6 Differences Between Being In Love And Loving Someone

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We often interpret the phrases “loving someone” and “being in love” loosely. It is hard to tell the difference—the feelings may be strong and intense in both situations.

So, how do you navigate your feelings for another person. Understanding the difference between “loving someone” and “being in love or falling in love” can help you decipher your feelings for another person.

In this post, MomJunction tells you how these two feelings can be different from one another.

Being In Love And Loving Someone

When you have just fallen in love, infatuation, possessiveness, and obsession can make you feel as though you are in love with the other person. You desire to spend all your time with them, talk to them, hold hands, or share intimate moments. You develop a longing for your partner when they are not around.

Loving someone, on the other hand, is much more than yearning for your partner’s physical presence. It involves commitment, loving them beyond their flaws, helping each other grow and succeed, motivating and inspiring each other, and working together to build a steady relationship. This usually happens over time. Being in love is one of the stages of loving someone.

Being In Love Vs. Loving Someone

Here are the key differences between “loving someone” and “being in love”.

1. “Loving someone” is a choice, whereas “being in love” is spontaneous.

When you love someone, it is by choice. You not only appreciate their best qualities, but also accept their shortcomings. You accept them for who they are and make a conscious effort to build a lasting relationship with them.

Consider this, for instance. You love your family members or your close friends and make a conscious effort to be with them even though you may disagree on the simplest of things. However, it is still a lasting bond that you want to nurture.

Being in love could be spontaneous, emotionally charged, and a passionate desire for someone. For instance, you meet somebody at an event or a party and are head-over-heels for them after a short, quick conversation. This feeling, however, is fleeting and may not be based on a lasting experience.

2. “Loving someone” means understanding each other’s needs, whereas “falling in love” means not yet ready for sacrifices.

When you truly love someone, you not only want that person to grow and succeed, but also prepare yourself to make necessary sacrifices to help them. You prioritize each other’s needs, goals, and aspirations. You would make hard decisions or sacrifices that you may not do for your friends or other acquaintances.

On the other hand, being in love means you may wish your partner well but may not be ready to make those sacrifices. Sometimes, you may put them and their needs first because your happiness is tied to theirs.

3. “Loving someone” is constant, whereas “being in love” can fade.

Loving someone is long-lasting. Even when situations get tough, disappointments grow in, or distance increases, you still care and feel strongly about them. This feeling for your partner is deeply ingrained in you.

On the other hand, the feeling of being in love with someone can fade over time. The intense feelings or emotions that you felt for a certain time or period may change after the “spark” dies. You may not have the same feelings forever.

4. “Loving someone” means being unfazed by challenges, whereas “falling in love” can be unsteady.

The real test of a relationship is to stick through thick and thin. In fact, the bond and love between you and your partner grow stronger as you go through life’s ups and downs together.

Being in love may not always result in a steady relationship that is unfazed by difficult situations. You may think you are in love with your partner, but as soon as you hit a rough patch, that passion or connection may fizzle out. You may doubt whether your bond is secure enough to overcome those challenges together.

5. “Loving someone” means giving, whereas “being in love” is about what you can get.

When you love someone, you do not think about what you can get out of them, but what you can give them. You do not fall out of love just because you are unable to get what you desire. You embrace the other person and bring out the best in each other.

In the “being in love” situation, as soon as you stop finding any personal gains out of the relationship, you may feel lost. As soon as you lose what was desired, the love fizzles out.

6. “Loving someone” is about partnership, whereas “falling in love” is about ownership.

Loving someone involves working together as a team. You value each other’s feelings and understand what’s best for you both as individuals. You form a robust support system for each other. You allow your partner to have their own identity, and yet, help them grow and become the best version of themselves.

Being in love may give rise to feelings of jealousy and possessiveness, as you may feel you are entitled to all aspects of your partner’s lives. In your desperate attempts to become a part of their lives, you may lose your own identity.

The difference between “loving someone” and “being in love” can be subtle—both embody compassion, spark, and desire. However, understanding whether your love is long-lasting or fleeting may not always be straightforward. Learning through your past experiences and navigating through your feelings can help you hold on to your special someone.

Do you have something to say about falling in love? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena

(PhD (Counseling Psychology))
Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr.... more

sanjana lagudu

Sanjana did her graduation in Pharmacy and post graduation in management. It was during her first job, she recognized her skills in writing and began working as a freelance writer. Later, she completely moved into content writing and began working as a full-time content writer. Sanjana's articles in MomJunction cover topics related to new parenting and relationships. A fitness enthusiast... more