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Infatuation vs Love: How To Find Out?

Infatuation vs Love: How To Find Out?

Updated on May 27, 2022 | Published on Jan 21, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Infatuation vs Love - Definition, Signs, Symptoms, Quiz and More

Are you constantly fighting the battle of infatuation vs love in your mind?

Don’t worry buddy, you’re not alone!

Starting from Asian K-dramas, to Western romance movies, love at first sight is a trend… and that was possibly your reason to think that the dashing man or the gorgeous woman you saw the other day is your happily-ever-after. However, are your instincts telling otherwise?

Well, the news that “infatuation is short-lived” might shock you. But don’t worry, I’ll help you carve your way out of your short-term love.

Hope you truly understand the essence of love and become someone’s true beloved soon.

So, without further delay, let’s first understand

Infatuation vs Love Infographic

Infatuation vs Love - Definition, Signs, Symptoms, Quiz and More
Infatuation vs Love – Definition, Signs, Symptoms, Quiz and More

What is infatuation?

Summary
Infatuation is a one-sided admiration you feel towards another where you think they’re a perfect human being. You possibly don’t even contact the other person and assume things by yourself.

When someone’s presence strongly fascinates, attracts, or fixates you or your mind, although you don’t know them properly, it is known as infatuation.

As per sex therapist and psychologist Lauren F. Mercy, infatuation is more about physical attraction with a lot of imagination and fantasies about your interest’s personality, rather than who they are. Usually, you’ll feel it very intensely, which confuses your real feelings.

Sometimes your foolish or obsessively strong “love” might reject real information about this person because you think they’re perfect, and you won’t change their image in your mind.

For instance, you won’t register toxic red flags or incompatibility symbols.

When you’re infatuated, that person’s thoughts will overpower your mind and it usually happens after the first meeting.

So, if you feel you found “the one who got your heart” or felt “love at first sight” and don’t know the other person’s opinion yet, pretty sure that’s infatuation and not love.

 To understand infatuation better, let’s now check some…


Infatuation signs

If you’re confused about your feelings for this person in your life, let me help you identify some signs.

If you relate to just two of the signs enlisted below match, then you’re not in love. You’re infatuated with the other person, and you must think over your plans for your life.

So, without any delay let’s check some…

1. The other person is always on your mind and it possibly hinders your school or work life.

2. You possibly talked to them only online, hardly met them, and have already fallen head over heels for the other person.

3. You think that person is an all-rounder and can do everything well. You feel everyone obsesses over them.

4. You can say that your admiration for or interest in them is similar to obsession.

5. You think nobody fits, suits, or understands them better than you so you both will make a perfect match.

6. The small bit that you know about this person – your mind has made it up which means you don’t have any validation about it.  

7. You love their appearances so much that you don’t care if they’re rude, mean, opportunistic. You always justify their arrogant behavior.

8. You probably know most about them from their social media posts or profile, or from what others gossip. They never told you anything themselves.

9. You don’t know about them any more than others around you. Or know very little more than them… based on deductions.

10. You know about their behavior from when you saw them in a video or attended a group outing. You don’t particularly know them personally.

11. You have great expectations from them, but when they don’t act in your predicted way, you defend your situation and never accept reality.

12. You create great romantic scenarios in your head about them. Even though you don’t know each other, you still expect them to read your thoughts.

13. You want to impress them. For instance, if they’re into soccer, you learn about soccer to grab their attention.

14. Even if you find out they’re not the type of person you expect them to be or don’t hold the exact fascinating characters, you don’t pay it much heed.

15. You literally worship this person and feel that they’re way beyond reach for anybody. You think you can sacrifice everything to keep them in your life.

16. You fantasize about dating them exclusively, marrying them, having kids together, and spending your whole life together.

Or,

17. You both want to get married even though you’re not independent or don’t have the resources to support a family.

18. You neglect yourself, your loved ones, your responsibilities, or anything reasonable for them.

19. You always feel jealous or insecure that someone else will have their heart. You think they’re texting someone else when they don’t reply.

20. You continuously worry about what they think about you, feel lonely, and exhausted. You want their attention but fail to get it and then feel lonely and abandoned.

However, if you vow that what you feel isn’t infatuation, but love, then let’s find out more…


What is Love?

