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  • James Eichenlaub

To Love, or Be In Love, That is the Question?

To Love, or Be In Love, that is the Question? A woman I once overheard expressed to her companion, "I am so in love with Johnny Depp." To which her friend replied, "He seems so sweet."

"In love?" How can you POSSIBLY BE 'IN' LOVE with someone that does not know that you exist? It is impossible to LOVE Johnny Depp when you have no idea who he is other than an actor you've seen in a movie. You may love his acting, character portrayals, even who he appears to be in his interviews, but he, himself, is not but an enigma.

So, frankly, without his returning the feeling of love, there is no possibility of BEING IN LOVE. Anyway, you get the idea. You, we, I, LOVE all sorts of people and things throughout our lives, but it DOES NOT MEAN the same thing as being IN LOVE with such.

Love is an emotion, not a state-of-being. "Being" in love is such a state.

Love, desire, admiration, longing, need, and who knows what else enters the eyes, invades the mind, something all experience at one time or another—some more than others. Objects of desire, both animate and inanimate, capture the heart with a 'feeling' like love, but without the exchange of said feeling, ergo, it cannot be "IN LOVE."

Twice in my life have I been "IN LOVE" with someone:

Once upon a time, when I was 12 - 14 years old, I was IN LOVE, i.e., a love shared with another. She was a beautiful girl who, so to speak, lived around the corner. Puppy love? Well, that's what they called it back then. It was, however, love, regardless. A love that was broken and lost, and consequently, our IN LOVE relationship was destroyed, never to be rekindled.


The second love was when I was 15 and met my beautiful, sexy, future wife, Kate, and we have been together ever since. Fifty-four (54) years of togetherness. Something that happens when you're IN LOVE and not just loving someone or something.

In a marriage that lasts as long as ours, you sometimes fall OUT of love and then BACK INTO love. However, until you learn to KNOW and APPRECIATE your mate, despite their foibles, as she did for me and me, her, (but more so her forgiving me than anything else), you will never truly appreciate what being IN LOVE means.

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