Learn English – Being in love with someone


Is there a difference between loving someone and being in love with them?

I sort of think that being in love with someone might imply that there are reciprocal feelings, but I'm not sure. If someone loved someone from afar without them knowing, would this still count as being in love with them?

Best Answer

There is often a distinction made in prose between "loving" and "in love with". It doesn't always imply reciprocity, but it almost always implies a difference between platonic and romantic love. A person can "love" their sibling, parent, or platonic friend, simply by being closely emotionally attached. The same is true for those with whom you have a romantic relationship. Being "in love with" a person is to be in a state of romantic infatuation with and connection to that person, which would be inappropriate for said siblings, parents, and platonic friends, but just fine for a significant other or spouse.

When differentiating, such as "I love you, but I'm not in love with you", the speaker is stating that he/she is emotionally attached to the other person, but feels no romantic desire.

So, the rule of thumb is: you can love your neighbor and you can love your spouse, but you should be in love with your spouse and not your neighbor.