Infatuation Is a Temporary Illusion: How to Escape the Pain

Updated on August 31, 2018
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As a neuroscientist, I am fascinated by infatuation; it's such a strong, mysterious phenomenon, yet is entirely scientifically-explainable.

This Too Shall Pass

I will start this by saying that however deep and impossible your situation feels, you will leave this infatuated state. There will be a day when you can think about this special person without any type of pain or passion. You will remember how strongly you felt towards them while they didn't have the same feelings for you, and it will seem completely crazy that you were so stuck in infatuation.

It is cliché and irritating when people tell you this, but time is the only thing that will make you feel less magnetically drawn to someone who you cannot be with. You cannot magic away these feelings because they are a strong illusion created by chemicals in your brain. Over time, your neurobiology will balance out again and this person, essentially a stimulus, will not inspire the same physiological response in your brain. That is how infatuation ends, and you should think about your situation scientifically like this as it helps (as opposed to thinking romantically or focusing on the joy that the infatuation can bring, since it mainly brings pain).

What Is an Infatuation?

Are you currently struggling with huge, incredibly deep feelings for someone that you will never be with? We use the term "infatuation" (also limerance) to describe the state of being utterly enamoured by and obsessed with someone; it is the wildest thing that a human can experience in the sober, base-line state. The invisible pull that you feel will seem so novel and colossal in strength that, if experiencing infatuation for the first time, you will be certain that you will "never feel this again", and that this person is "the one". After all, your body and mind react so strongly and surely to them that it is impossible to imagine a life worth living that doesn't have them at the centre of it. This is not the case, as you will experience several infatuations in your life if you are prone to them.

Due to differing genetics and brain chemistry, some people are more prone to entering limerance than others; in fact, some will never experience this roller coaster of euphoria and insecurity. Unrequited crushes are normal and not too much of an issue; unrequited infatuation not only encompasses incredibly powerful attraction, admiration and a general feeling of "love" towards the subject, but is also agonising and depressive by nature.

If the infatuated cannot be with the person that they desire, they will likely enter a deep depression and will feel completely out of order for weeks or months, until the feelings fade or they gain closure. Irrational thoughts and misery normally accompany this rollercoaster experience, as well as physical symptoms such as elevated libido and lack of appetite (due to an excess of dopamine in the brain).

Is It a Normal Crush or an Infatuation?

You may wonder how we can define things as vague and fluid as romantic feelings. However, the line between a healthy crush and a problematic infatuation is not as thin as it seems. Crushes can be unwanted and painful, bringing ups and downs into our lives, but a true infatuation blows a crush out of the water. If deeply infatuated with someone that you cannot be with, you will think irrational thoughts such as "I want to die - X isn't in my life and everything else makes me miserable".

These thoughts are falsehoods, for the world is so open that you will definitely encounter other people (as well as places, music and even fashion trends) that you find fascinating.

If you are simply experiencing a romantic crush, you will find the person very appealing and may intensely want to date them, but there will be less feeling than there is in limerence - less hormonal influence, less joy, and less crying. The highs will be less euphoric, sure, but the lows will not be nearly as crushing as those experienced in the limerent state.

The difference between a crush and an infatuation is that the former allows you to enjoy the warm feelings and be in control of your emotions, while the latter is extremely unhealthy and causes the sufferer a lot of pain if they cannot be with the person they desire. A crush may feel very strong and you may want to act differently to charm the subject of your feelings, but it will never be as delusional., destructive and fantasy-based as a true infatuation is.

So, how does one differentiate between the two? In short, if you feel so distraught that you cannot be with the person that you are googling for solutions, crying before bed and upon waking, losing interest in activities that you normally love, struggling to imagine a future without the person in your life, you are definitely infatuated and not crushing. You need to treat this like it's a drug addiction and you will stop feeling this way in a matter of weeks or months.

Why Do People Become Infatuated in the First Place?

Most people go through their lives organically forming healthy "crushes"; even when not actively seeking a partner, they will encounter a few people a year that will grab their attention and seem irresistible. After all, this is biologically advantageous; we are mammals and are meant to pursue, and eventually reproduce with, those that we deem physically and emotionally intriguing.

Having said this, I will clarify that your sexual orientation is totally unimportant in your ability to develop all-consuming, raging feelings for someone. This level of feeling is just as prevalent between people of the same gender as it is between those of opposite genders. However, we are wired to pursue, bond with and care for other human beings for the sole reason of reproduction and the survival of our species. If someone is infatuated with someone of the same gender, they will experience all the same crazy emotions as a straight person. Reproduction will not happen, but their biology is still dominating them as if it will.

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What to Do? Understand That Your Feelings Are Scientifically-Explainable and Never Permanent

The wild array of feelings that come along with any form of attraction may seem intangible and wondrous, but they are caused by altered levels of different neurotransmitters. Focusing on the science behind such a strong human experience is crucial in dealing with the pain that it can cause you.

