1. You cannot actually love someone you don’t know. You can feel attracted to someone that you don’t know, but you do not actually love them in a real, intimate, exclusive way until you at least have an idea of who they are.
2. Love is something you create, not an emotion that arises out of thin air. Many people fall in love, but few know how to develop it into something that lasts for this very reason. Attraction arises out of thin air. Love does not.
3. Love is a connection, not an attachment. The emotion you feel immediately when you see someone is what attachment is born of. It is the idea that they can solve all of your problems and give you the life you’ve always dreamed. On the flip side, a genuine connection based on mutual respect and appreciation is what love is born of.
4. The real reasons to love someone are the ones you discover over time. It’s that they’re always there for you, that they make you happy, that they are your everyday partner and most trustworthy confidante; not that they are attractive or have a great job or seem like “the one.” (Those things are great, but are not the thing on which anniversaries are built.)
5. The more you love someone, the more attractive they become. When you’re really in love with someone, you not only begin to think they are more attractive than they are, but you also begin to believe they’re more attractive than you are, too. It’s just a function of evolutionary psychology, but either way, proves that even attraction can be something you develop over time.
6. When you assume that love is just a feeling that just happens, you are always at the whim of it, rather than consciously creating it in your life. If you don’t believe that love is something you can choose to create, you will be thrown around by your fleeting, shifting emotions for the rest of your life. One day, someone will seem perfect for you, and the next, you’ll think you want to leave them, only because you don’t feel the high you think is “love” anymore.
7. You cannot open your heart to someone in one fell swoop. It’s not a matter of whether or not your heart is open or closed, just how often you choose to open it, and to whom. Even if you wear your heart on your sleeve, it takes time to create a connection with someone.
8. Love is emotional compatibility, not sexual compatibility. It’s not what the rom coms would have you believe, but in the relationships that last, you’re best friends more often than you’re lovers. The “swept away” feeling may come and go, but when the foundation is solid enough, it doesn’t really matter either way.