When you’re young you think love is easy, that your expression of this complex and overwhelming feeling will be found often and shared frequently. What you learn when you’re older is that love is rarely black and white. People can love you in the “I’m not in love with you” kind-of-way, they can be on the verge of loving you, or the worst: they can express to you that they only think they love you.
What does that mean? This person you cherish has obviously put some time and thought into their affections for you and they have failed to come to any kind of concrete conclusion.
I think I love you. I think I want Thai for dinner. I think I’d like a new haircut. One of these does not belong. Sure, adulthood is naturally a trial and error type of gig, but the expression of almost-quasi-love shouldn’t be uttered from his lips at any age. So what are you to do when your feelings of adoration are (sort of) unrequited? You leave.
Aside from the humiliation of being the most vulnerable member in a relationship, you have yourself to worry about, and loving someone with one foot on the ground isn’t going to make you happy. It can be hard to walk away, even when you know they don’t love you in the way that you deserve.
You become haunted by not fulfilling the plans you’ve had for yourself. The trajectory of your life isn’t quite lining up in the way you had hoped. If you walk away you’ll just be another 20-something single girl that has to pretend to be happy for all of her friends who are settling down. I promise you this is okay.
A strong woman doesn’t stay with a man who can’t fully commit, or at least she shouldn’t. The dichotomy of your relationship will always be on an uneven keel. You will grow impatient with his cavalier demeanor and he will harbor resentment if you demand a true testament of love.
The man who only thinks he loves you is using you as a place holder.
Sure, he’d be okay if he ended up with you, he’d likely even be happy, but in this interim he’s going to be triple-checking his options to make sure there’s not some other cool girl he’s missed out on. Take my advice: if your guy is on the fence about his love for you, run—don’t walk—away, and I think you’ll be glad to never look back.