  • Reject dwelling in the infatuation too much. It's incredibly tempting to spend hours writing and lamenting about the subject of your "love", only to enter an even more heightened state of delusion. Even if this isn't your first infatuation and you saw that you got over your last one, remember that, naturally, you will be convinced that this person is the one and that you are ruining your life by missing out on being with them.This is nonsense and is your brain tricking you!
  • The best way to avoid falling into this horrible, fantasy-driven loop of obsessing and fantasising and despairing is to understand the science behind this crazy human experience.
  • It is also incredibly comforting to know that unrequited infatuation very rarely lasts for more than 6-8 months, and often will fizzle out incredibly suddenly and much earlier than this. This is because infatuation is neither logical nor grounded at all. It is so, so ephemeral by nature; one day you will look back at this period of your life and it will seem like a wild but distant dream. Trust me on that one.

Feeling Something Intensely Doesn't Mean It's Permanent

Don't get confused and think that, just because you feel such strong passion for this person, your feelings will "last forever" and you will "never get over them". For some reason, when us humans experience something intense or profound, we do what no other animals do and we introduce a poignant aspect of eternality to the situation. It's a huge logical fallacy to think "I feel strongly about X, hence I will ALWAYS feel this way", yet we all do it. Our tragic flaw is, in many ways, that we are aware of time and the future and cannot simply live in the moment and deal with whatever strong feelings we are experiencing as they come and go.

If you think about, a large part of your pain is that you feel that you won't ever have a happy, fulfilled, exciting life without this individual. After all, they've inspired so much energy in you and you haven't felt this way with anyone else before. The truth is that, no, your infatuation will not last long and will certainly not be permanent.

Infatuation has a shelf-life because it is based in the fantasy and reality cannot maintain it. It is such idealisation and irrationality that, once the real world creeps in and you become aware that your feelings are unfounded and inappropriate, they will naturally dissipate. It is for this reason that couples who feel "infatuated" often become bored after around 6 months. They aren't experiencing that surge of initial attraction or the wondrous mystery that their partner made them feel when they first met, because they were simply infatuated then and didn't really know their partner.

What Does It Mean If You're Prone To Infatuation?

Having studied neuroscience for a few years, my attention has been drawn to the fact that those of us who fall into infatuations are 1. prone to this state (will experience it over and over again, even if each one feels novel and "different this time"), and 2. we are people who feel things very intensely.

Now, I am aware that virtually every single person on this planet feels certain things strongly and irrationally, but a limerance really is at the top of the scale in terms of intensity, especially since mental illness is usually thrown into the mix. Nearly every single person who I have seen who has fallen into a deep infatuation has been on the spectrum for severe depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD) or OCD (meaning, they could obtain a psychiatric diagnosis for one of these illnesses).

I don't want to scare you; I am a firm believer that we all sit on spectrums for most mental health conditions, and that there should be no fear or taboo enshrouding this type of information. Many of us could be diagnosed with different things and obtain certain psychiatric labels, but I don't think we should strive to do this unless our mental health is affecting our quality of life extremely negatively. However, I do have to tell you: infatuation at its worst is not neurotypical.

If you tend to live your life emptily, only motivated and made to feel emotion by unobtainable people who you think can make everything okay, then you are most probably mentally ill (by society's definition, at least). If your self-esteem was moderately high and you were mainly mentally healthy (no depressive episodes, no propensity to obsession, no episodes of mania) then it is highly unlikely that you would fall into an illusion so controlling as infatuation.

As I have mentioned and will continue mentioning in this article, infatuation is a deceitful trick. It's your brain's way of latching onto something that could, in theory, make you happy and take away all your troubles. For this reason, if you are infatuated with someone, you are not happy with your current life. You might want to tell me "I am happy and confident, this person is just so special/beautiful that I need them", but that statement would be yet another dopamine-driven delusion.

If you are prone to infatuation/limerance:

  • you have a lot of love to give to people, whether platonic or romantic (this is a blessing). I suggest that you utilise this in the healthiest possible way and focus on solidifying strong, platonic friendships. You won't feel the high of infatuation and attraction, but you won't experience the horrible lows either, and you will be immensely satisfied because you'll form close bonds and feel understood by people who want to be in your life for genuine reasons, other than desire.
  • as mentioned above, you are probably mentally ill in some way, and could most likely be diagnosed with OCD, depression, anxiety, BPD, or bipolar disorder. Don't let this scare you. A diagnosis would just be putting a label on what you've felt your entire life.
  • you will fall into many more of these horrible infatuations. Don't let them shape your months and years, and don't let your life be a string of feelings for different people with you making no advancements in your own life. Even if you don't feel sound enough on a psychological level, force yourself to make friends, to exercise, to work and to read books. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you actually make new brain pathways and *escape* this hell.
  • you're very prone to fantasising about ideas, people and concepts that could, in theory, help you "escape" the current life or situation that you are in. Use this to your advantage - it just means that your brain is prone to creating dopamine pathways to motivate you. Currently, you're motivated to get this person into your life, but you can use this mental tactic to enjoy other things intensely, like academics, hobbies, pets etc. Become obsessed with another country, and make it your mission to learn the language fluently and move there within the next 8 years. Grab onto something other than a person that sparks your interest and get you thinking "my life would be amazing IF ...", whether it be the idea of gaining muscle at the gym, redecorating your house or writing a novel. Some would advise against this, but I believe it's the only healthy way to cope with a propensity to idolising people. People will hurt you too much but hobbies/pets/languages/exercise won't, so obsess over them instead.
  • unless you can somehow recover from this susceptibility to falling hard and selflessly for people (unlikely), your partners will never be on the same page as you. They will never love you as fiercely as you "love" them, because they will never be consumed by someone in the way that people consume and fill your existence. This may fill you with sadness but is reality; your mental issues aren't their problem, nor are they something that many people will relate to. Find some bittersweet comfort in the isolation. It'll require you to change your negative thinking patterns, but it's possible.

