What is the Meaning of Love? How to Know If You're Truly "In Love"
What Exactly is Love?
Can "love" really be defined?
"Love" is a word that can mean so many different things. You can love chocolate and you can love your pet, but these are two completely separate emotions. You would probably not grieve for months if your chocolate got run over by a car, and If you eat your pet at 4am when you have the munchies, then that might be considered a trifle eccentric. You can love an object, love an activity, love a feeling, love an animal, love a place, love an acquaintance, love a celebrity, love a friend, love your family, love a partner, be in love and make love. Love can be a verb (to love) and a noun (my love). It can even be a zero score in tennis!
Here I am going to explore the definition of "love" in the sense of being "in love" with someone to whom you are sexually attracted.
Define "In Love"
The dictionary will tell you that "in love" means to be enamored of someone.
This seems a very bland definition when love is so much more.
To me, being "in love" with you means something different as the relationship grows.
When I first fall "in love" with you it means that I cherish every moment we spend together, and I think about you frequently when we are apart, waiting for the next time I'll see you. I respect you, I admire you and I support you. I think you are beautiful, inside and out. I am proud of you, and proud to be seen with you. I want to make love to you, and have you make love to me. You make me feel wonderful and special and amazing. I will do pretty much anything for you. I will give and give, and love giving to you. If you feel the same way about me, it seems almost incredible - I feel elated and excited and all is right with the world.
As our relationship develops, my being "in love" with you changes and deepens. I trust you, and know that we can spend time apart, and still be there for each other. I love your company and also love pursuing my own independent interests. I want to share with you those things that make me happy, and angry, and sad. I want you to share your feelings with me, but understand that we are individuals. I feel a physical pain for you when you are unhappy or hurt. I need you, and want to please you, and appreciate all you do for me.
How Do You Know You're In Love?
This is an age old question, and one that is difficult to answer because everyone is different.
Sometimes the only difference between a crush and being in love is whether the other person returns your feelings. Othertimes, a crush has nothing to do with love, and is based on just one feeling, like sexual desire, without the emotions that go with it.
Physical desire, feelings of excitement and joy, fantasies, dreams, wanting to be with that person, thinking about him or her all the time, wanting to give ... these are definitely components of being in love, but are not necessarily the real deal.
As I said, everyone is different, so there are no definite rules. Here I am talking about being in love just after falling in love - unfortunately you can be in love with someone who changes, and then, of course, the rules change.
If you have just realised that you might be falling for someone, perhaps try to put these obvious feelings together with my personal list below of the essential ingredients to help know if you are truly "in love":
- You know the person very well
I don't believe you can really be "in love" with someone unless you know them well as a person. It is possible to experience a lot of the symptoms, for want of a better word, but not actually be in love with that person. Without properly knowing a person, your imagination will fill in the gaps with a fantasy of an ideal person, so you can have feelings towards someone who doesn't actually exist. You can only fall in love with a friend.
- Your feelings are returned
It is possible to be in love with someone who doesn't love you, but only if a once loving relationship has broken down. When falling in love, you will usually share your feelings, and tell each other that you love each other. That person will be caring and kind, and make you feel confident in yourself.
- Your feelings are positive
If you feel anxious, jealous, spiteful or anything else negative about the relationship for more than a very, very short time, then you are not in love. Love is about complete trust and surrendering your heart to another person. It is not about playing games and testing another person. All feelings associated with being in love are positive.
- You trust the person
Love is about trusting someone else completely. You will feel secure if you are in love. If you don't trust the person to nuture you and care for you, you are not in love. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured, you are not in love.
- You can be yourself around that person
When you are in the company of the person with whom you are in love, you should be able to feel completely relaxed and at ease. You should feel at peace with him and with the world. If you pretending to be something you are not, or changing yourself for that person, you are not in love.
- You can express your true feelings without fear
People who are in love don't have to agree on everything, but they do need to be able to listen to the other person's point of view. You should be able to honestly say how you feel, and even if you fight, you make up quickly.
The funny thing is, we can go through all of this questioning and researching, but at the end of the day, if you are in love, you'll know for sure.
There is nothing else like the feeling of falling in love and of being in love with a person who loves you in return.
There will be no doubt when you really experience it. Don't try to define it, just enjoy it!
You deserve to be in love.
© 2010 herpointofview
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