Summary
Love is a both-sided emotion or feeling which helps you become a better person and achieve new goals. You both trust each other, accept each other, and also are grateful for each other.

Love is a complicated assortment of emotions like commitment, passion, care, attraction, affection, trust, and intimacy. Your emotions are never the same in love and mostly, they grow stronger with time.

Love makes you feel confident about yourself and your life. You feel grateful for your life, excited to live the next day, and satisfied with yourself.

However, if you don’t treat it tenderly, you might develop negative feelings like jealousy.

Many people confuse love and infatuation; however, love is a deeper emotion and includes lots of selfless sacrifices.

Everyone doesn’t express love the same way. While you might shower them with expensive gifts, your partner might show silent actions for your welfare.

Most of all, you respect each other’s wishes and accept each other’s flaws. Love is a both-sided feeling, unlike infatuation.

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing love, here are a few…


Love Signs

Love is selfless and sacrificing. But this doesn’t mean you harm yourself in the process, rather you build yourself to be a better human with every ounce of love you give and receive. 

If you relate to some signs listed below, you’re in love, and I’m happy for you…

1. You feel curious about their lifestyle and try understanding their likes and dislikes.

2. You connect with them emotionally and don’t shy away from showing your vulnerabilities.

3. Their mood impacts your day intensely. You support them in need, empathize when they’re going through rough times, and also be the shoulder they fall back on.

4. You think about them a lot but that doesn’t harm your daily life. Rather, you feel more encouraged to be a better person.

5. You took your time understanding them over texts or in-person. Your emotions are cultivated over a long period.

6. You don’t think they’re flawless. However, you accept them with all their qualities and don’t try to change them unless it’s bad for them.

7. They make you feel confident and a better person than before. You accept the parts of you that you thought were unlovable.

8. You learned to love yourself with the help of this person.

9. You don’t jump to decisions. You take time, evaluate the circumstances, and proceed only when both of you’re comfortable.

10. Whenever you both misunderstand your situation, you communicate with each other to reach a common ground.

11. You feel ready to live the rest of your life with them because you know you got each other’s back.

12. When they text late, you understand that they’re busy and will catch up soon.

13. You don’t think they’re cheating on you when they work late or miss appointments.

14. You have seen them at their worst before you fell in love and saw the beauty in their chaotic messed-up self.

15. You don’t expect them to return your feelings or love you back as much.

16. Not seeing them for months doesn’t make you seek new love. You know nobody will ever love you as they do.

17. You feel great, happy, satisfied with yourself. You feel like you have all the treasures in the world.

18. You concentrate on the brighter side more because of the elevated amount of dopamine in your body.

19. You want to but don’t monopolize them because you both have a life other than each other.

20. They notice you as much as you do. Your feelings are returned, both-sided, and you know you’re not alone in it.

Now that you know the definition and signs for both, it’s time to finally identify some differences.


Infatuation vs love

If you’re confused whether you’re in love or you’re infatuated, I got your back. Perhaps, you matched with some of the infatuation signs, and also with the love signs. Don’t fret because that’s usual.

That’s why I brought you a quick guide with this table.

BasisInfatuationLove
DefinitionInfatuation is an unreasonable desire to overpower and monopolize another person, although they might not feel the same.Love is a deep emotional bonding with another person where you value the other one’s desires over yours.
SignsInfatuation is quite urgent; the feelings are intense; you might feel sexual attraction; you might take risky choices and recklessly abandon your current relationship.Love includes truthfulness and loyalty. You feel confident in your position. You’ll want to sacrifice yourself for them. You accept their differences yet still make it work.You try to find the best solution for each situation so that neither of you loses nor compromises alone.
CommitmentInfatuation can lead to weak resolve for others’ satisfaction. You’ll mostly cater to your desires alone.True love is a deep commitment towards the other person. You’ll always think about your interest’s feelings before any actions.
FeelingsInfatuation feels like an addiction to some brain chemicals. You crave the feel-good hormones so bad that you might take a bad step. You want to experience the honeymoon phase so bad.Feelings are not so complex. You communicate to find what you want instead of making rash decisions. You behave like a rational, selfless person.
OutcomeYou feel empty because at the end of the day you achieve nothing from infatuation.You feel secure, confident, creating a safe space for everyone involved.
ImpactYou work on impulses, to feel the thrill, which usually leads to bad decisions.You feel accomplished and stable about your life.
DependenceYou only want your interest physically close when you’re infatuated.In love, you may depend on each other but only until it is healthy. However, you might become codependent if you’re not careful.
Validity periodInfatuation begins within seconds, and it can also end in seconds. It’s like cotton candy, dissolves too fast to enjoy it.Love is like a wildfire in the woods. It begins very slowly and becomes too intense as time passes by.  
LongevityYou can’t live an eternity with infatuation.You can live an entire life with love.
GenuinenessInfatuation isn’t a real thing – your feelings are real, but still not valid to result in something more.Love however is true and unconditional. You need it to lead a happy life.
PersistenceIf you’re infatuated, you won’t have an ounce of patience.If you’re in love, you’ll wait for the miracle to work.

