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What's the difference between "loving" and "being in love with" someone?

Tagged as: Love stories<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 August 2005) 65 Answers - (Newest, 28 February 2011)
A female , anonymous writes:

Hi,

My partner and I had a discussion on 'just loving someone' and 'being in love'. He doesn't see a difference. He believes that when two people are in a relationship and they love each other then they are 'in love together'.

This came about coz I asked him if he loved me or was in love with me. I explained to him what I thought being in love was and he then said 'well with that rationale then I love you but am not in love with you'. Of course, I naturally became upset. Maybe I didn't describe it right because I believe it's just something you feel. I said that that person is everything to you and it's wow and amazing and you are really passionate about them.

He then said that he loves me so much and wants me so much. Can see us spending the rest of our lives together and loves being with me and has lots of passion for me. But I am not his everything. He doesn't need to spend every minute with me. But he loves spending as much time with me.

Maybe I didn't describe it right or maybe there is no way to describe it. He then went on to say that he just doesn't believe in being in love like I do. He also said if I am correct and he isn't in love with me then I need to be patient as he sees our love growing more and more every day My questions are 'What is being in love opposed to just loving?' and 'Can you grow from just love to being in love?'.

He also said that I expect too much too soon. Is that true? Is it fair to expect him to think like me? I mean what more could I want? He not only tells me wonderful things but he shows me every day in little ways how much he loves me. We both want a future together and planning buying a house etc...

This has really upset me but I am wondering if I am just being stupid. At the end of the day it's how they treat you, right? Thanks

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A male reader, phillove Philippines +, writes (28 February 2011):

Loving is the act of love, being in love is the state of loving. Hence, if you are in love then you are loving. You cannot alienate one from the other. You cannot say that if you are in love but you you are not loving. Loving is the fulfillment of being in love. Loving is the ACT while being in love is the FEELING and to make it concrete then you need to express through LOVING. People can know if you are in love if they see that you are loving. Therefore, loving is the act of being in love.

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A male reader, udall30 United States +, writes (6 December 2010):

The diffrence between loving and being in love is very simple.

Love is only charity, so if you are charitable toward anyone you are loving them.

Being in love is much diffrent. It means you don't want to live without the other persons love. For it to work someone must be in love with you. Its easy to fall out of because its easy for someone to fall out of love with you. True love requires giving charity and reciving charity. Unconditional love means you give charity unconditionally. You can try to twist it anyway you like, but

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2010):

This is just my opinion.

When you 'love' someone, it means you care for them. Your heart has true feelings for them. You can act differently than how you act when your with people you don't love.

Example: If you love your dad, and he goes away on a week long travel without you...you don't cry about it. Your heart isn't slowly breaking, and you don't feel like your going to die.

When your 'in love' with someone, they start to become the most important thing to you. So precious. Everyday you think about them. All you want to do is see them, spend time with them, and be with them. You want to have a future with them. and you can see them as your husband/wife. Sometimes, just thinking about them will make you cry.You have no idea how to explain your feelings, and your love is too much to describe. The only amount you can say how much you are in love with a person, it by saying, "Count the waves" because the waves in the ocean, continue forever. And when you are in love with someone, you can be in love with them, forever.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 October 2010):

You are all naive. How can any of you say that being in love with someone is a bad thing. That it's a "fear". I don't mean to clash head's with any of you, but if you are in love with someone then sure, maybe it's temporary, but none the less, if someone is in love with you, just as you are to them, then that is one of the most precious things in the universe. Loving someone maybe is better in the long run, but I know when my partner says something along the lines of "I love you" then I know I am the luckiest person on the planet.

In my opinion, if you boyfriend said I am in love with you, then you just need to make him see that you are in love with him as well. There is a certain confusion that comes in every relationship, and obviously you guys are not on the same page all the time, but the emotions you share are what matters. Besides, even if your in love instead of "loving each other" then who's to say that in YOUR relationship, that is exactly what is needed.

You know, maybe I'm not the most experienced, but I know what pain is after a loss of someone you love, and I know that even after 3 years I am still in love with this person. I love this person. I think you can have both sides of the coin, without one being only temporary. In short - Love is madness - and it's not temporary. Find out what works for you, instead of asking us.

Age 15 Male USA

Maybe I'm full of it, but that's up to you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 October 2010):

You're in love when you meet someone and feel like you've been drugged - it's temporary madness. If you start loving someone there is no turning back, love is forever.

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A male reader, Dragon-Lord Norway +, writes (12 October 2009):

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. 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, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

-St. Augustine

listen,there are two types of emotions that are the strongest emotions which exist,to truly being in love is the most beautiful feeling in the world,and true love!!,which is also an amazing thing,to be earnest,truly being in love is more beautiful than true love by itself,but not stronger!!,however there actually is something as "truly being in love + true love",although we have seen it in fairy tailes like romeo and juliet,i very much think it is possible!!

and the answer to your question is simple,from what i heard from you,and to be earnest as i always am,you sound like a very selffish peron,but you olso have alot of passion,which is the essence of being in love!!,your boyfriend seems less passionate,but more logical person,so the answer is simple,you must ask your self,are you the very passionate person as i described you to be?,and are you the kind of person that cares about every small detail?,which i think you are,and finally,do you love him,as much as you are passionate?,if the answer is yes,then all you have to do is make him love you more,and if you dont love him that much,then you are not meant for eatchother,and being together,the day might come when you will break his heart,or he will break yours.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 August 2009):

There is nothing all that great about the pain that comes with being in love. One way or the other, the feeling will go and your heart will brake over the lost.

