What is love? Well, it’s not an easy thing to define, that’s for sure! Feelings never are. Perhaps it’s easier to describe what it’s not. Love is not attraction, and it’s not sex. Love is not wanting what you can’t have or missing someone when they’re away. All those things belong in the camp of lust. Are attraction, sex and missing each other important? Yes. But, it’s not what love is.
Every relationship is different, but each has to have some basic fundamentals. Love comes from building a foundation of trust, friendship, compassion, and being partners in (and sometimes against) life. Without these key elements you may like someone, and you may love being with them or love certain things about them, but you don’t have enough to survive.
It takes time to build this foundation but it is integral to the process. This doesn’t mean to run away from what I described as lust; it just means not to confuse the two, and to give love time to develop. It can take time to solidify, so try to be patient as some people need more time to be certain those elements are deeply rooted. Falling in love feels so good, it gives us a euphoric high, but that feeling can also confuse us from seeing signs that the building blocks are missing or crumbling before our very eyes.
Finding love isn’t easy, but it’s why you are on JDate – to look for it – so don’t give up! It may be frustrating, but it’s better to stay single than to enter a loveless relationship just for the sake of being in one.
Ahhhhh… The Bachelor finale aired live and we all squirmed as Nikki — the “winner” — once again professed her love to Juan Pablo, only to have him repeatedly avoid answering the question of whether he loved her as well.
So, what do you do when you are in a relationship, are in love, and your partner isn’t there yet? How long do you wait for your significant other to start feeling as deeply as you do? At what point does your self-respect begin to take a beating?
There is… there is no right answer. You have to do what feels right, but you also may want to reassess the balance of power in the relationship. Are all your family members and friends warning you about your relationship? Does your partner ever use the difference in emotions to make you feel bad? Be honest with yourself and don’t let your ego get in your way of making the best decision for your heart, and your future.
What exactly does it mean to be “in love”? If you love someone deeply but no longer have the butterflies in your stomach, is that enough? Do you need the butterflies or is that a feeling which means you are actually insecure in your relationship because you don’t know how the other person feels? That butterfly feeling is exciting, so does that mean your relationship is over once that feeling goes away? When someone tells you “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” is that a bad thing? If you lose that “in love” feeling, does it mean that you fell out of love and should no longer be with that person, or does it simply mean that it became a deeper kind of love and is not just a fleeting feeling? Is being “in love” the same thing as lust?
You need to answer these questions for yourself. There’s not a right or wrong answer necessarily, but you should decide what feelings you want and need. What is acceptable for you to feel towards the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? And how do you want your partner to feel towards you? Is it okay if you are in love with your partner but your partner loves you just isn’t “in love” with you? Or vice-versa?
Try to differentiate what the difference is – to you – between loving someone and being in love with them. Define and describe each and determine what is what.