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.