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Yes, This Is Just One of Your Many Phases!

Live in the moment and deal with any false, irrational thoughts like "this will last forever". Every time you think that, correct yourself and remember that you're feeling something very strong and unpleasant, but that's all it is and in no way does this equate to any form of permanence.

You can feel things strongly without them lasting forever! I don't know why we, as humans, struggle with this idea so much. There are so many sensory afflictions that come and go. For example, think of a terrible illness where you're vomiting constantly and can barely walk. You feel like you're never going to feel well again, but days later, you bounce back. The illness is just a faint memory that doesn't even inspire much emotion in you. Similarly, sometimes we come across music that we love and then can barely stand to hear it a month later.

We, as humans, go through many phases in our life. Phases are definitely valid life experiences, but find comfort in their ephemerality! This boy or girl is a phase in your life, albeit an intense one. One day, you will look back and associate them with whatever music you're currently listening to, the clothes you're currently wearing and the way that you feel. That is because those aspects of your life are also a phase. This person won't make your heart skip forever. If you take one thing from this article, let it be that. You won't believe me now, but there will come a time when you don't care who they date, and their name won't even stand out to you in a list. Human emotions are weird, huh?

Remember: You Love Your Brain's Chemicals, Not This Person

Unless you are experiencing a healthy crush within reality (just attraction and the feeling of connection), your infatuation is a result of an unhealthy dopamine reward circuit that your brain has essentially created as a survival mechanism. You are so depressed/unfulfilled/lonely that your brain knows that real life isn't offering much for you in terms of incentive to live, so it creates its own happiness in order to temporarily relieve you from unhappiness, nihilism and lack of focus.

Infatuation is the brain making its own fun through a "fantasy bond". Your brain provides you with a sugary high full of wonder and hope and promises for the future, and then when real life doesn't follow the illusion (e.g. when the person unsurprisingly doesn't devote their entire life to you because they have their own life/feelings), you will experience the consequent crash. There is a duality to every strong psychological experience, and what goes up always comes down.

Mocking yourself slightly and realising that your brain is "glitching" in this way is imperative. Tell yourself, "I love dopamine, not him/her!". If the attraction wasn't there, and you knew their personality inside out, would you still "need" them? It's almost impossible that you would. You might love them in a genuine way, just like some elderly couples love each other after years of commitment, but it wouldn't be delightful and euphoric. It wouldn't be what you're craving now, believe me.

Find comfort in the above. If you find yourself thinking "I've met him at the wrong point in my life, we could have grown old together etc." remember that the romance wouldn't feel like this for more than a few months anyway. Yes, maybe if you had met this man in 5 years time you'd date and then marry him and be happy (in the stable sense of the word, with no thrill), but the truth is that that's not even what you want. You want to be able to act on the passionate feelings that you currently have, and for those to last forever, which is why the supposed "missed connection" is so tragic and hard for you to cope with. The thing is, as I've explained, sheer concept of living with him/her forever and feeling this way with him/her forever is a fairytale that your brain has created.

In short: your brain has messed up here, and is misunderstanding the situation. We are animals at the end of the day, and our bodies function to promote survival, often not bothering about our feelings. If your life is lacking authenticity, excitement and motivation, your brain may work to ensure the survival of your genes by creating its own goals. Don't listen to everything that your mind is telling you and try not to crave the highs that it is offering you!

Neuroscience: What Causes Infatuation?

Understanding the science behind this turbulent experience is crucial, and is the only way to think practically without being nihilistic and numbing yourself to your feelings. This area of neuroscience is fascinating, as it deals with human experiences that seem so spiritual and magical that it's hard to believe that they are caused and controlled by relatively simple chemicals. However, a handful of neurotransmitters control all aspects of your mood and mental health, and therefore can explain every thought and motive that an infatuation will cause you to experience.

1. Dopamine is the "pleasure chemical", and relates to euphoria, addiction and craving. It can also inspire goal-based behaviour, e.g. wanting to save money to plan an elaborate trip, or, more relevantly, wanting that "perfect life" with someone you have recently met where you two are alone and free, revelling in each other's happiness. When you first fall into infatuation and you cannot imagine happiness with anyone else but this individual, it is dopamine acting... and boy, is dopamine a powerful neurotransmitter! It gives us momentum in life and quite literally drives humanity, but in the case of infatuation, it is a delightful yet dangerous substance.

When noradrenaline is also released, the two neurotransmitters can undergo a reaction and produce not only an elated mood, but also focused attention, hyper-activity and loss of appetite. All of these changes can be witnessed in the "lovesick"; you develop tunnel vision during these biochemical changes. You are greatly inspired by anything to do with the other person, and bored at the rest of the world, for it all seems so dull compared to the object of your passion. While noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter and adrenaline a hormone, the two contribute synergistically to a racing heart and the novel excitement associated with love.

