I have had several conversations about how to differentiate between loving someone and being in love with someone. Some people think it’s the same thing. That you must be in love if you love the person. That is not necessarily true. You can love someone but not be in love with them. Nonetheless, it is easy to confuse the two. The best thing you can do is take some time to evaluate your feelings honestly.
Many times we meet people from the opposite sex and the relationship starts out as a friendship. You grow fond of them, you enjoy their company, you find yourself missing them, you think of them when they are not with you, they are the first person you call when you need help, or when you are happy about something and also when you are sad. You can vent with them for hours and they sit there and listen to you going on and on. Sometimes, you let out your frustrations on them, and that is because you know they will put up with you. You count on them and you are sure that they got your back. You care about them and you worry if something is not going well in their life. You call them regularly and they may know everything about you and you about them. You find yourself feeling love towards this person. They mean a lot to you. Maybe you crossed the line with them and maybe not. May be you had an attraction towards them or may be it was the other way around. Maybe for a while you thought you can be more than friends and maybe this was only one-sided on either part. But you know in your heart of hearts; you are not in love with this person. You just love them. You cherish them. But you don’t feel that passion, that desire, you know that something is missing.
Having said that, it is very possible to have all those things mentioned above and somewhere down the line, you find yourself developing stronger feelings for this person. Maybe you weren’t attracted to them in the beginning, maybe they weren’t your type, but you grew to love them anyway. And all of a sudden, you find yourself madly in love with the same person you thought ‘never’. Not only that, but you can’t imagine your life without them. You appreciate them and wish you met them sooner. You discover what real love is and you finally understand, it’s not always about the chemistry; it’s not always ‘love at first sight’. Sometimes, growing to love someone then falling for them is a much valuable relationship. It’s not founded on attraction only. It’s not limited to any boundaries. You explored it, you got comfortable and you found happiness where you didn’t expect.
Such a strange life we live. When we fall in love fast, we end up getting hurt the most from those experiences. Even if they fulfilled our desires and brought us extreme happiness that we didn’t know existed. Even if we thought it was the best love ever. When you get to experience the opposite of that, you realize you were living in a dream world. But when we take our time with our feelings and getting to really know the person we are with, it’s not a blinded love anymore. These kinds of love last longer; they have more meaning, and above all, it’s two-sided.
In some cases, you can fall in love with someone, experience tremendous amount of joy and happiness. They fulfill your every desire. They are your dream come true. And you may live happily ever after. Or you may fall out of love and try hard to get back in love. But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t make yourself fall in love with anyone. Either it’s there or it’s not. Love has a mind of its own. It comes when it’s ready. And it doesn’t show itself if it’s not. Love can go in hibernation for a long time. If the person is closed off or turned off because of previous hurtful experiences or whatever reasons; they will not allow love to enter even when it’s starring them right in the face.
Some may think, it’s easy to fall in love. But it’s hard to maintain that love. That is so ever true. Once the honey moon stage passes through, and that period varies from one relationship to the next, it is hard work to keep the fire going between the two. You must not let that flame fade away. You must keep renewing that love in many ways. For some, when they get really comfortable with their partner, they relax and stop working at it, assuming, it is now a safe zone. Think again, you can loose that person anytime, if you don’t continue to show love and appreciation, if you don’t tell them how much they mean to you, if you don’t surprise them from time to time and remind them why they fell in love with you from the first place. You must always make the effort to understand your partner and most of all communicate.
Love is a lot of work. You must be ready for it. It’s not a game. It’s an art. It’s not just pretty words, it’s not just flowers. It’s not looking in each other’s eyes saying “I love yous”. Love is being there every day. It’s dealing with heavy things together. It’s fighting against the world. It comes naturally to you and you feel right about being with that person at this time, in this place. So fall in love however which way, just remember to stay in love by working hard to maintain it. Don’t loose what you worked so hard to build. Show him/her constantly, that they mean the world to you. We are humans after all, we need Love in our lives. Be ware my dear, understand when you love someone is totally different than being in love with them. Take the time to assess your feelings and you will know the difference.