Comparing ‘In Love’ vs ‘Love’

We define “love” in different ways. We love our family simply because they’re blood, our friends for always being there, our co-workers for taking on a project when we’ve got too much on our plate, our animals for giving support and companionship and our significant other for remaining faithful. You see, we don’t just love one person in this world, we love multiple others at the same time. But, when it comes to love, there is a huge difference between simply being “in love” and “loving someone.”

I love my family and friends, but I’m in love with my boyfriend. And, the question that we often ponder is “how do you truly know if you’re in love?” You can misconstrue being in love for infatuation. If you’ve never been in love before, how the heck do you know if you truly love that person? You may google “how do you know if you’re in love” and read through a list of ways to tell. Then, you think, “hm… since most of those coincide with how I’m feeling, I must be in love.” And, I’m not discredited any websites because, hello, some of them come from valuable sources and there are plenty of studies out there. I’m saying that every person and couple is different. No one loves their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife in the same way.

There could be similarities in every romantic relationship, but they’ll never be exactly alike.

I’m not a scientist or an expert in the relationship field, I’m just simply going off of my experience. This is how I knew I was in love: despite my boyfriend’s quirks and issues, at the end of the day, I accepted him for who he was as a person.

In the past, when I was infatuated, the decision to break it off with a guy was a bit simpler. I mean, it was still hard, but I knew we truly were not meant for each other. Time and time again, I’d date these guys that would let me down. I knew I deserved better, what I wanted in a partner and would no longer settle.

When you’re in love, it actually hurts to be away from them for too long; you constantly miss them even when you’ve spent the whole day together; you feel complete when you’re around them; they make you a better person; you love going to bed and waking up to them every morning and you will never get tired of them even if they drive you bonkers!

Being in love isn’t easy or simple. At times, it absolutely sucks because you constantly fear the other person hurting you at any given moment. It’s about sacrifice, pain, hurt, learning, putting the other first, and doing everything in your power to protect them. They have your heart and you have theirs. Do what you want with it, just try not to harm it in any way possible because well, haven’t you ever heard of people dying from a broken heart?

Be careful; be mindful; be yourself. And, most of all, just love them.

Via Huffington Post

Falling in Love Is An Experience of a Lifetime

Falling in love is an experience of a lifetime. There’s nothing better than someone holding you in their arms and not letting go. You feel secure, protected and safe knowing he doesn’t want anything happening to you. Saying “I love you” can be quite nerve-wrecking too because you’re always skeptical he/she won’t say it back.

When my boyfriend and I started dating, he always told me he wouldn’t be the first to tell me he loved me. He stressed this to me time and time again and I said, “okay, we’ll see.” But, February 2013 — our first Valentine’s Day together — we were in a hotel giving each other gifts and he stops, stares at me and asks, “what are you thinking?” I tell him nothing really, but he wasn’t sold on that response, so he asked me again. Honestly, I really wasn’t thinking much other than, “I really, really like this guy.” But, then, he turns to me and says, “well, I love you.” I was stunned because it was a bit early for me to say it back, but I felt bad, so I just said it too. The issue was, it didn’t sound genuine and he knew it.

But, a few weeks later — while his two friends, him and I were at a bar — I turned to him and said, “I love you.” He thought I was lying because I had a few drinks in me, but it was the truth. I didn’t think I’d tell him I loved him in a bar, but hey, life is unpredictable, so why not? That night, I slept over his house and the next morning while I was putting my shoes on to leave, I told him to come closer. When he lay on the bed, hanging over the edge toward me, I said it again and I meant it–just like I meant it the night before. He looked at me, smiled, kissed me and told me again.

I’d love to know how you said those three words, so e-mail me: hopeandlove89@gmail.com

Via Huffington Post

Nights in Your Mid-20s vs Nights in Your Early-20s

When I was a teenager, I thought it was cool and hip to be out late. Occasionally, I’d hang out with friends until 11:00 p.m. And, then, once I hit my early twenties, 11:00 p.m. turned into 2:00 a.m. I’d go clubbing and drinking with my best friend and we’d stay out until it closed. I was able to dance nearly the whole night without getting tired. But, mind you, this was before I had a full-time job.

My best friend and I would head out the door around 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and we wouldn’t get back to her apartment until 3:00 a.m. On the ride home, we’d pick up some food at Wawa, go back to her place and eat. This was also around age 23. I was young and had no issues partying late.

