I'm so happy to read this from you, Karen. I have pondered and been puzzled by the concept of being "in love" my entire adult life. The other day, I decided I would settle on a conclusion: there is no "in love", there is only really loving people, and context. In a certain context, we prefix the word with "in", but the action and the feeling remains the same. Perhaps, the differentiation alludes, as you suggested, to a phase of infatuation, or to a love in the context of a lifelong partnership. But at the end of the day, context doesn't alter the nature of the thing: love is love. And I find comfort in that. There's no transcendental level of loving that I "should" be seeking anymore. And besides, the love I give and receive with my nearest and dearest is already pretty damn great -- I don't know how I could beat it.

Full-time freelance writer/copywriter. I write about how I got here, and how to live a good life with less pressure and more meaning.