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Intro for the survey

For some reason, for the past few years, my mind keeps coming back to the question of what love feels like to people, and whether there's a basic universal definition. I know, I know, it feels different to everybody, but how different?

I can think of NO better people to answer what love feels like descriptively than the people of RpR! It's what we do!



So in my anhedonic boredom, I created a survey. Have fun!


1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

I don't exactly know, and that's why I'm asking. I think so...many times. But a close friend told me that the feeling I was describing was infatuation, not love. I've heard people say love is a commitment not a feeling, etc. But it's definitely also a feeling. I'm just confused about it. So yeah...I think I have and do.



2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

I think that the feeling sticking with one person only might be something that doesn't always happen. Feelings seem to drift around all over the place.

3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?


* Calls/Messages make me feel euphoric (although that feeling calms down over time and it turns to a calm happiness).

* I start thinking about the person incessantly.

* Things about them seem extra beautiful or cute (smile, words laughter, voice, etc). Those things seem to have a "sparkle" or rather a specialness/superlativeness that others smile, words, laughter, voices, etc don't. It's like they shine.

* When they say/write something particularly sweet to me, or do something really sweet, I--sometimes, maybe 1/10 times--get this tingling in the back of my head, accompanied by euphoria...and the feeling that something sweet is rushing through me. (That is hard to describe, because "sweet" is a taste, so those words are off a little. But I mean "sweet" in the emotional sense. It's almost like warmth rushing through you, but it doesn't have a temperature, it's just "sweet." Idk.)

* Sometimes get nervous around them or when talking to them. I start to talk faster than usual.

* Missing them while craving their attention is like an ache is the stomach area, but it's not physical, of course, and it's not always altogether unpleasant. It's longing. But it makes it really hard not to reach out to them, even at inconvenient times. (However, this isn't unique to romantic love. I've felt it with 100% non-romantic friendships as well. So I don't know if that counts.)

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

I have had exciting, euphoric "falling in love" experiences several times, and I've had and have deep, meaningful love, but I haven't had both in the same person.

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

Yep. It's happened to me.

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?


Feeling in awe of another person and wanting to be with them.

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1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

Movie Romance: the "stereotypical" movie romance, I don't believe it exists. Movies portray an unrealistic expectation of the perfect love and life, and that one person will be your forever. That's not what it's like at all for me. There will be breakdowns, fights, as well as cuddles and kisses and magic. Where there is love, there is almost always pain. There is troubled love, broken love, desperate love, fake love, real love- so many types each with it's own set of magic and issues.

For RP...It depends. Realistic love can be played, but is often avoided, I think.

I have experienced it. I used to be in a relationship with a boy who, despite what everyone says, genuinely I loved. He gave me butterflies, he made me want to curl up and die from shyness and embarrassment, he could make me go red in a snap of his fingers. There were fights, there was heartbreak, and damn it wasn't perfect because we both had our issues and troubles. But he stuck with me for four years. He's still by my side; we just decided it's better if we're friends.



2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

The belief that once you fall for someone you'll love them for ever seems to be pretty existent within characters. Feelings, realistically, jump around absolutely everywhere. One day I may love the hell out of someone, the next it may feel like i hate his guts for something he did. But i'll love him again. One day I may want to cuddle, the next I need my space. People seem to think that to love someone you have to love them every second of any minute of any day.

And... you're allowed to decide you don't love them anymore. Feelings change...and that's OK.


3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?


* I absolutely adore talking to them all the time, even if they're upset or angry with or at me.
* I get very shy and very quiet, even if it may always not show (aka through text)
* Some things I usually wouldn't notice will remind me of them constantly.
* I'll start smiling like an idiot all the time.
* I'll giggle a lot.
* I go red very very easily.

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

Yes. The boy I mentioned earlier; when it first started when I was younger, I thought he was perfect, we were perfect and life would be perfect. As I've grown older and more shit has been thrown my way, I learned the hard way that life isn't always perfect and just because some days I absolutely hated him, doesn't mean I didn't love him. From that point our relationship and my feelings became much more stable and calmer.

I think if you truly love someone, that process of realising it's not all sunshine is inevitable.

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

Of course! Polyamorous relationships are also a thing!

