The Difference Between Infatuation and Love
Have you ever been infatuated?
The Meaning of 'Infatuation' and Infatuation Vs. Love
It is not uncommon to have Infatuation and love compared. In most comparisons, infatuation is treated as a dangerous phenomenon, whereas love is shown to be healthy. The fundamental question that needs to be asked, however, often remains unanswered: what is the meaning of 'infatuation', and how is it different from love?
Infatuation is an uncontrollable passion towards another individual that is not based on sound common sense but on raw physical or emotional attraction.
Infatuation is akin to driving a race car at over 300 kilometres an hour along country roads. It is an experience that is intense, and which provides a massive rush of excitement to the driver. Love, on the other hand is like riding a vintage car that has been tried and tested and which has always managed to cope with local road conditions, no matter how difficult.
How infatuation is manifested
Infatuation is almost always discovered in terms of a growing interest in another person, usually belonging to another gender. A clear sign of infatuation is the desire to be with the other person at any cost. Over a period of time, generally gradually, but sometimes rapidly, the other person takes the lion's share of all the thoughts of the infatuated person.
The infatuated person spends day and night thinking only about the other person, often losing a lot of sleep.
A person who is infatuated becomes extremely emotional even if the emotionality is not clearly manifested.
A person in infatuation attempts to fit a certain standard of acceptability in terms of physical appearance and personality, in order to interest the other.
Finally, the infatuated person develops a certain kind of false optimism that fails to see reason, only considering the remote possibility of being with the other as the reality that has been destined by supernatural forces. The infatuation seems to becomes the center of the universe, when in fact, it clearly isn't.
True Fact: Infatuation Leads to Heartbreak
Why infatuation can be absolutely exhausting
The beginning of infatuation is almost always an ominous sign of the difficult times t come. Once infatuation has set in, it is almost impossible to roll back and will take its course.
Infatuation causes a disconnect from reality. The person of attraction becomes the 'be-it' and 'end-all' of the infatuated person's existence. Every action that the infatuated person performs is designed towards the end of obtaining the desired person, much like winning a trophy.
Oftentimes, the behaviour of the person in infatuation changes drastically. Mood swings become common, the person alternating between an unbelievable ecstasy and unbearable depression.
The frequent oscillation between extreme ecstasy and depression causes the onset of a long period of physical and emotional tiredness that is quite hard to get past.
Love as opposed to infatuation
Love provides one with a sense of security while infatuation creates insecurity. Love is not a feeling but an unchanging desire to be selfless. Love is prepared to make sacrifices. A person who is in true love is prepared even to leave the partner if it is required to ensure his or her happiness.
Infatuation appropriates for itself. The loss of a partner is unimaginable and debilitating to a person in infatuation.
Unlike infatuation, love is not affected by the vagaries of circumstance. Love, once established, stays.
True lovers have a sane and realistic vision for the future. Infatuated people live in a present that is changing by the moment.
It has been stated often, and I must state again that "love does not care about external beauty". A seeming lack of physical beauty can never be of detriment to love. On the other hand, infatuation consumes, either consciously or unconsciously, physical beauty, for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Love is manufactured by true lovers and shared with the world they inhabit. Infatuation makes infatuated people neglect the world around them, especially their family, friends, and all those they are capable of spending time with.
Infatuation Vs. Love
Wants to receive
Wants to give
Mostly very impractical
Always very practical
Not willing to suffer for the other
Willing to suffer for the other if required
More emotion than good-sense
Doesn't trust the other person enough
Trusts the other person
Will end without physical proximity
Will continue even without physical proximity
Seeks to impress
Does not seek to impress
Wants to be seen
Not interested in being seen
Ends in heartbreak
Seeks instant gratification
Doesn't seek instant gratification
Wants to be picture-perfect
Isn't bothered about being picture-perfect
Forgets everyone apart from the target of attraction
Doesn't forget others
Considers physical beauty to be of prime Importance
Considers physical beauty to be of secondary importance
As is evident, there are many differences between infatuation and true love. Knowing these differences is a good start that one can make in order to be a more mature person.
Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own.— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
How to deal with infatuation in a mature way
One or two experiences of infatuation in the teenage years are almost a certainty. However, repeatedly becoming infatuated is a sign of immaturity.
Confront the reality of people around you. Realize that everyone is human and prone to weaknesses. No one, he or she, is your perfect match. True love is always an imperfect match.
Get into the habit of listening to opinions contrary to your own, as and when you encounter them. This is a healthy habit that will widen your perspective of life.
Very importantly, and I recommend this useful practice. Pick out a trustworthy and elderly person of your own gender, a mature person, to confide in. It is good to let off emotional steam once in a way. A mature person is capable of handling it without becoming judgmental, and in the process, will also give you precious guidance and a new understanding. You do not need to share every little element of your life with such a person, or for that matter, with anyone, but if anything is troubling you and affecting your functioning, you must get it off your chest.
A trustworthy and mature adult of your gender can be a good person to confide in and ask for advice on how to handle your situation.
Infatuation is not a crime. It is a phenomenon that occurs in virtually every person's life. It is a barometer of one's progress in becoming a balanced and mature person, sensible and capable of supporting a family. If you know of anyone who is struggling to cope with infatuation, be available to him/her as a friend. Rather than trying to advice the infatuated person, watch out for him/her and his/her emotions. Now that you know a fair bit about what goes on with a person in infatuation, read the signs and provide support as and when required.
Everyone becomes wiser and more mature with experience
Infatuation is a global phenomenon and one that occurs in virtually every single person's life regardless of gender.
Never beat yourself up if you think you have become infatuated with someone despite your best efforts not to get emotionally involved. Experience is a great teacher. Have an open mind, and you will learn some lessons that will prove to be invaluable in the future.
Bonus: An eye-opening video explaining the difference between love and lust
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.— Ann Landers
If you found this article meaningful, or if you want to share your experience(s) of infatuation or love with others, use the comments section below.
© 2013 Rohan Rinaldo Felix