Sometimes being in a relationship can be so confusing!
You get along with your boyfriend really well. You go on fun dates, he makes you laugh – but then something feels off. Maybe there’s not enough passion. Maybe there’s too much passion but also too much fighting.
Or maybe things are going so well, you can’t see anything wrong and you’re wondering – is this normal?
You might be asking yourself – what does love really feel like – and is this it?
Today we’re going to answer these questions by figuring out the differences between love and in love. That means: loving someone vs. being in love.
Once you know these differences, you’ll know if the relationship is worth your time or not.
So here are 15 differences between “love” and “in love”.
15 Differences Between Love and In Love
#15 – Picking A Flower vs. Watching It Grow
Sorry! I had to start with a little metaphor because it’s a lot easier to picture the difference this way.
When you love someone, it’s like picking a flower.
You pick it so that you can take it home, enjoy its beautiful appearance and lovely smell. You may even want to show it off to your friends or take pictures with it.
But, being in love is like leaving that flower in the field where you found it.
You don’t want to take it home and use it until it dies, instead you sacrifice having it all to yourself so that it can grow. You want what’s best for the flower, even if you have to make a sacrifice.
With this difference, you can understand that being in love can be much more challenging and difficult.
But the other person is also in love with you, this can be a partnership that lasts for many years.
It becomes a long-term relationship that can stand the test of time.
#14 – Happens By Accident vs. Making a Choice
You’ve heard of love at first sight right?
Well that kind of does exist. You can fall in love with someone simply by seeing them and talking them for a few minutes.
But being in love takes more time and is something that goes much deeper than surface level attraction.
When you’re in love with someone, it’s a conscious choice that you have to make.
This is something that can only happen with real commitment. This means the commitment of being officially boyfriend and girlfriend and then other commitments like moving in together and getting married.
If you’re not making real commitments with each other, then you haven’t make the choice to be in love and you’re simply in it for the fun part.
#13 – Exciting vs. Comfort
Loving someone is really fun. You hang out together, you laugh, you go on vacations and fun dates. This is all great stuff.
But being in love is a lot more comfortable and isn’t always as “fun”. Going for drinks and bowling is more fun than talking about shared bank accounts.
One comes with the territory of loving someone, and the other is what happens when you’re in love.
The good thing is that “comfort” is what humans need to keep things going for the long-term. Humans love exciting, shiny new objects, but eventually, we get used to them.
Do you ever look in your closet and feel like you have nothing to wear?
Yeah, that’s because all those outfits that were once cool and new, are now familiar and boring.
If you threw away your wardrobe every time you felt it got boring and old, you’d have to buy a new wardrobe every month and that’s just not sustainable.
Being in love is comfortable, but it’s what you need to stand the test of time.
Related: Needs Vs. Wants In A Relationship
#12 – Crying vs. Talking
Loving someone is all about feeling. You’re always thinking about how you feel in your relationship. You cry, you get angry and you laugh.
Being in love means your emotions need to be discussed with the other person. Are you crying? Why? What happened? What can the other person do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
Are you laughing? Why? What is it about this relationship that you love and want to keep doing?
When you’re in love with someone, you want to make sure that both of you are enjoying things, and this involves communication.
Loving someone just means you focus on how you feel but being in love means you focus on how you both feel. And you keep in communication with each other to make sure you’re always on the same page.
#11 – Conditional vs. Acceptance
Since loving someone is about how they make you feel, you can find yourself putting little rules on the person.
They have to do things your way in order for you to be happy. This means your love has conditions.
If they don’t want to travel with you, that’s a deal-breaker. If they stop wanting to see your mom, that’s a deal-breaker.
Being in love means full acceptance. You have decided to love this person and accept them – flaws and all.
My long-term partner has a huge list of flaws. He drives me nuts sometimes!
But I’ve committed to him forever because I’m in love with him. So when he decides that his introversion is to strong to go hang out with my loud obnoxious family – I have to accept that. I still love him.