I mean, I didn’t start partying until I attended Temple University because I went to a community college and didn’t get the full experience. It was fun and exhilarating to be out that late and for a while, I loved it. And, on those nights, I hoped for something fantastic to happen–like meeting the guy I’d spend the rest of my days with. But, I enjoyed hitting the town with my best friend and getting some girl time.
Now that I’m 26, I rarely go out anymore because it got old and drinking is expensive. I learned buying several bottles of alcohol affected both my wallet as well as my tummy.

So, instead of that, I began dedicating time to the gym. Not only that, I’m not sure if I can stay out that late anymore. It’s pathetic, but the latest I’ve been going to bed is 11:00 p.m. To think, I used to be at my best around 11 p.m. and now you’ll find me sleeping in my bed. Life in your mid-20’s is way different from early 20’s. I believe you have more energy and you may or may not have established a career yet. Since you’re still in college, you spend your time at the bar, club or hanging with friends on campus.

The reality of being closer to 30 than 20 is actually really scary, but it’s not like I can get any younger.

Via Huffington Post

The Most Self-Conscious Part Of Me

I try not to let my extra bone of both of my feet bother me, but what do you do when you have to take off your shoes?

When I was young and went swimming at a friend’s house, I’d always feel self-conscious because I had to take off my shoes and socks. I always hated when they said, “okay, take off your shoes now.” I would cringe and feel reluctant to do so. And, honestly, I never got over it because no matter what age I was and summer came around, I was left with the decision to take off my shoes and show the world my feet or run and hide. I knew when the time came, people would stare at my extra bones–on both feet– and wonder if I was born that way.

But, the weird thing is my right foot only has an extra bone and my foot looks fine while my left big toe on my right foot is slightly curved to the right. It looks deformed and I hate looking at it each time I wake up. I mean people have other severe deformities, but that doesn’t mean I’m not as self-conscious as them. I feel the same whenever someone stops and stares at my feet when I’m wearing open-toed shoes.

I have to buy shoes wide-toed shoes so my extra bone isn’t tight. Before, I used to hate wearing shoes that would show my extra bone, but as I grew up, I stopped caring as much. There was a time I was sitting at work and someone came in my office, looked down at my sandals and just stared for a second before leaving the room. Just when you think you’re getting over people staring, they do it again.

When I first met my boyfriend, I refused to take off my shoes or socks and he would question it. When I finally exposed them, he didn’t seem to care. In fact, he told me he liked my feet. So, it goes to show you that someone will accept you for you no matter what you look like. And, I’ve learned not to let people staring at my feet get to me. But, there will always be a piece of me that cares what others think–especially when it comes to my feet.

Via Huffington Post

You Never Know Your Own Strength Until You Go Through A Hardship

When life challenges you with a difficult decision, you either sink or swim. You either complain or deal with the situation thinking how much you have learned/grew from the experience. It’s true when they say you don’t know your own strength until you go through a hardship. Life can surprise you at times. Whether it’s good or bad, it can make or break you.

Recently, my boyfriend had septoplasty surgery — which corrects a deviated nasal septum — along with turbinate reduction — which reduces the overall size of the turbinates allowing for airflow. This was done on a Monday, which was the day I worked from home. If you’ve never heard of this procedure, just know that the first 48 hours are supposed to be hell, but then, gradually you’re supposed to feel better. The issue was, in those 48 hours instead of feeling better, he actually got worse.

I called the nurse 3-4 times throughout the week, went to the store a bunch of times and contacted his mom for guidance during this process. I also had to work from home and take care of our dog. And, I handled it very well. I was under stress because well, the first night he didn’t sleep at all, so neither did I.

I felt absolutely exhausted running around and then on top of that, I had to work. I felt stronger though. I challenged myself not to complain and do what I always do — make it about me. Before, I would have been selfish and got tired of it, but when you truly love someone, you will do anything in your power to make them feel better.

My only goal was for him to feel better. And, watching him go through the pain and agony hurt like hell. I watched as tears rolled down his face and felt so helpless because there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t eat or relax because he was my main concern.

Again, this is how you know you’re deeply in love with someone: when they’re in pain, as are you. I sat back and went through this process with him. I think I fell in love with him more and more as the days progressed. I just don’t think I would love him anymore than I do. He is the love of my life and during this experience and hardship; I’ve learned the power of love. All I wanted to do was hug him and erase the pain, but it was never that simple.

In the end, we found out his pain was due to a sinus infection, so on top of his double procedure, he somehow developed a sinus infection. Regardless, it’s being treated and things are going back to normal.

Life is about falling in love, passing life’s greatest challenges, and having fun! So, when life throws a curveball and asks you to catch it, either you do or you let it fall. And, when life kicks your a**, you get right back up.

Via Huffington Post