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What's the difference between loving someone and being in love with somebody?

(15 Posts)
iMemoo Sat 24-Sep-11 19:50:39

and can you make a relationship work if you still love your partner but are not in love with them?

hairylights Sat 24-Sep-11 21:12:44

Hmmm. This a hard one.

Personally I think you'd know the difference.

I think being in love gives you a certain amount of compassion (and passion!) for them.

I don't think a relationship can work with someone you aren't in love with.

cadelaide Sat 24-Sep-11 21:15:02

It's just a word, this love thing, it has many, many different meanings.

"in love" is generally taken to mean all that heart-fluttery-not-eating-thinking-about-them-all-the-time stuff, and you can definitely make a relationship work without that.

clam Sat 24-Sep-11 22:41:46

Well, on this board, a DP who tells their partner they love them but are not "in love" is usually perceived as shagging someone else.

hairylights Sat 24-Sep-11 23:22:18

What clam said.

I disagree with cadelaide. I am in love with dp but it isn't aboutthe heart fluttering stuff alone.

If it's been said to you then I doubt te relationship is on good ground.

Fwiw I fell out if "in love" with my ex, I still loved him, wasn't shagging any one else, but couldn't stay with him.

sayithowitis Sat 24-Sep-11 23:49:46

DH and I have been together almost 35 years, married nearly 30. I still get that flutter in, my tummy when he catches my eye from across the room. I still blush when he smiles and winks at me. I love him deeply, cannot imagine life without him. And do not want to imagine that day when one of us is left alone. I want to spend the rest of our lives together and for those lives to be as long as possible.

I honestly don't know when the 'in love' bit ends and the I love him bit begins, because for me, they are so tightly bound together, that they might as well be one and the same.

DontGoCurly Sun 25-Sep-11 14:17:04

Loving someone is platonic love.

Being in love with someone is sexual love.

TheOriginalFAB Sun 25-Sep-11 14:20:58

I think it can work if the person who is no longer in love with their partner, wants to be again at some point.

I love my husband and have done for nearly 16 years but I am still madly in love with him as well.

Loving someone - you care about them, want them to be happy, don't want to hurt them, etc.

In love with someone - they are your whole world, you want to have sex with them, fancy them, look forward to seeing them, etc.

marzipananimal Sun 25-Sep-11 18:12:01

I think loving someone is more an act of the will - you decide that you will act lovingly towards them no matter what (pretty necessary in a marriage imo)
Being in love is the emotional side which tends to come and go. I think though if you are really committed to loving someone the emotions tend to follow along so in a long relationship/marriage you probably won't feel in love all the time but just because you don't for a bit, it doesn't mean you never can again.

crazyhead Sun 25-Sep-11 18:59:56

I think both terms mean different things to different people (though marzipananimal's description is good).

I also think it is probably the wrong question to ask if you want to find out whether you can stay with a person (for a start you can be 'in love' with someone who treats you like dirt, and also some people crave the fluttery type of love more than others). Better to work out if you have a meaningful connection that is really worth something to you.

Conflugenglugen Sun 25-Sep-11 19:29:03

Oh, sayithowitis - how wonderful to still feel that!

peachyicecream Sun 25-Sep-11 20:27:51

There is a book by the marital therapist Andrew Marshall on this very subject called 'I love you, but I'm not in love with you.' Look it's very good.

Vi8 Sun 25-Sep-11 20:39:04

and you can love someone but be in love with someone else...

sternface Sun 25-Sep-11 21:30:58

Not sure the Op will be back to this, because her other thread suggests this wasn't a rhetorical question unfortunately. Sounds like this is something her H has said to her - and as always, there's an OW involved sad

Helltotheno Sun 25-Sep-11 21:34:27

I think 'love' is the most overrated and overused word in the English language. When it comes to love, the way someone acts is the important thing and, to trot out that old cliche, 'actions speak louder than words'...

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