Here’s Why You Think You’re in Love with a Person, When You’re Actually Not

By: Zaynab

Please note: I’ve been writing about this topic a lot lately and it’s got me feeling like a total cheeseball. I’m not that sappy in real life but I’ve realized I may seem different on paper, or article. Oh well, off we go.

L-O-V-E. Love. A single world that has us all enthralled and perplexed at the same time. It’s got one person wondering if it’s worth it, another if they’ll find it, a third how easy it is to lose it, and it’s got me writing about it for the second time in the past month. It’s a mystery to say the least, which doesn’t come as a surprise-especially to people who think they are in love with someone only to find out that this could not be further from the truth. 

To put it simply (and please pay close attention): you are not in love with them, you are in love with a version of them. This could be the type of person they used to be and no longer are, or one that they aspire to be and are not yet, or possibly just one you have created based on misinterpretations of their behaviour. To clarify: just because they are nice to you does not mean they are nice to everyone else. If they do something thoughtful once that doesn’t mean that they will always put you first. Just because they were nice and considerate and funny when you were young doesn’t mean that they still are. Fine, they cared about you back then, alright. That does not mean they still do. That sucks, but it’s part of life, not just love.

Here’s why you think that you are: whenever you see them your mind is flooded with memories. High pitched laughter during a night full of jokes. A gentle smile when offering you a hand. Someone standing up for you even though they know you don’t really need it. You’re not just in love with the wrong version of that person, you are in love with the memories you have of them. So when you see that person, you immediately feel a sense of warmth, like looking at an old friend. And isn’t that what they are? A source of comfort- something often mistaken for love? You might’ve loved them once. If so, then don’t you think that it’s better to consider that you may no longer love them now- heartbreaking as the thought may be- than to find out too late? This is why it’s important to differentiate between love and other powerful emotions, or between romantic love and friendship love, etc etc-it’s confusing, as we’ve already covered.

Here’s another alternative: you could be in love with the idea of love itself. You could’ve been the sappy kid who’d sigh at anything remotely viewed as romantic, and that could have led to you looking for love in places it might not be present. You might have convinced yourself that you are indeed in love with that person solely so you can say you’ve fallen in love, as if that would immediately remove all the weight off your shoulders and make you see colours you’ve never seen before, and a bunch of other stuff that we’ve been conditioned to believe. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human-cliché as it sounds. 

Unfortunately, put all of that together, and it’s nearly impossible to make yourself believe that you’re not in love with them, though you very well may not be. 

When you do realize that you’re not in love with them, I imagine it’d be a relief of some sort. I am by no means an expert in matters of the heart- barely even an amateur, in fact, but I think I understand it to a certain extent. Let’s hope we all have the epiphany that comes with fully understanding it someday-though I doubt it’s anywhere near now.

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