You may already believe you are in love. You may have a life partner (or girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse) who you "love." But are you in love? That's a very different thing. You love your mother, your father, your grandmother, even your friends, but you are not in love with them--nor should you be. Being in love is a feeling unlike any other. You may have initially been in love when you started your relationship, but too often, being in love is taken for granted. We replace being in love with regular love--or, deeply caring for another. I deeply care for many people but I would not have sex with them all. That's the BIG difference. When you're in love, you want to connect on every level you possibly can. And that typically includes sex. You can certainly have sex with anyone you want--no matter how you feel about that person. But sex with a person you are in love with is not like sex with someone you deeply care about.
Being in love has an implied wanting, a kind of physical chemistry that simply can't be replaced with deep care, yet deep care is often a result of being in love. Here are some basic questions that might help you figure out if you are in love or not:
When you touch, is it electric? Was there a spark? Could you feel it (you know, "down there")??? Do you get butterflies in your stomach? Do you look forward to seeing this person, more than anyone else? Do you think of this person everyday? Do you miss them when you don't see or talk to them? Does the individual occupy your dreams? Your waking moments? Do you want to share experiences with this person, like travel? Can you "see" yourself with this person? Maybe having a quiet dinner in a swanky restaurant, sharing a bottle of expensive wine while talking about everything and anything?
If you feel those around you staring when you are with the person you are in love with, it may not be for the reasons you imagine. When you're in love, people notice. Probably because, when you're in love, you take better care of yourself. You dress better. Style your hair with more care. Your hands are manicured. You use things like scented lotion to soften your skin and make it glow. You wear perfume or cologne to smell better. You attract attention when you're more attractive and generally, you're more attractive when you're in love.
Chemistry is often used as an excuse to dismiss potential love-partners: "I didn't feel any chemistry." Well, it's not always instant. Sometimes it takes time. If your priorities line up with another person, you go from there. Do you find them generally pleasant to look at? Do you get along? Do you make each other laugh? Can you have fun together? Are you able to communicate well? Do you respect one another? All are imprtant questions when considering a life-partnership...but that's not the same as being in love, is it?
No, it isn't. And if you lead yourself to believe it is, you may find in five, ten, twenty, thirty years, that you are exceedingly unhappy. This can cause other life altering issues, like depression and debt. However, all is not lost. You may not be in love anymore, but if you were in love and you still care deeply for a person, you can reignite that sense of being "in love."
The easiest (and most fun) way to reignite that sense of being in love is through sex. Many couples discount the importance of sex in their relationship as it evolves into a life partnership. Things like household chores, paying bills and ferrying children to and from various activities take over your life and you both feel tired. But remember when you were in love? Before all of those other things took over? You couldn't keep your hands off of each other. At least, that's how it should have been. That's not just lust. Lust is when you see something you want. Maybe you take it, maybe you don't, but either way, you don't develop a sense of deep care. It's a purely selfish desire to possess something, whether for an hour, a day, or a period months. When you're in love, you want to touch the person you're in love with, everywhere, and, all the time...forever. That's the implied wanting. It takes your breath away. Makes it hard to focus...on anything else. It's intense. And if you've never yet been in love and believe that perhaps you are too old--think again.
Love happens. And in the strangest ways. At the oddest moments. It's often unexpected, which only makes it more wonderful. You are never too young or too old. When it happens, embrace it. Act. You may be surprised by the result.