This table may be too objective for you to understand in detail, so here’s a subjective comparison amidst both.

Symptoms

In infatuation, you’ll always desire to be around your interest. You’ll feel your desires are a compulsion, and that you can’t do without seeing the other person.

These feelings might also be a sexual urgency, so you might also want physical intimacy with them.

You might even lose your rationality and ruin your current relationship with that person to satisfy your urgencies.

When you’ll see the others around your love interest, you might feel anxious that someone else might steal them from you, or jealous that they can be around them, but you can’t.

Infatuation, on the other hand, can turn into love. You begin with feelings of infatuation and slowly become a patient person, ready to wait for the other person.

You’ll emotionally bond with the other person, feel confident about your status in their life, and feel affection for them.

Causes

Infatuation begins with physical attraction or sexual fantasies and you think you’re in love.

However, you don’t have any reason to fall in love. Or, you have too many reasons to count or begin with. Love is a mixture of emotional, intellectual, and physical compatibility.

Intention

When you’re infatuated, you feel great being with them, which makes you crave their companionship which leads to physical attraction.

Infatuation makes you want to monopolize the other person. You’ll hate it when you see your interest communicating with others, or become depressed.

You become impatient and stop respecting the other person’s desires.

In love, you don’t demand anything in return. You want the best for the other person and are always passionate about them. You’ll forgive their mistakes because you love them.

Feelings

Infatuation is similar to love and you feel it intensely. However, you don’t have pure intentions as you want something in return, so infatuation is selfish. You’ll only concentrate on your lust when you’re infatuated.

Love is patient and pure so you accept all qualities of the other person. You connect with the other person emotionally and selflessly.

Even if you feel lust in love, you’ll prioritize the other person’s feelings before anything else.

Age criteria

Usually, adolescent children or teenagers feel infatuated the most. You mostly feel infatuation in high school… a reason why childhood love doesn’t last.

However, you might fall in true love at any age beyond your 20s. Why? Around that age, you understand what you want for yourself and also consider others’ feelings.

Your brain is more mature to handle another person’s emotions once you’re a young adult.

Teenagers, however, are inexperienced about how life works and think infatuation is the same as love.

Impact of distancing

When you distance yourself from your object of affection, you might either forget about them or crave them more intensely.

If you’re infatuated, with time, your separation won’t bother you and you’ll forget them.

If you’re in love, over time, your desire to stay beside them becomes stronger even if you’re far away.

However, initially, you’ll hurt in both cases.

Commitment

True love brings long-term commitment between two hearts. You develop deep emotions for the other person.

Infatuation, on the other hand, hardly results in commitment. You feel close to the other person but that’s a one-way road. The other person possibly doesn’t have similar intentions towards you.

Knowledge

When you’re infatuated, you hardly have any idea about the other person. You possibly imagine the person to be of a certain type because you saw them doing something, or hear them saying so. Usually, you assume a lot in infatuation.

When in love, you know the person inside out. You also accept and acknowledge them as they are. At most you might try to make them a better person to lead a healthier life but you don’t control their actions.

Expectations

If you’re infatuated, you have unrealistic expectations and imagine them as perfect as a movie star. You think “they’re sweet, caring, kind, have a bomb figure, wake up with a perfect face, score perfect A’s”, etc.

