Do we really know when we are in love? When does it go from infatuation to love? When do we know?
I’ve always had three categories in my mind when it comes to love: 1) like someone 2) be in love with someone 3) love someone. Those are my categories, not necessarily everyone’s.
And so… I believe we’ve all been many times in stage 1!! I know I have… it can go from small to big infatuation. It can last or be short… doesn’t matter. We just like someone, we feel the desire to get to know them. It can be physical attraction, or more than that… It might involve a conversation or not.
Then stage 2 might start… or not. For me it does take a bit to get to it. It takes time AND a bond that goes deeper than physical attraction. I’ve experienced that twice I believe. I wouldn’t count the “I-got-a-boyfriend-and-I-am-five-years-old” as a real “in love”. When I am in love, I plan on loving later one if all goes well. I give it my all… I want more. I want the relationship status to reflect it. Certainly in my case it never happened. Because I want to say that in my definition of the “in love” stage, reciprocated love is not an obligation. Sadly… And in my two experiences of that stage, well it was not really reciprocated. They got stuck at level 1 to go back into… well level 0 or the friend zone. Not sure. So I think I’ve been in love… and yes it’s a kind of love. It is stronger. The bonds are numerous. There is a real connection for me that seems to appear. Something you cannot exactly define or explain. The little magic of finding someone to care for… But then, it does not mean it goes into stage 3.
For me stage 3 implies that it is reciprocated. Because somehow you can only love someone fully when they love you back. Only then can you give them ALL OF YOU, hopefully, without holding back. Yes, this is all in an ideal world… but I like to think that it is possible. But for that stage, you need to go through the other two “discovery” stages. Especially if before all that there was a friendship. I’ve never experienced this. I only got glimpses of it I believe. Of what it could be. But I was denied that part… If I reflect on that first “in love” experience, it’s a good thing it did not go that way. I can only say that really 10 years later though.
I sure hope though that I will not have to wait 10 more years to see that this second time that I am “in love” was better off NOT ending in stage 3. At the moment, I wish it would… which is my daily battle. To not let my mind go there and hope for that… to refuse it as being a good thing but to see it as an impossible thing instead. A battle… I am in love… with him. I love him. But he does not love me back. And thus yes… stage 2 only.
Only trust a weirdo like me to put love into categories (well romantic love at least…). But I have. And I like it. And others might not agree with it. It doesn’t matter in the end. It’s all about how we feel, what we feel… and how we process it all. I do wonder though if I am really in love at times… back then I was totally immature and acting like a teen. Now it seems mature, but is it? Have I ever be really in love? I think so… but how can one know?
Oh well… does it matter? No. The point now is to let go of the feelings… to make them die. So I can say that I WAS in love… but no more.