love vs. in love

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** Click here for Episode 171 **

Today’s correspondent, David from Paisley, is a postman who listens to Answer Me This! on his rounds. That’s not relevant to his question; it is just the sort of detail which intrigues us. His question, meanwhile, is the sort which intrigues the world throughout all of time?

Little thing that I have recently been discussing with my girlfriend: what is the difference between being in love and loving someone? I don’t think there is a difference, but she says there is a massive difference! I am confused!

This is a serious matter (especially if they’re arguing about the difference because David’s girlfriend is telling him that she loves him but is not IN love with him and will he please stop calling and stop sending flowers and stop standing outside her bedroom window with a boombox). Therefore, commentariat, mobilise yourselves to instruct David of the difference; or, conversely, to instruct the girlfriend of the non-difference.

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6 Responses to “love vs. in love”

  1. Kenny Mitchell Says:

    It’s a case of reciprocation. You are ‘in love’ with someone who is able to return and contribute to the emotion or relationship. You can ‘love’ anything, including inanimate objects, but you cant really call it being in love (unless there is a chance your cat is going to pledge eternal love for you.)

  2. Chris from Cardiff (Australia) Says:

    It was explained to me once.

    Being IN LOVE with someone is more of a passionate sensual/sexual relationship which involves a lot of snuggling and wooing and the like. However, it often does not last.

    Just LOVING someone refers to a deeper sense of love where you would do anything to help that person, just because you care. It’s more like a give-take emotional relationship.

    In other words:

    IN LOVE = Purely physical attraction
    LOVE = Emotional attachment

  3. Pete Says:

    What if she is in love with him, but doesn’t love him?

  4. Murray Says:

    I think that it implies degrees too. I’m in love with my wife. I love her too. I love my kids. Am I “in love” with them? I find it hard to say no (and, just to clarify, Mr Paedo has not just entered the conversation). I find it much easier to say that I’m not in love with my Mum, Dad or sister, even though I love them, and I love many of my friends, but am not in love with them at all. But maybe it’s just me who feels that way about it. Maybe it’s just hard to deny any reference to the love you feel for your kids. Especially as mine are awesome.*

    *And also drive me insane.

  5. Sally Says:

    There is a huge difference between loving someone and being in love!
    There are so many kinds of love – I love my mum, my flatmate, chocolate brownies etc but I’m not in love with them. Plenty of people love their pet dog but only a select few are in love with them
    Being in love is a different feeling – it starts with thinking about the person a lot and finding them terribly exciting and wanting to spend ALL your time together and develops from that. As relationships go on it develops into something less exciting but more deep and secure, something that you know is there without having to feel all tingly inside every time you look at the person.

  6. Paul Hazell Says:

    Wouldn’t it mainly be a sexual difference? I’ll bang my girlfriend happily but I’ll bang my Grandma with some hesitance

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