We all tend to use the term “love” loosely. You can say you were in love many times, and your heart was broken numerous times. But, how many times have you truly loved someone? How many times have you put someone else’s happiness before your own? We all had that one person that was special for us and who affected our lives and was different than anyone else. It takes you time to realize that being in love with someone and loving someone are two completely different feelings and concepts. And it takes you even longer to realize and understand these differences.

Someone told me that you are in love with someone because of yourself and that you love someone because of that person. When you are in love, you like how that person makes you feel. When you fall in love, in the beginning, you enjoy the butterflies and the excitement. The feeling of being in love can sometimes make you selfish, possessive, and impulsive. You crave for that person, and he is the only thing you are able to think about. At this point, your ego is fragile and you want to have all of his time and attention. Your expectations of this person and of your relationship are everything but real. You perceive everything as a fairy tale, and you look at everything through pink sunglasses.

Loving someone is different. You are more interested in the way you make this person feel. His well-being is everything to you. You want to see this person grow emotionally and in every other sense. You don’t idealize him—you realize he is far from perfect, you see all of his flaws and you see him as he really is. And you are not fascinated by him, you are well aware of all of his imperfections, but you love him just the way he is. And you wouldn’t change a thing about him, even if you had the chance.

When you are in love, you want to change some things about this person—you want him to fit your standards. You even compare him to other guys, to your ex-boyfriends, to your friends’ boyfriends. But, when you love a person, you know he is meant to be for you. You love all of his flaws and imperfections, because he wouldn’t be the same without them. He is not perfect, but he is perfect for you. You don’t love someone despite his flaws, you love him because of them.

You share everything with the person you love. And you would do anything to see him happy. His pain is your pain. When he is hurt, you are hurt. You know all of this person’s darkest thoughts—you are familiar with all of his demons. And you love him, no matter what. You’ve seen him at his best and at his worst, and nothing can stop you from loving him. No matter what this person does, you are with him in good and bad times. When you truly love someone, there is nothing he can do that would make you stop loving him. You have his back and support him in everything. You push him forward and give him hope. And you believe in him when no one does, even when he stops believing in himself.

Even if you ever stop being in love with this person, you will always love him. He is your best friend, your family. After some years, it is perfectly natural for the passion to fade away and for the butterflies to disappear. And this is usually a breaking point for many couples. This is a moment where many couples distance from each other, see their relationship more as a habit, and eventually break up. If you experienced something similar in the past, what you had was not love. You two were just in love.

Remember, true and sincere love doesn’t give you the feeling of excitement. When you are in love, all of your senses are on max level, and you feel like you are on the top of the world. But, love is totally the opposite feeling. Love makes you feel calm, safe, and secure. Love is what remains after the feeling of being in love fades away.

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