When he decides to leave his socks on the living floor because he’s messier than I am – I clean them up and I still love him.
#10 – Temporary vs. Forever
Loving someone is something that happens quickly and sometimes you can’t even control it. One day you were fine on your own, and now you’re head over heels for someone.
That’s all great, but on it’s own – that feeling can’t last forever.
That butterfly feeling that you get when you love someone is going to go away.
If the two of you are meant to stay together for the long-term, loving them must turn into being in love because that’s the only thing that will last for years.
#9 – Highs and Lows vs. Steady
When you’re in love with someone, it’s a huge rush of endorphins.
It has been scientifically proven to give you the same effects as smoking crack cocaine.
With this kind of dopamine hit, you will go through highs and lows.
He texted you? Bam! High on cocaine.
He cancelled your date? Ouch! Cocaine withdrawal.
When you love someone, it’s a lot of these highs and lows because you don’t have the comfort and security that comes with real commitment.
Being in love is a much more “mature” feeling where both of you have settled into a feeling of comfort. So instead of feeling the highs and lows, you just have a constant middle ground of happiness that is very steady.
This kind of love is incredibly rewarding and will make you feel confident and secure – oh that’s the next point!
#8 – Constant Reassurance vs. Confident and Secure
When you love a man, you can feel insecure as to whether or not he loves you back. You need his attention. You need reassurance that he still likes you and wants to be with you.
When you’re in love with him, you are much more concerned with his happiness than your own so you don’t need attention from him as much.
You want him to be happy whether or not that means being with you. So you’re much more forgiving if he doesn’t call or text. You think – hey he must just be busy, he’ll either get back to me later or give me an update when he can.
It’s kind of weird that way.
Being in love means that you’re ok with him doing his own thing and not keeping you in the loop. You’re ok with him living his life the way he wants to.
#7 – Gets Weaker over Time vs. Gets Stronger
As I said before, simply loving someone doesn’t last forever. You can love someone, but being in love is something much more deep and meaningful.
When you love someone, that relationship can grow weak over time. You can have ups and downs and go through trials and tribulations that break down the relationship.
Being in love means that you both are willing to work harder to make sure that you stay on the same page.
To summarize, when you fight with someone you love – the relationship gets weaker, when you fight with someone you’re in love with – the relationship gets stronger.
#6 – In A Rush vs. Takes It’s Time
Loving someone happens quickly. It can be a crush, a desire to want to get closer to them or even a short-term relationship.
Being in love is a much deeper connection and it doesn’t happen right away. In order to be truly in love with someone, you must have gone through the following experiences:
- Shared heartache, like a traumatic experience or simply a sad moment the two of you shared together
- Revelation of your personal past. You must have shared deep personal memories with the other person.
- Multiple fun and adventurous memories you have experienced together.
- Meeting each other’s friends and family.
- Constant communication for more than 6 months.
That’s just a general guideline, but as you can see, being in love only happens when the two of you have shared a lot together.
It’s like the difference between meeting a new friend and compared to your best friend that you’ve known since high-school.
The sheer length of time, bonding and memories will make the high-school friend relationship much stronger. You need that kind of bond to be in love.
Related: How Many Dates Before You Have Sex?
#5 – Time Apart Makes You Anxious vs. Time Apart Makes You Grateful
Think about how you feel when you are apart from your love.
If you feel anxious and want to see them again or make contact, you love the person.
If their absence makes you feel grateful and appreciative for having him in your life, you are in love.
#4 – Many Emotions vs. Few Emotions
Loving someone is like a whirlwind of emotions.
When you love, you can experience a lot of emotions. You experience, lust, happiness excitement and passion. You can also experience anxiety, insecurity, uncertainty and vulnerability.
Being in love doesn’t have all these emotions. In fact, it has very few.
