I agree with the statement that loving someone is different from being “in love” with them. Being “in love” with someone is an intoxicating feeling, which veils eyes and changes perceptions. Lovers cannot perceive the world and the object of their affection adequately. One might say that infatuation is aimed at the image that a person creates of himself/ herself.

Loving Someone Is Different from Being “in Love” with Them

When there is an object to which one can try this romantic image, infatuation appears. The created image is attached to the lover. When the features of the real human look through the shadowy veil of the ideal image being in love can disappear as quickly as it began. Unlike being in love, love is a mature, holistic and multifaceted feeling. The object of love is accepted the way he/ she is. Love is the daily work, no matter how strange it may sound. This work is aimed at the acceptance and understanding of the person. A visible difference between love and infatuation is especially seen among young couples. Usually, spouses, between which there is only infatuation, file for divorce rather quickly as they are unable to withstand the everyday troubles and the shortcomings of the partner, which suddenly became obvious.

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How to distinguish love from being in love?

  • What attracts one in another person? Being in love deprives one of the possibilities to see the shortcomings of the partner whether they are inner or external. Infatuation dictates different rules.
  • What qualities of a loved one do you like? If to ask a lover this question, he/ she could hardly call two or three features of the partner. Unlike a person who is in love, a loving person can describe the features of his/ her beloved one, which attract him/ her in detail.
  • How it all began? Being in love comes quickly, while love matures and manifests its presence slowly.
  • “He” and “I” or “we”? People who are in love have one feature, namely they perceive themselves and their partner separately. It is reflected in a conversation where the words “I”, “he”, “she” are used. A person who loves does not make such a separation, since he/ she sees their couple as a whole and uses the word “I”, “he”, “she”.
  • Quarrels or the acceptance of the partner as he/ she is? Lovers often have quarrels, weep and then make peace. In love, everything is different as the feelings are more stable. There are no sharp ups and downs. People who love each other try to avoid quarrels by understanding each other and looking for compromises.
  • Test by a separation. It is said that separation kills being in love, but makes love stronger. Distance and time nullify any being in love, while they make love grow stronger.
    I agree with Bonny Albo (2012), who claims that being in love can be seen as one of the stages of the development of a loving relationship between people. Passion gives a way to a quiet and faithful love, in which respect, understanding and honest reign.

Self-Love is Necessary before We can Love Someone Else

I fully agree with the statement that “self-love is necessary before we can love someone else”. I do think that any person is happy when he/ she is loved, appreciated, and respected by other people. The energy of love is the real power, which is under the law of attraction. In order to be loved by others, a person needs to be filled with the energy of love to himself/ herself. He/ she should be a kind of magnet. To fill oneself with this energy, one must love himself/ herself. Tthe famous phrase from the Bible states, ”Love your neighbor as yourself ”. The main thing in this phrase is to love your neighbor. It is said about love to oneself as something obvious. Love to oneself is natural for human beings. Indeed, a person is born with a love of oneself. Did you see how babies smile and express happiness? This is a manifestation of love. Children love themselves as well as their bodies. However, in adulthood, this source of love can hardly flow, hence it is difficult for many people to understand what the feeling of loving oneself is. One cannot truly love other people, work or nature if he/ she has “nothing” to love by, i.e. if he/ she lacks the energy of love. Love is like living water in the well: to give to drink other people, one first needs to fill his/ her own well. Therefore, to have the ability to love others, one must first fill himself/ herself with love, i.e. to love himself/ herself. People will love us only when we start loving ourselves. Certainly, it does not mean to be selfish or arrogant. It means to appreciate, respect, admire, and trust oneself.

Moreover, a person is required not to criticize or humiliate himself/ herself. Even if a person makes mistake, he/ she first should consider them as a lesson and not to blame himself/ herself for them. A person who loves himself/ herself is capable of loving others, as he/ she knows what love is and what it can do. Such a person is able to give to others his/ her love, tenderness, kindness, and devotion. Loving oneself means to be able to love others. A person, whose heart is full of self-love, is able to give a part of this love to those who need it or deserve it.

You always like Someone You Love

I think that people always like those whom they love. Some people think that love is affection and it is not associated with passion, because passion is not love. Other people believe that love is above all passions. There are as many opinions as there are people. What about sympathy? In my opinion, love involves sympathy. Moreover, it is sympathy, which becomes the cause of love.

Why is this happening? When we meet a person regardless of whether the meeting takes place, we begin to evaluate him/ her. We estimate not only his/ her appearance, clothing, style of conversation and behavior. We are also try to understand his/ her soul, mind and heart, that is, his/ her inner “stuffing”. What happens when we realize that the person fits our ideas of a good man? We begin to like him/ her. The sympathy to this person appears. Sympathy is an attraction to a certain person. The further communication with that person can either disappoint us in him/ her and cause antipathy as opposed to sympathy, or convince us in the correctness of our initial evaluation.

