What’s the difference between loving someone and being in love?

Posted by admin | Posted in Love | Posted on 14-03-2011-05-2008

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Question by Redwriter: What’s the difference between loving someone and being in love?
I’ve heard many people say they left a relationship because they loved the person but were not in love with that person.

Best answer:

Answer by sandy
yeah i just broke off a relationship of 8 years because i no longer was in love with my ex. you love your mom, dad, kids, etc. you are in love with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend etc.

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Comments posted (9)

It may have a deeper meening, but the words literally say it. If you love soemone, you’re giving your love to them, while they might not give it back, or they might give it back but no in the same way. If you’re in love with someone, both of you reside in the zone called “love” and you both love each other. Idk. I obviously made it up, but it kinda makes sense. ; )

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There’s all different kinds and levels of love. The love one has for a child, a sibling, a parent, a life-long friend, a grandparent, or even a beloved teacher are all different kinds of love. This kind of love is created from the feeling of personal pleasure and enjoyment that you get from those people being a part of your life.

However, to be in love is a whole mind, body, and soul feeling. It’s a stronger kind of love that leaves you feeling tingly, enriched, energized, and adored. It’s heavenly to be in love…as I still am with my husband after 6 years of marriage.
Edit: After reading “Baron’s” answer, I must agree that being in love (as opposed to “just” loving another person) involves romance and sexual attraction. My heart still does a little back-flip when look at my wonderful, handsome husband!

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Interesting question! Of course, it’s largely a matter of opinion, but I would say the main difference is the intensity of the romantic attraction. A person “in love” experiences romantic ecstasy by just being around their love interest, and the attraction is largely (though not entirely) sexual. It’s also something involuntary; you can’t help but feel that way. “Loving someone” doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sexual attraction, such as loving a friend or family member. Although less intense from a romantic standpoint, this is also a more clear-headed love that one deliberately chooses.

The scenario you mentioned where a relationship ends because the couple loved each other but were not in love means that the two still like and admire (“love”) each other but no longer experienced attraction (“in love”). This actually happened to me with an ex-girlfriend of mine. I was never super-attracted to her and gradually became less so, so we eventually agreed to end the relationship. However, I still hold her in extremely high regard (a “love” of sorts) and consider her a good friend, even though I am no longer “in love” with her.

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I couldn’t have said it better than “Tree Hugger”

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How much your nervous system has been affected.

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All the difference in the world…..and NO difference at all. LOL

“Loving” can either indicate a sincere concern and desire to put the loved one above self..or a mere infatuation that cannot withstand the demands of time. But being “in love” can often lead to ‘true love’. It all depends on the individuals.

Love almost always begins as a physical attraction or infatuation with the beloved….We, literally ‘fall in love’ with the outward appearance. If we are lucky, we get over the infatuation and start to see the ‘inner’ person…that is when we learn to LOVE someone truly. If we cannot get over the ‘infatuation’ we will, almost certainly, NOT end up LOVING the individual as she/he deserves to be loved….for inner qualities, not just ouward attraction.

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Not to be the devil’s advocate, but “being in love” is too easily indistinguishable from emotional infatuation or mere sexual attraction. If you are not “in love” anymore but still care about someone, you never loved them in the first place.

Love, as in spousal love, is a “choice” and a matter of shared goals, deep respect, like-mindedness or spiritual rapport. You can’t “fall out of love.”

The love of a child, friend, etc. is entirely different and speaks to a deep commitment.

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I think people throw these terms around in different ways, so a difinitive definition is not realistic. I like to think that loving someone entails (1)caring about him or her unconditionally; (2)it also takes the kind of intimacy that only can come with time. Being in love with someone might refer to the feelings that incorporate such other relationship features as attraction and or/lust; when these things fade people may leave and chalk it up to “not being in love,” though I would argue they also cannot claim “but I love him/her” because that would assume an intimacy that would supercede what was lost in the excitement of being “in love.” What probably really happens in now one is not distracted by the emotional arousals of being “in love” and now is critiquing the person more harshly and decides they don’t always like what they see. To make themselves and the other feel better they say “I love you, I’m just not IN love with you,” which is bs- even though we’ve all done it.

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wow, that’s such a hard distinction to make especially the first time one tries to make it. i think it gets so confusing because of sexual vs. closeness desires. it seems that the two can be easily confused. one could feel like they’re sexually interested when all along it was just closeness with the person that was desired. so, they loved but were not in love. great question!

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