I found this out the hard way, as most people do. We throw “I love you” out constantly. Shit, I probably said it to my bagel this morning before I ate it for breakfast. However, when it really matters, we put a lot of pressure on the word love. It is a complicated word that carries a lot of heavy meanings when used in certain contexts. There is a difference though, a monumental one, between loving someone and being in love with them.
I started dating my now ex boyfriend very quickly and even more quickly we ended up being long distance, almost immediately after meeting and starting to date. The I Love You’s came very fast too. He was so nice and it seemed out of the world how we came together, making our relationship seem too good to be true. And I did love him. He was amazing and caring and thoughtful; all of the qualities that evoke the feeling of love for someone.
However, after a couple months of being apart besides a couple random weeks of seeing each other, I realized this wasn’t what I thought it was. I loved him and I had no doubt about that, but I was not in any way in love with him. His kindness and pure, genuine personality immediately conjured feelings of love, especially after my last boyfriend rivals Satan for his title.
However, I wasn’t in love. I wasn’t passionately missing him and dying to be in his arms. I didn’t want to fall asleep next to him every night, but rather wanted to simply talk to him and be around his amazingly positive presence.
Sometimes we get so caught up in something we think it’s what we need and what we want that we trick ourselves into thinking we’re in love when in reality it’s just not there.
There’s nothing wrong with that either, but there can be issues when you have trouble distinguishing the two. This difference between these feelings is imperative, it is make or break in a relationships, usually ending in the making of a relationship or breaking someone’s heart.
Saying I love you to your significant other is already a big step, usually involving some thinking and contemplating. Next time, think about it one more time and make sure you are in love with them, not that you just love them as a person, and save them the pain that I could have saved the one person who didn’t deserve it.