Is it Love? Or is it Infatuation?
Have you met someone you really like? Maybe every text message makes you smile. Maybe you can’t wait until the next time you see them. Does the sound of their name give you butterflies? Do you feel like a magnet drawn to this person? Maybe you’re wondering if you’re falling in love.
Is it love? Or is it infatuation? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference – especially when you’re feeling all the feels. But it is possible to determine if it’s real love or merely infatuation.
Here are five key differences between love and infatuation.
1. Infatuation happens quickly. Love takes time. That love at first sight feeling is really infatuation. You experience strong feelings of attraction right away – an intense desire to be around the person. Infatuation is an overwhelming feeling of desire and fascination before you really know the person well. On the other hand, love develops gradually. True love takes time. As you slowly open up to each other and discover, layer by layer, who this person really is, you begin to love them.
The thing is – sometimes infatuation is a step towards love. You feel all those intense emotions of infatuation early on, then as you spend more time together and really get to know each other, you truly begin to love them. The key is to slow down and give real love time to grow.
2. Infatuation is self-centered. Love is other-centered. Infatuation is about what you’re feeling, your emotions, making sure this person is also attracted to you. In infatuation, you may want to satisfy the other person, but it’s really only a means to making sure that person likes you. It’s like you HAVE to have this person, so you’ll do whatever it takes to get them. But it’s really about you satisfying your own desire.
Love, though, is about wanting genuine happiness for the other person. When you really love someone, you want their happiness above your own. Your focus is on meeting the needs of your person.
3. Infatuation is anxious and irrational. Love is calming. Infatuation is butterflies in your stomach and prickly goosebumps on your skin. Sure, it’s exciting, but it also can make you feel insecure and jealous and a little bit crazy. Love is secure and calming. Love gives you comfort and feelings of steadiness and assurance. Don’t get me wrong – love can be exciting, and it should be; but real love makes you feel peaceful and sure.
4. Infatuation is reckless. Love is considerate. Infatuation may make you take risks or compromise your moral standards. Infatuation is an urgent feeling and often involves physical affection or sexual intimacy very early on. Infatuation will make you do things you normally wouldn’t just to be with this person or satisfy this person or make this person like you. If your friends are telling you that you’re acting crazy or that you’ve changed, then it’s probably infatuation.
Love is more considerate. When you truly love someone, you are true to yourself and you respect your partner when they are true to themselves. You move more slowly and consider the consequences for every decision.
5. Infatuation is short-lived. Love is long-lasting. Infatuation is a fire that catches quickly and burns brightly and is all-consuming, but then it burns up and out and leaves nothing. Infatuation captures all your attention for a brief time, but then it’s over. When you’re infatuated, you feel in love this week and out of love next week. As soon as those intense feelings die down, the relationship is over.
Love, however, is deep and stable. Your feelings aren’t blown by the wind. You feel a genuine connection and commitment to your person, and those feelings don’t evaporate quickly. Even if the relationship doesn’t work out, you have deep-seated concern and care for them. This person will be a part of who you are for the rest of your life.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement and emotions of a new relationship. We’ve all been there. But it’s important to take a step back and decide if it’s real love or just infatuation. If you’re not sure, give us a call at either of our Center’s. We’d love to listen and encourage you.