difference between love and infatuation
What is the difference between love and infatuation? Some people think that there is a fine line between infatuation and love, and often, people tend to mix the two. But that is because infatuation can make you feel so crazy, you might think it is love. Unfortunately, that is possibly not true. The two are way different than you think. What you think to be love, could just be the idea of love that you are infatuated with. In the battle of infatuation vs. love, when do you know which one you are in?
There is no denying the fact that it is hard to distinguish between love and infatuation or understand the difference between love and attraction. If you’ve just gone cross-eyed with all the big words we used, don’t worry, we’re breaking it down for you.
21 Differences Between Love And Infatuation
Many times we have felt so strongly for someone that we feel that we are in love with them. There is this rush and a strong desire from within that makes you want to be with that person almost all the time. It’s moments of this rush when we lose out on understanding the difference between love and infatuation.
We mistake those feelings to be love, but in reality, it is just mere attraction that appears in a heightened form to us. This is actually infatuation coming in the disguise of what appears to be love. Love and infatuation start off almost the same way – but infatuation tends to be short-lived while love is eternal.
More or less, teens and even adults sometimes get confused when evaluating their feelings because they are unable to distinguish between love and infatuation. Has something like this happened to you as well? Did you find it difficult to make out the difference between love and infatuation too?
It’s okay. It’s never too late to realize how you really feel or had felt about somebody before. Read these 21 signs to know the difference between love and infatuation. If you have been eternally confused and eager for love, we can show you the right path to understand what love really is. We tell you what infatuation does to you and how love is its opposite.
Related Reading: 12 Clear Signs You Are Infatuated And Not In Love
1. Constant rush of feelings
Infatuation gives you this constant rush of feelings when you are with or without your crush. There are butterflies fluttering everywhere in your stomach. You often end up behaving foolishly around your crush. This does not really mean that you’re silly, just that you’re a bit over-excited. And that does not always have to be the worst thing. Just know that it is also not love. If you feel the need to impress them constantly or display yourself in a way that gathers attention, that might be just infatuation.
Love, on the other hand, calms those emotions down and gives you a sense of security and completeness. When those rushed feelings calm down and you still feel the same, it is love in its truest sense.
2. Control of your actions
When you are infatuated, your decisions come primarily from the brain. It is all about pros and cons to you. You see it as a business deal – seeking the benefit that you can derive from it. The main difference between love and infatuation is that infatuation allows you to think logically and even step by step. Except when the hormones take over!
But love does not play by those rules at all. Decisions and actions in love are driven by the heart and emotions. You think about your partner first before you make any decision and put his/her needs above yours. It is not about deriving benefits but making your partner happy and trying to be a better partner yourself.
3. Infatuation doesn’t last
The most key difference between love and attraction or infatuation is that a burst of infatuation is usually fleeting. Infatuation is short-lived because it is not real. You think that you are developing feelings where it could just be some sort of an intense attraction. This attraction might overcome you now completely and make you feel like you cannot see anything else, but know that it is only a temporary high.
Once you’re past the honeymoon phase, you will realize that all those feelings are gone. Infatuation will wear off sooner or later. Love has a tendency to stay longer, it is based on a deep emotional and physical connection. What does love feel like? You feel wanted and cared for.
Related Reading: 30 ½ Facts About Love That You Can Never Ever Ignore
4. You are always eager
When you are infatuated, patience isn’t your strong suit. You have this desperation and want everything to go at a fast pace. That’s the difference between love and infatuation; when you are infatuated you go at a very fast pace. You don’t really get to know the person and just want to move forward because of this rush. This is where the difference between love and infatuation can determine which side of the scale you are on.
Love is actually a gradual process that involves getting to know each other, building a connection and feeling secure. You can survive long-distance relationships when you are in love with ease because your connection can survive the most trying times. The togetherness and emotional bond matters more than anything else.
5. It hasn’t been that long
How many days has it been since you’ve known this person: a week, a month or a year? It has not been even a month since you’ve known them and you are already making promises to stay in romantic love forever. For all you know, it is just an attraction that is making you crazy. There is also a minor difference between attraction and infatuation. Infatuation is basically a heightened sense of attraction that can make you go into a frenzy because you are actually eternally confused and eager for love.
