“Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.” – Zelda Fitzgerald
There is a difference between love and being in love. I can love my friend, my sister, my cat, my blog… But being IN LOVE with someone has a different meaning.
Johnny Seitan and I dated for 7 years. We had a great relationship… we rarely fought, we loved the same music, we liked doing the same things, we traveled well together, our love life was good. Our relationship was ideal in many, many ways… except that Johnny wasn’t passionate about me. He loved me. He enjoyed spending time with me, but he wasn’t IN LOVE with me. It took me a long time to realize that’s what was missing from the relationship, and that it was a really important component of what I wanted.
I’ll start with some definitions (I realize that there are many, many definitions of love – but I chose descriptions that I related to).
Love – To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with.
Limerence – An involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person.
So the difference between love and being in love is limerence… the intense romantic desire.
Johnny Seitan certainly liked being around me, he found me attractive, but he was lacking the intense romantic desire for me. I knew that something wasn’t right, but so many things were perfect that I couldn’t really justify leaving the relationship for a long time. Eventually I did break things off – still without knowing exactly why – which was painful for both Johnny and I. It took me a long time to figure out what had happened.
In researching this blog topic, I came across Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love and found it particularly interesting.
“In the triangular theory of love, love is characterized by three elements: intimacy, passion and commitment. Each of these elements can be present in a relationship, producing the following combinations:”
I really like how this theory describes various types of love… And it immediately brings several questions to mind. What kind of relationship are you in? What kind of relationship is acceptable for you? What do you want? What is missing? What can you improve?
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” Flavia Weedn