Dear El Padre, 

My boyfriend says I am “the one”, even though we have only dated for a few months… and I hardly see him, once a week usually, because of his work. When I think about it, I don’t feel I am in love with him… and now I question if I even know what love is. My parents were not big on saying “I love you”. And now I question if I loved them… Do I know what love even is… Although based on all I did for them before they passed away (took care of them at home and got a caregiver while I was at work… took care of them after she left and on weekends), I guess I did love them. I guess my question is: will I know when I finally do love my boyfriend? How will I know?

Dear What-Is-Love,

Love is, above all, pretty mysterious. One look at the Wikipedia page, and it’s pretty easy to see that the nature and definition of love is something people have discussed for centuries. You can ponder all this, but if I were you, I’d focus a little more on the here and now. .

Do you look forward to seeing your boyfriend?  When something good or something bad happens in your life, do you look forward to telling him about it?  I’d suggest working on building a relationship, and exploring how you feel about him – rather than focusing on whether he is “the one” or if you are “in love”.  Having dated for a few months, it’s still pretty early. If I were in your shoes, I’d also try to be generous with myself – it sounds like you have been doing a lot of caring for your parents.  Find time for yourself and do some things you want to do.



El Padre AKA Ann Kansfield

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