2. Serotonin is low when you are infatuated, which is counterintuitive, as high levels of serotonin are also commonly associated with "lovey-dovey" feelings. In fact, taking ecstasy causes a great release of this neurotransmitter, and depression is caused by low levels of it. However, the infatuated brain shows the same low serotonin levels as someone with OCD, which explains the obsessive nature of infatuation, and hence why you should avoid romanticizing your state and realize that you are essentially mentally ill while in the throes of this level of passion.

3. Adrenaline activates stress responses in the body, and is involved with the physiological signs of infatuation. It activates the levels of other hormones like cortisol, which all activate the sympathetic nervous system in a cascade-like manner, causing trembling, sweating and an increased heart rate.

4. Oxytocin is released during intimate acts, cuddling and other forms of close, trust-based contact. It is slightly different to the others, as it does not directly cause "infatuation". In other words, it does not contribute to the insanely powerful passion that one feels while infatuated. Rather, it adds to the experience by increasing the sweet feelings of trust and fondness. For this reason, it is also extremely important in relationships after the infatuation and hence the craving (caused by dopamine) wears off. If the people in the relationship do not possess adequate amounts of oxytocin (and vasopressin), it is unlikely that the relationship will last once they have passed through the drugged-up stage of infatuation and are suddenly aware of each other's flaws.

I urge you to think about the science behind your feelings, as it will help you rationalise what you feel. Allow yourself to cry but don't let yourself romanticise this "missed connection", because it was never there in the first place. Your neurobiology has temporarily gone awry and taken control of your feelings, but this level of misery cannot and will not last.

Personality Archetypes and Infatuation

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Questions & Answers

  • Why do I choose to date men 7 to 20 years younger than me?

    Interesting topic, but unfortunately little is known about the psychology behind our sexual/romantic preferences. Afterall, we are still unsure why certain people are gay (as in, whether it is down to genes, environment or a combination of factors).

    I won't try and psychoanalyze you and claim that your preference is due to childhood problems etc., but you might want to see a counselor to see if the answer is deep in your subconscious somewhere.

    It might just be that you find the look of younger men attractive, or it may be that you desire to be more powerful/sociable/earn more money than your partner, hence you prefer to be older.

© 2017 Lucy

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    • profile image

      snowlock64 

      4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for this. Just reading this has helped me immensely. Is it possible that just knowing or learning about what is going on in my head chemically can help? I noticed a sharp downturn in my obsessive thinking about the object of my infatuation soon after reading this article. It made me realise that my brain had glamoured me. Fooled me even. Its very clever at doing it. My LO (limerence object), if thats what it is, is a straight male co-worker, half my age. What I don't understand is why my brain would even think this was a starter. When it was clear to me from the very beginning that my feelings were never going to be reciprocated. No matter how many times I tried to argue this point with myself I just didnt want to listen.

      I know I am not out of the woods yet but this gives me hope that I soon will be. It's exhausting and scary.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 weeks ago from Leeds, UK

      @Sharon Kline Hi! Yes, of course you can - I'm very flattered :)

    • profile image

      Sharon Kline 

      5 weeks ago

      Lucy, Thank you for your article. I have an upcoming presentation at a local college on healthy relationships and love vs. infatuation. I have heard about the chemicals released during infatuation and I found your article very helpful. Would it be ok to use some of your information in my presentation?

    • profile image

      Frida 

      8 weeks ago

      This is hands-down the best post I have ever read about infatuation - so much so that I've even bookmarked it and printed it out for future use (as I'm sure this will happen again). I found your article a few months ago whilst being enveloped in the midst of an unrealistic and painful infatuation...three months have gone by and all intense feelings have all but disappeared. The science behind it is really interesting as it is essentially (as you have mentioned) nature's way of prolonging the human race. Infatuation is a very peculiar rollercoaster of which I am certain that I will ride again at some point - but this article proves - there is never a forever thing.

    • profile image

      Courtney 

      2 months ago

      A lot of what you said makes perfect sense to how I've been feeling recently.. I'm just unsure on why it's happening. Mainly because i was talking to someone online for a couple of months, who i had already suspected to be a fake user..with that being in the back of my head i entertained it while investigating to figure out who i was actually talking to. I finally found the woman whose pictures i had recieved from this user, contacted her and confirmed she was infact not who i was speaking to. Yet now i find myself obessing over the real woman and I'm not sure why when i was never speaking with her and everything i "knew" of her was false info. Extremely frustrating, i was unaware i even cared to this extent.

    • profile image

      Saikat 

      2 months ago

      This is the closest someone described my feelings. Also the bar here shows INFPs more prone to infatuation! Just add low bank balance and a draining job in a toilet economy with what you've described. Are the escape routes you offered be the same?

