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The difference between loving someone and being in love
by TeenHelp July 3rd 2015, 06:29 PM

The difference between loving someone and being in love
By Nicole (eumoirous)

Many couples wonder when they transition from just loving each other, to actually being in love. While this line between them is not concrete, there are some differences that can alert you to whether you actually are in love with a person, or whether itís just lust, infatuation, or general affection. These are general ideas of the concepts between the two, however it is up to you to decide what you are truly feeling for a person.

General love
One way to differentiate between loving someone and being in love, is that loving someone can be a choice. You can choose your friends and keep them around because you love them, but you canít always choose who you fall in love with. When you love someone, you may appreciate their quirks and passions, but they arenít always on your mind. You may still have eyes for other people, or you may simply just like whatís on the surface of a person because you havenít gotten to know them well yet.
When you havenít fallen for someone yet, you may still feel nervous or shy around them. This is really normal, and as you get to know someone youíll feel more comfortable.
General love also can encompass platonic friendships. You choose to love your best friend and to be really close with them. General love is not restricted to just romantic feelings like actually being in love with someone is.

Being in love
Youíve probably heard people say that when you are in love, youíll ďjust know it.Ē This is a fairly true statement because if you have to question whether you are in love or not, you probably arenít. Being in love is a really strong feeling that develops over time, and once it happens youíll be aware of it. People all say you ďfallĒ in love because you donít necessarily prepare for it, it simply happens.
A big misconception that occurs is people confuse infatuation with being in love. If you have a crush but arenít good friends, itís likely that you are infatuated, rather than being in love. If you donít know somebody that well, you canít be in love with them. You have to love all of their flaws, their personality, and their passions. That is why falling in love can take some time, and this can happen without you realizing it.
It is important to not rush falling in love, and to wait to tell the person you are seeing that you love them until you are ready. There is no set amount of time you should wait, it will vary with every relationship.

Being on the same page
If you've figured out that you have fallen in love, you may wonder what comes next. The first thing that you should do is find out if your partner feels the same way. It can be scary to be the first to say "I love you," but even if your partner does not reciprocate the feeling and cannot say it back yet, they will be delighted that you feel that way. If you are in a relationship, you already know that your partner has feelings for you, so if you know you are in love, do not be afraid to speak up about it!

What to do when you are in love
If your partner does reciprocate the feelings and you both now say "I love you," you can then continue to develop your relationship. You both feel strongly and are likely very committed at this point, so now is a great chance to go out and experience new activities together. Bonding doesn't have to stop once you are in love and enter the comfortable stage, trying new things together can help keep the spark in your relationship going. "I love you's" don't have to lose their meaning.

Remember that it is okay to like the idea of being in love, but not like the idea of committing to someone. You canít choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you commit to and who you want to spend your time with. Sometimes two people can be in love, but not get along and so the relationship becomes toxic. This means you have to be careful to not let love blind you to the bad parts of your relationship, and to be sure to evaluate all the negatives and not just focus on the positives. It is possible to fall in love with more than one person in your lifetime, so make sure you wait for someone who improves your life over being single.
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