Most of us have realized at some point that loving someone and being in love with them are fundamentally different concepts. Of course, for some this profound journey has been quite hard and a string of heartbreaks can stand testimony to that.
It’s alright if you’ve made these mistakes. Wanting to be in love, to feel the sparks fly, and for your heart to skip a beat every time you see that special someone is something that is common to us all.
Understanding love is not easy, at least not when you haven’t experienced it for long. There are differences between loving someone and being in love with someone, which are more prominent in the aspects below.
Once we understand and learn this difference, we might have a better insight into our relationships and the way they are meant to work.
Related: The Ten Fundamental Rules of Love
6 Differences Between Loving Someone and Being In Love With Them
1. You don’t get to decide when you fall in love and when you fall out of it.
Loving someone can be a conscious decision. You choose the good parts of them and continue in a relationship as best as you can. But ultimately, you can also decide one day that you’re done, pack up your bags, and leave.
Falling in love with someone doesn’t give you that luxury. When it hits you, it hits you like a ton of bricks. You might not even have considered that option.
Your life will change and you will change. You will become the best version of yourself and even if they leave you someday, a part of you will leave with them. You will get over it someday but you will never, ever forget them.
2. They come first, always.
We all want the best for those we care about and it’s not that easy to give up certain things for their happiness. But if you are truly in love with a person, you will unconsciously start considering their needs before you think about yours.
Even if it’s just little things like replacing a phone charger because you see it is broken or saving up to buy them that book you really like, you’ll do it just to see their face light up. You might even have to cut corners for yourself to help them but their happiness will make it worth it.
3. You finally feel complete.
If you aren’t in love with that person, there will always be a slight sense of something missing. You’ll keep wanting something more even if you can’t really put your finger on what ‘more’ is.
When you’re actually in love, there is a feeling of supreme contentment. Sometimes it’s a little scary to have to accept that this is it, there is nothing more to be done.
But at the same time, you’ll also feel like you don’t need anything else to be happy. It will be even more evident in the times the two of you are not together. You will feel like part of you is missing and the sense of sorrow can be overpowering.
These moments only serve to remind us how much we value and love that person. It will make them infinitely more precious.
Related: 3 Damaging Mistakes That Are Keeping You From Finding True Love
4. Being in love is letting them find their happiness, even if you don’t always feel the same way.
When you love someone, you feel like that person belongs to you. You wish to own every small part of them. Your happiness is dependent on them being there and you do your best to keep them close to you. You constantly yearn for them and you always give in to that craving, even if it is obviously not what they want.
But when you’re in love, like I’ve already told you, they come first. And this means that you want them to have a wonderful life outside of your relationship as well. Possession becomes a two-way street.
They have a part of you that is only theirs and you have a part of them that’s only yours. You understand and even encourage them to do the things they love, even if it requires you to be separated for a while.
Both of you respect each other’s goals and do what you can to help each other attain success.
5. Settling down won’t seem like a bad thing.
Loving someone can be euphoric in the beginning. Your oxytocin levels are at a new high and you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s an addictive feeling but when you’re up that high, it’s quite easy to come crashing down, and soon enough you will.
If you’re really in love, you’ll come back down to earth but you’ll also have constant, steadier happiness that surrounds you and you’ll know that it’s there to stay. You’ll realize that real love is giving that person all the happiness that you can and the joy that comes with is simply a bonus added to everything you already have.
There’s no longer any emotional rollercoaster that can bring you down any second but you will have the greater joy of knowing that any storm that comes your way, you’ll be able to weather together.
6. You never have to look for that feeling.
You know what I’m talking about. Some relationships are just extremely difficult. It’s a constant struggle to keep that initial spark of attraction from being blown out. You’ll always care for them but anything more than that will begin to feel like a burden like it’s just an act you’re keeping up for the rest of the world to see.
Of course, any relationship can have its difficult moments, even if you are truly in love with each other. Life just isn’t a fairytale. There will always be days or weeks or months that are harder than the rest and nobody can avoid them.
But even when you are so stressed that it feels like you’re losing a few years of your life, you know that love is there. No matter how hard it gets, you’ll have the assurance that both of are you in love with each other.
Related: 7 Things You Should Know about True Love
Love itself is something you’ll never have to force yourself to feel. The feeling will always surround you even if you feel like you’re losing everything else.
Want to know more about being in love vs loving someone? Check this video out below!
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