So, realize that this is your infatuation talking. Infatuation just makes you fall in love with the idea of a person or the idea of love. Once you know a person enough to go past both the good and bad, that is when you are actually in love. Till then, it’s just the idea of love that you are clinging to.
Related Reading: The 8 Types Of Love And What They Mean For You
6. The green monster of jealousy
In the battle of infatuation vs. love, jealousy plays an important role. The foundation of your relationship hasn’t formed yet and thus feelings such as trust and understandings are lacking. Without those, love is not real.
You thus get easily jealous, because a part of you knows that the foundation of your relationship is based on infatuation and you can easily be replaced when true love comes into the picture. But in true love you feel secure, and jealousy doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat. Neither does it make you feel worried or anxious all the time.
7. There is no deeper connection
Other than physical attraction, there is no other bond that you share with this person. Your connection with them is simply limited to his/her physical appearance and their materialistic qualities. Think about it. What is it that really made you fall for them? Is it their general charm or the way they talk about their dreams?
Love is when you feel this deep connection and share a strong bond that is above all kinds of attraction. There is no doubt that sexual compatibility is a key to relationship building but it isn’t the only important thing when it is love. That’s the difference between love and attraction.
8. Commitment, but only to yourself
The difference between love and attraction becomes really obvious when one ponders the question of commitment in your relationship. When you feel infatuated or attracted, the only thing that you are committed to is your ideas, your imagination and yourself. It is a selfish relationship because there is no ‘we’ involved.
Love requires a commitment to both yourself and your partner, which comes over time through patience, dedication and understanding. Love is about sacrificing in a relationship because you give priority to the relationship and to your partner.
9. It’s all superficial
Infatuation is superficial and materialistic. You are attracted to all the materialistic qualities and go past things that actually matter. And there will be times when you will see through it too. If it’s all about going out on dinner dates and never about sitting at home in your PJs, throwing on a movie and just enjoying the calmness of it all – it could just be infatuation.
Love does not attract you to a high maintenance partner. It is all about the person they are from within. They might not be good looking, might not have money, might not be extremely successful, but you will love them to the moon and back. You will always be happy to curl up in their arms and watch the same movie that you’ve seen with them a thousand times. That is the difference between love and infatuation.
Related Reading: 15 Signs He Finds You Irresistible
10. Delusional vs. unconditional
Infatuation makes you fall in love with the idea of love and not in love itself. It creates a perfect idea of what your fantasy would look like. Sounds confusing, we know, but hear us out. Sometimes, you’re not just infatuation with the person but being so eternally confused and eager for love makes you assume that even the slightest feeling of joy from someone could be love.
But no matter how good it feels, it is possible that it is not actually love. Love is unconditional and may be imperfect. Loving someone unconditionally by going past all those imperfections is what it is all about.
11. Love or lust?
Think about this carefully. Which is the main emotion that is driving your emotions? Is it lust or love? The constant feelings that you have for your partner tell you what you actually feel for him or her. This could be the thing that reveals to you the main difference between love and infatuation.
If you are always thinking sexually about your partner, then it is physical attraction speaking. If you feel a sense of comfort when you see your partner, then you know that it’s love. Attraction is more than just sex. The difference between love and attraction is also about how happy you are with them even when you are not in bed.
12. The real deal
When you are infatuated, you are just attracted to what is on the outside. You don’t even feel like knowing the actual person within. You don’t make the effort to ask them get to know me questions or really care about their childhood memories or what makes them the way that they are.
Love is when you know the actual person’s flaws and weaknesses and don’t feel any different about him/her. That is what the real deal is all about. And you will not give up on that love no matter what.
13. Little communication between you two
In infatuation, there is minimal communication involved, because you both spend most of your time obsessing over each other. You talk to each other but sadly, you also talk through each other. Because you’re so obsessed and excited, your communication never actually goes to deeper levels of understanding.
Two-way communication helps in creating a bond between the two of you so that you feel a deeper connection, which is what happens in love. You focus more on communicating with your partner than obsessing over him/her.