Loving on the other hand is what you must do to make a relationship last. If two people are honest with one another, and respect one another then true love is possible.

Real love is no mistery -it's about living, accepting, caring, and giving. You will do anything to make sure they are safe, and you're concerned for there happiness and well being. It's a lot more work but it's what really matters.

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A female reader, Marguerita Canada +, writes (19 August 2009):

Uggg,

I am so at this point with my relationship! I met my boyfriend 8 months ago. It was fun and exciting and I had this voice in my head that said this is the man you will marry. I do love him, but am not in love with him. We had this discussion and he would like to propose for my hand.

He is wonderful, charming, fun...but I am not crazy about him. I wonder if someone better is out there for me. Things are a bit routine (we don't live together) but the va-va-voom is not there for me. It seems like we have a bit of role reversal...he is ready to commit and I am worried he may not be THE ONE. And then I see people getting re-married and just as happy or more so than their first relationship.

I want him to be my world and all that I think about. It was like that at first, have we passed onto another phase in our relationship? The problem is also I know...I get bored, need excitement. Maybe the part artist/libra in me. But I worry I will stray if I am not immobiized (in love) with him. I know 8 months is not a long time but we are in our mid to late 30's and know what we want.

Margie

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A female reader, Marguerita Canada +, writes (19 August 2009):

Uggg,

I am so at this point with my relationship! I met my boyfriend 8 months ago. It was fun and exciting and I had this voice in my head that said this is the man you will marry. I do love him, but am not in love with him. We had this discussion and he would like to propose for my hand.

He is wonderful, charming, fun...but I am not crazy about him. I wonder if someone better is out there for me. Things are a bit routine (we don't live together) but the va-va-voom is not there for me. It seems like we have a bit of role reversal...he is ready to commit and I am worried he may not be THE ONE. And then I see people getting re-married and just as happy or more so than their first relationship.

I want him to be my world and all that I think about. It was like that at first, have we passed onto another phase in our relationship? The problem is also I know...I get bored, need excitement. Maybe the part artist/libra in me. But I worry I will stray if I am not immobiized (in love) with him. I know 8 months is not a long time but we are in our mid to late 30's and know what we want.

Margie

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2009):

oh my ...

1) you can fall in love with nearly everyone.

falling in love is mostly an illusion ... i mean how often do people fall in love?? it starts in school. you also can be in love with more than just one person. it#s a beautiful feeling ... but that's romance and these moments pass.

2) you just can love someone who really belongs to you.

how often do people truly love their partners?? or ex-partners. i bet that the majority here has been in love several times. but how many of your ex's do you still LOVE? probably none to one?? hehe.

falling in love is the beginning ... loving someone the real star :)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 April 2009):

Sweetie, just leave him be. Let him go on loving you in the way he does and stop poking him with a sharp stick to make him say what you need to hear. Accept his love without needing reassurance and declarations. That way you leave him space to love you as he wants. This advice comes form a 60 year old who knows a bit about lasting love.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 April 2009):

loving someone and being in love with someone are two completely different things, people have an infinite capacity to love, you can love anything or anyone, when you love someone you care deeply about them, and you naturally worry about them and want them to be happy and you just love being around them.

when you're IN LOVE with someone, nothing else matters, you're basically devoting your life to that person, and you care about that person more than anything in the world. you want them and nothing else, as long as you're with them, life is perfect. you can see yourself with that person forever, understanding that forever is a longggggggggg time.

someone has to be really special for you to be in love with them, love and in love are two different kinds of love. when you're in love, honestly, nothing else matters.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 April 2009):

"To love someone" and "to be in love with someone" are two different things which I'm currently experiencing at the moment.

I know I'm in love with my boyfriend and future husband to be,I can't explain why I just know it, feel it, I don't need to ask myself if I really am in love with him.

To love someone in my opinion is to care for this person.

To be in love is a state of mind,an addiction.

Passion commitment love..I feel it all and I want him all the time to know that I love him,care for him,want to spend the rest of my life with him.

He's like a drug to me ,I cannot live without him;we think about the future together in the same direction.

to love someone is a feeling,to be in love is an ability.

and vive l'amour!

