Infatuation vs. Love: How to Tell the Difference and Find True Happiness
Love is one of the driving forces in human life, and it's something that everyone desires. However, sometimes we may mistake infatuation for love, which can lead to disappointment, heartache, and wasted time. Many of my clients in their 20s and 30s often mistake infatuation for love, but I've also had clients in their late 50s struggle with this same issue. But why? Well, our culture has become more obsessed with dating reality shows and sensationalized love stories, and this is creating false narratives and beliefs about what love looks like in reality. It's essential to understand the difference between infatuation and love to find true happiness. Let's delve into the signs of infatuation, the characteristics of genuine love, and how to differentiate between the two.
What is infatuation?
Infatuation is an intense attraction to someone that can be mistaken for love. The initial spark of infatuation is often fierce and passionate, making it feel like the most amazing experience in the world. Infatuation is often based on physical attraction and external qualities like looks, status, wealth, or social status. It's exhilarating but usually short-lived and can quickly burn out.
Another critical difference between infatuation and love is the attachment style. Infatuation is often characterized by an anxious attachment style, where individuals experience a constant fear of rejection, abandonment, or losing their partner. They may feel possessive, jealous, or obsessive towards their partner, often seeking constant reassurance of their love and affection.
What is love?
On the other hand, genuine love takes time to cultivate and develop. It's a deep and meaningful connection between two people that goes beyond just physical attraction. Love is based on qualities like trust, respect, communication, and compatibility, which are built over time through shared experiences and challenges. Love is long-lasting and resilient, even when the passion fades away. As a relationship evolves with time, love can look like companionship and a sense of deep friendship.
In contrast, love is characterized by a secure attachment style, where individuals feel confident and comfortable in their relationship. They trust their partner, communicate openly and honestly, and respect each other's boundaries and autonomy. They can give and receive love without fear or attachment and support each other's personal growth and development.
How to differentiate infatuation from love in your relationship
The answer lies in taking the time to reflect on your feelings and motivations. Infatuation often feels impulsive, intense, and focused on physical attraction and external factors. It may lead to rushing into a relationship without getting to know the person (for example, you may jump into a partnership because your friends are getting married or you desperately want to start a family) or thinking about long-term compatibility.
In contrast, love is patient, thoughtful, and focused on deeper qualities and connection. It allows you to take time to develop a relationship and make an informed decision about your future together. Love also involves accepting your partner's flaws and imperfections instead of trying to change or control them.
How to develop a foundation for healthy relationships
If you've realized that your previous relationships were primarily rooted in infatuation rather than genuine love, it's crucial to seek support. Becoming aware of your beliefs about love and actively working to transform them can help you become open to a fulfilling, long-term relationship.
Many individuals find starting with a single TTH Method™ session helpful to determine if the process aligns with their needs. Subsequently, they often choose a five-session program that allows for a deeper exploration of their personal growth journey, leading to transformative changes from within.
Are you interested in developing a foundation for healthy relationships? Book a free consultation now.
Understanding the differences between Infatuation vs. Love:
- Infatuation is an intense attraction often based on external qualities, while love goes beyond physical appearance.
- Infatuation is short-lived and can quickly burn out, while love is long-lasting and resilient.
- An anxious attachment style characterizes infatuation, while a secure one characterizes love.
- Love is built on trust, respect, communication, and compatibility developed over time, while infatuation is based on impulsive feelings and external factors.
- Differentiating between infatuation and love requires reflection on feelings and motivations.
- Infatuation may lead to rushing into a relationship without considering long-term compatibility, while love involves patience and thoughtful decision-making.
- Love accepts and embraces a partner's flaws, while infatuation may try to change or control them.