Are you really in love? How do you know the difference between love and infatuation? This is often difficult to determine, for there are no set rules surrounding the definitions of love or infatuation. Romantic love is very much a part of the American way of life and many expect that someday “it” is going to hit them and they will know they are in love!
What are some of the difference between love and infatuation? Genuine love is more likely to involve a process of “growing” in love rather than “falling” in love. This may sound terribly unromantic to some who are used to hearing talk about: “falling in love” or being “head over heels in love.” This “falling” is often infatuation, and the sheer emotion of “falling in love often blinds a person to the imperfections of the loved one. We tend to think of the loved one as “perfect,” “ideal”, or some other divine image. Real love sees the total person both the perfection and the imperfection. Infatuation, then, is a sudden, emotional sense that one has discovered the “perfect” lover, On the other hand, love realizes imperfections and grows with the acceptance imperfections.
Love leads a person to a feeling of securing and trust in the loved one. It usually involves a feeling of mutual benefit arising from the new relationship. We are able to solve our problems together is the feeling of love, rather than “Please love me because I need you.”
Infatuation often entails feelings of insecurity whenever the “lovers” are separated; feeling of doubt, fickleness uncertainty, and fear of loss often accompany infatuation. “What will I do if I lose him?” and “I wonder if she really means it when she says she loves me?” express the feelings of infatuation. In such a setting a lasting love does not have a chance to develop.
Infatuation tends to be more manipulative than love because a lasting feeling of relationship probably has not developed, so that the individuals are still concerned mainly about their own needs and satisfactions. Conversely, in love, the feeling of relationship is genuine and sincere so that concern for the other person evolves naturally.
Physical attraction is an important part of both infatuation and love, but the superficial attraction is less important in love, for the couple experiencing love usually will build their relationship on a broader base than mere physical attraction.
Although genuine love is an ideal toward which a couple strives, you don't have to be perfect to love. True love involves a measure of selfacceptance and celfrespect and a degree of selfsufficiency in other that one may accept, respect, and thust another person, but it does not require unachievable levels of these qualities.