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A female reader, MishaEcho United States +, writes (15 July 2008):

you can love your best friend with all your heart and defend them whenever and risk your life for them, but it doesnt mean youre in love with them, does it?

you can do all that for a bf/gf and not be in love with them. you wont be in love until you truly know them, sure you can say you do, but you dont. you get to know someone a lot better after livin with them, thats when you get to see their flaws. things they do that might gross you out or things they do differently and that you dont agree with. when you learn to deal with those things and learn to maybe like them [or not] then youll experience being in love.

thats why i think its better to live together before gettin married and such. its probably one of the reasons why the first year of marriage is the hardest, havin to adapt their routines and such.

real love takes time. ^_^

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 May 2008):

my boyfriend is "in love" with me. I am not "in love" with him however I love him. I always felt that in any relationship one loves more deeply than the other but both can be committed.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

I have read almost more than half of everyones answers and I feel that being in love with someone is very special. Like right now I am in love with my man but it don't get to the point to where he may come before my parents or loving him more than myself because inorder for me to be in love with him I have to love myself more because that feeling comes from me and I am loving being in love with him because he makes me feel great and makes me love me even more each day. Loving someone is suppose to be forever because that's what God wants us to do. When you truely love someone I feel that you are still in love requardless, because that's what keeps a relationship going. It takes the relationship to another level each time making it grow stronger the more you love this person the more in love you will be. It may not be that premature in love any more but that mature in love and that is what we all have because that keeps your love for that person in tack. Let's be real about all this, you could never fall out of love with a person as long as you have the two working together (in love and loving) I feel that when one fades the other will follow. In love is always there just not the same as when you were in factuated or obsessed over this person which is a big difference and the way that I read one answer it sounds to me it was more obsession than in love. In love is special and gentle. When you can watch your mate come in the door and all you could do is smile just to see him and just can't wait to lay beside him and hold him and it don't have to always be sexually means a lot to me. I can't do without neither one because it feels so good to me and I love giving them both to him.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 March 2008):

Love is knowing what you want, that some is part of your soul, you see the good and the bad and know that it is what you want. Being "in love" is being afraid. It is having no power, knowing that you can lose it all. It is a feeling of vincibility, of being scared, being mad, losing what you have and what you want. It is a scary emotion. It can come and go during a relationship. When it goes true love will hold you over until it comes back.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 February 2008):

Any of you who are wondering about this issue - you must read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is scientifically proven that the "in love" feelings we have do not last forever. At the beginning of the relationship we feel like we're in the clouds, totally swept away - actually, this is the infatuation stage - and is not love at all. We are "in love." Eventually (usually by 2 years), we fall from that stage a bit and start seeing our partner's flaws,etc. We still love our partner but don't feel those "highs" as regularly as we once had. Yes, it can be disappointing, but it also allows for deeper true love to develop. Personally, I think those high feelings start to fade in part because we are getting more comfortable with our partner and are getting to know them on a deeper level, where there is more trust. Trust me, if you accept this and open yourself up to the beautiful gifts that this true love stage of a relationship offers, then those magical "in love" feelings will return, and they will be more beautiful and more magical than ever, because you will both have experienced true love from each other. Good Luck! Don't be upset when those initial "in love" feelings of infatuation fade. What comes next is really the best part!!! Would love to hear anyone else's thoughts!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 February 2008):

To the women who are worried about this issue: I wouldn't worry one bit. Your boyfriends are showing you how much they love you. True love does not mean that you have to be with the other person EVERY MINUTE! Don't get wrapped up in the language. The fact that he loves you, loves spending time with you, and can see a future with you both sounds like true love! Be happy! He is probably just not thinking of the phrase "in love" the same way you are. Also, I agree with the answer that love is a choice. True love is not a feeling (although it may be motivated by in love feelings). True love is a choice in how we act. Again, don't get wrapped up in the words - it is merely semantics.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 February 2008):

I personally believe that when you love someone truely, deep down you will always love that person. An example being; me and my ex were together 5 years and have a son we loved each other deeply and although we had ups and downs and breaks from each other we always found our way back to each other. However we just couldnt live together and split, although he found a new girlfriend he still kept coming back to me while with her and said she never makes him feel the way i do. An easier example Ross and Racheal from friends. Now being in love is when you cant get enough of that person you want to be with them everyday usally most affective in first year of any relationship. You could easily stop being IN love with someone but if u truely Love someone then that last forever no matter what. This is just my view on it, i may be wrong but its what i feel about the subject.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2008):

What you described sounds almost exactly like the conversation I had a few days ago. He told me he's not 100% sure if what we have is "lust" or love. When I asked if he was in love with me, he stumbled upon a delayed, 'I don't know". Then, a few minutes later he said, "When I fell in love with you...". After I became upset by his not being 100% sure, he told me not to look a gift horse in the mouth. He wants to spend more time together to know for sure. My question is do I wait it out and hope he can be sure someday, or am I expecting too much? I think there is a clear difference in how women and men feel, so maybe our words/thoughts just don't match right now. He also tells me that he doesn't think he can find anyone else to match or even come close to how he feels about me and thinks I am naive about finding someone who matches what I think I feel for him. Am I settling by staying with someone I can't be sure loves me as deeply as I love him, or am I living in a fairy tale world?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2008):

!If you are with a perosn who just loves you is not enough!Has to be in love to make the relationship work.

"not being in love" means the person can live without you.

(this is my point of view)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2008):

This is what my boyfriend told me. "Not only do I love you, but I am completely in love with you. And there is a difference. Being in love with someone means that you love that person more than you love yourself, and I love you more than I love myself. I'm not going to lie, I have loved before, but I have not been in love with someone."

