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To Love Or To Be In Love

What is the basic difference between loving someone and being in love with the person? Before we can be sure that we have found true love, we need to be sure what these two terminologies mean.

Is it possible to meet someone, connect with the person and love the person's personality, way of life, etc? Truly be comfortable with such a person? Certainly! Most of us know significant others in our lives who fall into this category. At the same time, it is possible to totally connect with a significant other and feel the butterflies every time with this person.

But the latter scenario could very much be a crush or an obsession. How do we know that our feelings don't fall into the latter group? To understand my discourse, we need to understand the various emotions at work in the different scenarios.

Firstly, the crush or obsession: One feels a crush for another person, for no good reason at all. Often, the object of the crush may not even be aware of it. It can be described as an irrational desire and/or admiration for the other person, which is totally uncalled for, or has no rational cause. Usually, this desire is almost purely physical: has to do with physical beauty, carriage, manners, smell, etc of the other person. It is a likeness from a distance, such that one has for someone whom one doesn't even speak to, or in close proximity, with someone whom one just says hello. At best, these feelings are juvenile, immature and usually manifest in the awkward years of a teenager.

The obsession, however, is a more mature form of the crush. While the crush may be teenage in origin, the obsession stems from an advanced stage of the crush, where emotions and thoughts have been nurtured continuously to an inferno. Usually, at the obsessive stage, the obsessive person has plucked up the courage to develop some little relationship with the object of his or her desire without the latter being aware of it. What makes the latter an obsession is that the object of the desire is either unaware of this desire, or doesn't appreciate it.

Now, to the crux: What is the difference between being in love and not being in love? It is the butterflies! When a relationship is still young, and both parties are starry-eyed about each other, they believe they are in love. They feel the butterflies. But true love must be tested, time and again.

Love that tests true to diverse storms and passes the true love tests may not feel the butterflies and starry-eyed-ness of the young hot couple next door, who can't take their eyes or hands off each other. When a relationship which goes through stormy times (this is a must for every relationship) and still endures, it means that the butterflies still persist. The other person still gives you a reason to hold on; still has that something; the fire, the smile, the look in their eyes, the personality, the charm to make you still hold on, despite all the ups and downs. At this level, you know that you love that person truly.

But what about the others that are really sweet and loveable people? Sure, they exist; we definitely do know them. These are people we do love, but not with the same intensity. Yes, we will miss them in our lives, if it comes down to it; yes, we will miss them like we will miss an old friend or colleague or a really dear one. This is the love we have for our family members but may not quite make the grade, when it comes to a life partner. The love you have for someone you want to make your life partner needs to be stronger than filial love, because you want to hang in there, for better or worse, till death do us part.

Understanding these core differences, immediately opens our eye of understanding to know exactly what emotions we feel and where we stand with the various loved ones in our lives.

Knowledge is NOT power; it is only empowering - .The Application of Knowledge IS power.

Christopher Adeyemi Adetosoye is author of A Man's Guide to Finding True Love and A Woman's Guide to Finding True Love, E-books.


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