What’s The Difference Between Loving Someone And Being In Love?
Published: 31st December, 2021
Last Updated: 21st September, 2023
Is there a difference between being in love and loving someone?
Loving someone isn't based on a thunderstorm of emotions and it's something that usually grows out of a developing attachment. "Love" is the way we usually describe this deep passionate attachment we have towards them. If you’ve ever fallen in love then chances are that you've also experienced these emotions and feelings. However, rather than feeling a heightened lust or infatuation for the other person, there is a clear distinction - "love" is far more sustainable..
Being "in love", on the other hand, can fade away as time passes by. In other words, the feelings of excitement and infatuation (often originating from a new relationship) tend to dissipate with time. You'd be surprised how fast a reality check can take you from cloud nine to face-first on the ground.
Sometimes the connection might not be strong enough to withstand tough challenges. Problems arise, you become distant from one another, and it's times like these when we begin to question ourselves or possibly even the person we are in love with too.
If you truly love someone though, you can withstand most, if not all, challenges put before you. When you really love someone, the bond between you two is so powerful that everyday problems instead of getting in the way, they become one less obstacle to overcome together.
What is the difference between love and being in love?
Well, being in love is what causes many people to start acting like shy, stuttering teenagers when the object of their affections is around. Those who've been in love have also described an intense feeling of attraction and an electrifying feeling of thrill whenever they are near, touch or hear the other person's voice.
When you finally manage to calm down and assess the situation, you can finally explore your feelings a bit further. The time comes where you need to differentiate between whether you harbor serious, long-lasting feelings for the other person or if there's just a slow-burning flame between the two of you.
Now you might be wondering, "How do I tell them apart?". Well, there's many ways for you to figure it out, but for your convenience, we've narrowed down 3 differences between being in love and loving someone:
1. Loving is: an uphill battle.
Being in love is: simply effortless.
"Love" is usually the tougher feeling of the two, hence why it is deeper and lasts longer. When you love someone, there's very few flaws you won't see in your partner, you simply learn to accept or work around them. When you are in love, however, things are much easier. Sure, it's not always sunshine and rainbows, but it's definitely a state where your own mind begins to ignore every possible fault your partner might have.
2. Loving is: an ownership.
Being in love is: a partnership.
When you love someone you want the entire world to know that they are yours. People know, and you want everyone to know that you are exclusive with your partner. When you are in love, it's still a two-player game but, it's less like both of you working as one, and more like working by yourselves for the same goal.
3. Loving is: how they make you feel.
Being in love is: how you make them feel.
Being "in love" with someone can turn a perfectly confident individual into an insecure mess. The entirety of their energy is secreted and reserved to make their loved one feel happy and treasured, oftentimes neglecting their own self. When you love someone, on the other hand, you also feel loved. Your efforts in a relationship are reciprocated with equal effort and care and the relationship is more comfortable than draining.
Can you be in love and not know it?
Yes, absolutely! Those fluttering butterfly feelings you feel in your stomach when you meet someone for the first time are usually just infatuation. It's not love, at least not just yet.
There could be an abundance of other things going on in your life all at once that could be easily overlooked. So if you want to find out, ask yourself:
- Are they the center of your universe?
- Do you often wonder where they're going, or what they're doing?
If you do, then chances are you're in love and haven't quite realized it yet. It might sound so complicated, but it's really simple once you wrap your heart around it.
Can you love someone without being in love?
"Love", in this case, can be pretty subjective. There's romantic love, there's familial love and there's platonic love (usually shared between friends).
When you are "in love" with someone, the feeling is often confused with romantic love, in which case, the answer to the above question would be "no". However, romantic love doesn't usually fade away, the attraction and comfort you feel for the other person remains.
Relationships usually begin with a pretty strong dose of infatuation caused by being in love, but that eventually fades out. When it does, what remains is hardly ever platonic.
So yes, some time down the line, you can romantically love your partner without being in love with them.
So, first you are more likely to fall in love with each other, then develop deep feelings of love, and finally, you let your initial infatuation fade away to make way for a more real, committed relationship.
You might be in the initial stages of your relationship right now, where your mind is filled with thoughts of your loved one, or maybe you've been with your partner for so many years you've lost count. Whichever the case may be, what your relationship and feelings turn into is solely up to you.
If you want to keep that exciting, electrifying feeling of being in love with your partner alive, then you're likely going to have to put more effort into keeping the romance alive. If you want your love to mature and grow as you grow older together, then all you have to do is let it progress at a pace you and your partner are comfortable in.
So, whether you are in love or you harbor feelings of romantic love for someone, just remember to enjoy them while they last. Relationships can be bitter-sweet, but it's nice to take a sip from that cup once in a while. I bet most of you wouldn't have it any other way.