From a recent post I made to a mailing list:
“In love” is what I call that emotionally inebriated state that’s usually at the beginning of a relationship, but may be renewed or blossom again from time to time. I figure it’s the energy that lets us be with each other enough to find out how we fit together, to look past initial “oopses” and such—to put in the time required to start growing a relationship. We’re more tolerant then, but unfortunately can be all too tolerant and overlook important warning signs that we truly aren’t compatible or that a new partner has issues that will make a healthy relationship either unlikely or impossible.
I do tend to think of it as mostly the same as NRE,1NRE = new relationship energy with one important difference. I’ve noticed that monoamorous people usually want to focus wholly on the person with whom they are “in love” right this moment, to the exclusion of anyone else. Polyamorous people in healthy relationships usually take NRE back to their interactions with their existing partners, causing renewal there as well.
Love is what keeps us with our partners through the whole “in sickness and in health” thing. It has to be lived as a verb more than just felt as an emotion. It’s living with someone day in and day out, seeing them at their best and their worst, and defining wherever they are as “home.” It stays there even when you don’t *like* that person very much.