As practice shows, sympathy causes the start of a serious relationship that grows into love. People do not notice how the person, to whom they have sympathy, becomes very important for them and they do not want to lose him/ her. Sympathy as a psychological attraction is not a prerequisite that the relationship between people grow into love. They can stay at the level of friendship. Nevertheless, I believe that most people who have their beloved ones will admit that it was sympathy, which caused love between them. This is not surprising. How one can love a person, if he/ she does not feel sympathy for the partner, who is not interesting as a person.

Jealousy Shows that a Loving Relationship Has Depth

From my point of view, jealousy shows that a loving relationship has depth. Jealousy is usually considered as an irrational, extremely painful and annoying psychological feeling inherent in all people without exception. As proposed by an Indian mystic Osho (n.d.), “jealousy is one of the most prevalent areas of psychological ignorance about yourself, about others and more particularly, about relationship”. Probably everyone knows at least one sad story where the husband was jealous of his wife (or vice versa), making claims to his second half, and then the family fell apart. Indeed, the jealousy of a husband or a wife might lead to the destruction of the family. There are several types of jealousy: moderate, severe, and mad jealousy. The researchers believe that the cause of jealousy may be psychological problems, such as lack of confidence and the presence of various psychological complexes. Jealousy is caused by the fear of losing a loved one who can find a more beautiful, smarter or richer partner. Thus, jealousy is often seen (especially by psychologists) as an unhealthy psychological state. In addition, strong and insane jealousy can lead to tragic consequences, including the death of one of the partners. This is the reason that jealousy is seen as a very negative phenomenon that should be avoided. As a German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (2012) said, “He whom the flame of jealousy encompasses, will at last, like the scorpion, turn the poisoned sting against himself”. I agree with this opinion, as the extremes of jealousy are destructive for both partners. However, what about moderate jealousy, which does not appear in the manic pursuit of a partner, regular claims or the application of physical violence?

I believe that it not only shows that a loving relationship has depth, but also plays a useful role in them. Firstly, moderate jealousy is not the result of psychological problems, and, therefore, it cannot be called a disease, which needs to be treated. Secondly, it has a positive meaning, as it strengthens a loving relationship, making it deeper and stronger. Moderate jealousy has a positive value as a way to maintain the interest of both spouses to each other, their desire to enjoy each other and attract each other in various aspects, including sexual. Jealousy is able to make people strive to become better companions to their partners. Therefore, it can include both physical and psychological development and the improvement of one of the partners.

Secrets are Okay to have Even in a Loving Relationship

I believe that there should be no secrets in a loving relationship. The relationship of two people who love each other should be built on mutual trust and honesty. Love suggests that people are honest with each other and have no secrets. Lies and secrets are destructive for a loving relationship, especially when it comes to a family. The presence of secrets in a loving relationship may lead to the fact that people will be alienated from each other and become strangers to each other. As a result, they will lose their affection and love for each other. Their relationship will cease to exist, as the partners will part. For some people, it may seem that it is easy to have different secrets and mysteries, but in fact, it is not. The longer a person is hidden behind his/ her past, afraid or ashamed of it, the longer both of them and his/ her family have many problems. No matter how a person tries to turn away from his/ her problems or forget what happened to him/ her, they will catch up with him/ her and play a trick on him/ her at the very moment when he/ she does not expect it.

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Personally, I prefer to make my own mistakes and not to repeat other people’s unconscious ones. The courage to look into the eyes of those family secrets that prevent one to live is the first step stop being afraid of them in the future. This is a step toward a new and happy family life. The less there are mysteries and secrets between family members, the healthier their relationships are. In a healthy family, healthy and happy children are born and grow up, which in turn is good for the society in which people live. In the end, each person is the creator of his/ her own life and only he/ she can decide what it will be look like. I know only one thing: by getting rid of family secrets, one makes his/ her life much easier.

Loving Someone Involves Accepting Risk

Some argue that love assumes the acceptance of risk. I think that this statement has a sense. It is important to mention that love is tender. Love is devotion and affection. Furthermore, love is a situation when one gives his/ her life in the hands of another person. It happens because the strong feelings to the beloved, for example, devotion and the awareness of impossibility of living without a loved one, determine a desire to belong entirely to the beloved one. When we love someone, our intuition tells us that we have to deal with the risk.

There are the following types of risk:

  • The risk to remain “not being loved in return” (Bob Marley), when a loved one rejects one’s feelings for him/her.
  • The risk of being betrayed, when, after some time it becomes known that the second half has a relationship with another person. This risk is always associated with a very serious fear, the outward manifestation of which is jealousy, as many believe.
  • The risk of being disappointed in the lover. Many people know the situation when a loved one who always seemed to be gentle, kind, or cheerful, becomes completely different and shows negative qualities and behavior.
  • The risk of being completely dissolved in a loved one, losing all the desire and aspiration to take care of oneself. This type of risk is also particularly dangerous, because it can lead to a complete degradation of the individual who has submitted him/herself to his/her partner.

True love can help to get rid of all these risks and fears. Mutual love is a mutual trust and loyalty. For this reason, one who bares his/ her soul to the person, whom he/ she loves and by whom he/ she is loved by, should not be afraid of risk. The only risk, which needs to be feared, is the loss of a loved one due to his/ her death. Death is not subject to us and, unfortunately, no one can escape this kind of risk.

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