Infatuation Vs. Love: Signs And Differences

Written by Sushmita Barman

The title will always remind me of “Fatal Attraction”, a movie that was a big hit and was about how an infatuation can get intense. Love is for the young, they say, or is that ageism speaking? I hope so because, without the emotions and phases of love, one has not truly lived—infatuation vs. love, an equation that is not exact instead a bit blurry. Love and infatuation might seem similar but are very different in their nature and outcome. In our age of innocence, we may get confused between the two. To that end, today, in this article, we shall discuss real love vs. infatuation and try to get rid of all the confusion surrounding them. So, let us dive deep into the matter and check what we have in store for ya!

What Is Infatuation?

It is one of those simple questions, but a response to it somehow ends up complicated! One could say it is the eagerness one feels at the start of a relationship, maybe even before it is established. The uncertainty of the same perhaps adds to the sense of adventure and heightens the senses.

While comprehending infatuation vs. falling in love, we first have to know that an infatuation is mainly described as a strong but not really lasting feeling for someone or something (one can point out here that it is indeed object-oriented). Unlike love, infatuation has many degrees; one may be infatuated with a person they have not met, like a sportsman, actor, poet, and the like. There is a lot of adulation and idolatry in this kind of infatuation. But an infatuation with a person one knows and interacts with can take an odd turn. We live in a world that is voyeuristic, and sometimes our passion may lead to peril.

Signs Of Infatuation

While trying to understand better infatuation vs. love, one needs to be aware of the signs of infatuation. Once this is done, recognizing love becomes easier!

So what really are the signs of infatuation? In love or infatuation, a person feels happy; true! But a person infatuated with someone feels a strong need for attention, interaction, appreciation from their object of affection. Symptoms of infatuation that are common and clearly visible are:

  • The person’s tendency towards perfection, rather their idea of perfection.
  • Understanding reality does get hampered.
  • One’s thoughts become perversely persistent, and actions meddlesome.
  • One’s self-perception takes a hit. One is always looking at oneself through the eyes of another. This leads to self-doubt.
  • Soon the initial happy feeling is replaced with much brooding and anxiety. One feels overwhelmed by such confusing and opposing thought procedures.

Love Vs. Infatuation: Understanding The Difference

Now that we know the definition of infatuation, let us find out how love is defined in order to understand the dissimilarities between love and infatuation. Well, defining this feeling in mere words is not really easy. Yet, in simple terms, we can say that love is that emotion of extreme fondness that you feel for someone or something. In context to romantic relationships, love involves physical attraction and a deep sense of care and commitment. It is true that we all have our own definitions of love, and one cannot cage it within a box of vignettes, but the ancient Greeks had categorized love into four types;

  • Eros, love that is erotic and passionate in nature.
  • Storge, or the parental love that flows perennially and is considered to be unconditional.
  • Philia, love amongst friends and peers.
  • And finally, Agape, Love for humankind which forms the basis of religions like Buddhism and Christianity.

Now that we know so much more about love let us not defer, instead point out the differences between love and infatuation.

  • Love and infatuation can happen to anyone, but love is like the harvest. It needs to be cultivated with care. In contrast, infatuation is a solid and volatile emotional energy.
  • Infatuation is almost instantaneous; love, on the other hand, is a feeling that slowly yet steadily seizes our hearts.
  • Infatuation is almost like an illusion, an idea of love but not love. Love is more than real.
  • Infatuations are one-way streets; at times, the intense feelings and desires are felt by a single person and not reciprocated by the other. One may feel suffocated in that case. Yes, love too can be one-sided, but the feeling of love does not cage a person; rather, it liberates.
  • When we speak about mature love and infatuation, we must comprehend that love is primarily practical. Infatuation, on the other hand, is childish and harbors resentment.
  • Speaking of infatuation vs. love, we must see how infatuation spurts jealousy due to over possessiveness and also becomes a fixation. Love, on the other hand, enunciates ease and understanding.
  • Infatuation gives you a feeling of entitlement which then turns into disappointment, leading to anguish. Love too leads to expectations but with an understanding that helps to accept disappointments. Unrequited love can cause aches but not anguish.
  • There is a certain sense of insecurity that is associated with infatuation because, the fact is, even when the person is obsessing about the other, it is still more to do with their own needs.
  • In comparison, it is easier to delineate love vs. lust vs. infatuation as lust is mostly about physical gratification, and if we can remove the social stigma around sex, then it is just about what two consenting adults want. Infatuation, though, runs between a fine line of physical desire and foolish fondness that is difficult to cope with and deal with. While love is more definite, either you are there or not.
  • While talking about crush vs. infatuation vs. love, to better understand the differences between love and infatuation, we can say that crush is what most of us have had as teenagers. Unlike infatuation, there is a coat of innocence around the word crush, also called puppy love. A crush is something one develops for a short period of time, and when there is no or little response, it dies a short, sweet death. Infatuation is something that is more complex than a crush. It involves not acknowledging certain traits or urges within us. Probably because of social stigma or any other unpredictable antecedent. And instead of addressing it, we develop a tendency to fantasize. Unfortunately, sometimes these fantasies become more real than our reality. That is when infatuation becomes purgatory. In comparison, love is mostly always beyond the feelings of crush and infatuation.

Does Infatuation Turn Into Love?

“Change is constant,” they say, and anything is possible, so yes, infatuation may transform into love, but that is an exception to the rule. While talking about being in love vs. infatuation felt for someone, we should know that infatuation is considered to be a stepping stone towards love. It is easy to assume that admiration and amour can transform into love, but the intensity of one’s desire does not determine the journey of a relationship. An easy example that will answer the above question is love is like the rain while infatuation is the cloud. All clouds don’t bear rain. Then again, without the clouds, there is no rain. Infatuations are almost always short and sweet; if not, they develop into not-so-favorable deviations.

How Long Does Infatuation Last In A Relationship?

Relationships don’t come with guarantees. With the kind of pressure we live in today’s times, they have indeed become fragile to some extent. Although not all! Infatuations, when not encouraged or taken advantage of, don’t last a lifetime. That is the good news. But unrequited love in real life is not just about longing and yearning, unlike the movies and literature. As suggested by psychologists, infatuation may last for six to 18 months. But that is a generic statement. The flame of infatuation may die, but the embers remain for some. For some, the pain becomes a pleasure.

Human emotions can be conflicting and perplexing, so clarity of mind is critical for comprehending what one feels. One such situation arises when you are faced with the question of infatuation vs. love. Love and infatuation are not the same. Infatuation can be described as a strong yet fleeting attraction to another person, whereas love is associated with stability. However, as there are so many nuances to unravel and distinguish one from another, online quizzes and tests and the detailed information in this post can help you better understand what you are feeling and how to deal with it.

Key Takeaways

  • Infatuation and love are not the same. Infatuation is an intense but short-term feeling of attraction toward someone.
  • Love is synonymous with stability, while infatuation may give rise to feelings of insecurity.
  • There are chances of infatuation turning into love, but this is not always true.

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