Mirror Mirror...Which is Fairer? 'In Love' Vs 'To Love'...

I shared the good news with a few trusted friends that my dear friend VAN had 'finally' grown to love the one man (the right man) I thought loved her unconditionally and they are making plans to get married soon.

Naturally, one of these friends who really hasn't met her but tapped into my excitement wanted to know what finally made my sometimes-hard-headed friend fall-in-love with the guy. I nicely corrected him "Van didn't fall in love...She actually GREW to love him"

Of course we get into a conversation about the difference and my position about love. I can't stop reiterating that LOVE is a CHOICE not a feeling...no matter how many people choose to disagree without clearly analysing it. So I remember reading an article a year ago that shared my exact sentiment. So as part of my 'THROW-BACK THuRSDAY' I thought to share excerpts of it

"The Real Difference between 'Love' and 'In Love'- BY QUENTIN MCCALL

{For years R&B songs, movies, and just the general opinions of people have taught us that being “in love” was greater than simply “loving” someone. I, personally, never felt this way because I grew up in church and my Granny taught me better.

Every time I heard someone say, “I love him, but I am not in love with him,” my skin would crawl and I would feel this heat build in my throat. It caused such an emotional reaction from me… simply because it’s a 'ridiculous' statement. 

The essence of love, from a relationship or marriage standpoint, is that real unconditional love grows over time and develops from going through the storms together. When God sent His son (Jesus) to restore fellowship between himself and man, He did so with unconditional love in mind and not “in love.” If God was just “in love” with us, Jesus would have never been given to us for the salvation of our souls. There is a difference between love and in love and it’s not what most people think.

What exactly does being “in love” mean?

A simple definition of being “in love” would be a euphoric experience based on emotion, with two people falling 'aimlessly' for someone they are yet to know well. Falling “in love” is almost like being infatuated on an obsessive level. Its not loving at all. We do not fall “in love,” We actually GROW to love. Real love grows over time and it is not based on an emotion, but a CHOICE.

So, if someone believes love is a choice, it’s impossible to believe being “in love” means more than “loving” someone. The entire concept of being “in love” is based on emotion and being on ‘Cloud 9’ when we first meet someone we really like or are attracted to.

You see, every relationship will pass through the “in love” phase in the beginning and stay in that phase as long as the couple fail to seek true growth in their relationship. Typically, though, the “in love” phase will last between 2-24 months (and even longer for secret love affairs). In the “in love” stage of love, people will do and say anything to keep who they assume they love happy, but the actions are purely based on 'emotions'. Being in love is a temporary place in the early stages of the relationship, but to grow to deeper levels of bonding we have to move out of it at some point and GROW into “love.”

Here are some things you need to remember about being “in love”:

• “In love” is a euphoric experience.
• “In love” is an illusion and counterfeit of real love.
• “In love” is not better than “loving”… It’s, actually, the lowest form of love because it’s not a conscious choice to love.
• “In love” is an emotional high (much like taking drugs or drinking).
• “In love” takes over you. Thus, you will often “fall” for the wrong person.
• “In love” takes no effort. Real love requires maximum effort.
• “In love” is usually associated with someone trying to heal from wounds or terminate aloneness.
• “In love” keeps you blind and will limit you in getting to know someone.
• “In love” means you are carried away.
• “In love” means you are emotionally obsessed.
• “In love” means you have an illusion that your mate or the relationship is perfect.
• “In love” deceives you in believing that warm, tingly feeling on the inside of you is the real thing called “love.”

Dr. Dorothy Tennov, a well-known psychologist, did a study on “in love” and determined that the 'average' length of this 'emotional obsession' is about 24 months, a little longer for those in delusion. If you truly desire real love, you eventually have to come down from the clouds of being “in(side) love” and allow your feet to touch the ground. Once your feet touch ground, you can join hands and walk as one towards “growing” to love. The “in love” experience does not focus on true 'growth and relationship development'. Its goal is to create emotional feelings based on an illusion and not the bad or “real” parts of the person. “In love” comes crashing down once the emotion is removed, which means you never “really” loved… you just were 'in(side) love'. Once the “in love” phase has run its course, the REALITY of the relationship or marriage will be revealed.

Now, let’s talk about real and authentic love that you 'grow' into and not 'fall' into based on emotion. Now, for just a minute, think about all the bad relationship mistakes you have made based on emotional decision making. How many people have you had sex with no emotion during this “in love” stage? How many people have you entered into a relationship with when you shouldn’t have, based on being “in love”? If we are being honest and accountable, most of us have. This is why the “in love” stage is just a place we pass through on our way to “real” unconditional love.

So, what is love? In its simplest form, love is a pure 'choice' we make to value and devote ourselves to someone (regardless of their faults or imperfections) without our emotions blinding or misleading us. When two people love one another, they seek to grow to create something much greater than themselves. Love will have emotion just like “in love,” but there is a difference. When you truly love someone, your emotions are not based on any “obsession” or illusion. Real love doesn’t cause you to lose your mind to the point that you become irresponsible in your making decisions. Real love requires effort, discipline, hard work, and a need for a couple to hold hands and walk as one.

Our basic human need is not in falling in(side) love, but in authentically being loved by another; and real love grows out of a choice. We should desire love from someone who chooses to love us unconditionally, not from someone who is just high on emotion and claiming to love us. The emotional need for love must be met if love is going to be healthy and based on pure choice. Love works and it is a very powerful motivator. We were “all” born with a need for love. No relationship is successful without real, unconditional love and God must be the source of that love. This type of love is not discovered in the “in(side) love” stage and, until people move out of that stage, their love will be forever challenged by unhealthy emotional decision making.

P.S: To 'FALL' means to slip. Yes! An accident. To 'GROW' means to develop. Love should never be an accident. It should be a pure choice to develop. So like I told my friend Kingsley today...People grow to love. And for someone, something or feelings to grow. You need to feed it, nurture it and care for it. And remember, GROWTH doesn't happen overnight. It takes time.

Congrats to Vanessa for seeking wisdom and growing to love the right man. His continuous patience and devotion finally won you over. May your love blossom...and same for those who desire genuine love.

NOTE: If You Like Today's Post, Don't Forget To Share It With Those You Love (Or Even Like A Lot).

Have a Terrific Throw-Back Thursday Lovelies. Kisses!

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