So being in love indicates that person sees you as "the one", the one that he sees spending the rest of his life with, becoming his wife, and spending eternity with. When you confess to your partner that "you are in love with them" it is a huge deal. Like a stage before engagement because he is letting you know that there is no one else on earth that could make him happier than you, and there is no one else that he would want to marry.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2008):

Hey

I really dont know why do we let our own inventions make us suffer. We created the statement "in love" and the word "love", and now we let the difference between the two become a source of suffering, vague as it may be.

I say do not do my mistake, and make a big deal out of it, it is just a word, if the man treats you right, cares about you, respects you, makes you smile, makes love to you, when you stand next to him you are proud, and will never cheat on you.....and you are the same to him....ignore the words, kiss him and live. Life I think is about laughter, and happiness, not words.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 January 2008):

I don't think there is a difference to everyone - and I don't think that everybody is capable of putting their significant other ahead of everything that they do or think. Also, there is an inherent danger in not having free thoughts or activities yourself.

If you are having doubts then they need to be addressed but also bear in mind that he may not use the same labels. In his head, being "in love" might be showing that you have no individual thoughts and want to devote your life to your partner. This may sound sensible to you, but he is male and therefore will think very differently. To him (as it would be to me) completely devoting your life to the pursuit of making someone else happy seems like a weakness. Yes, they should take up a large portion of your life, and you should want to do as much as possible with them but there is a line between that and spending every waking minute together.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 January 2008):

hey

There's a way I learned it myself

Yes i am dude i had same problem not understanding there was a difference, basically not knowin there was either.

this is the way i understood

love is a chose/decision you make

i know it sounds bad but

let me put it this way

it's more of a feelin but you choose that feeling by the way the person makes you feel

also this qouted from a website not sure which

" love verse in love

is like ocean verses being IN the ocean"

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 December 2007):

I don't know guys I'm very frustrated myself in life because I wanna figure this 1 out and I don't know if my thoughts on it are right. Ok "loving" someone is something really deep and strong and lasting. You care so much for that person and their welfare is one of the most vital things to you in the world.

[Deep breath] Now the "in love" bit: that's when every single thought you make evolves around that person. They dominate your mind without you even wanting them to. You get butterflies in your stomach and all nervous. You go completely ga ga. You can't wait to see them or speak to them. You hang by their every word. Sometimes this fire burns you up inside and you must see them or hear from them right there and then. When this happens you feel that if you don't kiss them right there and then your heart will explode. You hang out for them to say particular things and if they don't this flame within stings and makes your heart palpitate so fast you can't bear it. The list of symptoms continues. These to me are the main ones. The "in love" state is very intense and dangerous because it can make you do crazy stuff like leaving a former relationship and risking all. There is a strange magnet that draws you in and aches at your soul. And it gets that bad that you find yourself losing pride and doing things you considered ridiculous, even to the point of embarrassing yourself because you're controlled by passion and want for that person.

Love is precious but "in love" is much more exciting and makes life worth living. It is the ultimate adrenalin rush in my view. I might be wrong. And that's what annoys me!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 December 2007):

i've had three boyfriends in my 19 years of living all lasting more than 6 months.....i've never been in love but i've love them all...to be in love you have to know about a person been through ups and downs .... when you've seen a person at their worst and still look at them and say you love them then you're in love you have to see all sides of a person you can't be in love with a person when they're rich then out when they're poor...and love at first sight is bull

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 October 2007):

i think there is totally a difference between being in love and loving someone.. to be inlove is to feel so completed by that person.. they are in a sense your everything.. when you are around the room could disappear on command.. and its really great if that feeling is reciprocated.. loving someone means having genuine feels and appreciation for someone in your life.. i love people but not enough to be with them forrever and make a future.. i think you need to be inlove to last.. i think he loves you but the way you said things might be missleading.. if he sees a future and will stop at nothing to persue then you got a keeper!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 October 2007):

I ''love'' my dog, i'm not 'in love' with my dog! However i am 'in love' with my wife aswell as just loving her!

old joke:

wife asks: do you love me darling?

man replies: of course i do i'm f.....g you aren't i !!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 September 2007):

From my own experience there is a huge difference between loving someone and being in love.

When I first laid eyes on my ex wife I fell in love with her instantly. It really was love at first sight. I didn't think she would be interested in me, but to my great surprise it turned out that she felt the same way about me. She was my life, my everything. We dated for 4 years and were married for 10 before she left. Although we were still in love, she felt that he life was drifting by and wanted more.

I was devastated when she left. After 6 months I'd begun to get my head straight and started dating again. I met someone, and over time love blossomed. We've been together for 9 years now. Although I love my partner, I'm not in love with her. What's worse, I still think about my ex every single day. I know that if she wanted me back I'd walk out the door tomorrow.

For me the difference is this. If I love someone I could break up with them and, although it would hurt at the time, I could get over them. If I'm in love with someone then that's it. They are so important to me, such an integral part of my existence that there's no way I would willingly leave them.

