Defining the Difference Between Love and Infatuation

When someone says, "I love you," you might be inclined to believe it, or you might begin to wonder about it, especially if the person does a few things that aren't lovable. Perhaps you may wonder if the person is lying or more often than not, the person is merely infatuated and doesn't even recognize genuine love.

This can apply even to your own feelings about someone else. Are they genuine? Or are they just hyper-motivated, so to speak? This simply means they could be driven by the excitement of the present moment.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to determine whether you are actually in love with someone or it is just a case of self-centered infatuation. The signs between infatuation and genuine love are quite similar, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. Generally speaking, it is most often difficult to determine the difference in the early stages of a relationship, but as time passes it becomes more and more obvious.

From the very first moment that you see someone, it is possible to be infatuated and at that stage it is too early to be genuinely in love. By this course of events, infatuation works as a lead-up to the real kind of love, which is a good thing, but if it doesn't evolve into genuine love it can become a bad thing.

As you get to know a person and spend a lot of time with them the attraction can become stronger as you want to be with them as often as possible. When your involvement becomes more serious and your concerns for your own interests begin to be compromised, then that's when things can get a little tricky.

At first, when the relationship is just beginning, you may have had some strange things happen - you may have difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, and a lack of interest for anything other than this new person that has entered your life. These are the "love sickness" symptoms. Whenever the phone rings your heart skips a beat at the thought that it could be your special person, but then if it turns out to be someone else your heart sinks and you can feel very disappointed and even highly irritated.

When you are anticipating another date with this person, preparing to meet once again, you may start to feel a little anxious, your hands sweat, your nerves may tingle somewhat, making it hard to sit still. You look in the mirror over and over again to make sure your appearance is at its best, and then you repeatedly check the time every few minutes. At this point it doesn't matter what the other person looks like because everything that person does will be taken as great and wonderful. This person is the center of your world, so even if some terrible traits are displayed that would scare off others - bad table manners and a horrendous laugh - you don't care because you are blinded by a bad case of love sickness for everything this person does. You don't want to be separated from this person and when you are you constantly think about getting back together again and can't wait for the next time to happen. Then when it finally does happen and you're together again, you find it very hard to keep your hands off each other and never run out of words to say.

Leading up to this point, the love sickness that is in the relationship may not yet actually be true love, infatuation could still be the predominate factor. After a few weeks, ten at the most, if you still think the person's bad table manners and their freaky laugh are cute then perhaps it is true love. However, if those things are starting to get on your nerves and you start to dread them, then it is possible that infatuation was the sole motivator from the very start.

It must be recognized that there is such a thing as a "honeymoon period," where everything appears much rosier than normal. But after this period is gone and things begin to settle down you will be able to cope with a few days apart from your special person. It doesn't mean that it wasn't love after all; it's simply the normal progression of a relationship. Nevertheless, if you start to actually enjoy the days apart more than the days being together, then it might be an indication that it was merely infatuation to begin with and not love.

The greatest sign that it has all been true love and not infatuation is when the honeymoon period is over and you still love to spend time together in spite of any minor habits that normally tend to irritate you, then it is love. But if you begin to find each other repulsive, then it was just a time of fun, a phase of infatuation and now it is time to face up to reality and move on.

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