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

An undefinable feeling of romantic attraction to a person or people depending on your sexuality
@ Static: Thanks for doing my survey, even though it requires a bit of length to really answer fully, unlike most surveys. So, thanks, and that is one vote for the "falling in love is a real phenomenon but the feeling changes to be less sparkly over time" camp. If I'm not mistaken. Also, I love how in the question where I basically ask for a definition of "being in love," you literally use the word "undefinable" in your definition. Which is exactly how I feel about it. Trying to define it is a challenge! Take care. :)
1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?


I like to think that RP love exists but until I experience it for myself, it's just pure speculation.


2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

Characters: Love at first sight, sacrificing themself for their love, caring people, forbidden love.
Actual love: Gradual love, one-sided love, abusive, fighting, having different beliefs but still being loving.


3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?


I'm not an expert on this area, but here you go.

* Giddiness (though the same can be said for anyone for some reason): if I'm feeling down and they approach me, I instantly feel as if absolutely nothing can go wrong for the duration of the talk. Then I go back to being depresso! XD

* Centre of my world: I think about them a lot, and just thinking about them turns me from a depresso to an expresso.


4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

Again, not an expert in this field so I'm going to skip this one for fear of people being mad at my answer.


5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

It depends on the person. But yes, you can.



6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?


"Huh, I'm suddenly not depressed! Ah. It's gone."
Thank you for your analysis, Lazari-Not_IEPFB ;)
Quote:
"Huh, I'm suddenly not depressed! Ah. It's gone."

Lol Long live giddy, mood-boosting conversations <3
My oh my, what an interesting survey!

1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

As shown in most romance movies? No, not exactly. In my experience it isn't as happy or as bubbly as it is portrayed in those. When it comes to romance roleplays, I think you can decide for yourself how realistic you wish to portray it. For me personally, a realistic portrayal attracts me more than some sappy display of clichés. Realistic love can be beautiful too!



2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

In essence, characters seem to forget that there's an entire life outside of the person they feel affection towards just as they seem to forget that there's an entire life beyond their relationship and dynamic. In real life, it's hard to experience love that way because your boss or your friends would certainly give you a wake up call if you tried to live like that. It just can't happen except for in instances like a vacation fling. Where the movies end after two hours is where the realistic part of a relationship starts in my opinion. The difference is that we always get to see the aftermath, unless that's where our vacation ends of course. Perfect things can't last forever.

3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?

I don't know if I experience many of those, but the one that possibly stands out the most to me is eagerness to learn about this person. I want to know what makes them tick, what they're passionate about, about their first heartbreak, their favorite childhood memory. I want to talk to them for hours until I know the smallest details of what makes them the person I fell for so that I can help remind them and myself in the future, when we've forgotten their core.

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

In my experience, the "in love" period seems to mutate into a feeling of actual "loving" in time. When this happens depends on how often I see this person and how deeply involved we are. If I only see them once a week or once every two weeks, this can take a while (10 months, a year) but if I see them on a daily basis it can happen really fast. I moved in with my fiancé when we'd been dating for just 4 months and I think it turned into "loving" at our 5-6 month mark. Of course there are moments on which we still feel "in love" with our partners and I think those will always remain.

In few cases in my teenage years, the relationships I was in didn't last long enough to progress into "loving".

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

As a polyamorous person, absolutely! It happened to me on a regular basis and I don't think there has to be shame in that. Falling in love with someone other than your partner doesn't equal cheating and I think this is something healthy to discuss within your relationship as you're nearly bound to catch feelings at some point (even though I've met some that claim they never would). Whether you act upon those feelings or not is up to you and the agreements you made as a couple.

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

I personally have a lot of trouble with defining "being in love" as it's such a temporary thing that flies by within months! It's a short period within a meaningful relationship that I feel is not even so important to the relationship itself. In my experience, being in love is being blind, blind for your own shortcomings, those of your partner and blind to whether or not the two of you are actually compatible. I don't feel like being in love is as beautiful as it's made out to be... now loving on the other hand, truly loving someone? That's something else...
Syl's answer

SylOfficial wrote:
My oh my, what an interesting survey!

1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

As shown in most romance movies? No, not exactly. In my experience it isn't as happy or as bubbly as it is portrayed in those. When it comes to romance roleplays, I think you can decide for yourself how realistic you wish to portray it. For me personally, a realistic portrayal attracts me more than some sappy display of clichés. Realistic love can be beautiful too!



