Submitted by mitch on November 24, 2003

Love, In Love with, etc..

Ok, I hope I phrase this correctly to be understood well enough to elicit an answer. What is the difference between, being “in love” with someone, and telling someone “I love you.” Because to my understanding, you can be In Love With someone while not directly being involved with them (stalker, adoring fans etc...). But to tell some one that you love them or “I love you” would require a prior relationship. Are there two different connotations attached, or am I just an idiot?


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Check out the movie Prizzi's Honor (which is a great movie anyhow). Kathleen Turner explains that being "in love with" means that one is smitten, lost, in all the way, while "love" can be applied more loosely.

Well, that's one interpretation, but I've seen at backed up elsewhere. On Futurama, Fry had the line "Well, it turns out I love her but I'm not *in love* with her." At which point Amy turns to Leela and whispers "trouble in bed." (Episode: "The Deep South")

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A weird one this. You can quite as a matter of course say that you love your dog, your sister, your parents, your queen or country, your god, or chocolate ice-cream. Most of us love our friends too and will write 'Love' at the bottom of our letters.

Why is it that when you state it in first person singular indicative, 'I love you', _some_ friends think you're confessing desire or infatuation? 'I love you' shouldn't mean _anything like_ 'I am in love with you'.

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'In love' versus 'love' is more about the nature of love and the psychology of the individual than about English.

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