There is a discrepancy in the world of relationships about being in love and love.
Some may inquire
“What is the difference?”
“does one mean more than the other?”
And “Which one am I feeling about this person?”
In my humble opinion, there is a difference, one does means more than the other and you tell me.
Also in my opinion, most think the one that means more is being in love, and that is incorrect.
Movies and society display being in love as this epic and rare experience that you only fall for few times in your life. That is isn’t a choice it is something that “happens” to you involuntarily and uncontrollably.
So when someone says “I am in love with you” it is this grand expression of a life long promise.
But simply saying “I am in love” does not mean you will remain “in love” for a substantial amount of neither time, nor intensity.
It also doesn’t mean you will love the person long term.
It is simply a statement of fact in a small moment in the grand scheme of your relationship.
What truly means something is the voluntary and active experience of loving someone.
To love someone is to actively work at your relationship and connection with another, to know them so deeply, see them, and love what you see.
Beyond the romanticized “falling” that comes with being in love, to love someone means you love them passed the scope of the rose colored glasses of honeymoon period relationships. You love them when they are bright and shiny and you love them in the darkest, scum covered days that humans are innately subjected to time and again.
To love someone is a difficult choice, to let someone in and also walk into their life in a powerful way which holds responsibility and pressure.
Being in love and loving someone are not mutually exclusive however.
It can start out as falling, and develop into an actual love of that person.
Behind the romantics of being in love are the real challenges that come with relationships between people who are truly in it.
Falling in love is the easy part, sustaining that love is the challenge.
C.S. Lewis wrote of this phenomenon in his book Mere Christianity in a chapter called “Christian Marriage”.
He stated that, in this world most fall in love easily and get wrapped up in the excitement of it, and once that excitement wears away, they think they are no longer in love and the relationship has run its course and is coming to an end. They give up, they don’t put in the work to keep something going because they equate not being in love with it being over. Unfortunately within the context of marriage this leads to divorce.
Where as, love is a deliberate will that is actively worked on, You will not always feel that blissful harmony of being in love but when you truly unite with another and maintain that love, it is a powerful promise in regard to where it leads, marriage.
He says, “It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”
So don’t take love lightly, if you are lucky enough to find someone that you love that loves you back, please understand what that means.
Just because you aren’t in a 24/7-honeymoon period doesn’t belittle what you have with that person. Love is far more powerful than a romanticized image of involuntary falling.