Well, in love? You know nobody is perfect, and are curious to find their imperfections that they rather don’t show to anybody else.

You want to know everything good or bad about them and still see them as perfect.

Your actions

In infatuation, you make fast moves, hitting all the bases, dating, marrying – you don’t want time.

You work on impulses and feel that’s the best for you both. Honestly, you may question yourself at times, but your impulsive side will brush it off.

In love, you take all the time yourself and equally treat them because you want to cherish, nurture, and create strong feelings for each other.

Intensity of feelings

Infatuation is too extreme… your emotions blur your rationality and you tend to make impractical decisions. You exhaust your emotional energy quite quickly and later everything fades away.

For instance, you spend time all day with them, feel excited about it, and soon get bored and demand something more.

In love, although you have a strong attraction to a person, you don’t overwhelm them with your feelings.

Your energy isn’t too high that might make them uncomfortable. Love is steady so nothing feels rushed or forced.

Say, you want to spend time with them, but you don’t overdo it. You meet them for an hour and secure a second date.

Its effect on you

More often than not, infatuation makes you do things you’ll feel ashamed about. Say, you stalked them, neglected your loved ones for them, neglected your studies for them.

On the flip side, love makes you a great person. Their support builds a new YOU, you never thought was possible.

Self-acceptance

When you’re infatuated, you see perfection in the other person, feel insecure about yourself, and want to be perfect for them. You hate parts of you that are normal.

Say, your crush is a fit muscular person, you begin to hate yourself because you don’t have a flat stomach or skinny arms. Or, they say that they can’t date you because of some superficial flaws.

Love helps you understand and accept yourself the way you are. The other person shows you the best about yourself instead of body shaming which is possible in infatuation.

If you’re still unsure about your situation, then here are some ways to find out.


Is it love or infatuation? – 10 ways to know its Infatuation

Want to know if your relationship or feelings towards that special person is love or infatuation? I bet you do and this will help you in the process.  

If you relate to the signs listed below, then know that what you’re feeling is not love… it’s just infatuation.

1. Your feelings are on a one-way road

If the feelings are one-sided, and the other person doesn’t return even half of your emotions, it’s infatuation.

Suppose, they don’t respond to you as heartily as you. Or, you ALWAYS adjust according to their schedule, but they don’t.

If you were in love, you’ll find at least an almost equal footing on both sides in the relationship. Or, you both will have equal contributions to your relationship in different ways.

Say, one of you works to earn a living, while the other works to keep the household running.

2. You crave their physical presence

When you’re infatuated, you’ll seek them physically. Well, although physical craving can include anything other than sex, sex isn’t out of the list.

You constantly want all of their attention on you and become possessive when they’re looking at others. You feel around them and don’t want to leave their side.

On the flip side, in love, people understand each other’s situation and don’t demand physical presence if it inconveniences the other person.

3. Everything’s about sex

If it’s infatuation, you’ll crave sex even when you don’t know them well. You want to bond with them sexually and its addictive. The first thing you think about them is sex.

However, don’t fool yourself with words like “I want their body, but it’s not just about sex”.  Many people deny the truth of their relationship like this.

In love, sexual intimacy is a both-sided feeling and it’s never the first thing on your mind as you care for them much more.

4. You haven’t bonded emotionally

Emotional bonding is important in all personal relationships like parent-child relationships, friends, lovers, etc. If you never had a heart-to-heart chat with your love interest, it’s infatuation.

In love, you both will share your emotions and vulnerabilities which proves your comfort and openness.

5. You don’t feel secure

If you feel the other person will judge you for expressing your true desires, or you change your personality or hobbies to catch their attention, it’s infatuation.

In love, you’ll feel secure to show all your vulnerabilities because you know they’ll accept you even if you’re broken.

You won’t feel exposed in love, rather you rejoice in the difference and learn from one another.

6. Social media is more interesting

When you two are together, if their attention wanders about other things like other people they meet on the way, social media, or texts from others, they don’t love you.

However, if you still can’t gain control of your feelings, you’re just infatuated.

Lost attention is a sign of incompatibility, but you don’t care because you want to be together anyway.

7. You keep daydreaming

If you always wonder what’s up with them, imagine things on your own or can’t ask them what they’re thinking even if they’re in front of you, there’s a communication gap.

