11 February 2007

About Love, Part 1

Practically speaking, what's the difference between being "in love" and loving someone?

The "in love" stage, in my experience, is transitory, ephemeral, fleeting; it seems to be mostly chemicals in the brain, and it's almost always replaced by "just" love, ultimately. It's fun, don't get me wrong, and I hope to be "in love" at least one more time in my life. But I don't have the same romantic need for that "in love" feeling that I did when I was, say, 17.

I think the "in love" stage frees you to overlook the other person's flaws, bonds you more tightly (as does sex), and eases the decision to commit to someone else, even though they may not be "perfect" for you. Just loving someone, on the other hand, leaves you free to notice all of their imperfections. Men, especially, seem to need the "in love" feeling to really let them jump into a relationship with both feet. (But women are not immune -- just look at the recent NASA astronaut debacle for proof.)

When my ex-boyfriend told me (again) (in explaining why he wasn't interested in trying to make things work, given all of the time we've spent together and all of the things we have in common) that he just wasn't "in love" with me, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. We were together for two years; he spent more time with my son than my son's father ever has; knew each other's families; went to the weddings of friends together; my son loved him; I loved him; we genuinely cared about each other and tried to make each other happy. But, for him, it just wasn't working.

I heard him this time. I get it. But I'll never understand.

1 comment:

anish said...

Sometimes even i just dont get people.