‘Love’ is a big word and an even bigger feeling. It’s difficult to define what love really means. Throughout your lifetime, you are going to love so many people — your family, your friends, your partners, your pets. However, most people are only in love with one person at a time.
This is the person you cannot stop thinking about. They’re always on your mind because they’re your top priority. Their happiness is your main concern in life, and all you want to do is spend time with them.
When you care deeply for someone, it can feel just as fierce, passionate, and consuming as being in love, but it’s ultimately different. Here are some key differences between loving someone and being in love with someone:
Loving can be infatuation, being in love is commitment.
Loving someone is often felt as infatuation more than anything else. You might find that you love someone without necessarily seeing yourself with them in the long term. They have some great qualities and they make you very happy, or at least, being around them makes you very happy. They might not be your ideal person, but the situation of being with them works well for you in the moment.
Being in love with someone, on the other hand, is accepting them. The lovestruck awe of infatuation can still be there, but you truly know the person and love them as a whole. You can see things more objectively, and you accept and love them anyway. It’s seeing the flaws in someone and loving them anyway, because you want to be with them, not just around them.
Loving someone is a choice, being in love is not.
You can choose to love someone. You can decide you will see their best qualities, appreciate them for who they are, and be a supportive partner to them. You can also choose to stop caring about someone, to walk away and forget about them.
Being in love is not a choice. It’s something that can happen without your intention or consent, and it’s not something you can walk away from. If you leave, you’ll take the feeling of being in love with you.
Loving them makes you queasy, being in love is comfortable.
When you love someone, you feel butterflies in your stomach. You get nervous when they walk into the room and have trouble hiding your excitement to see them.
But when you’re in love with someone, you’re comfortable around them. They make you feel like you’re in a safe place. You don’t have to hide your real self because they would never judge you. They love the real you and nothing is going to change that fact.
Loving someone can be chaotic, being in love is calm.
When you fall for someone, it can be so all-encompassing that you don’t know which way is up or down and how to handle the situation. It can make your heart race, your stomach feel sick, your concentration basically nonexistent.
However, being in love is much calmer. You feel like you can breathe deep because you’re settled in the relationship and there’s nothing to worry about.
Loving someone is base level, being in love goes deeper.
When you love someone, you’re desperate to touch them. You want to hold hands, make out, and cuddle in bed together.
However, being in love is about more than chemistry. You’ll be interested in their thoughts, and their opinions will matter to you. You’ll want to hear their takes on movies, music, and the world as a whole. They are the first person you’ll want to run to with good news and bad news.
Loving someone can change anytime, being in love can last forever.
Loving someone can literally end at any moment. They can do something annoying, you get in a bad fight, or you are kind of in a funk, and then BAM! – you’re just not into them anymore.
Being in love, on the other hand, isn’t that fickle. It stays through the fights, the lulls, and the full-blown crisis. You don’t need constant excitement because your feelings are real without it.
Loving someone relates to the ‘now’, being in love relates to the future.
When you love someone, you spend a lot of time living in the moment. You enjoy the present because you’re having a wonderful time together and don’t want the excitement to end.
When you’re in love with someone, you still enjoy the present, but you also start planning out your future together. You get excited about what’s to come, whether that’s marriage or moving in together or going on vacation. You start picturing them in your world for the long haul.