What is the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone?
There are many different types of love. Of a parent for a child, a child for a parent, of friends. Then there is the love felt between those physically and emotionally attracted to each other. Falling in love is something that seems to happen at the beginning of a relationship, though it is possible to fall in love more than once. Perhaps when something special happens or one or both parties face a particular challenge. That first flush of love, just as you are getting to know each other is a special time. One of investigation and discovery, a time when the seeds of trust and communication are planted.
To truly love someone you need to have trust in them and to feel that you can be yourself. You need to be able to let your guard slip and to know they will always have your back. Love needs to be unconditional, because we all make mistakes, need to show our vulnerable side.
I truly feel that my cancer diagnosis caused a re-evaluation of our relationship and the love we have for each other. The way Master coped, the emotions he showed and the way he has tried to support and protect me, made me fall in love with him all over again. I have loved him for most of the 5 years we have been together but maybe we aren’t always in love. But, life settled down and things became routine. Right now as we explore the next part of our life together I am sure I am in love with him and love him too.
How does these differences colour and effect the way you interact with that person?
Love between two (or more) people in a relationship becomes, over time, business as usual, as it were. Maybe that is the time when you can take each other for granted and bad habits can creep in. Don’t get me wrong, it is cosy, perhaps like an old sweater, but it can also lead to complacency. It is the job of the people in the relationship to make sure that element of surprise remains. Because having been in a long term relationship that turned stale you can never take love for granted.
Where sex is involved, does the emotional layer affect its quality?
You don’t have to love or be in love to have sex, but it certainly adds another layer. For us, being in a power exchange relationship love has helped us understand our own and each others body. We have learned to understand and meet each other’s needs and to make allowances when there are problems. I trust him to care for me and keep me safe, but also to push my perceived limits. Love makes us want to satisfy and please the other in a way that doesn’t happen in a casual relationship.
Where do lust and desire fit into this?
Lust is important in any relationship as it helps keep the spark going. But lust can also be mistaken for love. I am pretty sure that during my relationship with S, I was in lust rather than love. Because while devastated for about 2 weeks the first time he finished with me I pretty soon recovered. The second time, I walked away and found Master. The sex had been amazing but I realised I needed more from a relationship. Thankfully I have found it.