There is a difference between love and being in love. I can love my friend, my parents, my blog… But being IN LOVE with someone has a different meaning.
Stanley Burrell and I have been friends for more than 10 years. We have a great relationship… we rarely disagree, we love the same music, we like doing the same things, I think. Our friendship is good. Its constant.
Our relationship is ideal in many, many ways… except that I've spent the majority of our friendship forcing falling in love. Stan isn't passionate about me. He loves me. He enjoys spending time with me, but he isn't IN LOVE with me. At what point do I stop? At what point do I say that both of us deserve more than what were giving each other? Real love is missing from the relationship, and its an important component of what I want.
I’ll start with some definitions (I realize that there are many, many definitions of love – but I chose descriptions that I relate to).
Love – To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with.
Limerance – 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.
Stanley certainly likes being around me, he finds me attractive, but he lacks the intense romantic desire for me. I've always known that something wasn’t right, but so many things are perfect that I can't really justify leaving the friendship.
Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love - “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?
At some point, I am going to figure all of this out. At some point, I am going to feel at ease with my decision.
“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
*** I know I said in my first blog that I wouldn't feel bad naming names, but in the interest of feeling good about myself tonight, I've chosen to change his name. ***