Love is a wonderful emotion that takes many forms. You can love someone but know you’re a bad romantic match. You can also love multiple people simultaneously. However, being in love is a little different. Usually, when you’re in love with someone, it’s much more passionate and all-consuming. Simply put, you want to spend the rest of your life with them. In other words, there’s a major difference between loving someone and being in love. Here’s an explainer if you need help.
If you love someone, you want the best for them.
You want them to find someone nice and have a happy relationship — and, it’s okay if that person isn’t you. You don’t hold any ill will towards someone you love. Can you still love an ex without having it interfere with your current relationship? Of course, unless you find yourself crossing boundaries. If someone you love got a great job opportunity across the country, you’d be sad that they’re leaving but happy over the opportunity. In your heart, you know it’s something they deserve.
Being in love means being part of the plan.
Now, reverse that situation a bit. When you’re in love with someone and they move across the country, it’s a bigger problem. Being in love means that you can’t imagine spending life without that person by your side. If they leave, there’s a chance that you too will hop on a plane and change your life.
When you love someone, you can pick off exactly where you left off.
The people you love are the people you’ve formed a bond with. Certain people just have chemistry with each other that you can’t deny. You can go a year without seeing them, but the second you run into them, you can immediately sit down and have a long conversation like nothing’s ever changed. The people that fit this description will likely stay in your life forever, even if you don’t reach out daily.
Being in love with someone means that you can’t handle a break that long.
When you are in love, you want to spend as much time with them as possible. It’s also very common for your lives to be intertwined a bit. It’s possible you bought a dog together, or even have a child together. Being in love means making big life decisions together and following your heart.
Loving someone means that you think very highly of them.
It’s possible to love someone but not love the decisions they make for themselves. Yet in your heart, even if they take the unconventional path, you sincerely hope things work in their favor. Being in love with someone is similar, in a way. Not only do you think highly of them, but you trust and agree with their viewpoints. It’s very hard to fall in love with someone who disagrees with you politically. But, you can love them.
Being in love will cause a physical reaction.
It’s true — and sure, it may happen based on “love at first sight” as well (which is more infatuation than anything else). When you think about them, you can’t help but smile. You send each other texts constantly, and never forget to flirt. Your heart might actually beat a little faster when they’re around. It sounds like a mouthful, but when you’re in love, you love the idea of love. Remember I mentioned infatuation? Meeting someone new who has the potential of being a new romantic partner will have a lot of the same “symptoms” of love.
You’re more willing to accept the faults of someone you’re in love with.
So many people stay in bad relationships solely because of a feeling they have about a person. Being in love is wonderful, but sometimes, it can be a curse if your partner doesn’t treat you with the same love and respect right back. When you are in love, you may make excuses for their shortcomings. When you love someone, you’re more willing to see them for who they actually are, opposed to who you think they could be.
Being in love will lead to heartbreak.
The difference between love and being in love is that when you’re in love, you can easily have your heart broken. Being dismissed by someone you love may hurt your feelings, but just temporarily. But when it happens with someone you love, expect to be in your room sobbing over a plate of chocolate chip cookies. When you’re in love with someone, the heartbreak is much more painful.
You might never get over someone you’re in love with.
Think of it this way — if you were in love with your partner in high school and they happened to resurface in your life after you graduated college, you’d probably be interested in trying to rekindle the relationship. If they were 40 and happened to give you a text, you’d probably feel a little nervous yet text them back immediately. But if it’s someone you love, that urgency isn’t necessarily quite there. You may meet up for coffee, but you won’t assume that your life will change afterward.
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