Infatuation: strong but not usually lasting feelings of love or attraction.
You fall head over heels for the person within a few weeks. You’re convinced this is it. This person is the one. You love everything about them. They can’t do any wrong.
Or can they?
New relationships frequently start out this way. The connection is filled with lust and desire, and it’s intense. You want to spend every second with this person.
And you dive in headfirst.
But wait a minute - what about leading with your head rather than your heart for a second? How about practicing a little smart love and zoning in on reality?
It’s tricky to tell the difference between infatuation and actual love. The relationship may start hot and heavy, but within months, it fizzles out. What happened? Where’d that spark go? The truth of the matter is that it was likely just infatuation.
Soon, you discover their flaws and weird quirks. You realize this isn’t going to work. Reality hits you smack in the face and you come to the conclusion that it wasn’t love at all.
The problem? The door kind of hits you on your way out in this situation. You realize it was just infatuation. And unfortunately, it may end with hurt feelings and possibly, breaking someone else’s heart.
And I’m not here to say infatuation doesn’t have its pros - oh, it does. It’s helpful when you’re rebounding from someone else. It can also be fun to fall fast. But it doesn’t benefit you or the other person in the long run.
So, let’s talk about protecting your heart, and let’s leaf through separating infatuation from love for a hot minute or two.
What are the Signs of Infatuation?
You Fall Fast.
Love doesn’t usually happen quickly. And if someone says ‘I love you’ too soon, it may be a sign that you need to 1. Slow things down or 2. Get the heck outta there.
Infatuation is hard to catch. You’re in the midst of falling. It feels so good. And immediately, you become locked at the hips. But most long-lasting relationships and love doesn’t start this way.
If people around you are saying, ‘isn’t this a bit fast’ maybe take a hint and step back and assess. Are you just caught up in the sexual connection and feelings of lust you two have?
And love is more about affection and caring. Infatuation blinds you. You become reckless. You throw away your own self-care and values for the other person. Notice when you are doing these things. Recognize it.
You Feel Jealousy or Notice Jealousy Early On.
Infatuation comes with a need to control, along with desire. These two go hand-in-hand. If you or your partner become possessive early on, this might not only be a red flag but it could also indicate infatuation over love.
Love drips with confidence - not control or possessiveness. Love is genuine. It’s like a partnership. No one owns anyone. Love understands that you are separate beings, unlike it’s controlling cousin, infatuation.
You Haven’t Seen Your Friends in a While.
As said above, love accepts you two as individuals. Infatuation, on the other hand, gets you caught up in a whirlwind, where maybe you haven’t seen your friends in a while. Have you bailed on plans in favor of hanging out with the new person your dating? Also a big no in the friendship realm of things, it’s another red flag in a relationship.
Love accepts friendships and accepts individual qualities. Infatuation sets out to change and control a person into the mold they’ve imagined that person to be. Remember, infatuation makes you blind to flaws. You’re seeing this other person as the perfect being - which, let’s be honest, no one is.
Love should be a partnership; infatuation involves a desire to be close to the other person at almost any cost - including friendships. But a partnership, like in love, supports each other and again, accepts that you are unique individuals.
In addition, maybe you haven’t participated in any self-care lately. It’s become all about the other person. Yeah, that’s infatuation. Watch it closely.
Infatuation Rises From Desire
It’s lust basically. You feel a strong sexual attraction to this person - so strong that you believe you may be in love - but the downside? You’re not.
Relationships arise from something of more substance. Relationships are built on more than just surface-level aspects. They nurture an appreciation and deep connection with one another. They put each other’s feelings first as opposed to their own desires. Remember, it’s a partnership not a selfish act to feel good like infatuation presents itself.
Be Cautious With New Relationships
While we’re all about stepping forward whole-heartedly, don’t let it control you. Use your heart, but think with your brain as well. That nagging feeling or emptiness when you leave the other person’s place might be trying to tell you something. Let it in. Assess it, and go from there.
Ask yourself questions like…
- Do you have things in common other than sex?
- Do you appreciate their opinion and respect it?
- Do you feel secure with them?
- Do you emotionally hurt each other and allow it to pull you apart?
It’s called smart love. Infatuation is guided by your emotions, whereas love is led by your heart and head. Use both. Don’t let yourself get carried away by how you feel in the moment - at least not entirely, and especially if you don’t want to waste your energy or time. Trust us - it’ll be worth it.
Related Article: Questions to Ask Yourself When Rebuilding Your Relationship