Knowing the difference between infatuation and love - can you tell?
We’ve all been there. The constant daydreaming, sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Goddammit, you swear if your heart beats any faster it’s going to burst right out of your chest. It’s about to get real ‘Nicholas Sparks’ up in here. And now you’re wondering...Am I in love or in lust?
The more appropriate term would be infatuation.
In the beginning, it’s really easy to confuse infatuation with love. It can be extremely intense and passionate. However, infatuation is short-lived and self-gratifying. It caters to your feelings and focuses on satisfying your needs desires first.
Generally, we all start off with feelings of infatuation. The relationship is new, the attraction is at an all-time high, and your brain probably feels like a rave with all the feel-good chemicals it's pumping. It feels damn good but it’s impossible to sustain a healthy relationship on infatuation alone because it’s so fleeting.
So, how can you tell the difference?
Signs You Might Be Infatuated
1. You idealize your partner.
You love everything about him/her. In your eyes, s/he is perfect and can do no wrong. This type of thinking can be especially dangerous when it comes at the expense of rational thinking. If you find yourself constantly making excuses for your partner’s negative behaviors, you’re most likely infatuated.
2. Your needs come first.
You’re more focused on what you can get out of the relationship with little to no reciprocity. Are you constantly taking, with little consideration for your lover’s needs? Is s/he constantly sacrificing for you? You may not even notice you’re doing this, but taking a moment to step back and examine the dynamic of your relationship can help you figure it out. If you take more than you’re willing to give, it’s a sign it’s probably not love.
3. Your relationship revolves around sex.
Don’t misunderstand -- constant physical contact isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is, however, a good indicator of the type of relationship you have with someone. Sexual intimacy can forge a deeper emotional connection with your partner when you’re in love, but ask yourself: When sexual activity ceases, am I bored with the relationship? If you are, it’s not love.
4. You’re constantly getting jealous.
Jealous much? It’s common in relationships to have moments of jealousy, but intense and constant jealousy can be a sign that you’re infatuated. Oftentimes this stems from a fear of not being included in certain aspects of your partner’s life. Do you get jealous when your s/he is around other friends or family? Are you overly possessive? Do you fear something or someone will take him/her away from you? Love is trusting, infatuation is not.
5. You neglect life outside of that person.
It’s natural to want to spend a lot of time with your lover, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Relationships are a commitment, and in order for them to grow, it requires time. But if you’re neglecting your social life, your responsibilities or needs, that’s a problem. Love is supposed to bring out the best in you. It’s meant to be a safe place that fosters growth, acceptance and harmony, right? So anything that doesn’t, is probably not it.
It’s been said that love is blind, but nothing could be further from the truth. Infatuation is blind -- love has 20/20 vision. It acknowledges, accepts and adapts and its truest form, it is absolutely perfect.