Loving someone is easy. As long as you’re aware of how much you like that person, you’ll just give accordingly to make them feel your love. Do it such that you give because it makes yourself happy, and not because you want anything in return.
Being in love is tricker. Now you factor in their feelings for you, something you can never be sure – it’s always interpretation – something beyond your control. That’s when you need to take a leap of faith, and trust in them. Believe that they will never intentionally hurt you, that they will support you when you’re not strong, that they love you for you even when you’re not your best.
Falling out of love is agonizing, in my opinion. Before you successfully identified yourself as someone losing interest in the other, you’ll find that you’re extra sensitive to things they do that bothers you – you’re irritated, and guilty that you’re irrationally annoyed, and don’t know why. Perhaps you may relate to the urge to escape but tied to the obligation to stay. The commitment to the relationship no longer feels like a safety net but a tightening rope around your throat.
To love yourself is to understand the essence of love. Intangible feelings don’t discriminate, only social constructs do, so you (and everyone else) are definitely worth loving no matter whatever labels that sticks upon you. And keep out toxic people who will make you feel less than you rightfully deserved. Also, to give is a blessing, that you received more than enough to share, and because you are full you will never be discontented from lacking.
If love is a journey, then love with one eye opened, one eye closed. See with clarity to decide if the road ahead is worth it, make calculated risks, and then mentally prepare for incoming shit should you choose to make this trip. Pick your battles carefully, and ignore those that are unimportant so that you will preserve the strength to make it to the ending.