15 Key Differences Between Love And Being In Love

Identify the differences & sort your feelings to learn where you stand in your relationship.

Reviewed by LaTonya MeChelle, Love & Relationship Coach LaTonya MeChelle LaTonya MeChelleLove & Relationship Coach facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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We all fall in love with someone and are always surrounded by people we love and connect. But, have you wondered what is the difference between love and being in love? Loving someone and being in love are not entirely the same. Though both sound similar, they are different in terms of emotions.

We all feel the excitement during the start of a relationship. You get that giddy feeling when you see your partner and the rush of emotions you develop each time you think about him because you are in love with that person. When you are in love, there is a delicate and loving feeling towards your partner. The tenderness and deep adoration make you feel enamored. But, loving someone is all about the gradual development of a strong emotional connection towards your partner. You care about him deeply and wish to stand together through good and bad times, ensuring your relationship’s strength and depth.

Are you confused about where you stand now? Are you wondering if you are ’in love’ with your significant other or love him? Here, we have listed the biggest differences between the two situations to help you figure out what kind of connection you have with your partner. Read on.

15 Difference Between Love And Being In Love

1. Ownership Vs. Partnership

Being in love with someone may come with a strong sense of ownership and control over that person. You tend to ignore the individual qualities of your partner and may not feel like giving them their space.

However, loving someone allows you to set the right boundaries with one another and feel more like each other’s equal partners. Since your relationship is fuelled by warmth and trust, you do not feel insecure about limiting each other’s freedom and personal space.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Trying to control your partner may only lead to arguments and separation, as they will feel trapped in the relationship.

2. Temporary Vs. Forever

A young couple in love walking in park in autumn time.
Image: Shutterstock

Being in love with your partner is a temporary phase that you enjoy during your initial courtship days. During tough situations or constant arguments, you may struggle to understand each other’s feelings, leading you to end things. You may also experience fleeting commitment and want to end things at the slightest inconvenience.

On the other hand, when you love your partner, you work together to move past the roadblocks in your relationship. You understand them and always put in the effort to make the relationship last. You and your significant other may also make future plans, signaling that you both want your love to last forever.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Hurdles in relationships are inevitable. But when you love someone, the intense emotions you share become the source of strength that allows you to combat relationship roadblocks easily.

3. Busy Vs. Available

A young couple busy using their smart phones at the restaurant
Image: Shutterstock

Everyone is busy in their lives, and the only way to spare some time for someone you love is by managing your schedule. When you are in love, you may find it hard to make time for your partner. You think just the feeling of love is enough to make the relationship last.

But when you love your partner, you come up with many ways to spend some quality time with them. Since you want to be a big part of their day-to-day life, you will always try to manage your schedule when you love someone.

4. Desire Vs. Priority

It’s okay to accept that, for some couples, sex is the top priority in their relationship. It brings them closer and provides a sense of acceptance and happiness. But, you do not desire a purely sexual relationship when you love someone – maintaining intimacy outside the bedroom is desirable, too. The ardor between you both and the romantic feelings and intimacy fade away after a while, but the desire to build each other up and help one another grow is strong.

Since you deeply care and have a strong affection for them, you will prioritize motivating and appreciating each other over sexual attraction. You grow an admiration and fondness for them for their good qualities and always want the best for them – even if it involves putting their needs above yours. In contrast, you tend to put yourself first when you are just in love with someone, in which case the obsession might be unhealthy.

5. Changes Vs. Acceptances

An accepting couple hugging and looking at the horizon
Image: Shutterstock

When you are in love with your partner, you may not be willing to overlook all of their annoying quirks. While you can still learn to accept your partner or spouse’s flaws with time, your likes and needs matter more than theirs.

To truly love someone means genuinely caring about them. It involves loving the good and the bad within a person. But, you do not necessarily have to accept the bad or negative traits of your partner. If they love you, they will be willing to work on their flaws to some extent, too. That is why it is important to talk about what bothers you and work on these issues to keep your relationship going strong.

If you or your partner find it hard to compromise, you are more likely to be just in love with each other.

6. How They Make You Feel Vs. How You Make Them Feel

Being in love involves focusing more on how your partner makes you feel rather than the other way around. Loving someone, however, involves going out of your way to make your partner’s day special in order to make them happy.

Loving someone is measured by the devotion, work, and effort you put in to make your lover happy, not what they are doing to make you happy. You take care of them like you take care of yourself – or go even beyond! When you love someone, each other’s happiness is what matters more.

7. Attention Vs. Security

When you are in love, everything feels exciting and new. However, your relationship may be lacking a feeling of security that may make you crave their attention. This could be because you do not trust your partner completely yet. However, when you love someone, this craving for attention changes to a sense of security.

Loving someone is a lot more stable, reliable, and secure than being in love. You know you and your partner are both committed to the relationship, so you are not trying to get their attention all the time.

8. Choice Vs. Passion

Being in love with someone happens by choice. You may decide to date someone because of their personality, looks, attitude, qualities, etc. As stated before, once you know their shortcomings, you may be tempted to abandon the relationship. However, you know you love someone when you overlook these factors over time. The only thing that matters is the amount of time you give each other to continue staying in love and to keep the passion afloat.

9. Agreements Vs. Disagreements

A young couple having a disagreement
Image: Shutterstock

When you are a couple, you know that you probably won’t see eye to eye on every issue. But, how you react to the disagreement is the real difference between loving someone and being in love.

When you love your partner or spouse, you don’t have to think about opening your heart to them. You can convey and share whatever you want with your partner and be your true self around them without any second thoughts. However, you should also learn to appreciate your partner’s point of view and make decisions for the well-being of the relationship.

On the downside, if you think that your partner does not respect your thoughts or opinions, you may not love them completely. Holding back how you really feel and what you really think is a major sign that you lack trust in your partner.