    • profile image

      Jessa 

      2 months ago

      I find this article very helpful for me. Its the very thing that makes me realize if there's really something wrong with me because from time to time i tend to fall in love easily with different guys but which is just a superficial feeling of infatuation, which caused me too many miseries but now i come to understand I dont have to be serious of all that I feel coz its just my brain playing on me, I dont certainly need them to complete me, theres more than that. i became more aware of my feeling and that I am not alone. i usually used to think it so very seriously and it doesnt really mean that I love them. Now I am very careful of my feeling and the feeling of disgust from my self is no more because form time to time I would always fight and say 'Its happening again? What am i doing but right now i fully understand this tricky feeling

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      2 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I'm so glad you've found my article helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your story :)

    • profile image

      ABC 

      2 months ago

      Thank you for a very insightful article on this phenomenon. I go through the same situation, being severely obsessed over another male i met online. the symptoms I undergo are very typical - lack of focus, prolonged state of nervousness and sadness, listnessness, diet and sleeping irregularities.

      To disclose, I have been diagnosed with depression in my early 20's (I am 38 now) and would recall going through this in about 2-3 instances in the past (twice with the same sex, once with a woman).

      i am reminded of how i recovered from serious bouts with infatuation, it has always helped when i focus my energies back on self-care activities (exercise, proper diet... basic self-pampering), AND physical disconnection with the object of infatuation. what i feel i have not fully done is building quality platonic relationships, i have remained quite anti-social and reclusive.

      your article has been most helpful, and it has given me a renewed sense hope for recovery and normality. all the best to your work, and i wish all reading this article because of the same situation the happiness and wellness they deserve.

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      A. 

      3 months ago

      I definitely am depressed. I think the sadness of losing a child never goes away. I am an extremely high functioning depressed person. Most people that know me wouldn't even know that I'm depressed. I am very accomplished, very fit and dress attractively most days. I have a lot of friends and I am part of a really beautiful community. I have started a nonprofit organization, I work full time and take on more roles than most people can manage. However, there is a deep sadness within me all the time. I just keep going to despite it.

      About infatuation, I have been thinking about your article more since I read it this morning. I think that the world can be so disappointing, people can let you down. Believing that there is one perfect being helps us to keep having faith in humanity. That is why are civilizations have created the Dalai Lama, the Pope and the great Sages of the Jewish faith. Those highly idealize people give hope that there is pure goodness with in us, though we may not access it, it helps to know that the possibility for purity and greatness exists within us.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      3 months ago from Leeds, UK

      @A, I'm so sorry to hear how much you are suffering. While infatuation is affecting you negatively, I can sense that your bigger problem is depression and believe you should speak to a trained psychologist. There is hope and future peace/happiness for you, I promise - you'd be amazed at how psychotherapy can transform your thought processes. I believe you'd benefit greatly from it, and remember, you're worth it.

      @Bhargavi, thanks so much for the comment! I'm delighted and flattered that you have enjoyed my article. Infatuations can be extremely hard to deal with during studying (and since you're young, they will probably be especially intense!). Just remember that everything passes and try your hardest to enjoy the non-romantic aspects of life as much as you can during your studying/exam periods, e.g. chatting to friends, listening to music and exercise. This should make the infatuation naturally lessen in intensity, until it fades entirely over time :)

    • profile image

      Bhargavi 

      3 months ago

      This page is outstandingly amazing.!!! ... Being a student.. I really do need to Concentrate on my studies...but my infatuations have hampered me to a large extent... I'm still repenting at my loss... Still... Whatever happens....Happens for the good... Perhaps life wanted me to analyse it properly and learn a lesson for myself... Yeah... I'm heeding towards my goal now... I'm trying my level best to improve myself and keep myself way more away from infatuations.... Thanks tons for this article... really feeling a lot relaxed.... Thanks again ❤

    • profile image

      3 months ago

      Thank you for this article. I can't be sure if it's mental illness but I've had a pretty hard life. As a child I was abused and I think infatuation began when I was a teen. It seems to be a way of coping. I have had the fortunate or unfortunate experience of being able to conquer my infatuation. I was married to one for 11 years. You're right about the six months. By then I was already pregnant and about to give birth. We went on to have two more children. I am 40 now. We are divorced and my middle child passed away very unexpectedly. The pain was unbearable. Very shortly after, I developed an infatuation. I tried to stop but living is so painful, it gives me joy to see my infatuation, speak with him and since he is unavailable there is pain too. I have no choice but to keep living. I have two other children and I could not hurt them or the people that love me by leaving this world. I get to see this person all the time and it's in a professional context. Right now it's hard for me to feel anything. I can't really enjoy most activities. I work and fill my schedule as as much as possible. I exercise everyday. I'm doing everything that I can to stay healthy. This person is intelligent and magnetic. I got a huge pleasure when I'm in his presence. I enjoy fantasizing about him. He is happily married and I know that I facter much into his life. Plus, my life has been so hard that I think I would bring a negative energy to his. I don't think he'd be better off with me. I am pretty sure that nobody would be.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      3 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yes, this is exactly true

    • profile image

      shah 

      3 months ago

      i will say that infatuation is period in which person lives in imagination which are fuelled by brian chemicals once chemicals are over infatuation ends

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      4 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I can't really give a brief answer to a question like this, but you've given me the idea to write an article on the topic in the next few weeks!

