15 Differences Between Love And Being in Love: Cracking the Code

Discover the main difference between love and being in love. Delve into the depths of these emotions and learn what sets them apart in our comprehensive guide.

Written by Aastha Pahadia , Certified Relationship Coach
Updated on Feb 05, 2024 | 05:07 PM IST | 279.6K
Differences Between Love And Being in Love
Differences Between Love And Being in Love

There may have been a situation where you must’ve pondered the difference between love and being in love. It's not as straightforward as you might think. Falling in love with someone is one thing, but loving them deeply is another. While they may sound identical at first, there is a difference in the range of emotions.

Loving someone is all about developing a deep emotional attachment with them. It's a feeling that grows over time as you connect and share experiences with your partner. Being in love, on the other hand, is that sudden rush of emotions and excitement that comes with the early stages of a relationship. It's that fluttery feeling in your stomach that makes you feel like you're on top of the world.

When you're in love, you feel a sense of adoration and tenderness towards your partner. You're enamored by their every move and can't help but smile at the mere thought of them. However, loving someone is about standing by them through thick and thin. It's about building a strong emotional connection and weathering the storms of life together. According to Theresa E. DiDonato, an expert social psychologist and professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland, "Romantic love is more involved, encompassing emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. It's also not something that generally happens instantly, but rather, it usually tends to emerge over time."


So, if you're feeling confused about whether you love someone or are simply in love with them, don't worry. We've listed some of the key differences between the two situations to help you figure out where you stand. Keep reading to find out!

15 Core Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Loving someone vs. being in love with them may seem like two sides of the same coin, but they're actually very different from each other. Here are 15 ways in which the two differ:

1. Fleeting Vs Long-lasting 


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Falling in love with your partner is often a fleeting experience, cherished primarily during the initial stages of courtship. When faced with challenges or frequent disagreements, you may find it challenging to empathize with each other's emotions, potentially leading to the decision to part ways.

On the contrary, when you truly love your partner, you engage in a collaborative effort to overcome the obstacles that may arise in your relationship. You not only understand their perspective but also invest unwavering dedication to ensure the relationship's longevity. Together, you and your significant other may even chart out plans for the future, a clear testament to your mutual desire for long-lasting love.

Obstacles are an inherent part of any long-term relationship's journey. However, when genuine love exists, the intense passion and emotions you both share serve as a source of resilience, empowering you to overcome these challenges with ease.

2. Possession Vs Partnership


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Falling head over heels in love can give you a sense of ownership and make you dominant towards your partner. Sometimes, you might forget their unique traits and overlook their need for personal space.

Yet, true love can create a balance where you both set healthy boundaries and regard each other as equals. In this safe and trusting atmosphere, you won't fear losing each other or being confined in the relationship.

Forcing your will on your partner only builds resentment and division, making it harder to keep the relationship intact.

3. Desire Vs Priority

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

It's perfectly fine to acknowledge that, for some couples, sexual intimacy holds the highest place in their relationship. It draws them closer, fostering feelings of happiness and acceptance. However, when you truly love someone, your desires extend beyond mere physical intimacy; nurturing emotional intimacy is equally valuable. The initial passion and romantic feeling may wane with time, but the yearning to support and uplift one another remains always.


Because your affection for them runs deep, your focus shifts towards motivating and appreciating each other more than solely relying on sexual attraction. You cultivate admiration and fondness for their admirable qualities and always strive for their well-being, even if it means prioritizing their needs above your own. On the other hand, when you're merely in love with someone, self-centeredness often prevails.

4. Engaged Vs Available 

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Our daily lives can leave us feeling consumed with responsibilities and little time to spare, but making time for the ones we love is vital. 

When you’re in love, you may find it difficult to make time for your significant other. It can be easy to assume that feelings alone will maintain a healthy relationship. However, genuine love calls for a constant effort to create opportunities to spend quality time together. 

If you truly care for your significant other, finding ways to be present in their life becomes a priority. It's about actively adjusting your schedule to show up for them when it counts. 

5. How You’re Loved Vs How You Love


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

When you love someone, you give without expectation of receiving in return. It's about putting your partner's happiness before your own and working hard to make their day special. Their happiness becomes your happiness and their joy is all that matters.

Being in love vs. loving someone, on the other hand, is thinking about how your partner cares for you and the happiness they bring into your life.

6. Differences Vs Acceptance

When you're in love with someone, it might be challenging to ignore all their quirks that annoy you. While over time, you might learn to embrace your partner's imperfections, your own preferences and needs hold more importance compared to theirs.

However, loving someone involves caring for them wholeheartedly, and embracing both their positive and negative aspects. But this doesn't necessarily mean you must unquestionably accept their negative traits. If they love you in return, they should be willing to address their flaws to some extent. This emphasizes the importance of open communication about your concerns and working together to strengthen your relationship.

If both you and your partner struggle with compromise, it could indicate that you're simply in love with each other.


7. Insecurity Vs Security 

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

The thrill of being in love is indescribable. Everything seems brighter and happier when you're head over heels for someone. However, sometimes, amidst all the butterflies in your stomach, there's a niggling sense of insecurity. Perhaps you're not completely confident in your partner, and this is what makes you yearn for their undivided attention. 