2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

In essence, characters seem to forget that there's an entire life outside of the person they feel affection towards just as they seem to forget that there's an entire life beyond their relationship and dynamic. In real life, it's hard to experience love that way because your boss or your friends would certainly give you a wake up call if you tried to live like that. It just can't happen except for in instances like a vacation fling. Where the movies end after two hours is where the realistic part of a relationship starts in my opinion. The difference is that we always get to see the aftermath, unless that's where our vacation ends of course. Perfect things can't last forever.

3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?

I don't know if I experience many of those, but the one that possibly stands out the most to me is eagerness to learn about this person. I want to know what makes them tick, what they're passionate about, about their first heartbreak, their favorite childhood memory. I want to talk to them for hours until I know the smallest details of what makes them the person I fell for so that I can help remind them and myself in the future, when we've forgotten their core.

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

In my experience, the "in love" period seems to mutate into a feeling of actual "loving" in time. When this happens depends on how often I see this person and how deeply involved we are. If I only see them once a week or once every two weeks, this can take a while (10 months, a year) but if I see them on a daily basis it can happen really fast. I moved in with my fiancé when we'd been dating for just 4 months and I think it turned into "loving" at our 5-6 month mark. Of course there are moments on which we still feel "in love" with our partners and I think those will always remain.

In few cases in my teenage years, the relationships I was in didn't last long enough to progress into "loving".

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

As a polyamorous person, absolutely! It happened to me on a regular basis and I don't think there has to be shame in that. Falling in love with someone other than your partner doesn't equal cheating and I think this is something healthy to discuss within your relationship as you're nearly bound to catch feelings at some point (even though I've met some that claim they never would). Whether you act upon those feelings or not is up to you and the agreements you made as a couple.

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

I personally have a lot of trouble with defining "being in love" as it's such a temporary thing that flies by within months! It's a short period within a meaningful relationship that I feel is not even so important to the relationship itself. In my experience, being in love is being blind, blind for your own shortcomings, those of your partner and blind to whether or not the two of you are actually compatible. I don't feel like being in love is as beautiful as it's made out to be... now loving on the other hand, truly loving someone? That's something else...



OoOoOoo...I got THE SYL to answer this. I feel extra special. ;)

Beautiful answers.
In my first serious relationship, so I figured I'd add to it.


1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

I've never experienced it, and characters just seem to fall for each other like they're under the influence of a magical potion (or players ...). I felt really weird putting my new character in a romance roleplay, it felt forced, ... out of character. Like they would never do this or that, but they had to, because they were in love.


2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

Characters seem to always be happy and giddy. When really it's in bursts, or at least it was for me. Sometimes the movies will carry the relationships for years, and they'll still be super giddy, which is unrealistic from my experience.


3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?

During certain events, such as receiving a notification I'll get bursts of happy/giddiness, the thought of them visiting, or them telling me the good news they aren't moving thousands of miles away, them checking in on me, or asking me how I am, and reminding me once every while that if I need anything I can go to them. Each of these bursts were accompanied with painful yet satisfying jolts in the chest, or like my heart is about to explode, which could be my blood pressure shooting up, I can feel and hear it with my ears. Followed by a loss of breath, and a warm, tingly feeling spreading throughout my entire body. To this day, I still feel that warm, tingly feeling just from us touching hands.


5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

I certainly believe you can be in a happy relationship with multiple individuals.


6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

I feel like this is a good question, yet I haven't been able to answer it. Love is a complicated subject. Every time I try to put it into words, there's always a piece left out. But I think it's because there is too many pieces to remember at once.

The best attempt I can come up with, is it's subjective. Love means different things to different people. The "in love" stage feels more out of, lust? It requires a lot more work to maintain your relationship and feelings after that stage. I feel like after we got past the "in love" stage, everything just kind of enhanced, despite ourselves becoming calmer. Felt like we actually understood each other, knowing that this is what we want, and that it felt right. The true colors shine after that stage.
HAZor12 wrote:

I'll get bursts of happy/giddiness...accompanied with painful yet satisfying jolts in the chest, or like my heart is about to explode, which could be my blood pressure shooting up, I can feel and hear it with my ears. Followed by a loss of breath, and a warm, tingly feeling spreading throughout my entire body. To this day, I still feel that warm, tingly feeling just from us touching hands.

