What is it to be “in love”?

One of my clients, Maria, just asked me if I think she and her new boyfriend will fall in love – I said, “Well…. That depends.”

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about working with Maria is that she verbalizes what’s in the “current” of today’s challenges with romance and the search for, the yearning for committed love and partnership.

How courageous of her to bring up this sticky bun of an issue — what is it to be “in love” ??  Will Randy “fall in love” with her? Will she “fall in love” with him?  He seems to be fully smitten with her already, making plans for the future, doing all the “right” things. Is it love? She wants to know.

Should she invest her heart in the potential that this particular relationship might have? Should she wait for this “in love” thing to happen to her, for her, before she jumps in with her heart?

GREAT question, huh? What comes first, being in love or making a commitment?


Here’s what I know for sure. Love truly is a verb. It doesn’t “happen” to us or even for us – we offer love and we allow love. It’s an exchange, that’s only happening when it’s experienced by one person, or by the other person, and sometimes…. every now and then…. “it” happens at the same time for two people, and that’s the magic we’re all hoping for, searching for, frustrated over, when it’s not happening.

Fantasy would have us live in this magical bliss every moment of every day, but it’s fleeting, like the sun coming in and out of the clouds on a stormy day.



We want to KEEP it, and well… it just doesn’t cooperate. That’s by design, I think. To keep us on our toes….

I’ve been at this (introducing people to each other and coaching them through the rapid waters of dating and relationship) long enough to know that this illusive thing we call love — it’s a fleeting as the wind. We’d love to capture it and keep it, for our very own, forever, like the love that geese have and swans too – they’re monogamous by nature, they mate for life. If one dies… the other is alone forever – but that’s kinda sad too, isn’t it?



For us humans, love is a choice. We either share our hearts…or we don’t. And this happens on a moment by moment basis. I don’t really put much faith in the “in love” experience, as if it happens for us, it’s always gone in an instant. The only thing that keeps love alive for two people is a conscious choice on both parts to keep turning toward each other when things get tough – and they always do… get tough… it’s the stretching, learning, growing, the self-sacrifice that it takes to STICK with someone through the trying moments — THAT’s where “in love” shows up, in my view.

My cousins, Sandy and Riva have been together for 55 years. His health is shaky, as he’s in his late 80’s now. He’s never needed her more and their love has never been stronger. He’s been taking care of her for decades, such a giver he is. She’s been admittedly a “princess” for all these years. And now she’s the one who’s called upon to really serve him, in ways she’s never had to or even dreamed of. And their love has never been stronger. Though their lives have much more struggle and pain than ever before, what is absolutely gorgeous is the way they look at each other. These two are major big time “in love” — it’s not something that magically happened to them, it’s something that they each cultivated, through the thick and thin of living life in total and complete commitment to each other, dedicated to preserving and growing their love for each other, their in-love-ness.



Love, that in-love-thing that Hollywood tries to capture and serve up to us in dreamy scenarios – in reality, it’s not usually pretty at all – it’s a conscious choice. It’s not something that happens all by itself. It takes effort, a willingness to be uncomfortable, and a determination to work through the tension and the knots, using skill and  artistry, like a great masseuse — it might be a little painful, but the results so well worth the effort.

To be “in love” ??  It’s created in a moment by moment fashion. It doesn’t take months or years of being together – it can happen in an instant. It’s the sustaining and the perpetual evolution of the magic between two people — that’s what we’re all chasing and hopefully learning to develop and evolve from within, meeting each other somewhere in the middle for one in-love moment after another.  The next in-love moment for two people is never granted; it’s earned.

I just had a difficult moment with my husband, who messed with my plan for the dinner party we’re having tomorrow evening. Can I put aside my own plan for how the evening will go, to embrace his plan? Can I whip up the veggies on the stove, rather than have him grill them on the bbq? Yeah…. it wasn’t my plan, but I can do that, as then what I’m doing is choosing love, vs. choosing me being right and having it all my way. I think I’ll go give Gil a hug and kiss and I’ll tell him how excited I am to rethink the veggies for tomorrow’s dinner. I’ll even throw in asparagus, which I don’t like too much, but I know he does. That’s where the yumminess is. When we’re both giving, when we’re sacrificing having something just the way we want it, to accommodate the bigger mission…. Choosing to be in love, even when I got derailed, and maybe more so because I got derailed and had to find a love-inspired answer. What was the answer? To give up my agenda (vagenda…) and instead, to turn toward my man to cause an in-love moment.


How have YOU kept those in-love moments happening for you? Email me, I’d love to know. Julie@JulieFerman.com


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