Is it ever ok to settle for a decent man but not feel that "spark"

lil_fighter

Confident
I have dated in my 20s and met some strange characters, had some near misses and lucky escapes and met guys who were ok as people but didn't know what they wanted and tried to drag out the relationship and have me stick around. I was assertive throughout and ended situations if I saw genuine red flags. My father was physically abusive towards my mother and they divorced when I was young, so I am particularly cautious. When I was 27, I met my bf and we got along so well. We had a few minor problems to do with miscommunication, his recent bereavement as his mum passed away and a few small personal problems to overcome but we moved in together. He is very caring and dotes on me. He isn't the most ambitious man and he often needs a push. I am the polar opposite in that respect, always keeping busy and not afraid to try new things but he doesn't like change and he likes his simple life and simple routine. He comes from a secure family and did not experience any chaos or abusiveness like I did. Back in my early 20s was raped on a date with someone I trusted and my bf knows this. I live with PTSD which is much milder now and bf is supportive. I haven't been triggered in a while but I do intend to have proper trauma therapy and sit down and talk about what happened and process it. Throughout the relationship I have trained in a new career, working and studying as I achieved my goal. We care about each other but for me, there isn't a spark. It's just safe and simple. But I wonder if this is ok? We have been together 4 years now and I am now 31.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
What's wrong about safe and simple and why do you need validation from other people about whether that's 'ok'? That situation is what many other people strive for in a relationship.
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
If you are asking you might know the answer. Do you love him? Would you be content to imagine life without him? Are you interested in another?

ETA JMHO but no chemistry for me is n/g. However, you've been together 4 years, so for 4 years that was ~ok. Fwiw, it's said waning interest comes back to the person not noticing what they should, not the other person. if there's other big issues, that also applies. Do you communicate? Do you meet each other's needs? Maybe he's afraid of triggering you, considering your history? Do you trust him, and vice versa? Are you both honest about how you feel? , etc.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
What do you mean by spark?
And do you think you get that spark with him?

Relationships have their ups and downs. In my relationship there are periods where it is more 'spark' than others because of life and stressers.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
He doesn't know this, but when we got married 5 years and 8 months ago, I didn't feel a "spark" regarding my husband. I felt safe with him and that was what I needed. He was a good man and I knew that. I stayed because I deeply loved him, regardless.

There is definitely a spark now and I am glad for that.

So, is it ok? I think so and I think sparks can come on later, too. The bigger question is, are you all in with or without that spark?
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I think it depends on what you see love as and in what tradition you follow and if you see that as healthy.


I was fascinated to read once that Bhuddists can feel that ‘spark’ is a detrimental element in relationship.


I had a quick google for you but in couldn’t find the article I wanted to reference.

This might be of interest

5 surprising lessons I learned from Buddhist nuns about dating and relationships



I don’t buy fully into either this or tradition western idea, personally. My husband is one of only two men I feel I loved fully. One was a perp - for whom I had ‘crazy spark’. Spark isn’t always sensible.


My husband otoh, is kind, stable, loyal, honest and committed to our relationship. Even if I had had no spark for him he is clearly going to be the better life partner!


I am not a proponent of ‘partner wish lists’ - things a person must have or be to be considered dateable , but if I were to consider attributes that are NON negotiable- honesty, kindness, communication, trustworthy would be on mine.

These are really pretty rare qualities.

I think if I were not attracted to them in my husband I would be looking at why. I think in my case it would be self sabotage and my childhood issues impeding- that was relevant In my earlier partner choices I believe .


Now- we all have different priorities:) I found the article I DID find interesting. Unlike Bhuddists I feel the lack of attachment is not always helpful and instead believe in an ideal model of interdependence. I still found a lot to nod about and reflect on. I hope it helps you too, or focuses your future consideration.
 

Friday

Moderator
Spark is less important to me than Settle.

DECIDE upon a man/woman that I don’t have chemistry with is a very different concept to me than SETTLE on a man/woman I don’t have chemistry with.

It’s semantics, & it’s directional.

I’ve lived in enough cultures with arranged marriages to appreciate the idea of learning to love someone. I’ve also been in situations -I’ve never expected myself to be in- where I came to love people I never thought I could/would, to know it’s a very real thing... learning to love someone, rather than being swept away in the riptide of it. Conversely, I’ve also tried to love / tried to learn to love someone I either never could, or would have to have spent far more time with than I was willing to spend. “You’ll learn to love me in time,” has a great deal of truth to it, but it’s not absolute.

So, from my experience & observation? Deciding upon a person gives you a very great chance of falling deeply & profoundly in love with them.

But experience also says that settling on someone is rarely more than using them as a placeholder. A temporary thing. A warm body. Whether to fill a need or act as one more wall between them and the rest of the world matters not so much. I’ve watched countless people settle on one person fall in love... with someone else. And then leave their placeholder, their security blanket, or stay unhappily with them.

Decide is moving forward. With someone.
Settle isn’t.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I thought so much about this question after my post.

I think the thing western portrayal rather than real experience of very good love forgets is something that is - when it’s discussed - described as ‘making a choice every day to love our Partner’

It’s the small acts of consideration and thought for each other that aren’t about either lust nor receiving affection yet are not debasing.

when I compile groceries I automatically make menu plans that he likes not just a meal rotation of my favourite foods. I notice that on the day I have therapy if he is home - with no fuss he makes and changes the bed - a hangover from the time I would crash out completely afterwards everytime - he couldn’t do much but give me a soft clean place to land.

I could give many examples of the ways - practical and Less- we ‘choose each other’ - though that verbiage doesn’t quite express how I feel about it.



Ah- since I typed this out I think Friday said it better- .
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
So many layers. First only you can decide this extremely significant matter.

Second, not knowing fully your story and never will, it is possible you were subconsciously using his support and safety to arrive where you are now accomplished and looking down at him... It is worth exploring this deeply in therapy. So he was means to end and now you want yo fly...
Also to me personally I feel being with him for 4 years where you felt not only safe but thrive is love and maybe you have a confused ways about love. Or maybe truly, and genuinely you arrived a place where you have different needs and has become friendship. Maybe!

With my husband I felt so safe when we met, a feeling I never had before and now that we have been together so long, I am convinced safety is one of the foundation of being in love. There are passion, familiarity, recognition, trust (a dear cousin of safety) and commitment...but none come before safety.

Simply, no love ever thrives without safety.

I hope you do real exploration of your feelings and you are not on perpetual trauma - typical love killer!
 
Top