If one person in a relationship is "in love" while the other just "loves" then there is clearly a risk ...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 September 2007):

um,,,,,,,,,,ok your boyfriend is a pretty honest fella and i like it. it's true. what, is he some psychopath who is totally infatuated with you that he cannot do anything by himself, with himself or his friends? he's right. and i guess when all the passion and the highs love fade, then you love. and sometimes u may grow apart after realizing u really are not on the same page after the "in looove."

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 August 2007):

Being (in love): (v) to be taken over by thoughts of someone. to have your schoolwork affected because of them. to doodle their initials all over everything. to think of them every second. they are your reason for taking that next breath. they seem to be your everything. they are the only person you ever want to talk to. and you'd do anything to be with them right this second. you dont feel like you talk about him half as much as you do because he is all that you think about. the smallest things remind you of him. you take mental notes on EVERYTHING about him. you'd rather sit on the phone in silence with him than talk for hours with someone else. he is the most beautiful person alive. he has flaws and you know it...but thats okay. he draws you in farther and farther each second that you're alive. and you have this hunger, this deep-pit-of-your-stomach craving. and nothing can cure it. nothing except him.

falling (in love): (v) it is as simple as just having a few thoughts a day about him. talking to eachother atleast once everyday. having a few inside jokes. or nicknames for eachother. its caring about the person in some way, shape or form. its having that feeling of confusion. and its the little smiles that just pop up at random times because you think of him for even just a split second. thats what falling is. completely different then being.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 August 2007):

yehh. i wonder the same thing. if its possible to be in a relationshiip but not "in love" with the person that u are in love with, once yall are deep and serious with what you guys have. at times its very frustrating to the point where at times i just dont know if he really loves me or not. at times i want to ask. but oh well. other than that. yall are on the same page. yall just have different ways of viewing love. and so do we.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 August 2007):

so are you working on explaining it to him further or are you just giving up on letting him know the diff.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 July 2007):

Hey, I understand completely what your feeling. I am experiencing the same thing right now and believe me it is frustrating. I can't imagine life without my boyfriend and I love him but I don't feel that In Love thing anymore. I miss the butterflies, and you know the awwww feeling when he used to hold me. It actually scares me I'm not missing him when he is at work and I guess it's cause I am beginning to trust him.

Honestly though what your experiencing is normal. my question and I hope someone can answer this for me is if a couple has fallen out of love with each other can they fall back in Love?

Thankyou and good luck to yourself.

I guess I wish I could experience that infatuation stage forever. :(

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 June 2007):

I have often wondered what the difference between loving and being "in love" with someone is. I think that falling "in love" comes in the initial stages of a new relationship, when the two are getting to know eachother. There is a mutual need and attraction. At the same time all human frailties and imperfections are over shadowed by the "need" for one for the other.

Over time we become aware of the shortcomings of the other after life challenges us. It is then when love truly manifests itself. Love is a long steady train ride to a destination, falling "in love" is a rollercoaster at an amusement park.

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A female reader, mar143637 United States +, writes (28 May 2007):

When you love somebody,you feel love but to be in love is to me when if for some reason you do not end up with that person, you want the best for that person and there are no ill thoughts.

My story...In high school, I was promised to a guy to get married, well with us being so young and and getting mixed up with things we shouldn't have got mixed up in, my parents split us up and his mom sent him to go live with his dad in another town. I ended up getting married to another guy and after two years knew that I did not want to stay in the marriage but somebody told me that I made my bed, I needed to lie in it. So I did for another 20 years, and having two wonderful kids during that marriage. During this time, I thought of the man that I loved but didn't end up with.... hoping that he had a wonderful life and wanting to be with him but I would not disrupt his life. I hoped for the best for him. After 22 years of marriage, I am divorced and he is in the process of a divorce. I contacted him only after I knew he was in a divorce and knowing the circumstances that there was no way of him and his wife getting back together. We have been back together for almost a year and it was like we picked up right where we left off. I want to spend the rest of my life with this man and we are planning on being married in the future. Right now we live in two seperate towns and our kids come first. So when the kids have all graduated, then we will be married and live our life together. If for some reason we would not end up together, I will never be with anybody else for the reason I will not ever fall out of love with this man and no not either one of us is perfect, we both have our down falls, but that is another way to show In love, you accept the person for who they are and you do not try to change them. You can teach each other things but you do not try to change the other person. I want to share everything with this man, I do not hide a thing. Honesty is a very big part of our realtionship. He is my Best Friend. I never knew how much I was in love with him till we got back together. We believe things happen for a reason and for us both to have been in marriages that weren't good, taught us how to respect each other and ourselves and knowing what we really want out of life. May God Bless you to find that one special person that you fall IN love with.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 May 2007):

OOOO my gosh ! yes i totally see where you are comming from ... but he will see in time that he not only loves you ... but is in love with you ... just give it time .. and things will work ... i promise ... the same exact thing happend to me ... and we are both VERY VERY happy now !

