Define - "In Love"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 29, 2008 1:43 AM GMT
    I noticed on the "RJ Confessional" thread that some members were talking about loving, but "not being IN love" with someone. I'm curious to know how you all define being "in love." icon_question.gif
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    Jul 29, 2008 2:42 AM GMT
    I'm guessing---and it is only a guess, since I'm the guy who said he'd probably never been there--that it has something to do with caring so much that his pain hurts you, that his joys elate you, that you would put yourself in physical danger without thinking if it would keep him from harm.

    That's probably over-romanticized. But each of my last two boyfriends both told me I was too damned independent. I left home at 16 and have made my way in the world by myself ever since. I may have made myself TOO independent, I don't know. But I can't seem to allow anyone to do anything for me, not big things, not even small ones.
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    Jul 29, 2008 2:53 AM GMT
    There are four stages to being "in love"

    1. Forming...when you are all full of passion for each other. Your heart goes pitty-pat at the sight of him ...you want to do anything for him ...you never want to be away from him.

    2. Storming...things he does that irritated you before start bubbling to the surface and you have to bring them out and address them. The rough edges of the relationship will start knocking. If the rough edges get smoothed out, you both go onto the next stage...otherwise, it's splitsville.

    3. Norming...things settle down between you two...life together starts running smoothly

    4. Performing...you know each other so well, your relationship is instinctive. You know exactly how the other one will react, so you know how not to push any hot buttons.
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    Jul 29, 2008 3:01 AM GMT
    Well, that's impressive, Caslon!

    Neither of us ever thought of it in quite that way. Like riding a bicycle, you seldom concentrate on each muscle and what it's doing; you just ride.

    HighVoltage,

    That question is a loaded one. There's thousands of years of writing, both fiction and non, that attempt to answer it!

    How about, 'to love' is an action, and
    'in love' is a state of being?


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    Jul 29, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    I think JP and I come from about the same place. I think being in love means being able to compromise on what's most challenging for you. For me, loving - I still refuse to say 'in love' - means not just giving up some of my independence, but being okay with giving it up. And as jsttennis said in that other thread, it also has to do with having the ability to lay your vulnerabilities out. I don't readily give up control - of my time, my emotions, everything - so to be able to do that for somebody...maybe that's love, or something like it.

    But really, I dunno. I've never been good at it, so I'm not great at defining it.
  • VinBaltimore

    Posts: 239

    Jul 29, 2008 3:17 AM GMT
    Well, c'mon now, poets songwriters have spend decades trying to define love and we're still at it!

    For one, I think it's different from person to person. I've never been terribly romantic or sentimental about it. It's never been that, "No, Rose, my darling you take the last lifeboat" feeling for me.

    When we met I compared it to the sensation of flowing along a river. Felt like everything in the world was pushing us together. For the first time I wasn't trying to make a relationship happen, it was just...happening. There was him. There was me. And then there was this third, almost tangible force, bringing us together.
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    Jul 29, 2008 3:21 AM GMT

    Wow. Nice, Vin. There's me, there's Bill, and then there's that third person which seems to be us combined and squared, like in math, to the power of Big Love.

    I'm better at describing it than defining it.
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    Jul 29, 2008 3:30 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    Wow. Nice, Vin. There's me, there's Bill, and then there's that third person


    Geez, and I can't even make it work with ONE other person..... icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 29, 2008 3:39 AM GMT
    meninlove - You're absolutely right, this is a loaded question. Everyone's personal opinion on what "in love" means is obviously going to be different. I'm just wondering if there's a difference between "loving" and being "in love?" Too each his own in this case.
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    Jul 29, 2008 4:04 AM GMT

    thanks, - another idea.

    Loving is what we do. I love my family and I love my friends. Add sexual attraction as well and I'm 'in love' with Bill.
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    Jul 29, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    There's a French novel entitled "Wicked Angels" that takes you through the mind frame of that intense "in love" feeling. It's probably the closest emotional description to what I've experienced as "in love." It's a great read for everyone.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jul 29, 2008 7:17 AM GMT
    VinBaltimore said

    It's never been that, "No, Rose, my darling you take the last lifeboat" feeling for me.



    I totally agree.

    Leave the bitch to drown.
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    Jul 29, 2008 7:31 AM GMT
    styrgan said
    VinBaltimore said

    It's never been that, "No, Rose, my darling you take the last lifeboat" feeling for me.



    I totally agree.

    Leave the bitch to drown.




    Wow. icon_eek.gif

    The guy I'm in love with is worth it.icon_biggrin.gif I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for him. icon_cool.gif
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    Jul 29, 2008 7:46 AM GMT
    Oh love<33

    I believe love, is just instinctive. You can be in love with anyone or anything. Love is limitless and because of that it has the capacity of being the most powerful feeling/emotion emitted by any being.

