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What is love; what are we feeling when we say we are in love with someone? There is a great divide between loving someone and being in love with them. Love can be affection, friendship and fondness and still be real. Being in love includes much more, like trust, respect, tenderness, devotion and passion. Loving another can never be better than when it includes all of these emotions; we feel complete. Well, kind of; it seemed that way in the beginning. How is it that we were fortunate to find everything we hoped for and suddenly feel alone, even lonely in this place we have striven so hard to find?
Being in love places us in the most vulnerable position possible. We become so enmeshed in the magic and the feelings, so caught up in the concept of being two rather than one that it is easy to get lost there. When we really fall in love with someone we leave behind the chains of attachment, which is dependent and fear based and is frequently found early in relationships. It is more about self-protection and self-love, a place where we are a little leery of what we may discover and so we allow only an attachment to form.
We allow our vulnerabilities to peep out as we learn to trust, which is essential to falling in love. Love is the purest emotion possible; it is extended not because we are empty and searching for something to fill the void but rather, because we are full and ready to give completely. And so, with a leap of faith, we form the bond and pray we have made the right choice. The caution light before us flashes to remind us to slow down; to look closely and see that the person we are in love with is in love with us. Trust allows us to give completely of ourselves; love allows us to receive completely. This is the balancing act that determines whether the person you love is in love with you. The answer lies in their willingness to trust you completely, to be as vulnerable as you are willing to be and to give as much as you give.
When we love another person, giving feels natural; we do it without thinking about ourselves at all. This is essential from both people in the relationship. When things appear perfect to observers you have carefully painted the picture you wish to hang on the wall. If you admit that things couldn't be better with the one you love and yet you feel lonely and alone much of the time, you may have ignored the caution light. Giving completely only feels fulfilling when you receive completely. This is not about material things, it is about emotional sharing.
Loneliness or feeling lonely in a love relationship begins when we no longer feel that we are able to share our feelings, hopes and dreams with someone who respects them and finds them as important and interesting as they are to us. The opportunity to share our excitement and plans for the future falls by the wayside. There is an imbalance in the relationship that leaves you giving far more than you are receiving.
If you are comfortable in the relationship and genuinely feel that your partner loves you and is in love with you, it is possible to work through these emotions with honest communication. You may have allowed bad habits to develop by dismissing emotions you felt along the way but simply excused the cause. Treat your relationship like a cherished garden of exquisite flowers; pull the weeks, nurture it, give it the nutrients necessary to allow it to become the best it can be and never allow anything you have not planted to become comfortable growing there.
If there is a growing void that you know at any level is not repairable, your heart already knows what your mind has not yet accepted; things may have appeared perfect but the relationship can never sustain you emotionally. If you arrive at this conclusion, it is far better to put on your shoes and win this one with your feet; by walking out the door without looking back with recriminations or illusions about what might have been. Lonely infers that now there is one; one is a lonely number. It is far more comfortable to be alone as one than when you imagine there are two.