    • profile image

      shah 

      4 months ago

      plz answer my previous question

    • profile image

      Shah 

      4 months ago

      One question why crush infatuation once they end the person we like suddenly becomes repulsive and unattractive I mean why we lose interest in them plz tell

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Lovely comment, really accurately describes the innocent bittersweet feelings that infatuation involves! Thanks for sharing :)

    • profile image

      AJ 

      5 months ago

      I'd been of fan of this band and i met the members for the first time, i'm bisexual but have never experienced this amount of infatuation with a female before. i was drunk and asked one of the other members if she's into girls which i'm sure was repeated to her.

      She was so sweet to me and of course i did the usual, found her music social media pages and sent a message saying i really enjoyed the night and i was looking forward to seeing her perform again next week, and i asked if she would teach me singing (she's local to my town, posted a facebook status asking if anyone wants singing lessons and i'm also a musician so technically not creepy)

      it's been a day, she's been online and hasn't responded so i just feel like i've made a fool of myself and made the situation worse because i ruined the fantasy by confirming that she is not into me, and probably thinks i'm a creepy person.

      Either i'm totally overthinking this situation or i'm right

      so long story short, infatuation is the actual worst.

    • profile image

      Megan 

      5 months ago

      Lucy, thank you so much for writing this. I feel a million times better about my infatuation with my coworker who is also a friend of mine (and only sees me as a friend). To see it like a drug addiction is exactly what it feels like. Before I read this article, I have told someone I'm very close with I needed to get my daily dose of him. I love looking at this in a scientific way which makes me feel less ashamed and guilty BECAUSE he is my friend/co worker. I've been infatuated with him for three months now and I hope very so I will get over this. I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Thank you again.

    • profile image

      shah 

      5 months ago

      when i first got infatutated i felt great energy gathered in me i felt on the sky in both infatuations for 4 - 5 months during when infatuation is at the peak i felt depressed when i couldnt see them and when they ignored me when i didnt saw them for long time my infatuation got ended

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yes, i agree. Now you can move forward.

    • profile image

      shah 

      5 months ago

      the person has gone to other place 160 kms away incidentally that place is my orginial hometown no way i can her meet her now will this distance help in getting rid of infatuation

    • profile image

      Shah 

      5 months ago

      The person whom I got infatuated has left nearby place I will never a her again I think it is good what do u think if I see her she will ignore me its good she has left

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Haha, I definitely don't believe in angels, sorry.

    • profile image

      Shah 

      5 months ago

      Good news I person whom I had got infatuated has gone to other place 150 kms away from me see it's good bcoz if she is nearby I will keep on obsessing with her and go near to her incidentally she has gone to place which is my original hometown

    • profile image

      shah 

      5 months ago

      can the person we are infatuated be considered as god sent angel you must have heard about angels they come help us and disappear i think there is angel connection to infatuation

    • profile image

      Shah 

      5 months ago

      OK I understood I do not want to fall in infatuation again I remember peacful days before I got infatuated

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yes, I have! That's a good way to describe it.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      It is ephemeral in the sense that it doesn't laugh a lifetime, and has a clear "end point" :)

    • profile image

      shah 

      5 months ago

      lucy why you have mentioned in article that infatuation is epheremal in nature even though it lasts months years together

    • profile image

      shah 

      5 months ago

      lucy have you talked to people face to face regarding infatuation i had conversation with people they told they have gone through same pain they told that initial infatuation stage we felt that as if our brain has been put on heavy burden as if someone is trying to press your head not with hands but thoughts and obessive behavior abt same person

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      is it possible that someone may have crush or infatuation on us after all the person we are infatuated has same features god has given us good or bad any you plz suggest something

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Exactly! Crushes are normal and healthy, because they don't cause you to obsess like infatuation does.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      see how healthy crush is recently i saw one lady whom i had crush after more than decade she is slighly older than me still looks attractive i had forgotten her i found her on internet when means crush is always healthy and we all have definitely crushes in our entire life

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      i remember one friend attempted suicide when his girlfriend ditched him our friends rescued him still he was desparate for that girl in my case i was infatuated far away never meet that girl again this proved advantageous as infautation faded in my current infatuation the woman use to work in nearby office and place she has left the office i dont have any idea whether she has left the nearby place bcoz its being four months i have not seen her if she is in destiny i may meet her i think we are destined to be infautated

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yeah, that's true - it's even more painful when infatuation is mutual and you still cannot be with the one you love.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      see lucy our indian society and culture is totally different from western both have its own merits and demerits in western you are completely independent free to live on on your own lifestyle is comfortable in ours we generally marry people whom our family chooses many times people are not able to marry their crushes i dont know how they cope up thankfully i was infatuated not romantically involved with anyone when loved ones get separated from you it will be worse than infatuated state

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Ah okay, at least you're not being forced into an early arranged marriage! Many people get married in their 30s these days :)

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      i am 34 late marriage my astrologer told me that u will get married after 33

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      That's a mature attitude, given you're facing an arranged marriage. How old are you, may I ask? While people enjoy the freedom to choose who they marry, in some ways I agree with you - longterm relationships rarely exhibit sustained infatuation. That's why everyone tells you to marry your "best friend" - someone who you enjoy spending time with - as romance does fade over time.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      mine will be arranged marriage what parents decide i have not seen them once i get settled with job marriage proposals will be there i will get married right now i have not seen any girl its not point in getting married with person you are infatuated bcoz later you will get bored with them how attractive that person is barely months or few years i remember your line infatuation will surely pass trust me on that

