Readers, please weigh in. I’ve heard more than one man pooh-pooh the idea of differentiating between loving someone and being “in love” with that person. (Apparently, the idea of being “in love” with someone is a female thing, ergo entirely nebulous and more or less imaginary, whereas a man just simply loves.)
For my part, I’m not sure which side I come down on in this argument. “In love” often seems synonymous with infatuation. “Real” love, the kind of ongoing, day-to-day love that keeps a relationship alive for a lifetime, has little to do with the waves of emotional rollercoastering of infatuation. Then again, we’ve all seen elderly couples who still look at each other with a touch of infatuation, so….? Complicating the matter is the breadth of meanings of love in the English language. (“I like my Sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack….”)
What say you? Is there a difference between loving and being “in love”? Can a person really be “in love”?