Love can be confusing. Do we merely love someone or are we “in love” with them, and what do all of these terms mean anyway?

Many of us believe that loving someone means holding them dear, while being in love means passion, excitement, and true understanding of a person’s heart and soul. Being “in love” perhaps signifies a commitment that we wish to make to one person. What will happen, however, when the passion and excitement starts to fade; when we are steeped in the daily stress of living and life? Do we simply move on to the next person to find more passion and more excitement?

If we are to fully commit our lives to our romantic partner, we may want to entertain the notion that there is in fact no difference between loving and being in love. Love, as in all other things, has its ups and downs. A firm decision to face the inevitable challenges together with our partner will allow us to enjoy the rewards of romantic love as we go through life together.

When we find a partner, we initially “talk the talk” and say we love them and will always be there for them, but are we going into this relationship with an honest, open heart?

Often times we have been damaged by an important relationship at some point in our lives that leaves us vowing never to open ourselves to such hurt again. So we put up an isolating wall that does not allow anyone to get close to our deepest emotions. This grand scheme can backfire however, because while we are attempting to keep new pain out, we are also holding old pain in.

Our journey to healing does not have to be traveled alone. When we allow the isolating wall to come down and ask our partner to be part of our healing process, we are learning how to give and receive unconditional love.

If we truly love someone, it should never have strings attached. “Conditional love” is not really love at all – it is someone’s underhanded way of getting you to do what they want. Dangling the carrot of being loved is a control measure that keeps you trying to succeed at something that can never be achieved – receiving true, unconditional love.

Read more: Elaine, John Leadem, Psych Central


LoveLove and relationshipsRelationships

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