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Ah, who will you be marrying? Do you have strong feelings for them? And of course, I will give as much advice as I can.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      i am most likely to marry within year or two i hope i dont infatuated with anyone anymore if in case i get infatuated i request you to kindly advice me on infatuation this can be much more troublesome getting infatuated after marriage

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thank you, that is very flattering! I'm glad you find the article helpful.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      are you currently struggling with incredible deep feelings for someone you will never be with this is the line i liked most so i read this article everyday

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      infatuation is brain chemicals have hypnotized us we get obessed with that person cannot see what is good or bad luckily when i was infatuated i was far away from that person time beats infatuation how powerful it is

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Agreed - infatuation is life-destroying and is mental illness, not something romantic.

    • profile image

      shah 

      6 months ago

      we will come across people daily we will have definitely healthy crushes life long we may or may not see our crushes we may forget our crush if this thing had been with infatuation problems of many people could have been solved

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      healthy crush i was having crush on woman husband and wife use to work in same location i didnt know that she was his wife i never told abt this to anyone that i was having crush during crush and my crush faded i enjoy good friendship with that man now my crush has faded i dont even bother abt that lady u wont believe that there was a time just to have glimpse of her i use to cry today i see her many times she hardly matters to me

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yes, definitely.

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      i want to ask can crush and infatuation happen at the same time girls whom i had crush they are much beautiful, attractive and younger than the person whom i had infatuation the person whom i had infatuation all three girls where average looking and all of them elder than me can infatuation happen with average looking person

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      brain chemicals are responsible for infatuation many people may not believe this otherwise we will get infatuated with everyone we see across

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      i saw girl whom i had crush after few years she looks completely unrecognizable different and no longer attractive this shows infatuation or crush is hardly matter of months or years and never permanent one thing i want to know that why the person we like so much becomes completely repulsive and we lose interest why could be the reason plz answer

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thanks for commenting! I'm so glad it has helped you :)

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      infatuation is like spark burning in grass as long as glass is there it will burn once glass burns nothing is left same thing with infatuation as long as brain chemicals are active with infatuation with one person we feel pain once brain chemicals are balanced again we feel relief

    • profile image

      Sandwiches 

      7 months ago

      I’m glad I found this article. Thanks for taking your time to write this, it has helped me. :)

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      it is said that time heals almost everything same with infatuation the initial pain is unbearable however as time passes you feel as if nothing has happened

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      This is very true.

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      difference between crush and infatuation in crush no pain i see many people i am having crush they ignore me i dont meet them nothing matters alias same thing is not with infatuation had this been with this infatuation no pain could have occured

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      infatuation though painful it fades feelings are one sided mostly relationship dont flourish two infatuations i had so much pain i had to bear now i feel big burden has gone of my head

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      how to handle infatuation it fades with time its no use wasting time thinking or get close to that person try to pass time in useful manner as such infatuation fades with time doing something useful will help in long run rather wasting time on person will never be yours

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Yes, this is a coincidence and not scientific at all.

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      can intuition help get rid of infatuation my intuition is strong whatever i think becomes true many times i think in logical manner is it coincidence

    • profile image

      Shah 

      7 months ago

      I understood infatuation is created by brain it knows that we are alone so it makes us falls in infatuation to get rid of sorrow intact when we fall in infatuation reverse happens we get depressed brain needs to understand this

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I think the goal is to marry someone you like/love even when the infatuation phase has ended - someone who you respect, trust and enjoy spending time with. Then, if you become infatuated during your marriage, you will always deeply know that you belong with the person and this will help you resist temptation.

      Life is not temptation free - it's all about controlling your actions.

      Also, remember that infatuation is driven by loneliness, isolation and romantic cravings. If you are in a fulfilled marriage, it is unlikely you will even BEGIN to feel infatuated with someone on a crazy level.

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      now i am single tomorrow i will get married suppose i get infatuated i will forget my current infautation and get obessed with other person then what to do this can be dangerous being single i can handle pain what to do if i get married and get infatuated with someone

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      7 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Very true - infatuation always involves insecurity and pain.

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      dont confuse infatuation with love we see many people everyday form healthy crushes crush dont cause pain we dont fall in infatuation with everyone what happens with infautation is that we want to be with that person that person gives us importance we are on top of the world feel energized that person ignores we feel sad during my first infatuation the girl was far living i never meet her she didnt do anything wrong to me never ignored me but this person lives nearby ignores me i see her on regular basis had this person lived far away my infatuation could faded long back and my second infatuation has lasted long

    • profile image

      shah 

      7 months ago

      i came across a girl who i had crush she looks completely repulsive there was a time to get her one glimse i use to cry today she looks completely unattractive you wont belive she was most beautiful girl i had ever seen this is proof that infatuation fades with time

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      i think infatuation is decided by nature to whom we should get infatuated otherwise i see many beautiful girls i could have got infatuated to them all its a sign of nature telling dont fight with me believe in me and i will bless with happiness bcoz nature cures its creation

    • profile image

      Shah 

      8 months ago

      Thank you Lucy see what I think becomes reality this means I am thinking in correct manner same thought had ocuured to my mind

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Infatuation can happen with anyone, but it's probably more common to become infatuated with someone older because you automatically put them on a pedestal, based on age. You assume that they have their life together and that they are more mature/intelligent/advanced in their career than you. In this respect, yes, it might be more common to fall into infatuation with someone older than someone of your own age.

