Love and being in love are among the purest of human emotions. To love someone unconditionally is an indescribable experience. Love is often described as infinite, beautiful, wonderful, positive or amazing. A person may love others in different ways. For example, the love a parent has for their children is indescribable and unconditional. Love for other family members may be much of the same feelings. There is also the love we have for our friends, who may begin to feel like family the closer we become to them. There is also romantic love. The kind of love that takes your breath away, makes your stomach feel like it's going to fall right out of your body, and makes you do things you never thought were possible.
How Does a Person Fall in Love?
There is no clear-cut way to describe how a person falls in love. Many times, people describe is as having 'just happened'. It is usually something beyond our control and often we do not get to choose the people we fall in love with. Being in love with someone is unique to the individual and varies among ages groups. Young love, for instance, is often passionate and short-lived. Many adults may often say that they feel like a teenager again when they meet someone and begin to fall in love with them.
There are few things that often foster a person falling in love:
- Being in close proximity
- Attraction to a person
- Feeling a deep connection
- Being intimate
- Having similar interests
Feelings of love may include happiness, exhilaration, excitement, joy, anticipation, nervousness, comfort and completeness. However, love may be painful at times. It may also include feelings of anger, frustration, jealousy, sadness, or fear. If a relationship does not end up the way one person may hope it does, it may be incredibly devastating. Although it is important to remember that all relationships have ups and downs. Couples may fight, clash, struggle or argue with each other. Many couples who are in love, however, often believe that the good times they have with a person outweigh the bad, especially if they have a strong healthy relationship.
"Love" vs. "In Love"
It is possible to feel love for many different people. Love for family members, such as your mother, father, sister, brother, aunts or uncles is often unreserved. It is a given, often it is automatic. Loving your friends is somewhat similar to familial love. A person may care for, admire, and protect their friends. It is still a strong love, but it is different from being 'in love' with someone.
The main difference between loving someone and being in love is that being in love with someone means you feel romantically for them. When you feel romantically toward someone, you may get butterflies when they are around or you hear from them or you may find yourself thinking about them constantly. Emotions are unpredictable and being in love with someone may leave you feeling out of control and at a loss for words. One of the best things a person can do when they are in love is to simply let go and enjoy the experience.
Saying "I Love You"
At some point in a relationship, one or both partners may feel the urge to say 'I love you'. There is no time frame for when it is appropriate to say those three little words. A person may be afraid their partner might not say it back or feel the same way. These situations can be hard to navigate. Partners may be afraid of saying the words too soon, or not at the right moment. An important thing to remember is that love does not come with a rule book. If it feels right, say it. If a partner does not reciprocate, it may be time to evaluate where the relationship is going and to figure out if you are on the same page as your partner. People fall in love at different speeds. Even if a person is in fact in love with someone, they still may not feel ready to say 'I love you'. They may decide to show their love in others ways. While some people value actually saying the words 'I love you', others may value doing things to show their partner they love them. These other things may include writing notes, delivering flowers, running an errand, repairing something; any small thing that they believe will make their partner's life a little easier.
When it comes to family and friends, saying I love you can be an entirely different concept. Family members may say they love one another on a daily basis, at the end of phones calls or just once in a while. Each of these are normal and vary between individuals. Friends may not say they love one another, even if they do, because they may just assume their friends know they care for and love them. Friends often express their love through actions, not words. Spending time together, trying new things with them, opening up to them may all be signals that indicate love in friendships. It is important to remember that you can never tell a family member or friend that you love them enough. Tell your loved ones how you feel, and often.
What About Sex?
Sex does not have to be a part of a relationship if a person is not ready for it to be. The best way to deal with the issue of sex is to be open about it with your partner. Communication about your feelings and what you want from a relationship is a great place to start and will help partners learn their values about sex and intimacy. If physical intimacy is an important aspect of a relationship to you, be sure to communicate this to your partner. Letting them know that you value intimacy will ensure that the needs of both partners are met. It is important to remember that physical intimacy does not have to equal sex. Partners may cuddle, kiss, or engage in other forms of sexual behaviors if they feel comfortable doing so.
If a relationship is going to include sex, it is important to talk to your partner about using some form of birth control to prevent a possible unwanted pregnancy or STI's. While pregnancy is only an issue for heterosexual couples, it is still important for LGBT couples to talk about barrier methods of contraception that will reduce a person's risk of contracting STI's.
When one partner wants to have sex and the other doesn’t, it may be difficult to compromise. Caring about a partner includes respecting their decision to have sex or not. If one partner is not ready, it is important for the other partner to respect that decision and communicate other ways both partners needs may be met.
Famous Quotes About Love
"Better to have lost and loved than never to have loved at all." – Ernest Hemingway
"Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses." – Lao Tzu
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." – Aristotle
"There is no remedy for love, but to love more." – Henry David Thoreau
"The heart was made to be broken." – Oscar Wilde
"The laws of gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." – Albert Einstein
"Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence." – Vincent Van Gogh
"Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." – Mark Twain
"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." – Sophocles
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." – Dalai Lama
Last Updated 1 June 2012.