It has happiness, sadness and occasional frustration. That’s about it. Anxiety, insecurity, and all that goes out the window when you’re in love. The feelings are much more steady and comfortable.
You’re also less concerned about yourself and more concerned about him and how he feels.
You simply want what’s best for that person.
#3 – The World Is Against You Vs. You Against the World
When you love a man, you might care for him, but you haven’t absorbed him into your being.
Haha, I know that sounds weird, but it’s true! Being in love with someone is when you start to feel like that other person is literally part of you.
That feeling makes it so that you feel like you have this other half and anything that gets in your way is an attack on both of you.
When you love someone, you’re still very much thinking of yourself.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say the man you love got a new job and has to move to Africa. If you don’t want to move to Africa, you might ask him to turn down the job or else he’ll lose you.
But if you’re in love, this new job is something you have to figure out together.
It’s as if your arms got a new job in Africa. If your arms were moving to Africa, you better figure out a way to get yourself over there or else risk losing a literal piece of yourself.
That’s what being in love is.
#2 – Is For Others vs. Is For Yourselves
Sometimes loving someone can happen when you want to keep up appearances.
Maybe you don’t want to feel lonely. Maybe you want others to think you’re in a happy relationship.
Maybe you want to show everyone how hot or rich he is.
Well, when you’re in love, you don’t care about what others think. If he’s ugly, if he’s poor or if he’s moving to a gross lame city – you don’t care and you’re going with him.
That’s what happens when you’re in love, what other people think doesn’t matter anymore and it’s just you and him.
#1 – Hope For The Future vs. Enjoying The Present
When you love someone, you often dream of a better future.
“Things will be better when he gets a job.”
“I can’t wait until we’re married”
“Things will be better when we move to our new home”
But things don’t get better. The only things you need to be in a happy relationship are two people: you and him.
When you’re in love, you don’t need your circumstances to change in order to be happy. You’re simply happy with him, right now. If things change – great! But you don’t need them to change.
There’s a big difference there. This is the reason many women settle down with men they did not like. They were waiting for that perfect time when everything was going to get better, but they didn’t realize that the guy they are with was wrong all along.
Why You’re Struggling
Love can be confusing sometimes, and that’s ok. It’s ok to question your relationship once in a while, in fact it’s healthy.
But if you find yourself constantly analyzing and questioning things, that is probably a sign that it’s not working out.
You shouldn’t feel like you need to convince yourself of anything. If the relationship makes sense then there’s not much to discuss or think about. It just makes sense and that’s it.
If you find yourself constantly talking to your friends about your relationship or thinking about it, that’s not a great sign. You want it to feel comfortable and easy.
Listen To Your Gut Instincts
Listening to your gut is a big part of keeping a healthy love life. Your gut is your feminine intuition and it is constantly looking out for you.
How many times have you been in a “perfect” relationship that just felt wrong and it didn’t work out?
Women these days often push down their feminine intuition and try to think their way out of problems but if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.
Learn more about using feminine energy to attract quality men here.
Love is Like Not Having A Cold
An unhealthy relationship is like having a cold.
When you have a cold, you have a lot of symptoms. You have a sore throat, a fever, a cough. All of these things are at the forefront of your mind and you’re trying to fix them so that “one day you’ll feel better”.
Well, being in a happy healthy and relationship is like not having a cold.
When you don’t have a cold, you don’t really feel anything. You just feel good. You don’t think about cough syrup or fever medication. You just go about your daily life with little thinking.
That’s a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship just feels good and doesn’t take much thought.
How To Attract High-Quality Men
I hope you found this article helpful, but it does you no good if you’re not attracting High-Quality.
If you’re a confident and successful woman, you need a confident and successful man.
I hope you enjoyed this article on the differences between love and in love. It can be a good exercise to look at the kind of relationship you’re in to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction.
If you’ve discovered that you’re not in love, don’t worry. It will either come wtih time, or you’ll experience it with someone new.
Love, your favorite dating coach.