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2007):

Hi

We can LOVE many people but can only be IN LOVE with one person. Being in love is connecting deeper than you every thought possible by entrusting your heart, body and soul to each other. Only then are you soulmakes and truly IN LOVE.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2007):

His reply to your question doesn't make any sense. I think he's in love with you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 February 2007):

being in love is longing for this person. needing their touch. wanting their kiss. loving someone is different. i love my mom, she is apart if me. but i am in love with a boy. he meets my every need and i feel important to him. although i understand with the hormones of the teenage body. you may THINK you are IN LOVE. but really you are just wasting your time on another boy who will end up breaking your heart anyway. you need to dig down deep into your relationship with the oppisite sex, see eye to eye with them. if we dont do that. our feeling could end up being fake. not real.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2007):

hey well i think that it does all come down to how they treat you but i also think that there is a differece between loving and being in love-being in love is yes what you said "passionate" but its also loving someone so deep that it hurts...when they hurt so do you...when they're sad so are you...when they feel sad you do too...being in love means that you are loving that person just as much as you love yourself...you love them more than breathing itself...wanting to spend the rest of your life with them is just an understatement...you want to spend eternity with them...thats what being in love is...not being selfish...jealous...disrespectful...hurtful...all those things and more...and yes its hard to tell the difference between the two but when you fall in love both of you will know....lcj

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A female reader, magda United States +, writes (16 January 2007):

Loving or being in love does not matter if he can not comit and ask you to marry you. Bottom line, if he loves you for real he will ask if not he wont. Give him space and let him think for a while. Some take a year, but do not wait. move on.

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A female reader, kanda06 +, writes (8 November 2006):

I personaly think what you guys are describing "passionate, exciting, want to spend time with the person, it's the feeling of DISCOVERING something new.." isn't anything close to be being in love. What is being described here to me is infatuation and/or lust even.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2006):

I agree with most of the answers here about what being IN LOVE is...passionate, exciting, want to spend time with the person, it's the feeling of DISCOVERING something new...and that can last up to 1 month, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years (If you're lucky and possible).

TRUE love on the other hand...it's knowing you are both on the same side. That you will support and respect eachother no matter what. That's why that feeling is so much like the love you feel for family (not the dysfunctional type family where everyone backstabs eachother) and true friends (again not the backstabing kind). TRUE LOVE is when you are BOTH on the same team.

SO you can be in love and be all gitty about it, it doesn't mean that the you both are on the same side. The other person can disrespect you and not think anything of it. But chances are he won't disrespect you because he or she are still on they're best behavior. If you do disrespect eachother, you are probably not in love (nor have real love). By disrespect I mean: Backstab, make the other person uncomfortable so the other person can get their kicks, be happy when you are miserable, etc.

If you have REAL LOVE you both respect eachother because it's just common sense. It comes naturally to both of you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side, to have the same direction. You may not agree on everything, but you fight for the same cause. But it doesn't mean that you are necesarily in love with eachother, if the passion is not there.

So if you have both, LOVE and are IN LOVE...then I wouldn't let it go.

And in the words of Denis Miller...That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 September 2006):

You are so lucky. I met someone who once told me he loved me, called me darling and other exciting endearments...but when I was unable to have sex with him because it was that time of the year he stopped became cold and distance. Infront of me he would use these endearments on shop assistants for instance... I am still wondering whether there is a deeper reason...you are so lucky...cherish him...and love him...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 September 2006):

I also believe that being inlove and loving are two different things. Being inlove comes in at the early stages of the realtionship. Its when one is so crazy about their new partner and they'd call him/her at least three times a day and if things were their way, they'd love to spend every moment of their time together. Loving somebody comes in when you love the person even when they've hurt you. there is that deep feeling that tears into your heart when you think about them (if e.g. they've hurt you. If you happen to break up with the person, you become unable to move on with your life and everything just reminds you of him. While if you were inlove with him, it would quickly blow over and you would be able to move on with your life. Being inlove is more like being infatuated with somebody, while love develops and takes its time and once developed its so secured and relaxed, does not demand any explanations and does not require that one be perfect or look smart or has material posessions. It just loves somebody for who they are and it is the most beautiful feeling ever!!

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A male reader, Wild Thaing Canada +, writes (14 June 2006):

Wild Thaing agony auntAs Bev said - Relaaaaax.

It seems a bit strange to me that you would get upset over the semantics of the word love. Actions are what count in a relationship. Does he make you feel like crap? Not special? Unworthy of his affection? If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you have cause for worry. But based on what you have told us of him, he doesn't seem to be mistreating you.

Your behaviour indicates some insecurity - that is YOUR issue. Don't drag your man into this vortex except to ask him for help in dealing with your insecurity. In fact, you are projecting your insecurity onto him with this curious need to know what it is to love or be in love with someone.

