Learning What Love Was Changed My Perspective On Being 'In Love'

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I told him the issue was that it didn't feel like we were in love anymore.

"Anymore?" he responded promptly.

When he said it, it took a few moments to completely sink in.

It felt like such a low-blow because right before that I had asked him if he ever had been in love with anybody at all and he said "yes." I met him in 2011, so I have a pretty good database of who he has been with and where he has been, but I guess I wasn't too on par with how he felt.

Him never being in love with me hurt but instantly made a lot of things make sense. It was as if he was finally telling me what everyone else around me had always said. "Girl, he doesn't love you, you deserve more."

Is there really a difference though? Between loving someone and being in love with them? Is there truly a separate level of importance between the two?

It really felt like there was in that moment for me, but feelings are not facts.

He was present physically and made attempts to be available emotionally as much as he could. He brought me flowers and told me I was beautiful. We were intimate often and connected deeply during the process. He was for once, not entertaining other women - or so I thought (but that's another story.) We both seemingly enjoyed one another's company and looked forward to spending time together. Aren't these some of the key identifiers in what someone would deem "being in love"?

Meanwhile, here I was not feeling in love because I was still harboring emotions from discrepancies in the past, which impacted my trust in the stability of it all. Then, here you have him coming in, claiming he had good times with me, which formed the feeling of love, but because things weren't constant butterflies and zero arguments, we never were "in love."

I'm toying around with the idea that not being in love with someone anymore but still claiming to love them is a cop-out. It's a way for anyone to give up because it's not easy anymore. Let's also be honest, the easy way out was not something foreign to this man at all.

Who cannot relate to the overwhelming feeling of obsession that comes along with having a new bae? Where I see this becoming problematic is when we continue giving love all of these different definitions for different stages. We imply that once it's no longer fun, it's somehow not even worth it anymore. Or in my case, it isn't love at all.

In true f-ckboy fashion, he attempted to retract his statement a thousand different ways until he realized the damage was already done.

Have all of us singles really never met or been with the person we were supposed to be with "forever," or do we all just abandon ship when things aren't as easy going as they once were?

How do we determine what is worth working on with any given person? Some of the things that my girlfriends go through with their partners, I side-eye pretty often, thinking that I wouldn't be able to stay through it. But are these the people who really have it all figured out?

In all fairness, there are obviously many things that quantify the ending of a partnership - for instance, physical or emotional abuse. It's just now sitting here as someone starting over for the hundredth time, I do wonder about a few people and whether or not I was completely rational in breaking it off with them.

Even the man standing in front of me telling me he was never happy enough to feel "in love," I analyzed a little differently. The reason being, I don't think there is a difference between being in love and loving someone. I think the word "love" never meant anything at all if it chooses to leave during a fluttering between high and low. And that's my problem with the "I'm in love with you" narrative. In love is fleeting, while I believe love stands the test of time. Regardless of whether or not you are next to it, on top of it, or inside of it - real love doesn't stop.

It is constant and without conditions.

What love can be is one-sided. And although I also did not feel "in love" with him, I knew I had once before. His uncertainty was my wake-up call and while the verdict is in and still remains that somebody is gonna get this love, they are also going to reciprocate it.

Most importantly, they are going to meet my love where it is at, follow it wherever it may go, and put in the work necessary to maintain or regain that "sprung" feeling because love will always be present.

It wouldn't hurt if his beard connected too.

How do you feel about being in love versus being loved? Is the former more important than the latter? Why? Share with us below.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com

Featured image by Getty Images

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