How Is Being ‘In Love’ With Someone Different From ‘Loving Someone’

‘Being in love with someone’ and ‘loving someone’….. a very interesting twist on words that logically seem the same thing but perhaps mean a world apart. This is maybe why it’s been so much written upon and discussed endlessly with such absorption and panache.
Being in love with someone is said to be an all encompassing feeling; an emotion that swirls your insides around and makes you wide eyed, cupid struck idiot, but of course in a very pink and frolicking way. It is identical to having been lived in a dark box all your life and suddenly discovering a tiny slit hidden away behind the cardboard flaps that brings to you dazzling ray of light. That is what is looking at a person and loosing the earth beneath your feet is like. You know this is it. This is your love and you can’t help but falling in it. And when that love is requited, you are but the happiest person on that very same earth you are trying to find your ground.
Even though it sounds the most exciting thing to happen to anyone I can hardly agree with the widely accepted belief that it is what is the happiest and the purest form of love.
To me falling in love is just what it sounds… Falling. Not in a bad critical way but a very observant critical way indeed it is but similar to falling. The same way you twist your toe to trip and fall from a flight of stairs. It is not planned. It is not in your hands. And it can’t be helped. It just happens. Neither your toe took your permission before hitting the railing nor did the your foot seek your advice before twisting to make you tumble down the stairs. It is so sudden and unexpected you aren’t even prepared for it. Same goes with falling in love. It catches you completely unaware.
While on the other hand, loving someone is a constant and informed choice. You choose to love someone for what they are. You are not caught unguarded. It’s a box full of shiny coloured stones cumulated over a course of time with all the tiny, trivial, some pleasing, some annoying and still others totally weird things about them that make them who or what they are. These are what make you want to love them despite and respite of everything about them. Loving someone is concomitant learning procedure that you adapt to and cultivate in yourself.
Loving someone doesn’t give you the feeling you had been living in a dark box all this while. It is in fact like turning up the volume of your favourite song to enjoy it on a ride back home. Or it could also be taking a walk one step closer each time to the ice cream parlour down the road. And that evening you decided to have an ice cream need not be the one you were gloomy over something and wanted lift to your mood with, but it could also be the evening you wanted to treat yourself just because you finished your project an hour earlier. Loving someone is like that. You don’t need someone to rescue you from a ditch but it’s about finding someone worth loving, someone you think you can share your joys and sorrows with and choosing to celebrate it with them. It is not a fleeting pang of excitement or happiness but a vacation at a sandy beach with clear water that you never wish to end.
Loving someone requires your sincere efforts. It is not what you accidentally bump into but what you carefully choose to give a big, huge papa bear hug to. It surpasses and defies all the lists, expectation and ideals you may have bookmarked on your search engine or catalogued in your personal diary. That someone you love makes you to fumble, experiment and devise your own ways to love them. It is not about getting starry eyed at somebody’s fabulous life but to genuinely take an interest in even their mundane everyday work-stories even if none of them makes any sense to you.
It is about knowing they would text or call you as soon as they find some time or knowing exactly the thing which would cheer them up when they are in low spirits. It is about loving them even when you are pissed off by them and instead of thinking of something as terrible as breaking up with them or as little as shouting at them, all you want is to lift them up gently and packing them up in their bed so you would have some peaceful time alone.
So, being in love with someone and loving someone are too different to be same. But then, they aren’t exclusive of each other either.
While being in love with someone is falling in the abyss without warning, it is also easy to climb out of it using a ladder or a rope. Contrary to it, loving someone can’t be traced back. It can’t be undone. It can’t be unlearned. The former is an inevitable affair while the latter is a habitual response. Being in love thus has two roads ahead of it and it’s your choice which one to take… the fall-out-of-love-and-dump on the left or the happily-ever-after on the right. Taking the road on the right is prerequisite to loving some. Without being in love thus you can neither move on to understand someone’s world nor learn to love their nothingness.
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