Every person dreams of finding real love as we cannot experience true happiness without this component. Nothing can replace love; money, fame, and social statuses fade without sincere human feelings. That is why we are desperately trying to find true love. Then we want to understand if we really love the person we’ve got connected with and if we can sacrifice everything in the name of love.
What goes wrong?
So, why does it happen that having fallen in love and won the affection of a beloved person, in some time we bitterly realize that our feelings have faded away? And the most important person becomes a stranger? Why do some people manage to preserve their love through time and distance whereas others’ feelings die right after the moment they’ve appeared?
The reason lies in the fact that there is a difference between love and infatuation. These two notions are like two sides of the same medal. Infatuation is a pleasant but fleeting feeling that, according to psychologists, lasts not more than 3-4 years. Love, on the contrary, doesn’t obey time frames and only strengthens with time.
It may be very difficult to distinguish between love and infatuation because they have much in common. As well as love, infatuation evokes the desire to possess a beloved person and brings joy from communication with him/her. However, to understand if you love the person, you need to dig deeper to see that love and infatuation have many obvious differences.
The most essential difference is that an infatuated person aims at receiving satisfaction from love relationships, and a person who loves is ready to give care, warmth, and love demanding nothing in return.
Love gives, wants to receive a hobby – this is their fundamental difference. Therefore, not every person is capable of love, and infatuation happens by chance. Only those who are ready for self-sacrifice in the name of a partner are capable of love. Egocentricity and love are incompatible, so an egocentric person can fall in love, but he is unlikely to love. But true love can be found on dating sites too.
Main features of infatuation
An infatuated person, especially at the beginning of a relationship, is in the state of euphoria which resembles drug addiction. That is why, at this stage, it is very difficult to define whether you love a person. Under the influence of infatuation, people typically lose sleep and appetite, become impulsive and reckless. According to the way their relationship develops, either successfully or not, infatuated people either fly on the wings of happiness or are tremendously tormented.
An infatuated person cannot objectively evaluate the partner’s features of character. When we are in love with somebody, he/she seems the best, the cleverest, the kindest, etc., but we don’t notice his/her disadvantages even when they are obvious. This is why infatuation brings us disappointments.
If a partner is infatuated, they want another person to belong exclusively to them. Once our beloved person doesn’t share our feelings, we are suffering deeply. When a person we are infatuated with finds happiness in communication with others, we become very jealous and angry. Sometimes, it even seems that we are ready to kill both ourselves and that person.
What is more, quite often jealousy leaves no place for personal boundaries. Let us recollect how we react when our partner says that he/she needs some time to be either apart from us with friends or just alone. Usually, girls think: “Oh, how could that be possible? I want to spent all my time with him, so I love him. If he doesn’t want the same, his friends or hobbies are more important to him.” And here the quarrel begins because women’s defensive mechanisms have turned on. With men, it can also be the case if they are super jealous, but typically they give women some free space because they have this need themselves.
Too high expectations
A person who is in love typically thinks the following way: “I love you, so you owe me: reciprocity, good attitude, and ability to meet my standards and expectations.” Once the partner fails to meet our expectations, seems not as kind and devoted, clever and talented as we imagined at the beginning of our relationship, we usually are deeply disappointed and indignant. How could we have made such a grave mistake?
Feelings are fleeting and changeable
“There is one step from love to hatred” – it is said exactly about infatuation, not love. Very often, infatuation, if it is not reciprocal, turns into hatred, insult, and anger.
Main features of love
Unlike in case with infatuation, no outer circumstances can influence real love. Even if a person we really love seems far from our ideal image, we accept him/her the way they are despite anything.
Readiness to sacrifice
A person who loves is ready to sacrifice a lot for a partner not to get something in return but because the partner’s happiness makes them happy, too. True love is never unhappy. Love, even not reciprocal, is always a stimulus to self-improvement, spiritual development, and work on ourselves. We should be grateful to our beloved person just for the fact that we’ve experienced this great feeling.
Another distinctive feature of love and infatuation. When we really love, it is not of primary importance, but once we are infatuated, it plays a decisive role in our relationship.
Also, infatuation creates an illusion of growth but is a stop as a matter of fact, while love is a person’s growth. There is even a definition of love, according to which it is an active interest in partner’s growth and development. In love, we open up our potential, whereas driven by infatuation, we waste our energy clarifying the relationship. That is why love respects private boundaries, and if a partner needs to be alone, another one doesn’t react to it negatively but calmly goes away from the partner and minds his/her own business.
In conclusion, it is not very hard to understand if we love a person or are just infatuated. Love and infatuation differ too much, so it would be better to name them antonyms. When somebody confesses their love, most probably they are talking about infatuation, because exactly deeds not words speak for love.
In this respect, we should mention that you cannot love another person until you love yourself. What do we mean by this? To love yourself, you must have the courage to follow your dreams, i.e., live a happy interesting life and be interesting primarily to yourself. In this case, you will never look for another person as a means to make your happy because you are a self-sufficient individual. Let us remember that our partners are not meant to make us happy, their task is to multiply everything good we’ve created ourselves.