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How do you know someone is in love with you...

(42 Posts)
lovedandlost Sun 24-Feb-19 23:59:37

...as opposed to loving you?

I can't sleep and as usual my mind has gone wandering to the past.

Thinking back over all my relationships, including my marriage, I would say with conviction that none of the men were in love with me. Loved me, yes; in lust, yes; in love with the idea of being in love, yes. But actually truly, madly, deeply in love? No.

I have done a great deal of soul searching over the years, especially the last one (since joining MN and learning a lot from others), as to why I'm so crap at relationships and choose abusive in some way men. As a result of this self discovery I'm staying single.

I do not think I will ever find that kind of love. I'm not even sure it exists. I'm not talking about fairytale Hollywood type romance but the kind of solid love that lasts despite life's challenges. I have only ever known abusive relationships so I have no concept of normal really.

I'm probably not explaining well thanks to the painkillers muddling my head but hopefully you get my drift.

Aibu to think that being in love is different to love? But can anyone explain how it is different and how you know that someone is in love with you rather than loves you?

MellowMelly Mon 25-Feb-19 00:10:24

My only experience of a healthy love was my first relationship. I just knew he was in love with me. It was all the little things he did and the way he looked at me. Everything he did showed me that he cared and respected me. That’s how I knew he was ‘in love’ with me. He would also tell me every night before we went to sleep. Just lovely 😊

VanGoghsDog Mon 25-Feb-19 00:13:01

Aibu to think that being in love is different to love?

Yes, that is the bullshit, right there.

There are many different types of love and different ways to display it but it's important to remember that love is something you do, not something you feel.

elasticfantastic Mon 25-Feb-19 00:17:19

Listen to the mamas and papas song Getting Better Every Day... I'm lucky that DH and I have that love 🥰

keepforgettingmyusername Mon 25-Feb-19 00:20:20

'why I'm so crap at relationships and choose abusive in some way men'

Because you believe in daft Disney ideas like being in love.

Lovingbenidorm Mon 25-Feb-19 00:21:56

elasticfantastic that’s our song too!

elasticfantastic Mon 25-Feb-19 00:30:49

@Lovingbenidorm gringrin

OP I know without doubt that my DH would put me first in any situation , and never do anything that he knew would hurt me. It sounds weird if you've not been lucky enough to find it yet, but when you find it, you just know. There's no question. Some people never find it, I really don't mean to sound smug because I know how lucky I am every single day.

mokapot Mon 25-Feb-19 01:25:14

I don’t think I’ve found it either. My ex husband loved me but wasn’t in love with me. He would revise for exams and I’d bring him a cuppa with a biccie. In 12 years I never got a cup of coffee. He loved me and maybe took me for granted but wasn’t in love with me....I was in love with him but felt my life with or without him was the same.

So I think love is what you do, not what others do for you..🤷🏽‍♀️

BrizzleMint Mon 25-Feb-19 01:38:25

And love is also what you don't do.

Likethewind321 Mon 25-Feb-19 01:49:38

I'm interested in this too.

In my mind there is lust, which is something very different, and then there is love which is basically to my mind 'caring very very very much'.

I don't think it's necessarily liking, because people say they can love somebody but not like them. So that's why I think it is a deep profound caring.

I don't know if others would agree with that interpretation

Likethewind321 Mon 25-Feb-19 01:51:09

... and so I judge if somebody loves me by the things the actions and words that show how much they care, over the long term.

Lightofday Mon 25-Feb-19 01:56:29

I agree the idea of 'in love' is fairytale stuff not real life. Most of us will never find anything remotely close to that. Heck I'd settle for liking someone who likes me back, plus chemistry, plus loyalty and integrity...and if we can spend years together without annoying the crap out of one another, brilliant. And those five things together are damn near impossible to find, without complicating it further with ideals of a Disney-esk romance.

NewUserNamePostedBefore Mon 25-Feb-19 05:51:16

I agree; I’ve even had my first “love” tell me (at the end of the relationship) that he next actually was “in love” with me. Consequently, I’ve found it hard to fall “in love”. I’ve said the words, with no real meaning behind it and realise it’s said as a means of achieving a specific objective - security/stability/children.
I find it sad but I think we are all searching for that great big love and it doesn’t exist. Attraction/lust/attachment exist ....but love is just oxytocin which doesn’t hang around forever.

NewUserNamePostedBefore Mon 25-Feb-19 05:51:56

*never actually was in love with me (why can’t mumsnet let us edit comments??)

Kneehigim Mon 25-Feb-19 05:59:37

My first love. He utterly adored me. Until we discovered that well, I couldn't live in his country and he couldn't move to mine. I didn't like the culture and he had a family business to run and eventually own. The love was just so pure. He broke my heart and I am not sure I've ever loved in the same way again.
He looked after me like I was a princess. Nothing was too much and he would surprise me constantly with things I never expected. We had an intellectual bond and put the world to rights with our discussions most days.
His culture however was deeply chauvinistic and I come from a culture where women are pretty much equal if not 'the boss'.
They say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. That breakup nearly killed me though. Literally.

lovedandlost Mon 25-Feb-19 10:47:56

Thanks for the comments.
Personally I've been in love with one person and have never felt the sabe about anyone else. It was an unconditional love. I loved him so much even though he didn't love me. Others that have regularly shown love didn't stand the test of adversity so I didn't class that as love in the end.

peachgreen Mon 25-Feb-19 10:52:42

I agree with @elasticfantastic. I just know, and knew instantly, and knew he would feel the same. I've never doubted his love for me for a second, not even through adversity. I consider it the greatest blessing of my life to have found this kind of love.

