Professional life coach and relationship expert Kemi Sogunle says the following:
“Being in love with someone can stem from infatuation, possessiveness and obsession. Loving someone on the other hand, goes beyond the physical presence. You desire to see them grow, you see past their flaws, you see opportunities of building into each other and together; you motivate, encourage and inspire one another.”
However, the aforementioned definitions are sometimes misunderstood in real lives because people often tend to consider being in love and loving someone as something similar with minor differences.
Most of the time, people get really confused because sometimes they are unable to comprehend the difference between when they simply admire someone platonically and when they’ve found their soulmate. This leads to a lot of confusion to the involved parties. However, there are some key differences that can assist everyone to figure out their feelings; whether it’s admiration, or whether they’ve fallen head over heels into a long lasting, committed relationship.
“True love doesn’t happen right away; it’s an ever-growing process. It develops after you’ve gone through many ups and downs, when you’ve suffered together, cried together, laughed together.” – Ricardo Montalban
6 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOVING SOMEONE AND BEING IN LOVE
1. LOVING SOMEONE IS A CHOICE.
As all the fairytales show falling head over heels is often involuntary. One difference that sets loving someone and being in love apart is the conscious effort. When you have a healthy relationship with someone, you make the conscious effort to continue loving them. Be it the family members that you always don’t get along with or your best friend that you argue with as much as you get along. These are normally the people that you choose to keep loving amidst all the giggles and sniffles.
Entrepreneur Paul Hudson says, “You need him or her to be a part of your life in some way or another, not because you want to own a piece of this person, but because you want to give him or her a piece of yourself; loving someone is deeming him or her worthy of owning a part of you.”
As opposed to loving someone, you don’t really have much of a choice in the matter in cases of falling head over heels. Humans fall for people they expect to all the time because your emotional reaction isn’t a choice.
2. FINDING YOUR SOUL MATE MEANS PUTTING THEM FIRST.
When you adore someone, you wish them the best in their endeavors and you want them to do well in life.
However, when you are in love with your special one, you willingly do everything in your power to help them win in life. You tend to make them your first priority and help them achieve their goals. This normally balances out, because if the feelings are mutual, they are doing the same thing for you.
“… the only way to love is to be less egocentric – to put the needs and well-being of others ahead of your own. When you’re willing to put the happiness of another ahead of your own, you are taking the part in the phenomenon we call love,” adds Hudson.
Simply when you are in love you are willing to make any sort of a sacrifice for one another in a way you wouldn’t do for a friend of yours.
3. BEING IN LOVE IS FOREVER.
Humans generally admire many different people in their lives, and usually that feeling tends to fade. We adore our best friends from college, but as time passes , we may only remember them fondly.
“Falling in love may not necessarily last long since it is usually based on infatuation, lust or obsessing over the other party,” adds Sogunle.
Even though love tends to fade, being in love is a forever thing. Some people might not even be in our lives anymore, but we tend to feel the same old familiar feelings for them. When someone is head over heels in love with their partner, an argument doesn’t affect their relationship. People tend to crave their presence forever in their lives.
4. BEING IN LOVE MEANS LETTING THEM BE WHERE THEY ARE HAPPY.
When you have feelings of affection towards someone, you crave to have them around you 24/7. They make you feel good and vice versa too. So you never want to bid farewell to these type of people.
However, when you are full on loving someone, it means you know when to let them go and let them be where they’re most happy.
Even if it might be hard,being in love means that you are even ready to make the ultimate sacrifice; letting go of your partner if it means they are going to be happier and safe somewhere else.
“When you truly love someone, in a clean, unattached way, there is an overwhelming sense of wanting the absolute best for them. True love is wanting the absolute best for someone, even if what is best for them is to not be in a relationship with you,” says relationship coach Jordon Gray.
Having a happy, balanced life means that your special person occasionally has to spend time away from you. And you know and accept that since all humans require a ‘me time’.
5. BEING IN A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP IS STEADY, NOT A RUSH.
When it comes to an infatuation regarding someone, it often tends to be extremely quick and exciting. The rush of emotions will basically knock you off your feet. All the butterflies you get at the beginning tends to die at a fast rate.
“These quick burn relationships are the ‘kindling’ relationships. They light ablaze quickly, and then burn off into short-lived ashes in a metaphorical matter of minutes,”
adds Gary.But if you are really meant to be with someone, the feelings wont rush in and out. In instances like these, emotions will be there constantly. When in love, the emotions wont be fluctuating from highs to lows. Instead, you will experience a steady stream of affection and love that never fades.
6. BEING HEAD OVER HEELS FOR SOMEONE IS ABOUT PARTNERSHIP.
In platonic relationships, it’s often about how they make you feel and you tend to feel entitled to those emotions. It’s the opposite when it comes to a relationship with your significant other. In fact, what then matters to you is how you make them feel. Also, neither one of you owns each other. You both are just independent individuals who want to build a life and partnership together.
“Becoming partners is a process. It’s a combination of growing as a couple and growing as a human being on your own. It’s the reality of true friendship. It’s more than the fun parts of love. A partner means compromise. It means trudging through the muck of life knowing someone really has your back,” says Lexi Herrick, founder of HerTrack.com.
A QUOTE ON LOVING SOMEONE VERSUS BEING IN LOVE
“Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being ‘in love’ which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away…” – Louis de Bernieres, Correlli’s Mandolin