Countless people would kill to be in your situation. If you continue with this behaviour, you could destroy this relationship. I hope you identify the root of your insecurity before it consumes you. Good luck and take care.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 June 2006):

I think that he is in love with you if he is showing his love in such a compassionate way. i think you are very worried about this and you shouldnt be. you have to just let the chips fall where they may. and i agree with you love and being in love are two totally different things. if you get deep into a relationship and get married (not exacly talking about YOU but for an example) then that means the other both loves you and is in love with you. and if later down the relationship he is not in love with you anymrore that is when the relationship starts to get sour. if he is not in love with you that means that the fire has burnt out and you dont have that connection that you used to. i sometimes think of this to help me differ the two:

i love my dad.

but i am not in love with my dad.

love is a warm feeling for your friends and family and your boyfriend too but if you say i am in love with one of my family members or i am in love with one of my friends that would be wrong... if you where IN LOVE with your dad then you should go on the jerry springer show. but its perfectly normal to be in love with your man. and for him to be in love with you. that means that it is compassionate love. and just love is family love. and it takes a long time too to just get to the level of love like with your friends you dont just love them the first day you meet them you have to wait to know you can trust them and to know if they are the type of person you want to be around. and if you get to that level i say you are off to a great start. just wait for him it will happen soon. don't worry.

i hope i have helped,

33 me

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A female reader, lani +, writes (1 May 2006):

hi put your mind at ease ur man is very much in lv with u iv been in 3 failed relationships so i should know every thing uv said there tells me so bein in lv+ loving ur partner is not much different at the begining of a relationship we feel excited want 2 b with that person all the time then as it progresses in2 a full blown relationship we get comfy we know the person we dont have 2 try as hard so we settle in2 a lv zone thats all thats happened here ur man lvs u i think ur just scared deep down that things will change dont b he lvs u so put any dout u have 2 the back of ur head just cause u want 2 scream ur love we are not all the same some r quiet about it go lv ur man .

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A male reader, Dazzerg United Kingdom +, writes (1 May 2006):

Dazzerg agony auntA good question. I think the point has been well made here; the difference is almost organisational in the sense that the 'in' bit of love 'in love' means being in a relationship with your lover.

I think you are in danger of elevating form over content here, you say he treats you in a loving way but are upset over this. Actions are far more important than words, i have experience of people saying the right words but not walking the walk at all and the core truth lies more in peoples actions than words. Words are tricky because they are subject to individual interpreation and definition but actions can never lie. Hope that helps.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2006):

Hi,

Well personally I feel that being in love with a person and just loving them are two different things. Your in love with someone when you really have strong and true feelings behind it and really in love that special someone. But anybody can say they love someone, that's how random an act of love can be.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2006):

Love is simply an intense feeling of deep affection. To be in love requires an intense enthusiasm for a romantic or sexual relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 December 2005):

Being in love is the honeymoon in the relationship. It is a time when one individual feels a deep desire to be with the other. To share everything and nothing. It is a time when one does not recognize any of the negative aspects of the other individual. No responsibility is required, just going with the feelings and hoping something comes of it. Loving someone is an extension of those original feelings and then some. It means accepting everything about the other, and loving them in spite of it. It is now time to put yourself into the relationship, to work on nurturing that relationship, and take responsibility for the part you must play in making it work.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 December 2005):

the difference between "love" and "being in love" is that you can love as many people. family friends etc at the same time.

but you can only be IN LOVE with one person at a time

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2005):

I think that when you love someone how they are feeling is important to you. When you are in love with someone, how someone is feeling is the most important thing in the world.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2005):

Simple: I love my daughters. I am in love with my wife.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 November 2005):

Its all about interpretation, what loves means for you may be different for the other, in love for you may mean the same as just love for him, such is the case im in love with my girfriend, but what ive read so far people would call that feeling love not inlove, i define love as caring for the person but it would end there much the same as you care for you family, whilst inlove i define as, caring for the person, placing them before yourself, wishing for everything in their lives to be joyous, wishing to hold them at every possible moment, wishing to be with them forever etc..

Its all about self interpretations of what love/in love means to the person, discuss what you think in love/love means and maybe ull see his love means the same as yours

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2005):

Love is a feeling that is different for each individual person, but there is a difference between loving someone and being in love no matter what your definition of love is. When you love someone you care about them unconditionally and you will do anything for them. When you are in love you will put this person before your own mother, put their needs in front of your own and most importantly you can't imagine your life without them.

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A female reader, Breaking_Heart +, writes (29 August 2005):

Being in love is the almost teenager-like stage when you cannot keep your hands off eachother, are on the phone 24/7, always thinking about eachother, etc.

Being in love USUALLY comes before 'just love', but i have known other cases...very rare though...

Although your boyfriend was VERY tactless with you, u shouldn't shun 'just love', because it is that which keeps people together forever.

when you are 'in love' with someone, you are automatically more sensitive to everything that person does, and are therefore - ironically - more likely to break up.

so dont shun 'just love'! :-) I don't know if this is what you wanted, but I hope I've helped even a LITTLE...

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A reader, schlottjl United States +, writes (29 August 2005):

schlottjl agony auntIf I had a choice I would prefer your boyfriends rational. That in love feeling is great while it lasts but is nothing more than a mind trick. It gets you nothing. It should fade and that would be a good thing.

I do not ask my boyfriend that because it be pressuring him to lie to me. We have been together for a very long time (think forever or at least in terms of last millenium.) He would be high to feel the hot for you feeling (though we both do every now and again for a moment.)

