I love you, but I am not in love with you. This 11-word combination hits harder than a torpedo. If you have been on the receiving end of it, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
You probably thought that you were done searching and had found someone who was just as into you as you were into them. All the online list-type articles on how to tell whether he or she is in love with you only supported your theories and gut feelings. Then you had this bomb dropped on you.
Well, honey, first of all, you need to know that you did nothing wrong. And neither did the other person.
Confused? Not to worry!
Here is more about the difference between loving and being in love and how to know where you stand with someone you are interested in.
What is love?
Before you jump on his or her neck, calling them a liar for claiming to love you, you need to understand what love means. Knowing this will show you that it is possible to love a person and not be in love with them. Note that there is a difference between love and crush.
Love can be described in many different ways. It has been branded everything from warm fuzzies feelings to hard evidence actions. Below is a four-part code of respect that essentially combines all these definitions for easier understanding.
Yes, love is a warm fuzzy feeling. The emotional connection makes you happy to see this person and spend time with them. It makes you long to be around them even when you just spent time together.
And guess what, this is not limited just to romantic settings. You probably feel the same about your friends and your family.
A foundation of friendship
A good friendship basis also defines love. That means, all expectations aside, you do care for each other as friends. You share interests and love to hang out together. You goof off together, laugh together, cry together, and are pillars for one another.
That is love.
On the contrary, if you notice signs that she doesn’t care about you, then don’t expect love from her.
More like family
Another essential defining feature of love is the feeling of a familial connection. In a romantic setting, you and your partner may want to start a family together. In more platonic settings, these people feel as close to you as your actual family members are. So being in that girl’s friend zone might not be the worst thing. At least you know they love you.
The desire to serve and help out
Finally, true love means wanting the best for each other. It is more of an active feeling where you not only want it for them but are willing to do whatever it takes to participate. It could be anything from financial contribution to helping out with physical tasks.
Is there a difference between loving and being in love?
Now we are getting to the good stuff. What is the difference between loving someone and being in love with them? The answer is simple: physical attraction and sexual connection.
When someone is in love with you, they exhibit the four codes of love already highlighted above. However, what sets being in love apart from just love is that there is also an intense sexual attraction.
So when he or she dropped the eleven-word bomb, they meant that they do not see or want you as a sexual partner. However, this does not mean that they do not love and care for you. Got it?
The way to fall in love all over again
By now, you should understand the simple difference between love and being in love. It might also interest you to know that you can be in love with someone and end up falling out of love with them.
That happens when either the sexual connection or one of the other four summarized definitions of love are compromised. The good news is that even if they say “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” there is a lot that you can do to salvage the relationship!
Here are seven tips that should come in handy when it comes to falling in love all over again.
Let go of the denial and accept that there is a problem
Accepting that things are not as magical as they were is not something easy to take. However, trying to fix a problem that you cannot see is even harder. So, the first step to restarting the flame you once had should always be accepting that you lost it in the first place. That way, you can learn from your mistakes and build something even stronger.
Open up about your insecurities and expectations as a couple
Insecurities have a way of taking over the psyche and poisoning our minds. Our relationships suffer the consequences as we, directly and indirectly, lash out. It stands to reason then that if you wish to fall in love afresh, then the insecurities you had have to be addressed.
Be generous and kind to one another
We tend to fall in love with people largely because of how they treat us. Therefore, if you want to rekindle that flame, then you need to be conscious about how you treat each other. Go out of your way to be kind to her. Make deliberate efforts to be generous with everything you have, from financial resources to time and affection.
Be patient as sometimes love heals itself
If you were already in love, then you know that it took time to get to that magical point. You should know better than anyone else how long it takes to build something that beautiful. So don’t rush it!
Take your time getting to know each other better and learning about your individual selves so that you do not end up making the same mistakes again.
Focus on meaningful gestures instead of empty grand gestures
Your partner knows you well enough to see right through your actions. So he or she will know when you are doing something because you think it is what you should do and not because it is what you want to.
Instead of trying to recreate every Romcom romantic climax, go for something simple yet sentimental. These meaningful gestures show that you are truly invested and that you want to make your partner feel special.
Reinforce good behavior and positive habits that your partner shows
Love is not only about giving and taking but also about the appreciation of the same. If your partner goes out of their way to do something nice for you, then show your appreciation sincerely. This is a great way to encourage positive habits in the relationship that will make them more likely to stick.
Let go of the past as it will slow you down
You may have been hurt in the past, whether it was constant disappointment or gross betrayal. If you choose to give your relationship another chance and work on falling back in love, then you need to let it all go. Love can only grow on a clean slate. And holding on to toxic thoughts and feelings from the past will only choke it.
Knowing when to fold them
Finally, it is crucial to know that not all love can be salvaged. Sometimes, the words “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” are a death sentence for your relationship, and you might have to move on.
If all your efforts to revive the love and magic seem to have failed, it is time to pack up and let go. It will hurt for a while, but I promise you that you will get over it.