Love is the most profound emotion a human can experience. Love comes in different forms and ways. Romantic love is, perhaps, the most discussed and sought after. When you do stumble upon someone who you can connect with romantically, it can sweep you off your feet. Being in love with a person means getting physically and emotionally attracted to them. Their smiles can cause butterflies in our stomach, and spending an hour of quality time with them can make a bad day better. When we find someone we like, our brain immediately releases ‘happy hormones.’ These are feel-good hormones that instantly relieve stress and improve the mood. These happy hormones are called oxytocin and dopamine(1).
There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with them. And for years, people have argued as to which one is better. While being in love with someone has been linked to infatuation, loving someone is a more old-school kind of love. In this article, we argue both sides and give you the differences so you can decide for yourself which one is better.
1. Loving Someone Is A Choice, Being In Love Isn’t
When you meet someone you find attractive, you are immediately drawn in by feelings of lust, infatuation, and obsession. You find yourself thinking about them quite involuntarily. You try to be as close to them as possible. It’s all very movie-like. And there’s a rush whenever you do get in contact with them. When you love someone, you voluntarily choose to accept and love them with all their flaws. You want good things to happen to them and things to work out for them. You don’t have to always be around them, and you choose to stand by them no matter what.
2. When You Love Someone, You Put Them First
When you love someone, it’s less about what you can get from them. Rather, it’s more about what you can contribute to making the relationship grow and get stronger; what you can do to make the other person happy. This is not the case when being in love with the person. Being in love often involves doing things just because it will make you feel good. Loving someone, unlike being in love, means giving your time, patience, and attention because the other person requires it. It means accepting behaviors and flaws of theirs without any terms or conditions.
3. Being In Love Is Short-Lived, Loving Someone Is A Long Term Commitment
Being in love with someone often stems from feeling infatuated and attracted to the person. This is not the case with loving someone. When you love someone, you stay with them long after the initial rush begins to fade. You stay with them and help each other grow and overcome life’s hurdles.
4. Being In Love Means Wanting Good For Yourself, Loving Someone Is Wanting Good For Them
When you love someone, it’s less about what they can give you and more about what is right for them. You stop making selfish decisions that can negatively impact the other person and start making decisions that are good for the other person and your relationship. You know you love that person when you want only the best for them.
5. Ownership And Partnership
When you love someone, it’s less about owning the person. You don’t try to dictate or control the other person’s actions to suit your convenience. Instead, you work on the relationship as partners. When you love someone, you want to share experiences and grow together. There is a lot more trust and faith in the relationship and each other.
All of us need to note that to get to the point where we can love someone, it requires a lot of time, patience, and maturity. Good relationships don’t develop all of a sudden. It takes time, patience, and work. Both are great to be in. It all depends on you and your partner’s needs and wants.