In love, you communicate freely with one another, you give each other that freedom without even saying so at times.

However, if you feel anxious to ask or know their thoughts, then you guys are quite distant, so it’s possibly infatuation.

8. They don’t care about you… but you feel it’s okay

If the other person can’t support you when you need them or can’t make time because they’re too busy and you still don’t mind… It’s infatuation.

Usually, people in love don’t chicken out when their loved ones are in trouble. So, if they don’t get your back during the worst, they’re not the one. Don’t idealize them anymore.

9. Your priorities are a mess

If you ditched your parents to mow the lawn on their own because of your date, stood up your friend on their birthday, skipped important work, or neglected your studies, it’s infatuation.

Love isn’t blind, infatuation is and you can’t tell apart right from wrong from it. Your admiration for or interest in them messed up your priorities.

If your interest didn’t object to such sacrifices, that’s a bad sign too.

10. You worship them

If you literally worship them or feel they’re somebody out of your league, it’s infatuation. When you love somebody, you don’t think of them beyond humans as they can commit mistakes too.

If you’re infatuated, you will imagine them as a superhero, who doesn’t have conflicting life situations, who doesn’t cry or break down.

Love shows you how broken a person is and you join them by the pieces to make them whole again. If you believe that they are as perfect as a Hollywood hero, you’re infatuated.

If you find a lot of similarities in the above list, I am sure you want to know…


What to do if you’re experiencing infatuation?

If you found you’re infatuated and not in love, you might be devastated to know the truth of your long-term admiration.

But that doesn’t mean your feelings are untrue. You might not be in love yet, but you can fall in love slowly if you follow these steps…

1. Speak your heart out

If you want to move on from infatuation and love them for real, communicate with them. Talk to them and let them know who you really are. Don’t stay a face in the crowd, show your interest.

Share your feelings, even when you’re not together over texts and calls. Show them that you’re not there for the good time, you’ll be there for a long time… by their side, through all turmoil.

2. Talk about them

It’s not just about your feelings, ask about theirs. What do they aspire, what bothers them, what makes them happy. However, it’s not a rapid-fire round, so don’t ask questions without context.

If you can’t find enough context, play some conversational games while knowing each other.

3. Bond with emotions than bodies

Sex is cool, but that doesn’t show how important they are to you. Also, whether you’re a male or a female, value yourself a bit more. You can’t win over their heart if you connect with them sexually.

Sexual compatibility will work only as long as you’re in the bed. Enjoy cuddling with one another to bond emotionally, rather than connecting sexually.

You’ll understand them better and make a greater impact in their heart this way.

I understand that you’re quite shaken after knowing it’s infatuation, but let’s snap out of it to know…


Can infatuation turn into love?

Summary
Usually infatuation doesn’t turn into love. However, if you invest more feelings like selflessness and accept they’re humans, you might turn your luck over.

Although it’s possible, yet most times, infatuation doesn’t turn into love. Sometimes, your interest can’t become the person you fantasize about, and mostly they don’t feel the same way, which leads to the end of infatuation before it turns into something more intense.

However, if you try to understand them better, accept them inside and out, become selfless, become open to sacrifices, happily compromise without hoping for any reward, you might turn your feeling of foolish liking for them into strong love or admiration.

If you must turn your infatuation into love, then you must prioritize them over yourself and accept what they desire willingly. However, if you compromise unwillingly, it’s not love.

Also, infatuation isn’t forever, love is. So…


How long does infatuation last?

Summary
You can’t measure the infatuation duration, rather find when’s your next step in the relationship.

The beginning of infatuation is always as soon as you meet the other person. However, how long your feelings last depend on you and your relationship with them.

Some people compare infatuation with the honeymoon phase of relationships, which makes it even more tough to understand. Because the honeymoon phase can last years or fade within weeks.

So, instead of wondering about your infatuation stage duration, think about when you will make your next step in your relationship – that makes your answer much more simple.

If you don’t have enough time to find out what you’re dealing with, take this quick…


Infatuation vs Love quiz

Like I said, your love will be forever, unlike infatuation. Be it now or a few years after, your infatuation will fade away.