    There are no ways to necessarily describe love or even try to convey to one another. However all I can tell you is how I feel when Im with him....icon_smile.gif

    All worries lift, and happiness doesnt even compare to what i feel. You know what love is when you find the one that makes your heart pitter-patter each and every time you see him. The one that still makes you so excited that your almost nervous. The one, that when you look over at them, you know that this is what you want for the rest of your life.

    Im sorry if that is really cheesy, but its true.

    I am so twitter-painted over this boy, not even joking....icon_razz.gif
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    Jul 29, 2008 8:22 AM GMT
    jprichva said...that it has something to do with caring so much that his pain hurts you, that his joys elate you, that you would put yourself in physical danger without thinking if it would keep him from harm...




    Yes, this is love.
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    Jul 29, 2008 10:08 AM GMT
    This is something I found when I have asked myself this same question...

    Is it love, or a mutual strangulation society?
    Believing the fantasies described in love songs can be unhealthy.

    Story Highlights
    Some love songs are more fairy tale than real life
    If you can't live without lover -- get therapy
    One person can't be everything to another person

    By Martha Beck

    (Oprah.com) -- In a folktale that has been retold for centuries in many variations (one of which is Shakespeare's "King Lear"), an elderly king asks his three daughters how much they love him. The two older sisters deliver flowery speeches of filial adoration, but the youngest says only "I love you as meat loves salt."

    The king, insulted by this homely simile, banishes the youngest daughter and divides his kingdom between the older two, who promptly kick him out on his royal heinie.

    He seeks refuge in the very house where his third daughter is working as a scullery maid. Recognizing her father, the daughter asks the cook to prepare his meal without salt. The king eats a few tasteless mouthfuls, then bursts into tears. "All along," he cries, "it was my youngest daughter who really loved me!"

    The daughter reveals herself and all ends happily (except in "King Lear," where pretty much everybody dies).

    Each of the following five statements is the polar opposite of what most Americans see as loving commitment. But these are "meat loves salt" commitments, as necessary as they are unconventional. Only if you and your beloved can honestly say them to each other is your relationship likely to thrive.

    Want an honest and long lasting relationship? Make sure you and your partner can recite these five statements.

    I can live without you, no problem

    "I can't live," wails the singer, "if living is without you." The emotion that fuels this kind of relationship isn't love; it's desperation. It can feel romantic at first, but over time it invariably fails to meet either partner's needs.

    If this is how you feel, don't start dating. Start therapy. Counseling can teach you how to get your needs met by the only person responsible for them: you. "I can live without you" is an assurance that sets the stage for real love.

    My love for you will definitely change

    Most human beings seem innately averse to change. Once we've established some measure of comfort or stability, we want to nail it in place so that there's no possibility of loss. Unfortunately, this is another promise that is more likely to scuttle a relationship than shore it up.

    The reason is that everything -- and everyone -- is constantly changing. We age, grow, learn, get sick, get well, gain weight, lose weight, find new interests and drop old ones. Many people fear that if their love is free to change, it will vanish. The opposite is true. A love that is allowed to adapt to new circumstances is virtually indestructible.

    You're not everything I need

    I'm a big fan of sexual monogamy, but I'm puzzled by lovers who claim that their romantic partner is the only person they need in their lives or that time together is the only activity necessary for emotional fulfillment. Humans are designed to live in groups, explore ideas, and constantly learn new skills.

    Trying to get all this input from one person is like trying to get a full range of vitamins by eating only ice cream. When a couple believes "We must fulfill all of each other's needs, each becomes exhausted by the effort to be all things to the other and neither can develop fully as an individual.

    Sacrificing all our individual needs doesn't strengthen a relationship. Mutually supporting each other's personal growth does.

    I won't always hold you close

    There's a thin line between a romantic statement like "I love you so much, I want to share my life with you until death do us part" and the lunatic-fringe anthem "I love you so much that if you try to leave me, I'll kill you."

    People who say such things love others the way spiders love flies; they love to capture them, wrap them in immobilizing fetters, and drain nourishment out of them at peckish moments. This is not the kind of love you want.

    The way you can tell real love from spider love is simple: Possessiveness and exploitation involve controlling the loved one, whereas true love is based on setting the beloved free to make his or her own choices.

    You and I aren't one

    Perhaps you are neither a spider nor a fly, but a chameleon who morphs to match the one you love. Or you may date chameleons, choosing partners who conform to your personality. Either way, you're not in a healthy relationship. In fact, you're not in a relationship at all.

