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Love at first sight? I call bullshit...

I have heard that if you're in love, you'll know it. This is often told to teens with their first infatuation. 'Am I in love? Is this what being in love feels like?' 'When you're in love, you'll know it!'

Thing is, most people think this is that stomach eating, heart racing feeling they get when they first see their object of desire.

It's not.

I'm not wrong about this, guys. Seriously. When you think you're in love with someone you've just met or someone you've been in a relationship with for a few weeks, you don't know what being in love is.

'To know someone is to love someone'... or something like that, but therein lies the truth about love. When you first meet someone, even when you have known someone for a while as a friend, that feeling of wanting to spend every minute with them, that feeling is your mind and body preparing for love.

It is the infatuation stage of pre-love. It is when you project all the things you want onto the person you feel attracted to. It's that stage of the relationship where even their worst qualities seem cute or even possible of being changed - if you plan to change someone, you don't love them. Those future irritants are not cute and until you are ready to love the person knowing those qualities are not going to change, you aren't 'in love', you're 'in... fatuated'.

Love doesn't just happen, it takes really getting to know someone without those scales on your eyes. It means packing away the rose coloured glasses. It means committing to those hard bits, those really, really hard bits. The bits where you feel completely alone because your love is going through something you can't be a part of yet. It means going through those times when you aren't sure what you saw in the other person in the first place because every thing they do or say is like nails on a chalkboard.

It's saying, hey, this is hard, but it is fighting for because you love the person knowing they won't change.

For the record, I'm not talking about abusive relationships. By definition there is no love in abusive relationships. If you abuse the other person, or they abuse you, love is not living in your relationship. Power lust or dependency are occupying the space love would otherwise be.

Don't stay in a relationship that is endangering either of you physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Okay, so now that I've busted through the common definition of being in love, let me end on a more upbeat thought. I truly believe everyone who is open to love (not the glorified idea of it) can fall in love and be loved. That means you.

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