By: Davine Holness
One of the most beautiful feelings of the human experience is being in love. However, many relationships have ended because people discovered that what they had thought was love was in fact merely its deceptive cousin: infatuation. In any relationship, it’s important to know where you stand, and in amorous relationships this means finding out whether you’re truly in love or just infatuated with the other person. While most people are infatuated with their love partners to an extent, it is important to understand which of the two forces is the basis of the relationship. This knowledge can help you make wise decisions about commitments, and give you a better understanding of yourself and your partner. Understanding the difference between love and infatuation will lead to a healthier, happier love life.
Infatuation is static: it is the passionate feeling when someone else is all you can think about. It is when you are attracted to the person, and your priorities are built around them, but there is no shared growth or development. When a relationship is based on infatuation, there is often little trust, loyalty, and commitment – the relationship isn’t a mutual give-and-take. The key feature of infatuation is an unrealistic idea of who the other person is, and what the relationship will provide for your life.
Love, on the other hand is a dynamic process that involves shared emotion, trust and growth. It’s constant consideration for the other person that leads to joint planning and decision making. The important thing is knowing who the person really is, knowing that the relationship won’t be perfect, and loving them anyway. The relationship evolves as the individuals mature and needs change; the two parties work together in building a shared future. Love is strong enough to outlast the ups and downs of life.
So how can you go about differentiating between love and infatuation? Asking yourself the following questions can help you figure it out:
- Are you truly happy? Are you treated as a person of value?
- Is there hope for a shared future? Are the two of you thinking and planning as a couple rather than separately?
- Is your life better because of your partner?
- Are you foregoing your dreams for your partner, or are you restructuring your dreams to fit each other?
- Does your partner’s mother know about you?
- Most importantly: does the relationship bring out the best in each of you?
Telling the difference between true love and infatuation is not easy. If you are working through this or other relationship/marriage issues, the Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services can help. Call us to arrange an appointment with one of our marriage counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.
Arista Counseling: (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920
Visit our website for more info: http://www.acenterfortherapy.com/