh wait no I mean yea its fun.

    Lol your wife has an account on here? 

    No, are you kidding me? I would not have said that. I dont get this topic though that is why I am making jokes. I mean isnt forced love illegal? (Not that I would know)
  • Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t been replying to your messages lately… I’ve been super busy with school.

    Everyone’s advice was really great  :) and anba bola, I read the book that you suggested in one sitting! It had good tips

    The problem is that I don’t know what the problem is! I know that sounds insane but it’s true. I know that I don’t feel the way I should about him if we were to move ahead in life but at the same time I can’t point a finger to exactly what it is that’s causing it.

    John, we are friends and we have tons of things in common… I’m not looking for perfection but I am looking for a deep connection.

    What can I do to help me pinpoint whatever it is that’s holding me back? He’s a great guy… he really is and he tries so hard to make me happy. I just don’t see why I don’t have the same feelings for him.

    ps. when I say forced love, I mean love that is an illusion!

  • i would suggest u spend loads of time with God, like go on a retreat, or visit a place where u don't know anyone and just pop into an orthodox church there and listen to the message.
    sometimes there are loads of things buzzing around your head so you can't hear God very well.
    read the Bible and pray the agpeya, try to avoid thinking of your problem, and then God can guide you as you focus on Him.
  • all I can think of is this problem now!! and I still don't know what to do. I really don't think it should be very difficult to make a decision but somehow it is and I'm stuck. Any suggestions?

    Also, he keeps commenting that he finds me beautiful, which is nice but he does it so much that sometimes I question whether he sees anything else in me. Guys, I need your input on this one. What do you think?
  • Hi!
    Lots of great suggesstions here that I will also look into :) But I thought I'd add..

    1. Maybe your problem isn't really about him, maybe it's about YOU. Someone asked whether you are actually contemplating marriage... are you ready to get married (spiritually, financially, emotionally, etc)? Because if you've entered this relationship with the particular intention of finding out whether this man is a match as your future spouse, this is great, if not, this may be what's confusing you because you are not truly ready for a life of marriage.

    Also, are you sure that his characteristics, personality, etc are really what you want? Or are you just liking what you see and equating that with what you want? Since it is your first relationship you may be confused about the qualities you really want and the qualities he has.

    Lastly, I believe that these things take time, and you should eventually feel that this guy is the right one for you, i.e. he encourages you spiritually, he treats you with respect, he is interested in what you do (or are going to do) as a career, if he serves in church he serves whole-heartedly, but above all he believes that God should be the the most important person in your relationship and more importantly shows this belief in his ACTIONS... and vice versa.

    I don't have too much experience in this department but I have contemplated a lot on the subject  :) I hope what I said is clear and helps you in some way.

    Pray for God's grace and guidance.

    Take care and don't feel pressure to act if you are not sure. This is one of the biggest decisions of your life, so make sure its what you really want.
  • I'd like to ask everyone to remember me please in their prayers so that God can guide me as to what I should do.

    Thanks and GB
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