I don't think this can be a cut-and-dry, yes or no answer. I think the answer is different for each relationship, depending on the couples' personalities and the circumstances.
I think in some relationships, the feeling of love is mutual at most given times, either oftentimes early in the relationship or if the couples have extremely similar personalities, values, morals, etc.
I think in other relationships, the couple is in love with each other on an emotional level but not so much on a physical or mental level because of one person being more compliant and non-confrontational while the other is high-strung and assertive, for example.
I also think circumstances have a lot to do with how in love a couple feels in any relationship. If a couple is facing a huge obstacle in their relationship such as finances, infertility, extended family issues, or death in the family, for instance, one person may feel the need to rely on the other for emotional support and love while the other becomes withdrawn and perhaps angry and annoyed with their partner. In such a case, I don't think it's so much one is in love with the other more or less, but rather, each personality has a different way of coping with the circumstances and may not fully understand or care about their partner's way of coping, therefore leading to a rift that could cause a power struggle or divorce.
Just my two cents. Those are only a few examples I could explain.
Not everyone expresses Love in the same way. Some people have personalities that allow them to be more demonstrative than others. So, it would be impossible to accurately measure or gauge the depth of another's love (that is to say, how one feels from within). But, I think that one is usually more "in love" than the other.
Thanks for the comments Butterfly, AJH, and Rock Rose (and all who voted). I appreciate it!
Butterfly: You're right. It would be difficult to gauge how someone feels inside. As AJH84 said, there are different circumstances that come into play that affect how we feel about each other at any given time. I also like how RockRose summed "the one less in love,... has all the power" How true is that?!
Thank you all for your input. This was really insightful.
Maybe that's what I'm getting at. Do you think it's common in a marriage that one of the partners chooses not to love the other person with everything they have (yet they stay in the relationship because they don't want to hurt the other through divorce, or it's convenient, or comfortable, or for religious reasons, or whatever)?
oh yeah!! some people won't divorce due to religion, some won't due to social taboos... some stay b/c they don't know how to manage on their own or are afraid of change... some stay due to the kids (TERRIBLE excuse in my books)... the lists go on, but as far as it being common? that's a good one for the study-group research people, LOL... oh! if they "choose" not to love, I dunno about that. I don't think you choose who you love, I think it just happens. My BF knew right away that he loved me, even said so after 6 weeks or so... I can't remember how long it took me, but much longer. Keep in mind though that he comes from a 2-parent home and I from a very dysfunctional family, LOL, and I think that had an impact... this definitely a good debate topic, though ; )
I'm sure coming from dysfunctional family life does have an impact on the ability to trust, which is necessary in order to love.
Good point about "choosing" to be in love. Maybe one was in love and then falls out of love in the previous scenario I was referring to. You mentioned a lot of other reasons that people stay together who aren't in love, such as taboos, fear of change, and sadly, for the children. I don't know if that last reason works for some people. Maybe it does. But certainly it causes more distress for some.
Sadly, I've heard of couples staying together "due to the kids" and then wait to divorce when the kids are grown and out of the house. It's a terrible feeling for the adult kids as they often feel they caused the break-up in some way... or they feel guilty that their parents stayed together just for them and waited until they "got old enough" or whatnot.
I think both people in a relationship love equally but express/demonstrate it differently. Some are affectionate where the other partner, not so much. Some whisper sweet nothings while the other may get up first to make the coffee for the other. Love is shown in the little things each do during the day. Unique to each persons personality and their own concept of what in their eyes shows they love the other.
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