    If you're living by the "We are one" ideal, it's high time you found out how terrific love for two can be. Follow your heart in a direction your partner wouldn't go. Dare to explore your differences. Agree to disagree. If you're accustomed to disappearing, this will allow you to see that you can be loved as you really are. If you tend to dominate, you'll find out how interesting it is to love an actual person rather than a human mirror.

    By Martha Beck from "O, The Oprah Magazine," March 2002
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 29, 2008 10:33 AM GMT
    I know there are lots of theories about love and lots of people have weighed in on the subject but I think it's different for a lot of us
    For me it's being sexually and emotionally drawn to a single person to the EXCLUSION of all others icon_razz.gif
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:32 AM GMT
    When, over time, the pleasure exceeds the pain.

    When you both know the differences between the other's wants and needs.

    When you'll take a bullet for him.

    When he has many intangible attributes that you aspire to.

    When there is a feeling for him so strong, that no words, no matter how poetic or profound, will be adequate to describe.

    When you trust him with your life and have no jealousy.
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:44 AM GMT
    I think being "in love" requires that your feelings be reciprocated.icon_rolleyes.gif

    I have a crush now and it's because from the little that I do know so far I like the guy: physically my type, good sense of humor, smart, sweet, kind, genuine...but it will stay in that plane unless it is reciprocated.

    Being "in love" for me means caring a lot about the other person, making space for them in my life, wanting to spend time with them, and getting to know all of the quirks and unique qualities that make them special. Sounds simple but it is not, as the biggie is that feelings reciprocated part...you cannot be in love by yourself, because it's not an individual feeling.
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    Jul 29, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    There have been a lot of good comments above but the two that do it for me in my relationship are these:

    jprichva saidthat it has something to do with caring so much that his pain hurts you, that his joys elate you, that you would put yourself in physical danger without thinking if it would keep him from harm.


    redbull said
    By Martha Beck

    Want an honest and long lasting relationship? Make sure you and your partner can recite these five statements.

    I can live without you, no problem

    My love for you will definitely change

    You're not everything I need

    I won't always hold you close

    You and I aren't one

    By Martha Beck from "O, The Oprah Magazine," March 2002


    Loving has more to do with caring in the present. To be in love, I think requires a certain amount of confidence in the future that you think you will have with the person you are in love with. It is like looking down a very long path through the woods and knowing that you can walk that path together. You have never walked the path before so you do not know the landscape at all. That is why I like what Martha Beck says because the two of you are still very much individuals. One of you might stop along the way to smell the flowers while the other looks at the intricacies of the trees. You really do not need the other person to finish the journey. You only know that you want to continue on the journey together. At the beginning of the journey you are confident of this and as the journey progresses you become surer of yourself and your decision. The feeling that you are in love deepens and matures.
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    Jul 29, 2008 7:53 PM GMT
    to me being in love is when that person walks in the room everyone disappears. You wake up next to that person, look over and say "how did i get so lucky". No matter how bad their jokes are you laugh. No matter how tough the road gets you stick it out to the end. Everytime that person pops into your mind you grin. You fix a romantic dinner JUST BECAUSE. To me thats what In love means.
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    Jul 29, 2008 7:58 PM GMT
    redbull - Thanks for the Martha Beck comment. It puts everything into perspective. WOW!
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Jul 29, 2008 7:58 PM GMT
    I'm not sure it can be defined because it can be different things with different people. It just is what it is when you feel it.
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    Jul 29, 2008 8:08 PM GMT
    Love is....

    acceptance of flaws both in yourself and in your partner


    being stripped to your core and feeling safe in there hands

    unquestionably chasing him around with a bucket while he has food poisoning and emptying his bile into the sink

    seeing situations involving others and imagining you and him doing that in the future

    missing his eyes, and smile and heartbeat and arms

    being pushed out of bed first thing in the morning to make him his bloody coffee and not throwing him out the window!

    going totally stalker crazy and finding his aftershave in a pharmacy and spraying it all over your clothes because he is gone for 10weeksicon_redface.gificon_smile.gif

    Love is love, unattainable if you try too hard, like a tiger, ambushing when you least expect it, and forever as perennial as the grass (ok so i stole that last bit, but i think it fits!)
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    Jul 29, 2008 8:27 PM GMT
    zdrew saidI think JP and I come from about the same place. I think being in love means being able to compromise on what's most challenging for you. For me, loving - I still refuse to say 'in love' - means not just giving up some of my independence, but being okay with giving it up. And as jsttennis said in that other thread, it also has to do with having the ability to lay your vulnerabilities out. I don't readily give up control - of my time, my emotions, everything - so to be able to do that for somebody...maybe that's love, or something like it.

    But really, I dunno. I've never been good at it, so I'm not great at defining it.



    I share zdrew's sentiments here, I'm just not sure!