But here's the thing: when you love someone, this insecurity changes into a sense of security. It's not just about emotions; it's about commitment and trust. You know your partner is equally devoted to you, so you don't need to fight for their attention all the time. This sense of security is what makes your relationship more profound and dependable than a fleeting infatuation.

8. Disagreements Vs Agreements


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

In any relationship, it's natural to encounter disagreements. However, how you handle these moments defines the difference between love and being in love. 

When you genuinely love your partner or spouse, you share your thoughts and emotions effortlessly. You can be your authentic self around them without hesitation. Simultaneously, it's important to value your partner's perspective and prioritize decisions that nurture the relationship's well-being.

Conversely, if you feel that your partner doesn't respect your thoughts or opinions, your love may be incomplete. Suppressing your true feelings and thoughts often indicates a lack of trust in the relationship.

9. Compulsion Vs Choice

Being in love is a conscious choice. It begins when you decide to date someone based on their personality, appearance, nature, or qualities. As time goes on, you may discover their imperfections, tempting you to reconsider the relationship. However, when you really love someone you overlook these flaws as time goes by. Ultimately, it's the time invested in nurturing the relationship that matters most, sustaining both love and passion.

10. Effort Vs Effortless


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

The weight of work obligations, familial duties, and the countless tasks that demand our attention can certainly cause your love to flicker. That's why it's essential to ignite the flame of passion every so often. When it happens effortlessly, without any sense of obligation, it's a clear sign you both love each other.

But, if you're constantly waiting for your partner to make the first move, it might be a sign that your love is more of a one-way street. Real love should never be a competition where each partner vies for control or power. Any extra effort made should be in the interest of fostering a healthier, more stable partnership, rather than simply inflating one's own ego.


11. Instability Vs Stability 


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

When you have love for someone, it's an unchanging, steadfast bond between the two of you. Nothing they do or say will alter the connection you both share. Even if one of you is having a bad day or disagrees over something, you approach the situation with empathy and respect instead of immediately arguing or breaking down. 

But being in love is exhilarating and exciting, like a bumpy ride with twists and turns. You may feel overwhelmed with affection for your partner one moment and unsure about your feelings the next. Love that solely stems from passion and feelings of infatuation will hinder your ability to comprehend and rely on your partner. If you find yourself blaming your partner for misunderstandings or questioning their commitment to the relationship, you might just be in love with them.

12. Time Alone Vs Time Together


Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Your heart skips a beat at the thought of spending more time with the person you love. The mundane daily chores no longer feel like a burden when you know that at the end of it, you will get to share some moments with the love of your life. Watching a movie you both adore, swaying to the rhythm of good music, or just indulging in some intimate moments becomes the highlight of your day.

Of course, wanting some time to pursue individual interests is perfectly normal in any healthy relationship. But when you truly love someone, you crave more. You want to explore new ways of bonding and deepen your connection. You yearn for activities that bring out the best in both of you.

On the other hand, if your priority is to remain your own person and lead an independent life, it might mean that you are only in love with them, not necessarily ready for a deep commitment. You might prefer to indulge in activities that are solely your interests, without much thought for involving your partner.

13. Comparing Vs Accepting

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

Have you ever thought that your partner could be better than they are for whatever reason? It's possible that you may just be in love with your partner if this thought frequently occurs. Comparisons can take a toll on any relationship and potentially cause it to crumble.


Genuine love, on the other hand, feels boundless and free of conditions. Over time, you grow to accept and embrace your partner's unique quirks and imperfections without drawing comparisons to others. Thus, if you catch yourself continuously comparing your partner to someone else, it's likely that your feelings are merely a semblance of what love is.

14. Fragility Vs Resilience 

Every relationship experiences its highs and lows. When the initial euphoria of love diminishes, conflicts and accusations may become more frequent. Yet, it's those who possess the strength to weather these storms that can endure.

If you and your partner remain steadfast in your commitment to life's challenges, your love is genuine. It signifies loyalty and a readiness to support one another unconditionally. Nevertheless, being in love doesn't automatically ensure the resilience of your relationship, and either you or your partner might be tempted to walk away during difficult times.

15. Superficial Vs Deep 

Differences Between Love And Being in Love

A deep connection of both heart and mind is an absolute must in every relationship. The laughter shared and the great chemistry experienced with your partner is a clear indication of love. With this type of love comes a deep knowledge and understanding of your partner, making them feel like they are an extension of yourself. 

However, if your relationship is merely built on love alone, it is possible that a true connection may be missing. Your thoughts and feelings may go unnoticed, without receiving the respect and attention they deserve. 


The difference between love and being in love can be subtle but significant. While love is an enduring feeling of deep affection and care for someone, being in love is an intense and thrilling experience that's characterized by passion and excitement. Love can be a slow-burning flame that grows stronger over time while being in love often fades with time or can be disrupted by obstacles and challenges. It's important to remember that while being in love can be an exhilarating experience, it's not the only way to experience true love. Whether it's a long-term partnership or a fleeting crush, love takes many forms and can be equally as powerful in all its variations.


ALSO READ: 11 Love vs. Lust Differences to Recognize Where Your Relationship Stands


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About The Author
Aastha Pahadia
Aastha Pahadia
Certified Relationship Coach

Aastha is a certified Relationship coach and she strives to help those who seek expert advice on relationships.



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