💕💕💕 That's so awesome. I love those sorts of feelings!
Oh hey, I'm definitely gonna edit this and do a proper response later, but for now- that indescribable "sweet" feeling is probably dopamine. Haha. It's a chemical reaction in your brain which happens when you're happy! The "love" feelings, which are so potent and so sudden, cause a rush of dopamine in some systems, causing a dizzying happy feeling. Pretty sweet.
I think there are many categories of love, if you could categorize it, but I'll get more into that later. :)
1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

I’m not sure. As a young folk (TM) that hasn’t really experienced true, real, ultimate romantic love with a young man or woman, I feel like that sort of romance is idealized. Like that’s what we as a society want. A lot of the romance I’m thinking of is soft, it’s warm, it’s inviting. And I think it does exist in the beginning of a relationship. My friends and I call it Boy/girlfriend island. It’s when (I personally think) you’re more infatuated with the person than in love, like you’re in love with the idea of them, rather than the person themselves, and you’re so giddy that the two of you finally got together. Everything is tinged with gold and there’s a beautiful warmth that you never want to leave.

But love is more than an island with soft padding and the best space heater you’ll ever find. Two of the love stories I love most are Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy and Han Solo/Leia Organa. These two are brilliant. I feel like they show that love is not all golden tinged and perfect. There’s arguments, there’s anger towards the other person, mutual ‘hatred’, but also mutual “I really care for this person”. And seeing my parents growing up: fighting is a real thing. Going to bed angry with your partner is a real thing. But love is coming back to them knowing that you will never let them go, even in the midst of a struggle. There’s something so binding about it.

I think real love is more of a battlefield. A war between yourselves, and then every so often, one between an army that the two (or more!) of you have to join together and fight off as allies. There’s grit, there’s blood, there’s nerves and tears and pain - but at the end of that war there is relief and love and excitement and you just know. You know that they’re the person for you.

2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

Characters seem to experience the boy/girlfriend island continuously. Again, there may be a couple experiences that don’t, but usually it’s a whirlwind, happy, paradise relationship that we as a person may wish to see in our own lives. It’s sweet, it’s fluffy - there’s also smut involved, if you write that sort of thing.

Real people - well we’re REAL. We’re gonna experience things more complicated than we can write. We will experience the island at first but we will also feel other things. There’s gonna be frustration. There’s gonna be betrayal. There’s gonna be anger. Theres also gonna be “I need you”, “I miss you”. It’s a whole crazy maze of emotions, some we don’t even recognize.

3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?

Yikes. Um...again I’m only 19. Only dated a few times in my life. I’m not one to talk about this with authority. But, here’s what I’ve recognized when I realized I’m interested in someone. This is more of a crush context than anything, but I act the same way with this when dating.

• Giddiness. When they text me, talk to me, I get very happy and smile nonstop. Even the mention of them gets to me.
• Daydreaming. Just dreaming up scenarios in my head.
• Thinking about them in general.
• Blushing. A lot.
• Teasing. Playful rough housing. Banter.
• Asking their love language and giving them that sort of thing. You like hugs? I’ll gladly give hugs! You like quality time? I’ll spend time with you! Gifts? Here ya go! Anything to put a smile on their face. (Exclusively seen when dating me)
• And probably more but this is what I can think of.

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

I think the latter is inevitable, but there’s definitely times where it spices up and gets exciting again. Sort of like when you hit a new stage of life together. It may be exciting for a bit, then muddle out to routine, and then something new strikes again. But who knows? Again, 19. I know nothing of the ways of love. Just from what I’ve seen from my parents.

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

I think it’s possible. Poly relationships are a thing. Again, not the best person to be talking on this subject.

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

Love is a battlefield. It’s definitely a quote but I think it’s definitely true.
Shinyrainbowlithogra wrote:
Oh hey, I'm definitely gonna edit this and do a proper response later, but for now- that indescribable "sweet" feeling is probably dopamine. Haha. It's a chemical reaction in your brain which happens when you're happy! The "love" feelings, which are so potent and so sudden, cause a rush of dopamine in some systems, causing a dizzying happy feeling. Pretty sweet.
I think there are many categories of love, if you could categorize it, but I'll get more into that later. :)

Yes, yes...my dear fellow intellectual person. Dopamine and...oxytocin. ;) The bonding chemical.

But something mystifies me about that...why do other things that shoot our dopamine levels up not feel the same as love?

