The Important Difference Between Love and in Love
In conversation, the two may be used interchangeably. But there is an important difference between love and in love — several differences, actually.
Being “in love” is the term we typically use at the early stages of dating, when everything about the other person is seemingly perfect. This “honeymoon stage” is marked by excitement, passion and — on the flip side — anxiety.
Ever asked yourself “What does it mean to love someone?”
When you love someone, a foundation of friendship, trust and respect has been established. This stage in a relationship takes time, but it’s worth it. Although love doesn’t have the same fiery gotta-have-you-right-now type of desire, it’s something that is longer lasting, more comfortable, and will ultimately make you happier.
In this article, I will break down the specific difference between love and in love. Being able to discern between the two can help you do the following:
- Decide if you truly want to pursue a long-term relationship with the person you’re dating
- Learn how compatible you are with someone
- Increase your confidence
- Decrease tendencies toward jealous or possessive behavior
- Find a relationship that is right for you in the long term — not just right now
Difference Between Love and In Love: Understanding Infatuation
Much of the difference between love and in love comes down to infatuation. All committed relationships go through a stage of infatuation, but that doesn’t mean that every person you become infatuated with is actually right for you.
Infatuation is a short-lived passion that occurs at the beginning of a romantic relationship. This is when your stomach is churning with butterflies at the very sight — nay — the very thought of your beloved.
You can’t keep your hands off of each other. Spending a single night away from each other feels like a decade.
You. Are. In. LOVE!
OK…slow your roll there, champ.
Those tingly, intoxicating feelings that come at the beginning of the relationship don’t necessarily mean that the stars have aligned to bring you your soulmate.
Infatuation is fueled by a variety of chemicals, including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. The stimulation of these hormones can lead to feelings similar to that of a high. You may lose your appetite, have difficulty sleeping, and feel drunk with a giddy excitement throughout the day.
All of that is well and good, but the addictive nature of infatuation can also be detrimental if not handled with care.
Because infatuation fires off chemicals in the brain that react similarly during addiction, you can also experience withdrawal symptoms at the beginning of a relationship. This is one reason that people feel like they need to see each other constantly when they’re first dating. You are — in a way — addicted to that person’s presence.
If things go awry and you get rejected or ghosted, suddenly your brain is in full withdrawal mode. It’s a sucky feeling, but there’s a couple things you can do to avoid too hard of a blow.
First of all, take things slow. Maybe that person that gave you that “love at first sight” feeling is, in fact, the one for you. But it takes time to know that.
One of the best and most effective strategies you can use to avoid getting trapped by infatuation is megadating. Megadating is the tool I used that led me to a happy, long-term relationship, and you can use it too!
At the end of the article, I will go into more detail on what megadating is and the simple way you can use it to start achieving your dating goals.
Love vs In Love: When You Love Someone, You’re Accepting of Their Flaws
It’s amazing when you start seeing someone who has killer looks, is great in bed, and is always up for a fun night on the town.
But no one is capable of being a fun, cool girl 100% of the time. An important difference between love and in love is being able to accept someone, even when they may be at their lowest point.
Have you ever rushed into a relationship with someone? Have you ever had the experience of being with someone whose feelings suddenly changed when the road got a little rocky? Or maybe you were the person who had a change of heart when you saw a different, less appealing side of someone.
Don’t feel bad, this is a common situation that can arise when you rush into an exclusive commitment — and we’ve all been guilty of making that mistake.
If I love someone, seeing them go through a rough time or exhibit some unflattering behavior isn’t going to shake me. But if I haven’t taken the time to really get to know someone and establish a strong bond, getting thrown a curve ball in the relationship might make me think twice.
When You’re in Love With Someone, Desire Stems from Sex
When you’re in love, physical attraction is at its peak. Although you love talking to and hanging out with the person you’re seeing, a lot of the desire may initially stem from sex.
Sex is an important part of any relationship and how soon you plan to knock boots with someone is completely your prerogative.
My professional advice, however, is to wait until the third date to have sex. The third date is the optimal time to have sex, because:
- It avoids leaving either of you wondering if you just had a one night stand
- You have a couple dates under your belt where the two of you have established enough of a connection that you know you want to see where this goes
- Having sex at this point is early enough to save you from a potential trip to the friendzone
Sex is actually something that can be the best thing about being in love with someone. Attraction and excitement is high. As long as you and your partner are safe and consensual, I say take advantage of this delectable part of the honeymoon phase.
When You Love Someone, Bodily Functions are #NBD
As much as we may try to hide it, bodily functions happen to all of us.
We all go to the bathroom.
We all get gas.
It. Is. OK.
But, of course, you don’t necessarily want to let all your bathroom habits be known during the first couple months of dating.
Any fear over letting a not-so-flattering something slip in front of that special lady fades away when you love someone.
When You’re in Love With Someone, Jealousy Can Be an Issue
I’m not saying that everyone who is infatuated with someone will automatically be jealous. But — as noted before — one important difference between love and in love is that loving someone takes time and trust.
If you’ve been dating a woman for a year and you notice a bartender giving her a flirtatious look, that might be annoying, but it’s not going to really occupy your mind. When you love someone, you trust them. You know that there will be other men interested in her. The thing about love is, you know that it doesn’t matter what other guys do, because you know the person you’re with won’t give them the time of day.
When you’re in love with someone, your mind may start to wander when you see them getting hit on. You haven’t had time to learn about their relationship history, their feelings about monogamy, and you haven’t developed a deep enough emotional connection.
When You Love Someone, You Don’t Need to Share Everything
Have you ever started dating someone who seems to like ALL the same things you do? Isn’t it just the best?
Shared interests are a great way to develop an initial bond with someone and can make for some awesome dating ideas. However, it’s unlikely that you will find someone that loves everything you have an interest in, and that’s ok.
When you love someone, you don’t need to share everything. In fact, it’s probably good that you don’t. You can be comfortable having your own independent interests, while also support each other in your separate interests. This is our last important difference between love and in love.
Need Help Finding Love?
A key strategy that you can use in going from infatuation to a successful, long-term relationship in megadating. Megadating involves dating several people at once in order to eventually find a long-term relationship. It worked for me, and it can work for you too!
As a dating coach, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, and I’m ready to share my secrets to success. Want to learn more? Book a New Client Skype session with me today.
All of this is designed to make your dating life fun — not frustrating — and to help you eventually find the girl of your dreams!
I’m excited to chat further with you about the difference between love and in love, your goals, and how you can execute those goals to enjoy every step of the dating process — from in love, to love, and everything in between.