10. Rekindling Love

Work pressure, family responsibility, and other chores can dampen your relationship. Therefore, there is always a need to rekindle the spark. When making an effort to do so comes naturally and does not really feel like effort, it is a sign of loving someone.

But if you feel that your partner must always make an effort, you are probably in love. True love should not feel like a competition between the two of you. Whatever effort you put in should be in favor of your relationship and not your egos.

11. Being Together Vs. Going Your Way

When you love your partner, you look forward to spending more time with each other. You make an effort to manage your daily chores and spend the rest of the day watching the movie you both like, listening to good music, or just being intimate.

Naturally, wanting to give each other space once in a while is not only normal but also important. But if you love your partner, you want to be more involved in the romantic relationship and try bonding activities that match both your interests.

On the other hand, if you focus more on being your own person and prefer to live a largely separate life, you may only be in love with them. You may feel like doing activities that only you like without thinking of involving your partner.

12. Steady Feelings Vs. On-And-Off Thoughts

When you love someone, you have constant and consistent feelings for each other. Your feelings do not change based on what your partner says or does. For instance, if you had a bad day or disliked something they said, it does not mean that you start arguing, fighting, or talk about leaving. Rather, you tend to act with patience and kindness towards them – even when you are arguing.

But, being in love is like an emotional rollercoaster. Since it is more energetic and spontaneous, you may feel like you like your partner one moment and dislike them the next. A love that is fuelled only by romantic feelings and infatuation will prevent you from understanding and trusting your partner. So, if you start blaming your partner after a fight or think that they don’t appreciate you, you might only be in love with them.

13. Ups And Downs

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Once the rush that comes with being in love fades away, you may find yourself fighting and blaming each other more often. But, only those who have the power to sail through the storm can survive.

If you and your lover stick to each other through every course of life, you love each other. You are loyal and willing to stand by them no matter what. However, being in love does not guarantee resilience in your relationship, and you or your partner may be more inclined towards leaving when you hit a rough patch.

14. Comparison Vs. Acceptance

Loving couple cuddling while sitting on bed together
Image: Shutterstock

If you ever feel that you could have gotten a better partner due to any reason, you may not love your partner. Comparisons can ruin a relationship.

As stated before, true love feels unconditional. You learn to be okay with your partner’s quirks and flaws over time and avoid comparing them to others. So, if you constantly find yourself comparing your partner to other people, then you are probably just in love.

15. Connection

A deep heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind connection are pivotal in any relationship. If you feel that you and your partner share good chemistry and make each other laugh, it’s a clear sign of loving someone. You know them intimately, and they feel like your other half.

But, if you are just in love, you may not have a deep connection. Perhaps you or your partner overlook each other’s thoughts and don’t offer each other much respect and attention.

Being in love can benefit you in several ways. Find out more about it in the next section.

Benefits Of Being In Love

Research suggests that people in happy and healthy relationships have better blood pressure levels, a stronger immune system, decreased risk of developing mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, and experience less pain (1), (2), (3).

The sense of belongingness that comes with being in love gives you a purpose in life and consequently, a positive approach. Feeling loved by your partner also boosts your self esteem and confidence and communication skills, and improves your satisfaction with life. Hence, being in love can help improve your overall health and well-being.

Infographic: 5 Surefire Signs You Love Your Partner

Love is a complex emotion, and sometimes, you cannot understand your exact feelings for a person. Feelings of love evolve and change over time. You may not feel the initial intense rush of emotions as you start growing on each other. The excitement and euphoria of being in love eventually settle down to compassion, respect, empathy, and a sense of security. That’s when you realize you love them and not just in love with them. The infographic below highlights the 5 subtle but crucial signs you love your partner deeply. Check it out!

5 surefire signs you love your partner (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Loving someone and being in love with someone are two different emotions and can be differentiated based on feelings, desires, and behaviors they may elicit in you. For instance, you may not be able to overlook your partner’s quirks if you are in love with them, but you will accept them wholeheartedly if you love them. Similarly, your feelings for them are constant and consistent when you love someone. Whereas, if you are in love with someone, challenges and arguments might shake your belief in them, and you may contemplate leaving them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you love someone without being in love?

Yes. You may love someone platonically and not be in love with them as you don’t feel attracted towards them.

How do you know you are not in love?

There are many signs that show you are not in love with someone. For instance, you may not enjoy their company anymore or don’t feel the need to communicate with them.

What does it mean when someone loves you but is not in love with you?

It could mean they don’t see you as a romantic partner but care for you nonetheless. Your relationship may be over, but you will have a friend in them, or they aren’t interested in you in a romantic way yet.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many differences between love and being in love; one has to look at these to decide what they are exactly in.
  • Ownership is seen in being in love, and partnership is the sign of love.
  • Being in love is a phase, whereas love has future plans, making an effort, and it lasts forever.
  • Being in love is an emotional rollercoaster, and in love, you may have constant feelings for your partner.
difference between love and in love

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Love and being in love are two different things. Watch this video to know the seven differences between them, and learn more about the complexities of love.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Marital cohesion and ambulatory blood pressure in early hypertension
    https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/12/2/227/246935?login=false
  2. Falling in love is associated with immune system gene regulation
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306453018306516
  3. Viewing Pictures of a Romantic Partner Reduces Experimental Pain: Involvement of Neural Reward Systems
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0013309
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LaTonya MeChelle

LaTonya MeChelleLove & Relationship Coach

LaTonya MeChelle is not your typical love and relationship coach. Her matchmaking skills are unique, and she is the type of life coach that makes you appreciate looking in the mirror. Her coaching techniques are far from traditional but as effective as they come. With over 10 years of experience, her creative mind, love for people, professional expertise, and past...read full bio

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