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How do you define “being in love”?

snippets of what people shared on campfire.

Oli

Oooo love this question. I feel like I was having this convo with a friend recently and I described the feeling of falling in love/or lust as an intense rush of emotions - triggering highs and lows and insecurities and everything is all colourful and life feels full and colourful but also like you’re literally “falling” through the sky. And then … I feel like you go through a process from that whirlwind into BEING in love which offers a whole load of other emotions that can be intense and passionate but on the whole, it feels safe and soothing. A state of being. And then … I feel like there’s also moments where you fall in and out of love with people, yourself, your partners. It’s not static. But ever flowing.

Imane

Oooh yes I agree about the highs and lows of insecurity. I feel like nothing triggers it more than falling in love. I always defined being in love as being in a place where you're giving AND receiving love. Not something you do from the side, alone. I feel like I never consider it "in love" if it's just me cheering from one side.

John

I used to tie myself in knots in my 20s about whether or not I could or would ever be 'in love' because I believed it meant I would have this certainty in my mind that 'this is definitely and absolutely the person I want to be emotionally and physically monogamous with, and live in the same house as, until I die'. And I never felt that way about someone, so I thought it meant I was never 'in love'. Which looking back was really sad, because I felt very much what I would call 'love' now for those people. Polyamory gave me at least some concepts to better explain and structure my feelings. For me being 'in love' is not so much about that sense of finality and completeness, but a sense towards the person that they are part of my chosen family (love) and that I feel deeply that I want to connect with them physically and as a partner (romance).All this also helped me be way more open with the word 'love'. I feel really confident telling my very close friends I love them

Debs

In my latest relationship, I definitely can identify the moment my brain changed from just "this is a person I'd like to sleep with" to "this is a person I could see myself caring about", but I think the actual shift towards being in love is definitely an ongoing, iterative process. I'm not sure it ever stops either (based on my experience with my nesting partner of 4+ years)

Farina

Falling in love as my "definition " of it has certainly changed over the years. I often used to get "being given attention" as a "They love me" sign but in those instances that weren't the case.For me now, it's deeper than wanting to rip their clothes off all the time, it's a little like Deb mentioned- caring for them and being invested in them and their lives. It's also about wanting to share the good, bad and boring stuff with them, they are your go to, you have silly sayings/your own language and "in-jokes"

Lauren

I think that love evolves and time does play a role as it moves through phases. I think it's also about the relationship style as well as and what you experience and share together, that can have an impact on the depth of love and strength of the bond. I still get surprised when I get those overwhelming woozy love feelings for my partner as each day passes we have more courage to show up as our truer authentic selves.

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