To make your job of understanding your situation in love life even better, I brought this Infatuation vs Love quiz. Hope you get lucky!

Let’s not delay and dig in…

1. How often do you see them in your dreams?

A. Rarely

B. Sometimes

C. Pretty often

2. Do you ever plan to marry them?

A. Yes

B. Maybe

C. Not sure

3. Are you okay without spending every day with them?

A. Why not? I’ll meet them sooner or later

B. Absolutely not, I must see them every day

C. I found their address, for when I don’t see them

4. How does your heart feel around them?

A. I feel pretty happy around them, nothing too over-the-top, but it’s soothing

B. I feel my heart doing backflips and somersaults

C. I feel overjoyed and in extreme distress as soon as they leave

5. How do you feel about yourself since you met them?

A. I feel more confident about myself

B. I only wish we had more in common

C. I feel stressed about so many people around them

6. How much can you sacrifice for them?

A. Everything

B. Maybe a little

C. Nothing at all

7. How do you feel when they’re down?

A. I feel sad and try to cheer them up

B. I can’t imagine them sad, they’re perfect and have a perfect life

C. Aren’t they supposed to cheer me instead?

8. What will you do if they become homeless and bankrupt?

A. Adopt them, I can provide for them

B. Maybe help them find a job if I can

C. It’s a man’s role to work (If you’re a woman, you think they must find a job asap. If you’re a man, you think women belong in the kitchen)

9. Do you find others hot or attractive?

A. No

B. Yes

C. Sometimes

10. You think you feel ________ for them.

A. True love

B. Passion

C. Lust

11. When you visit a friend, you…

A. Enjoy your friend’s company

B. Go gaga over your crush or interest

C. Wait for your interest’s cue to ditch your friend and go on a date

12. You ask them out on a date, but they already have plans. You…

A. Feel a little sad but you understand you were late

B. Feel jealous and imagine what they’re doing behind your back

C. Feel angry that they refused you over them and suspicious of the other party’s intentions

13. When you’re at work or when you study, you…

A. Think about them but brush them out of your head soon and concentrate

B. Check their pictures from time to time

C. Play FLAMES with your names

14. How fast did you build sexual intimacy?

A. After quite a few dates, when you understood them

B. As soon as you met them

C. They refused your suggestion and you’re angry/hurt

15. When they go on business trips with a colleague of the opposite gender, you…

A. Become a bit jealous, but you’re fine. Moreover, they assure to spend more time with you

B. Become green with jealousy and hate the thought they’re out with someone else

C. Plan to cheat on them with an ex

16. You fantasize about them…

A. Only when you’re free

B. All the time

C. Most of the time

17. What’re your loved ones’ opinions about them?

A. They support your bond

B. They hold grudges over something they did to you

C. They aren’t too sure about it because it’s a new relationship

18. When will you two become exclusive?

A. We already are or we talked about it

B. Hopefully, soon

C. They say commitment is for kids

19. How do you speak about your relationship with friends?

A. I don’t share our personal conversations

B. Discuss their social media posts

C. Nobody knows, it’s a secret

20. How much do they like to spend time with you?

A. A lot, they crave me

B. They say I’m too dramatic

C. They don’t know I exist

21. When do you plan to move in?

A. We are taking some time before that

B. I have a toothbrush and a few underwear at their place if that counts

C. They don’t allow me in

22. If they ask you out on a date, you will

A. Suggest the venue

B. Die out of happiness

C. Hang them for later because they took so long

If you mostly answered with option As from your quiz, you’re a lucky one in love.

However, if you answered either B’s, C’s, or a combination with mostly B’s and C’s, you’re infatuated and obsessed with the other person. It might not last till the end, so either review your relationship and feelings or move on.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

If you found out you’re in love, I hope you share the wisdom about infatuation vs love with others too… as many aren’t as lucky as you.

However, if you find you are infatuated, don’t feel down. Both love and infatuation are complex feelings and nobody studied the differences in school, so don’t be harsh on yourself for feeling what you’re feeling.

Live to be a better person who can fall in love, drown in love, and be loved by others. 

You won’t find love within a second over dating apps. Rather, love needs time, the feelings are magical, but it doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere. 

And lastly, love is a both-sided emotion, so never compromise for someone who doesn’t love you back.

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