I'd wager that a significant amount of relationships fail because those who are a part of them are unable to distinguish between falling in love and actually loving, aka, being in a relationship.
If we all just better understood the difference between the two, we'd save ourselves from a whole lot of heartbreak – as well as emotional stress and self-imposed delusions.
If you don't understand the difference between falling in love and being in a relationship – or even if you think you do – keep on reading:
Falling in love introduces you to love – building a relationship teaches you to love.
Falling in love is just step one – it's an accident.
It's the very beginning of a journey – if you manage to make it to the next phase, of course.
Falling in love is little more than a set of intoxicating emotions; it isn't real love. It is, however, what makes us eager to develop real love for an individual.
No one needs to be taught how to fall in love – it happens almost as if of its own accord. We do, however, all need to learn how to love. There is a big difference – one that most people overlook entirely.
Loving someone goes way beyond that initial spark that sets your soul ablaze; it takes time, patience, care and a basketful of other positive qualities in order to build a relationship that will last.
Building a great relationship isn't easy, which is why most people end up giving up. What you need to understand is that, like any other worthwhile pursuit or venture, learning to love properly comes with its difficulties and inevitable failures.
You're not going to love properly your first time trying. It may not be what you've been taught or what you want to hear, but you're going to have to practice.
Falling in love is emotion-driven – building a relationship is purpose-driven.
Man oh man did I wish I understood this about a decade ago. Hell, even half a decade ago would have made an enormous difference in my life.
If there is one single thing that you take from this article, then let it be this: There is a difference between falling in love and loving.
Falling in love is all emotion, nothing else. Literally nothing else at all. I know what Disney told you. I know what you've read in romantic novels and what you most likely read all over the Internet, but it's all bullsh*t.
Anything that sounds like it's perfect is a flat-out lie; how could it not be? Nothing in life is perfect or everlasting. It's almost a shame that we feel such intense emotions when we fall in love because it gives us this illusion of grandeur.
It makes us believe what we are feeling is otherworldly, when in fact it is entirely in our heads. If you want to love, to be in a strong and healthy romantic relationship, then forget what you're feeling.
Instead, focus on purpose. Only those things that have purpose manage to survive. If you want your love to survive, give your relationship purpose. Give it goals. Give it a solid reason for existing.
This purpose is the one thing that will keep the relationship together when either of you begin to question it – which always ends up happening.
Falling in love is fickle – building a relationship can be everlasting.
Well, as everlasting as possible. Falling in love is what gets the engines going, but a relationship is what keeps it running.
Think of your relationship as maintenance – you need to regularly check the oil and all the other bits and pieces in order to make sure that it's not going to all fall apart.
Falling in love feels amazing – no one will argue with that. But consider the fact that it's impossible to fall in love every moment of your life, indefinitely. It just is. You can fall in love year after year but not day after day.
People most often make the mistake of thinking that it's enough to feel they love someone, but that isn't what love is. The point of love is the selflessness it allows for – what you feel has nothing to do with it.
On the other hand, building a relationship, week over week, year over year, allows for something that is everlasting, something meaningful, beautiful and powerful. Falling in love doesn't have that sort of force. Only relationships do.
Falling in love is common – building a relationship is rare.
Anyone can fall in love – in fact, just about everyone does, several times in his or her life. People fall in love every day, and then fall out of love the very next.
Building a relationship, on the other hand, is much more rare. Why? Because people don't like to work for anything. We're all lazy by nature, and unfortunately, most of us never change, never learn better, never make an effort to become better individuals.
Relationships take a lot of work. Love takes a lot of work. Falling in love takes no work, which is why it's so appealing. Until, of course, we move past the honeymoon phase and into something more real. That's when people get cold feet and run for the hills.
Falling in love can be a bit deceiving. It can lead to a lot of emotional distress, chaos and problems. At the same time, it's so incredibly pleasurable. If you want to live a happy life, then you need to find the right balance. Build a relationship, but build it on that spark that got it all started.