That sweet chocolate filled, rose petal covered, holiday is right around the corner. SWOON. All the twinkly eyed, tingly belly sensations are starting to float about in undeniable abundance. Love is indeed in the air… but what is love? What does ‘being sooooo in love’ with someone mean anyway? Is it an absolute?
I have always been captivated by and fascinated with this notion of LOVE. I’m a person that actually LOVES TO LOVE. It’s been brought to my attention (many times over) that not everyone feels this way. I disagree. I think we were born for love. The thing about love is that so many people have such differing ideas of what it actually means TO LOVE.
The older I get the more that I realize that people can seemingly love differently. I used to think that there was such a thing as someone loving better than another. I no longer believe this to be true. How insensitive of me to think that the way one person loves is better or more complete than another. Not all love looks the same. Let’s face it the word gets thrown around, sometimes recklessly. GUILTY! In my mind there is a huge difference between loving someone, and being ‘in-love’ with someone, but the definitions between those two things seem to have blurred lines depending on who you ask.
I asked several people what they thought the difference between loving someone and being ‘in love’ with someone meant. It was ridiculously insightful for me to have the discussions and read the answers. I love the responses because although there are some common threads you can clearly see how each heart is uniquely created.
“Loving is a deep caring for a person. You don’t have to be close but you are connected by a bond of empathy and relationship. In love is a deep passion that you long to be with them all the time, sharing each moment. When you’re not you are excited to hear what you missed about their day. You put them first in all decisions and are aroused by the slightest touch or even the thought or memory of intimacy with them.”
“For me personally I see loving as an action or gesture that is done out of affection or appreciation. (It’s the work or practice.) ‘In love’ is a positive strong mental state that you get to benefit from doing the work.”
“I love my kids but I’m not in love with them romantically.
I think being in love has a deeper mental and physical connection associated with it
It’s a bigger, greater more emotionally integrated “thing” than just loving-more at stake more invested.”
“I love a lot of people in many ways, but I can’t imagine my life without him. I don’t want to use the cliche “he completes me”...Even after all these years with gray hair and a belly...I get excited to see him. I don’t compare the outer being to what once was in the beginning. What’s there inside was there in the beginning. That feeling never diminishes.”
“Is a choice - you can fall out of love with someone.
Having deep feelings for them.
I think often times it comes with that adrenaline rush that causes such happiness but can fade and lead to you falling out of love with them. Crash and Burn.
Maybe those relationships when people are just taking care of someone or feel the need to fix them..
Being in Love~
Is not a choice, you love that person unconditionally seeing their best qualities FOREVER.
Putting them first before your own needs.
A steady stream of emotional comfort and support which comes naturally and effortlessly. For whatever reason I think of a comfy pair of pjs or a snuggly blanket and no makeup so I guess that would mean you would feel the utmost of comfort around them.
And let’s face it you have to be able to have bad breath and fart in front of that person because with long relationships comes sickness, babies and surgeries and them seeing you at your lowest or worst moments.”
(Keeping it real.)
“Loving someone is a feeling you have toward family, a spouse or someone else. Being in love with a person is more of a romantic type of love. It’s wanting to share everything about you with another.”
“To love someone is usually not dependent on how that person treats you. You really do not care if they love you back – it is your choice to love that person no matter what. This is the sort of love you have for your spouse, your children, grandchildren, parents, I have always said you love so hard it hurts. This is the best love you can have. You want what is best for that person and really is becomes selfless. It is not about me but about you and your well being. It is such a strong feeling you have to protect, care for, nurture, seek the best for that person. Loving someone doesn’t fade over the years, in fact it grows and the loves of your life defines who you are .
To be in Love is feeling that usually goes along with a sexual desire for someone. God so beautifully put this desire into his people. To be in love, is a powerful, usually in the beginning of the relationship, feeling that one gets when the other walks into a room. It is a feeling that you can not get enough of this person, and you want to soak up every word they speak and spend your free time with them. You feel all giddy and love just holding hands and sharing your stories with each other. Being in love can sometimes just last for a brief time. Poof- that person does something to really hurt you and your feeling can change. To be in Love, if you are blessed, can last a lifetime, although it will wax and wane through the years and most likely become more of loving that person and not so much of being IN love with that person. But sometimes out the clear blue sky you might feel the same giddy feeling you had years ago, when the walk in the room and you know that person is going home with you.”
I asked one unnamed male, that may or may not live in close proximity to me:
Do you have time to tell me what the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone is.
(Uphill battle. The struggle is real folks.)
For me personally I believe that loving someone is a vulnerably active, positive state, of caring for another human beings wellbeing, without manipulation, in an emotionally and physically conscious fashion. It’s a choice. You can choose to love or not love someone.
Differently, I don’t believe that being “in love” with someone is a choice. It’s a deeply connected mental and physical state of want and desire of oneness that transcends any conscious thought and instead is an effortless state of being. I believe that it’s an unfettered release of your whole self into another. It’s about how you make them feel and your desire for their happiness, over your own. It’s not possible to fall out of love. EVER. It’s more of an agape state than any other love. I get concerned when people say that they are no longer ‘in love’ because it’s a total disregard for a beautiful state of being. Their wellbeing will always be of great purpose in your life, even if you are unable to share a life with that person. Being ‘in love’ is for forever regardless of your life’s path, and in my opinion can be irrespective of the other persons state of being with you. It means putting another human being first, even if you are no longer with them. It differs from just thinking kindly of them or caring for them.
Romantic love is clearly different from parental love. You can romantically love someone and not be ‘in love’ with them. Whereas I think parental love is it’s own unique category. Although you aren’t ‘in love’ with your children the two differing loves still hold great parallels in that it is certainly not a choice to love your kids, and it absolutely lasts your lifetime.
There is a reason that all the sweet and beautiful feels come out and can be affiliated with the idea of Valentine’s Day. The fascinating thing about love is that each person that I asked, albeit different variations, seemed comforted and almost aroused by the notion of loving another being. Not one person that responded gave a dependent answer. Ok, maybe that one guy did. Each response was filled with actions of giving and being, more so than receiving. These greater feelings that each of us senses and IS were meant to be given to and accepted by other beings. It’s about our hearts most basic desire to live in community with one another on a deeply intimate and visceral level. Love in its truest form and deepest sense is absolutely the sweet nectar of life’s very existence. It is not meant to be kept, but abundantly given and profoundly received.