“Loving a man isn’t going to bed with him, but waking up with him in the morning to face this miserable, wonderful world…”–Henry Fonda, Yours Mine & Ours
As a mere observer of the outside world, I have noticed that many women suffer greatly from the inability to tell the difference between love and sex. Although this is not a guarded secret or even an earth shaking revelation, I believe that we have this problem because of the irreverent way that women are raised in society to believe that love and sex are mutually tied up with some romantic bow set around a gold band with diamonds. Of course, men do not have this issue. Love and sex are born in two different worlds and satisfy two totally different needs. These are only stated facts.
However, there is an ugly unstated fact hidden in the hearts of many women. It is a secret that we struggle with over and over before either meeting a torturous defeat in pain.
It seems to me that most women do not seem to be able to tell the difference between “love” and being “in love.” In fact, we seem to struggle with the ideas of love and “in love” so much more than the acknowledgement of love vs. sex. Perhaps, in many cases, women struggle so desperately to be “knight on a white horse riding a charging dark horse with rose petals scattered all around” in love that we make ourselves unhappy with or without a partner. As if the regular old heart rendering love were not enough for us anymore.
Many times in my almost 20 years of marriage, I have either been asked “how do you know you are in love?” or “how do you stay in love?” I must really look like the village idiot at that point. As a grammarian, I can tell you that the only difference between being “in love” and loving someone is the matter of a simple preposition. As a woman and a human being, the difference is as large as the Grand Canyon.
First, I am not the type of person who tosses the word “love” out carelessly. Sometimes, to others, that makes me seem very cold or distant. But, I can actually count the number of people that I truly love with four fingers and two thumbs. I trust these people because they have seen in the “best of time and the worst of times.” Oddly, they love me back anyway. For this, I am completely grateful and blessed.
But…being “in love” is a very different thing. Most women would define being “in love” as that sick, butterfly feeling that causes your stomach to rollover and your body to heat up like a bad case of the flu when you see a man. Ummm….nope. That is a sexual response I am afraid and there is a temporary cure for it. If we base the feeling of being “in love” on our attraction to another person, then we will, without doubt, loose both the attraction and ‘That Lovin Feeling.’ Instead of wrapping up all of our feelings of love based on fairy tale romances or movie stars who take pretty pictures next to their wife of the moment, we have to look deeper to find the reasons you are “in love” with someone and vow to never loose that which is most dear to you.
Without seeming too academic, think about the word “in” within the phrase “in love.” It means you are engulfed, surrounds, and submerged by the things about a person that you really love. And, if you stop for a moment to consider the things about a person that you really love….and want to hold onto for the long term….it won’t be romantic dinners at quaint restaurants on anniversaries. It will be the time when he did something silly to make friends with your pet. Or, the time when he made your mother go to dinner so she would not be alone (and you would not worry!). Or, when he brought you coffee while you worked to finish something at the last minute.
It could be the way he smiles….or his voice sounds on the phone when he calls just to check on your day….or the way his eyes sparkle when he sees you.
My most recent “in love” moment: As a night owl, I often go to sleep after The Marine. The last thing I do every night is stroke his arm and Thank God for him. A few nights ago, I reached over to touch is cheek instead…and he smiled so tenderly….it touched my heart. Not the usual sexy smile that I know so well, but the smile of a peaceful 10 year old boy lost happily in his dream.
Remember: “Life is not the amount of breaths you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away.” And, so is being “in love.” ~~Dee
PS….starting a new feature this week! A Sexy weekly poll (top right corner)….join in the fun and vote!