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      plz answer my previous question

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      all three infatuations i had the girls were elderly than me does infatuation happens with person who is elder than you

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      same thing will happen with infatuation this person i have not seen since two months i think she has left office and nearby place if in case she again comes back to nearby place then what to do

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      your line that however deep and impossible your situation is you will leave this infatuated state itself is help to get out of infatuation i saw girl whom i had crush hardly she mattered there was a time when i used to go nearby just to see her

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      when infatuation will start and when it end you have no idea you feel pain in between once it ends you relaxed and feel as if great pain and burden has got of your head it will start and end on its own

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      i am having crush currently on many people nothing matters crush can be easily handled not infatuation only time can cure brain chemicals and infatuation ends

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      i can remember the later half of 2014and 2015 how strongly i felt infatuation after 18 months it faded considerably now almost three and half years it feels almost nothing like a distant dream

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Exactly. Infatuation fades over time. The only thing we can control is how we spend that time, e.g. making progress with friends, family and work.

    • profile image

      Shah 

      8 months ago

      Your line that live in moments and forget that are infatuated infatuation will pass away is true same thought had occurred to my mind try to pass time in useful manner bcoz time is thing which will make you free from infatuation see events will keep on happening in life

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I like this analogy - very true.

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      your article is written with accuracy infatuation is like wild dream when we sleep and get horrible dream we panic when we get up we forget the dream same thing with infatuation only diffrerence is that sleep last for hours infatution last weaks months years

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      It will go away - in 2 years, his name will be a distant memory that inspires no particular emotion in you. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      TK 

      8 months ago

      I have a huge crush on a married man at work. He is just so cute. He's got the most adorable eyes. I think he likes me for my body which to me is a complete turn off. He'd make silly comments about how portable I am to touch and stuff like that. So had to try and make myself forget that he even exists but i just cannot seem to. I even dream about him. Hope this feeling goes away.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Hi, thank you for this very interesting comment.

      I wrote this hub to help people through unrequited love, which is an incredibly harrowing, isolating experience. Sometimes in life, when faced with something really difficult it's immensely helpful to focus on the fact that 1. feelings are scientifically explainable and hence "not magic" and 2. that nothing lasts.

      However, I couldn't agree with you more - life is all about the magic that can't and shouldn't be explained, and strong feelings that don't make sense. I'm not at all embracing a nihilistic view towards life, or suggesting that there's no point in interacting with anyone because you might fall into "fake infatuation". In fact, there's nothing more depressing than this style of thinking, as you've expressed.

      In terms of what you've said about feelings in your teens - it is true that you won't feel that intensity of feeling again, since that comes with youth and naivety. This doesn't mean, however, that life is meaningless.

    • profile image

      Alison Gross 

      8 months ago

      So, in other words, life is meaningless. No feeling is actually truly important and by virtue of human nature real love is impossible. This was one of the mos soul crushing, depressing things I've ever read. It makes me just want to curl into a ball and never come out because why interact with people if your feelings are just transient and meaningless? I'm able to keep dragging myself through day to day because of a faint hope that the above is not true. I'm nearly forty and still feel pain over rejections I experienced in my teens so maybe there are real meaningful feelings but I admit it doesn't hurt as much as it did in the past so you're probably right and all life really is just empty and meaningless.

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      you love your brain chemicals not this person is true when infatuated our brain makes us addict to that person or else we will start liking every person we see when brain chemicals are out of dopamine that person simply vanishes and we abandon that person infatuation is like spark in dry grass burns quickly and leave feelings of emptiness

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I'm not online 24/7, give me a few hours to reply. What I mean is, all the highs and lows of infatuation and the related feelings are all caused by neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin). Being infatuated alters the natural levels of these brain chemicals. Therefore, it can be helpful to look at infatuation in this way - you are addicted to dopamine and the chemicals that your own brain is creating as a RESULT of that person.

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      you didnt answer my question

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      why have you written that you love your brian chemcials not this person plz explain

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      the line between healthy crush and problematic infatuation is very true i was having crush on many girls women nothing mattered if i see that person or not but i had desire to be with her one glimse of that person and you feel so pleasant after crush fades you lose interest and ignore that person same infatuation gives pain which is difficult to handle it will fade with time

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      i think my brain chemicals have started to balance out again making my out of hell known as infatuation although feelings had reduced by 18 months i feel much relaxed and better now

    • profile image

      Shah 

      8 months ago

      I hope this could be my last infatuation enough I have suffered

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thank you! :) I love writing these articles because I know how much pain infatuation can bring.

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      the first thing which i like about article is Are you currently struggling with huge, incredibly deep feelings for someone that you will never be We use the term infatuation this is the line which i like the most

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      8 months ago from Leeds, UK

      i'm glad your feelings are lessening

    • profile image

      shah 

      8 months ago

      infatuation happens at first sight once it fades same person becomes repulsive and you completely lose interest in that person same thing applicable to crush

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