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When someone says "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" are they really saying "I don't love you but I don't want to hurt your feelings"?

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You can choose to love someone. You can decide you will see their best qualities, appreciate them for who they are, and be a supportive partner to them. You can also choose to stop loving someone, to walk away and forget about them. Being in love is not a choice. It’s something that can happen without your intention or consent, and it’s not something you can walk away from. If you leave, you’ll take the feeling of being in love with you.

LOVING SOMEONE IS FLEETING, BEING IN LOVE IS FOREVER.

Love can literally end at any moment. He can do something annoying, or you get in a bad fight, or you’re kind of in a funk, then BAM. You don’t love him anymore. Being in love isn’t that fickle. It stays through the fights, the lulls, and the full blown existential crisis. When the honeymoon phase is over and life gets a little more routine, only the relationship where you are actually in love will be a happy one. You don’t need constant excitement, because your feelings are real without it.

'To love someone' means to like someone or want good for them.

'Being in love with someone' implies that you have romantic/sexual relationship (intimate relationship) with someone someone. (Cross-posted with user067531).

I love you, but I'm not in love with you" are they really saying "I don't love you but I don't want to hurt your feelings?"

It means they love (like) you and want good for you but the 'love' is neither 'romantic' nor 'sexual'. You cannot have intimate relationship with them.

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