Loving someone and being in love: The 5 essential differences

Loving someone and being in love are two entirely different feelings. 

To love someone means to accept them for who they are and appreciate them with all of their flaws and imperfections. To be enamored of someone means to idealize them to the point where they meet your expectations for the perfect match.

Well, being in love also means being absolutely overwhelmed before meeting the person you have such strong feelings for. Holding their hand takes you on cloud nine. Gazing at their mesmerizing eyes makes you feel on top of the world. Thinking of them gives you goosebumps.

However, loving someone might not be as adrenaline-infused as being in love, but it is definitely gratifying in the long run.

Here are some of the main differences between loving someone and being in love:

1. Loving someone is timeless.

Being in love is usually temporary. It often comes hand in hand with infatuation. Hence, while you do appreciate every single second spent with that special someone, you don’t necessarily see yourself with them in the long run. However, loving another human being means accepting them just as they are – no conditions, no judgment, no questions asked. It means willing to sacrifice your own happiness to bring back the smile on their face and knowing they would do the same for you every single day.

2. Being in love is selfish.

When you are in love, you want your significant other only for yourself. You want to have their full attention 24/7. You get mad when they want to meet up with friends or attend a family gathering instead of spending more time with you. Even though it might appear heartwarming at first, it is actually totally selfish. On the contrary, loving someone is selfless. It lets you know that giving each other space is vital for the health of your relationship. To love someone doesn’t mean to spend every single second in their company. Instead, it means to be supportive, understanding, and appreciative, even when you are apart.

3. Loving someone is above physical presence. 

During the first stages of a relationship, physical touch is incredibly important. Holding the hand of your loved one and gazing at each others’ eyes gives you a sense of security, letting you know that they are not going anywhere. But when you truly love someone, you don’t need to be constantly beside them to know that they are going to stay. You just know they are there for you, as you are for them, and that’s enough.

4. Being in love means having high expectations.

When we are in love, we tend to exaggerate the personal qualities of our partners. We see them as the most astonishing person we have ever met. Every little thing about them seems surreal. So, naturally, we develop high expectations for the course of the relationship. However, having high expectations based on nothing but infatuation might ruin your chance at sustaining a healthy bond. On the other hand, when you love someone, you love them for who they are. You cherish them with all of their flaws, imperfections, and weaknesses. And most of all, you don’t expect anything from them, as your love is not conditional – it is unlimited.

5. Loving someone is not a matter of ownership.

You don’t own someone you love. Instead, you have the privilege to grow together as a couple and individually. A healthy relationship must be based on partnership. Unfortunately, many people in love believe that they are entitled to making important decisions about their relationship without asking their partner. This feels a lot more like ownership.

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