A few days ago I was asked between what the difference between love and being in love is. I gave a pretty decent answer, relatively short since I was half asleep and using my smartphone to type up the response. What I find really interesting is that someone actually asked me if there was a difference and, if there was, what was the difference. I guess I usually assume most people know that there is indeed a different. Yes, I know, the person who gripes about when people assumes things assumed. I am only human, you know. 

The reason I'm writing up on the topic here is to expand upon what my answer that I posted on Tumblr. With saying that, I shall dive right in!


What I find almost ridiculous in our current society is how easily we, myself included, throw around the word love. It is almost as if the word has no meaning because we throw it about so often without thinking through other words that might actually describe what we are feeling. We say, "I just love you" to an acquaintance instead of something much more realistic like, "I just really like the way you are." We almost take for granted what it actually is or means, much like how we take communication for granted. We believe that if a person can speak, read, and is intelligent they can communicate well and effectively which is not always the case. We do this to love, if a person dates many people they must know something about love. The reality is, they usually don't. 

Another incredible thing about love is that it means something different to everyone since it is not a concrete thing, such as a tree or a phone. Love is one of those intangible items we all believe in, even if you say you don't, and really have thrown at us as well as reach for. Romance novels, romantic comedy movies, the romantic relations between characters in almost any movie or television program slam home the notion of love. What is always amusing is how many different angles and approaches to love a society or person can take it from. Love is like the wind, at least to me, in that we cannot directly see it but can feel it and know it is real. 

To me, when you love someone you care for them on a deep and personal level. I usually compare it to the attachment many people have to their parents, siblings, and really close friends. You are concerned for their welfare, care about their day to day life, and enjoy their company or presence. When you love these people it is usually to the point where you forgive them for their flaws and errors because you realize they mean something to you. You realize that when you fight, it doesn't mean you care any less, it merely means there was either a differ in opinion or a message gone awry that led to an argument. Never mistake loving a person for being in love with them. 

In Love

When you're in love with someone it's a deeper connection, a deeper level of care, a being almost. If you watch a couple that is truly in love then you can see it at its best. From my own personal experience, it is something people write novels about, make movies about, and aspire to have. I have been in love and, while it ended in disaster, it was beautiful while we both were in love. I was dating my best friend. We could easily finish each other's sentences, were comfortable to talk about anything or wear anything, and meshed well. I think the best kind of love is where you make make each other better, challenge each other, and care about the other more than yourself. 

Continuing on with my experience, my ex-boyfriend and I were not only physically inseparable but also emotionally and mentally. If we weren't together, which we couldn't always be because of work and classes and such, we would be on the phone or communicating via text or found ourselves thinking of each other. The way I realized I was in love with him was when he got into a major accident and I thought something had happened to him when he called me. He was physically fine, but emotionally he was messed up. His car was a mess, he drove a small sport car, and he loved his car. When he called, sounding haggard and broken, my heart fell and I felt my windpipe close. I realized I was so in love with him that I couldn't even consider the possibility that he could be majorly injured. 

His and my relationship was dynamic. If you ever saw us in person you could see the love. We would joke, flirt, and tease endlessly. You don't stop going on dates or flirting when you are in a relationship, you don't let that spark die. For the almost two years we were together, we didn't have that issue. We loved each other physically as well as on a level that only we could understand. He would know something was wrong even in just the way I worded a text message. I would understand he needed comfortable silence instead of my insistent chatter just by looking at him. Our connection was something I think is what we write romance novels about. 

He would shift to always be within touching distance, if not touching me. He would have his hand on my knee during dinner, have an arm around my shoulders or hold my hand while we were walking, and cuddle me in our sleep. I would seek him out and wake up most times when he would move or leave the bed. We were in tune to each other's emotions so well that we almost could feel it ourselves. He was possessive and I reveled in that because it is something I need. I am into appreciating the little things which he liked to hear because he liked being appreciated. We meshed well and that is so important in a relationship, to know how to give and how to take. 

Being in love is like breathing. It can be easy and natural but also painful. Although he and I ended, it was not because we didn't love enough. Sometimes love isn't enough, especially when you fall out of love with that person, and simply love them. When you're in love love is always enough and you will fight for it, die for it, and nurture it. Love is a fickle thing, but when it is real it can be so beautiful. Romance novels like Bared to You remind me to never settle but to always reach for everything that I deserve in love and in life. I read romance novels to continue to hold onto the romantic inside of me that tends to get put in a box. I hope that with reading this you can see, too, that there is indeed a difference between loving someone and being in love with them.