For example, almost all the addictive drugs work by getting the brain releasing a bunch of dopamine in the brain. But it feels different. (Ok, I admit I don't know how most drugs feel, but when I've had surgery and gotten morphine, or when I've had Norco after a dental appointment...I feel the dopamine effect for sure. And yet love is a little different.) Maybe it's released in different brain regions, or maybe it's the exact combo of chemicals...idk. What do you think? Or maybe the mind and the chemicals both contribute somehow?
Lady_Istyar wrote:
1. Is love as shown in the movies/romance RPs a real thing? Have you experienced it?

I’m not sure. As a young folk (TM) that hasn’t really experienced true, real, ultimate romantic love with a young man or woman, I feel like that sort of romance is idealized. Like that’s what we as a society want. A lot of the romance I’m thinking of is soft, it’s warm, it’s inviting. And I think it does exist in the beginning of a relationship. My friends and I call it Boy/girlfriend island. It’s when (I personally think) you’re more infatuated with the person than in love, like you’re in love with the idea of them, rather than the person themselves, and you’re so giddy that the two of you finally got together. Everything is tinged with gold and there’s a beautiful warmth that you never want to leave.

But love is more than an island with soft padding and the best space heater you’ll ever find. Two of the love stories I love most are Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy and Han Solo/Leia Organa. These two are brilliant. I feel like they show that love is not all golden tinged and perfect. There’s arguments, there’s anger towards the other person, mutual ‘hatred’, but also mutual “I really care for this person”. And seeing my parents growing up: fighting is a real thing. Going to bed angry with your partner is a real thing. But love is coming back to them knowing that you will never let them go, even in the midst of a struggle. There’s something so binding about it.

I think real love is more of a battlefield. A war between yourselves, and then every so often, one between an army that the two (or more!) of you have to join together and fight off as allies. There’s grit, there’s blood, there’s nerves and tears and pain - but at the end of that war there is relief and love and excitement and you just know. You know that they’re the person for you.

2. What is the difference between what characters seem to experience (re: love) and what real people experience?

Characters seem to experience the boy/girlfriend island continuously. Again, there may be a couple experiences that don’t, but usually it’s a whirlwind, happy, paradise relationship that we as a person may wish to see in our own lives. It’s sweet, it’s fluffy - there’s also smut involved, if you write that sort of thing.

Real people - well we’re REAL. We’re gonna experience things more complicated than we can write. We will experience the island at first but we will also feel other things. There’s gonna be frustration. There’s gonna be betrayal. There’s gonna be anger. Theres also gonna be “I need you”, “I miss you”. It’s a whole crazy maze of emotions, some we don’t even recognize.

3. What "symptoms" of falling in love do you experience?

Yikes. Um...again I’m only 19. Only dated a few times in my life. I’m not one to talk about this with authority. But, here’s what I’ve recognized when I realized I’m interested in someone. This is more of a crush context than anything, but I act the same way with this when dating.

• Giddiness. When they text me, talk to me, I get very happy and smile nonstop. Even the mention of them gets to me.
• Daydreaming. Just dreaming up scenarios in my head.
• Thinking about them in general.
• Blushing. A lot.
• Teasing. Playful rough housing. Banter.
• Asking their love language and giving them that sort of thing. You like hugs? I’ll gladly give hugs! You like quality time? I’ll spend time with you! Gifts? Here ya go! Anything to put a smile on their face. (Exclusively seen when dating me)
• And probably more but this is what I can think of.

4. Have you been in relationships where that initial movie love feeling lasts for years, or is it's mutation into a deeper, stable, but less exciting love inevitable?

I think the latter is inevitable, but there’s definitely times where it spices up and gets exciting again. Sort of like when you hit a new stage of life together. It may be exciting for a bit, then muddle out to routine, and then something new strikes again. But who knows? Again, 19. I know nothing of the ways of love. Just from what I’ve seen from my parents.

5. Can you be in love with multiple people at once?

I think it’s possible. Poly relationships are a thing. Again, not the best person to be talking on this subject.

6. If you had to define "being in love" in a few words, what would you say?

Love is a battlefield. It’s definitely a quote but I think it’s definitely true.

Thanks for the detailed answers, sweetie! I always love reading your thoughtful thoughts.

Fyi--I thought I was in love two times in a row by the time I was 19...lol. I don't know now that that was being in love, but being young doesn't make you any less qualified to answer these questions! 👍

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