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Am I In Love?

So am I in love? A common enough question you would say but one that is not easy to answer. The issue is what you consider love for a person may actually be nothing more than a simple case of attraction. Some people are constantly falling in love and falling out of love while there are others that are more in lust than in love.

This can get all the more confusing, especially if you are a teen. Given that if you are new to romantic love, you generally wouldn't have an idea of what to expect. Also aside from the hormones at play, the new feelings, there are all sorts of social pressures at work. So everything again comes back to the question: what is love and then, am I in love?

Something that is possibly, one of the most frustrating feelings is that between love and lust. Lust is a very overpowering feeling of physical or sexual attraction towards another being. Going by this definition, lust in very sexual by nature an attraction based on chemistry rather than genuine caring. It has generally been observed that we lust after people we don’t really know too well. One reason for this, people feel more comfortable fantasizing about those whom they don’t know too well.

Then again, there is that element of mystery that stimulates the feeling of attraction. If you know the person very well, she/he becomes ordinary. But if you don’t know the person too well, you can unconsciously end up projecting a certain image – an image of what you really want from your ideal person and this is how the confusion between lust and love comes about. The person you ‘love’ is not in reality the person your mind has projected. So it may happen that you get into a physical relationship with the person thinking you are in love and that the love between you two would last for ever.

But once the hormones settle and the reality makes it appearance, you begin to realize that the person your mind projected and the person in flesh, and blood are two different entities. Therefore being in lust and being in love are two different things.

Teens and many adults also end up confusing the two. Lust is about physical attraction and just that and it will gradually fade out over a period of time. Love, on the other hand, goes much deeper. For the teens, this is especially confusing given that they awaken to a pop-culture that sells sex and love as one package. However, to be fair, adults to end up confusing sex for deep, divine love.

Love is based on much more than just the feeling of physical attraction to another person. In fact, once the initial wave of infatuation dies down can you really decide what you feel for the other person. This is not to negate the role of physical attraction in a relationship. However, beyond sex, love is an emotional commitment – it is a relationship based on caring, trust, commitment and friendship.

When you are in love, your partner will mean more to you than even your own life. Love is about acceptance, about finding your happiness in your partner’s happiness. If your feelings are tainted with jealousy, insecurity, mistrust, spitefulness, then it is definitely not love. If you want to clip the wings of your partner so that he/she remains tied to you for ever, it is time for you to introspect, to look within and honestly answer the question ‘am in love?’

If the mere presence of your partner makes you feel good, gives your spirits wings to fly then definitely it is love. On the other hand, if you are always nagged by a feeling of insecurity or jealousy, it definitely isn’t love.

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