I used to mix up these two terms as I imagine most of you have as well. They are so easily mistaken. Not only as terms, but also as feelings.
I wasted so much time crying over some men who were never right for me to begin with. I truly believed that by losing them, I lost love. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It wasn’t until I met my forever person that I really understood the difference between being in love and loving someone. Nothing I have ever felt before can even come close to what I feel now.
You see, ‘being in love’ is a form of an addiction we feel towards someone. We are so carried away by them that they are all we can think about. We want to be close to them as often as we possibly can.
‘Loving somebody’ is what we have when reality kicks in when our hormones stop going wild. It’s not an addiction; it’s reality. It’s about mutual happiness and growth. It’s about complimenting each other’s lives. It’s the best thing in the world.
To make everything clearer, let’s look at the 6 differences between being in love and loving someone:
1. Falling in love happens unintentionally, but loving somebody happens by choice
Falling in love is beyond our control. It’s about chemistry, lust and infatuation. It’s about idealizing the other person and putting them on a pedestal.
Loving somebody is what comes after all the infatuation, chemistry and lust. It’s an emotional connection we form.
It’s not about looking at your partner as a form of perfection. It’s knowing that they are flawed and loving them anyway. It’s about choosing to stay even when the sunshiny days pass.
2. Being in love is about convenience while loving someone is about prioritizing them
Being in love is needing somebody to fulfill your needs. It’s being there when it’s convenient.
Loving, on the other hand, is selfless. It’s not just about taking; it’s about giving, too.
It’s about making time for someone. It’s about enjoying the sole fact that your better half is present. It’s about making them feel important.
3. Being in love can be needy whereas loving someone never is
It’s in our human nature to have all kind of expectations from people. It’s the same when we are in love. We expect a person to behave in a certain manner.
For instance, we might want them to call or text 24/7. We might expect grand romantic gestures and constant displays of affection. However, the reality might be different. That’s why our unmet expectations are the most common reasons for breaking up.
Loving someone is about compatibility. It’s about mutual understanding. It’s about not having to hear from each other 24/7 but still knowing that you are loved.
4. Loving somebody is all about trust while being in love doesn’t have to be
Being in love can also be full of uncertainties. We don’t have to feel safe or completely trust the other person to fall in love with them. We just fall and hope that they will catch us.
True love, however, is built on trust. There is no room for uncertainty or jealousy. We feel safe and sound in their embrace, and we want them to feel the same way about us.
5. Being in love is about possession while loving someone is about setting them free
Being in love often gives us the misconceived notion that we owe another person. That they belong to us. We hold on them too tightly because they are the main creators of our happiness.
That’s why sometimes we sabotage our own chances for finding true love. We force the feelings. We suffocate our partners by wanting them too close.
Loving someone is about giving them the freedom to love you back. It’s not about trying too hard to keep them in your life. It’s about loving them no matter whether they are by your side or not.
True love should flow, and you should never have to beg for anyone’s attention, affection or presence in your life. It’s about working as a team and growing together.
6. Being in love doesn’t have to last while love can be eternal
Being in love can last for a shorter or a longer period of time, but it has its end. It’s based on infatuation, lust, brain chemicals that give us that addicting feeling of desire.
Love doesn’t wear off. It doesn’t decrease. It doesn’t fade. Love stays no matter what. It’s constant even though the honeymoon phase of the relationship is ancient history.
In the end, it’s important to remember that under no circumstances, being in love and loving someone excludes self-love.
On the contrary, it welcomes it. Only when you truly love, accept and appreciate yourself are you able to give those same, pure feelings to another person.