Love as I always say is a verb and a choice. It is the act of love that matters not a whim. If people were swayed by the passionate feeling, no one would be together for very long.

I hate to tell you this but even if this is the "one" (another false term but not for this question...) you and he will have your feelings stirred for someone else. Now if you believe that love is not a choice and an action but a whim and a feeling that comes over you, you might begin to let the thought of someone else beging to fester in your mind. Afterall, you don't have a passion for what you are used to, right? But if you realize that love is not a feeling of passoin (that that is only stage one and only lasts a few weeks to a few months,) then you might lose a great thing for who knows what.

Feelings of passion will get you moving to get to know the other person, they are delusional in that as soon as you find something in your guy that does not fit the bill of being your all, then fault finding and feelings of betrayal begin. You begin to feel betrayed because he should think just like you- sound familiar? What if he thinks that you should think just like him? Now what- was he not the one? Perhaps, real love then is knowing the good and the bad and still chosing them anyway. Allowing if not searching for another to think differently than you (and loving it) if for no other reason than one reason we couple is to put two minds together and different strengths and different weaknesses are the makings of a stronger whole.

Don't worry, we all get to the point eventually where we become dis-illusioned. THAT IS SOOOOO WOUNDERFUL! It means you have arrive at real love stage two. So strap yourself in, stage two can be bumpy. Becoming disillusioned is not always fun. But acceptance and happiness are only really found when you go through the hell to earn real love.

Wait till you get to that feeling, there is more than you could imagine to this love thing. You both are right and wrong. Only if he lost you he would see his wrong. Guys don't tend to ponder these things. It only means he is not a liar and that he is comfortable not lying to your face. Girls cant live without them, guys when faced with these questions can't live with them. :) Now go make up- it is fun to make up!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 August 2005):

Your bf loves you but he has his own individual interpretation of love. Some people define being 'in love' as that romantic passion feeling we get usually the first few months of a new relationship...the honeymoon, fun, dizzying phase. It's the phase when we are on our best behaviours and spending every waking moment together. Eventually, that feeling fades and then we relax, we become our true selves a bit more, and commit to truely loving that person we are with. When you choose to love, you decide to look at the other person in a positive light and you back up those thoughts with positive actions. To love someone is to always want the best for them, to protect them, to put their needs before your own. Kind of like deciding to be selfless. I think when people say they left the relationship because they fell out of love-then they didn't understand the giving, the selflessness of a real, deep, meaningful, committed love. It sounds like your bf feels that his love for you, is closer to appreciation, affection, respect & committment phase-so please relax and enjoy it.

However, being in love is one of the great joys of life but it's unrelaistic to think the "in love" phase wil last forever. The "in love" phase brings people together and gives the relationship the kickstart it needs to get over obstacles and develop the relationship into a wonderful, deep long term relationship.

If you are imagining a family, work, and long life together, you may be moving toward a strong, steady love of the more meaningful kind. Just relax and try to be patient. Love is reasonable and tolerant-what's happened is your love has moved into the more committed phase-the phase where you can be apart more often, where you can totally trust and respect each other. It truely is having a best friend.

I heard it once LOVE described this way. "Being in love is like a drug('what can it do for me?') True love is many things, not the least of which is kindness-('what can I do for you?') Being in love is about GETTING, over the short term. Love is about GIVING over the long term." Just something to think about. And yes, Love is wonderful and if they treat you with respect and want to give to you, then that's most important. Hope this helped.

Hugs, Irish

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A female reader, lulu +, writes (29 August 2005):

i dont believe that you can define love. what you believe love is, is probably not the same as your partners. as you said its something you feel and there are no two people who experience the same thing, feel the same way about it. there are no words for feelings.

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A female reader, Bev Conolly Australia +, writes (29 August 2005):

Bev Conolly agony auntMaybe you're both saying the same thing, and only the term differs. Like, you might claim that a certain day is your "birthday", but your partner says "No, it's really more of your 'natal day'... since you've already been 'born'".

Do you see what I'm getting at? Would you argue that point with him? You might disagree on semantics, but does it change the fact that that day is the anniversary of your birth?

You're splitting hairs over this and working yourself into a frenzy... for what? So you can safely conclude that, since you and your partner don't agree on the *terms*, that he doesn't actually "love" you?

Doesn't that strike you as a little counter-productive?

Come on! From the way you describe him, he treats you well, sees a future with you, thinks his feelings are growing every day... And he describes that as "loving" you, rather than being "in love" with you. What more do you want?

If you want him to say that he's "in love" when he doesn't feel that he is, then you're asking him to lie, just to please you. And, ask yourself, what's so different about the two sets of terms that you're both using? Do they lead you, as a couple, in different directions? I'd say not.

To me, (I've been married for 18 years to a very lovely man, and we give each other a lot of personal space), your partner sounds balanced, confident and affectionate. The fact that he doesn't need to spend every moment with you suggests to me that he trusts you and feels secure. That's a GOOD thing.

Stop being upset. You're wasting your time. You said it yourself: in the end, it's how they treat you, not what they call it.

Relaaaaax....

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