LOVE VS. INFATUATION
HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
Infatuation is an intense feeling of attraction for someone. It often is mistaken for love but can fizzle out quickly, whereas true love for one another continues. Infatuation is self-centered and emotional, often based on how we are feeling; it is that “over the moon” euphoria that makes everything seem better, rosier, and happier. Although infatuation can lead to long-term love, it is not enough in itself to sustain a relationship. Infatuation cares very little about the long-term needs or best interests of the person on whom it is fixated.
• Driven by emotions
• Wants immediate gratification
• Cares mostly about self-satisfaction
• Creates discontentment, covetousness
• Makes demands
• Often ends abruptly
• Driven by commitment
• Cares mostly about the other person
• Brings peace, contentment, joy
Interestingly, at the beginning of a dating relationship, the body releases massive amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine, which induces the same euphoric effects as crack cocaine!
We have to be careful not to base decisions that will affect our future on the fleeting nature of infatuation, no matter how exhilarating the feeling. Many people marry because they are infatuated, only to find out later that they don’t really know the person to whom they have committed their lives. Infatuation can kick-start a relationship into a true long lasting love, but for it to keep running faithfully there needs to be a solid background of conversation and quality time in which to get to know each other thoroughly. Without those and a healthy dose of realism (get rid of those rose colored glasses!) a relationship will never go any further than infatuation, and will eventually wither and die.
So how do you do that? The main point to remember is: take your time. Don’t rush into any decision. Date each other with a group of other people, doing a variety of things. Talk to each other. Discuss your world views, what your opinions are on everything. You don’t have to agree on everything, but there are some points of view that you may find are non-negotiable. Although there are no guarantees of a lasting relationship, taking the time to find out about each other before committing can help prevent a big mistake, and in the case of true love, help it grow and flourish.