That doesn't mean he's perfect, or I'm perfect, or it's always easy. But it's right and it's real.

NorthEndGal Mon 25-Feb-19 10:58:20

I know he is in love with me, for lots of reasons.
I have seen him sacrifice, go to extremes , just to get to talk to me (he is in the Navy and can be at sea with little contact for months).
He goes out of his way to be thoughtful and considerate to me, he remembers all the little details of things I say, because he really listens.
He is so good to me, when I am in the worst of my depression and PTSD symptoms, he just takes it all. He doesn't hold grudges, he helps me get help, because he wants me to hurt less.
He is proud of me when I meet new challenges and goals, and has a stronger belief in me than I have.
He has been my rock for 20 plus years

Mookatron Mon 25-Feb-19 11:09:22

I'm not sure what the difference between loving someone and being 'in love' with someone is, except as a clichéd way to excuse affairs. I think finding and participating in a solid relationship has a lot to do with what your own parents' relationship was like though. DH and I have a good relationship but I know he is actually better than I am at believing in the relationship - by which I mean he is able to get through tiny rows and problems without thinking they are going to end the relationship. His parents had a solid 30 Yr marriage until his mum died. Mine had a stormy one. It's all about what you're modelled.

I don't think that means kids of divorced couples will never have a successful relationship though.

millythepink Mon 25-Feb-19 11:11:55

DH and I fell in love within a few days of meeting and we're still very much in love nearly thirty years later. To quote Jane Austen "he pierces my soul" and I know he feels the same about me. There's a certain look in his eyes and tone of voice that is reserved only for me, and people have noticed how my face lights up when he walks in the room. I think we're incredibly lucky to have found each other because what we have is rare.

JRMisOdious Mon 25-Feb-19 11:14:00

They don’t care how much you spend on their engagement ring 😉

higgyhog Mon 25-Feb-19 11:23:04

I thought I knew what love was until I came across someone who I really believe was a narcissist. I really enjoyed his company, but not the "relationship" so much. For several years he told me and sent emails saying he didn't want a life without me in it, that he loved me with a small "L" , that I was special, etc. etc. All this told me that he had strong feelings but couldn't let them take hold. I never said I loved him because I didn't, but he was my closest friend and there was an emotional tie that was not the usual feeling of love.

he met someone else, lied about her for 3 years, she gatecrashed our goodbye meeting and he told me they loved each other. He also sobbed down the phone that he only loved his wife and no one else. He said he had never loved me. I was left totally confused. i do know he only loves himself, but I'm still recovering from the shock of it all and the trauma of the meeting when she gloated over "winning the prize" I've had 8 weeks of counselling now and although I feel better in general terms I will never trust anyone again to be honest about their feelings.

BeanTownNancy Mon 25-Feb-19 11:36:45

Love can change over time as well. When my husband and I were just a family of 2, I would say we had that deeply passionate and romantic "in love" feeling about each other, and words and actions towards each other. Now we have a son (and another on the way) and I still love him, but it's more of a secure partnership kind of love because neither of us has the energy or headspace at the moment for the kind of passion we had before - sometimes we will, when we get some time alone, but usually we just plod along and then I'll suddenly be hit by a punch-to-the-gut realisation that I am still in love with him.

lovedandlost Mon 25-Feb-19 23:48:05

@BeanTownNancy that's very true and so lovely that you have that.
Some lovely examples on here but also evidence that lots of people don't believe in the big L and therefore settle for ok.
Personally I'll never settle again. Finding someone that would "put up with me" gave me 12 years of married hell (6 of those trying to divorce the bastard) and he's still making my life hell at every opportunity. I'm NC with him to minimise the damage he can do. And NC with most of my family for making me grow up to believe I was unlovable, needy, awkward and just too much in general yet never enough. Love makes you vulnerable. I'm not keen.

theonetowalkinthesun Tue 26-Feb-19 00:17:26

I strongly believe and always have that there is a difference between 'love' and 'in love'.
'Love' is where you truly care about them and think about them as being one of the people you count as family. 'In love' is that but more - 'in love' is when you not only care about and consider them family, but where you truly, completely believe that they are the person you are meant to be with forever. But if you break up or widowed, then of course you can be 'in love' again- you can meet a new person who you truly, completely believe you are meant to spend your life with this new person.
So after 'loving' a person, you could after some time realise that you are also 'in love' with them.

So with my last DP, I was happy and I loved him (truly cared for him) but I was never in love in him. It was when I realised that after having been together a significant amount, I was never going to feel in love with him (i.e. never completely and truly believe him to be the person I was meant to be with forever), I soon ended the relationship. He was somebody I COULD have married and COULD have had kids with and been okay for a while, but eventually growing to only tolerating each other at best. So I had to end things as i felt there was no potential in a relationship where I knew I was never going to be 'in love'.

My current relationship, I felt love and then i felt it - I fell in love. That feeling of 'you are the person I am completely meant to be with'.
That's my two cents

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