What does it mean to "be in love?" Now, I think it is obvious that most of us have an innate knowledge as to what this state of being generally entails. We may think of it as rapturous pleasure, noble gallantry, tender affection, or any combination of these and more. Certainly it is different than any other sort of love. We are not ever, I hope, in love with something like Pizza—"I am in love with that new pizza!" And certainly we ought not fall in love with a family member or even member of the same sex. To be clear, I am talking about the love between a man and woman that is romantic and uniquely so.
But I think very few of us examine it any further than that. Or worse yet, we create a sort of flimsy, sappy version of what we think it means to be in love. We make it to reek of soft, fluffy things that are nice to daydream about but clash with reality. We cripple its beauty, dim its glory. This has, at the very least, this has been what I have seen in my experience.
So, to the matter at hand. What does it mean to be IN love? Why is IN used? I find that to be of especial curiosity. Why not say I "I have love for So-and-so," or "We love OF each other?" Well, I will say that the accepted linguistic convention does have a nice simplicity to it. But I digress.
"Being in love" seems to, by its own nature, require that two persons are engaged in a similar state of the being. By this I mean that it seems to require two people—"I am in love WITH So-and-so." Furthermore, it describes a state of being—"I AM in love with..."
And this is the curious part: to be IN love seems to require that they be IN the midst of some state or action. But, while this clarifies things a bit, this still does not answer our question.