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You Asked: Does Love Fade?


Dear Sugar,

I've been with my boyfriend for just over four years. Those four years have been both turbulent and amazing, and also the best four years of my life. We've been through a lot together including his travel-oriented career, family drama, a few dramatic breakups, and me going to school 1,500 miles away. Somehow our love and our relationship has survived all that.

Currently I'm visiting him at his training site for his new job. He's at the site for two months, meaning that if I didn't visit, I wouldn't see him until Christmas. But the problem is, I don't know if I love him anymore. I'm here for a few more days and then I won't see him until December, or possibly Thanksgiving. Should I tell him now, leave early, and risk being wrong about my feelings? Or should I stay, not being sure? He's here for another three weeks after I leave, and I can't stand him being lonely and sad throughout that time; he has nobody here. How do I know if my love has faded?

— Lost Love Laney

To see DearSugar's answer, read more.

Dear Lost Love Laney,

Love certainly does fade, and while sometimes it's only temporary, often the change in feelings is permanent and a telltale sign that it's time to move on. Your relationship has been going on for some time and you've both obviously been through a lot together; it's natural to find your feelings of love changing and even dissipating. But if you've hit a point where you're unsure if you even have the desire to be with him, then I definitely think it's time to reassess. With that said, I don't think you should jump the gun and leave. In fact, since you have such a long history together and you're not sure when you'll see him again, I think waiting it out and seeing how your feelings change is the best thing you can do.

Once you've opened up to him about your doubts, you can't take them back, so it's important to be as sure as possible. Use the rest of your trip to get to the heart of your feelings. Perhaps you'll discover that something specific is lacking and make the appropriate changes. Or maybe you'll get home and realize that you are in fact ready to be on your own. I really do think both the time you're having with him as well as how you feel when you get back home will give you the clarity that you're looking for. Once you find it, act accordingly, but don't do anything drastic prematurely.

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