Related Reading: Communication Problems In Relationships – 11 Ways To Overcome
14. Making sacrifices
Your infatuated self will not want you to make sacrifices for your partner. It is because a part of you knows that your feelings aren’t strong enough to make you do so. You don’t want to take the leap simply because you know it is not worth it. If they’re moving to London, you would never even consider moving with them, if you’re infatuated. So, if you really want to know the difference between love and infatuation, give yourself a hypothetical ultimatum and you’ll see.
Love is different. Love makes you make unconditional sacrifices for one another without thinking twice. You are willing to make healthy compromises when you are in love but you also know when not to compromise. It does not make you a blind follower but someone who wants to work things out.
15. Intensity of feelings
Infatuation makes you feel intense emotions, but these emotions are merely constrained to the physical aspects of the person. When it comes to deeper feelings, there is this void that you feel. Love is intense in every aspect. You feel this intensity in emotions and understanding. You trust this person and have feelings for the person, irrespective of his/her physical aspects.
Related Reading: 6 signs that he is not really trustworthy
16. Unrealistic expectations
Any kind of relationship comes with expectations but when it is infatuation the expectations are sometimes too much. When a person is infatuated they expect their partner will get them the moon. It’s because they want it to be love so bad, they will do anything to make themselves feel like it is. Even though, subconsciously they are aware that it is not.
On the contrary when a person is genuinely in love they would have realistic expectations from the relationship and not hound their partner for not meeting those expectations. That’s the difference between sheer attraction and love.
17. Infatuation makes you vengeful
When you are infatuated with someone and the relationship breaks up, you would keep thinking how you can get revenge, how you can harm them or you even end up blackmailing them. This is the real difference between love and attraction. Love never makes you angry or bitter.
If you are trying to get over someone you love deeply, revenge would be the last thing on your mind. It could be true love but it did not work out for some reason. You would never be able to hate the person with all your heart.
18. The relationship is not smooth
The difference between love and infatuation is that when it’s infatuation, the relationship will be dogged by arguments that spell doom for the relationship. There will be ego hassles and from the very beginning, things would be rocky.
To distinguish between love and infatuation, think of all the hurdles in your relationship and where these issues stem from. When you fall genuinely in love you would just savor each other’s presence and try to show love and concern instead of asserting your point of view constantly.
Related Reading: 15 Ways A Woman Wants To Be Treated
19. You are never sure
Do you see the qualities of a life partner in the person you are dating? Chances are if you are infatuated you will never be sure. You would always feel that maybe your partner lacks something, maybe you could find someone better.
In the case of love, all you would want to do is have a future with your partner and never have any doubts about it. That’s the difference between love and attraction.
20. Big things matter
He got you roses. Tick! He gets you gifts regularly. Tick! He dresses up well. Tick! He takes you to the movies, buys you lavish dinners, sponsors the holidays. And you feel you are head-over-heels in love.
But what if he prefers to watch a movie with you sitting on the couch on the weekend? Never forgets to appreciate you or cooks up a storm for you? Would you call that love? Well, when it’s love, the small things matter.
21. You feel reckless
There’s a constant feeling inside that the good things don’t last. That’s why you feel reckless. You could end up having sex without protection or spending more time with your partner and ignoring your career needs.
But when it’s love people take one step at a time. They care about their partner’s safety and will never do anything to harm them. That’s how people in love build trust.
Everyone’s psychology about love differs and thus many mistake infatuation for love. Though one’s psychology may differ, what doesn’t change is the way you really feel about that person. Always look for the real deal and you will get the answer whether you are in a fantasy called infatuation or close to the reality of love.
Love may or may not be forever, but you know how fast infatuation can vanish. Think these points through and know for sure whether you are in love or just feeling infatuated, thinking it to be love. You will soon understand the difference between love and infatuation, and which side of the balance scales you might be on!
Infatuation is a fleeting emotion and is about lust and attraction but if a bond develops at a deeper level then it becomes love.
An infatuation lasts between 18 months and 3 years. If the feelings persist after that it becomes love.
A crush usually lasts for 4 months and then peters off after that. But if a person still harbours feelings after 4 months then they have fallen in love.