When we meet someone new and exciting, and our heart flutters at just the thought of them, it may become difficult for us to understand what we feel for them. Because unlike what Hollywood may tell us, love, attraction, lust, and crushes are all different things and their Venn diagrams barely intersect either. But knowing what we feel for the other person is important too – so that we can rationalize our actions accordingly. In this article, we will go through the main things you must look out for when in such a dilemma.
Are you in love with the idea of a person?
We’ve all been there. From the first meeting itself, we begin to attach many ideas with the person in front of us. It doesn’t matter what they actually are like in real life because we are way too content with the perfect and charming personality we have cooked up for them inside our head. If that’s what you are doing, you are simply attracted to that person, and that’s alright. If and when this develops into love, you will be attracted to and drawn towards the person’s real qualities and vulnerabilities. That is when you stop looking across them and look right at who they are, and aren’t and love them anyway.
Love builds you up
Just to be clear, we are not implying that it is your partner’s responsibility to heal you or save you in any way. This point is about how being around the other person makes you feel. When it is love and you are with them, you don’t feel threatened. You know that you can be yourself with no fear of judgment, and you are able to work on your shortcomings with the support of your partner. Attraction, on the other hand, may drive you to change yourself superficially, where the main purpose is to impress them, and not to improve yourself.
Love is not selfless
Yes, you read that right. Love is so not about “losing yourself in them”. Love is about respecting the other person’s individuality and self, just like they respect yours. When we become selfless towards anything in life, we lose the sense of who we are and what is truly best for us. Attraction, because it knows no limits, causes that. And so, the next time you ponder upon this, ask yourself these questions: is there a clear boundary between you two? Do you have separate, functioning, and fulfilling lives outside of each other? The answers will guide you to your realization themselves.
Love makes two a team
When you are in love, you see you and your partner as a team. So when a problem arises, you both sit down, join your resources like time and effort, to come to a valid solution. This is because here, you are able to work towards the welfare of the relationship by putting aside any feelings of ego or resentment. On the other hand, with attraction, you may get caught up in petty fights and arguments, and let the problem get the best of both of you easily.
Love teaches you that it alone is not enough
When you are in true love, you both know full well that is not enough. To make a healthy relationship work, you also need great amounts of dedication, respect, and consideration. All these things go into creating a healthy and loving relationship. If you just have an attraction between you two, you may think that just that feeling will last forever and keep you two together. Obviously, that is a very naive understanding of human relationships. We are complex beings and there goes a lot into making relationships work – and love is just one of the many tools.
It should be known that making sense of our feelings and emotions is very important. It helps us understand ourselves and the situation in a better light. But hey, don’t get so caught up in labeling what you are feeling that you end up not being in the moment! These feelings – whether of love or attraction are wonderful in their own way, so enjoy them fully!