Differences Between Love And Infatuation: Infatuation is often mistaken as love. This is because sometimes it may be difficult to ascertain what exactly one feels at a particular time; whether love or infatuation, and moreso because some people are not informed that there is such concept or thing known as infatuation.
So for them, everything is love. Because there is such thing as infatuation, often times love is misinterpreted. In this article we shall analyze the two concepts and highlight their differences.
What is Love?
Love is a feeling of interest and passion towards another. Love is an intense feeling of attraction and a profound and caring affection towards another. The intense used here implies that the feeling is a deep one. Love goes beyond physical attraction. Figuratively, love is an action word and has been described as an undertaking of sacrifice. Love therefore is the willingness to adjust one’s position in extension of care to another. Love is the center of all other virtues.
It follows therefore that where genuine love exists there is acceptance, patience, kindness, humility, selflessness, peace, tolerance and so on. When we talk about love we are particular about true love for it is well known that love can be compromised. It would be correct to say that life generally is centered on love as well. Every living being craves for and deserves to feel love. Love could be of philia nature, divine, romantic and so on, but the substance of love remains the same regardless of the type.
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What is Infatuation?
Infatuation is an immensely strong love or sexual attraction felt by one for another. The feeling of infatuation is characterized by the fact that it is short-lived, obsessive and possessive, and often times it involves physical attraction. Infatuation has been described as a feeling of an addictive love and unreasoned passion. The feeling of infatuation just like love can be intense; however, while love is well founded and substantive, infatuation is a temporary feeling of desire for another.
Infatuation is not a bad phenomenon as it may be painted and it is a very normal and more usual feeling. It is possible for infatuation to metamorphose into love. In fact, infatuation has been described by Goldstein and Brandon as the first stage of feelings in a love relationship. Thus, most romantic relationship is preceded by infatuations. It must be noted meanwhile that infatuation is not the same as lust.
Differences Between Love And Infatuation
It is necessary to define a distinction between love and infatuation, one for the sake of the knowledge and the other for self-consciousness; self-consciousness in the sense that one should be able to ascertain when love or infatuation is being nurtured in order to take decisions appropriately. Love and infatuation are distinguishable by a thin line; however, both are characterized by the same strong feeling of attraction towards another.
Below are the differences between love and infatuation:
1. Infatuation is short-lived: Infatuation is a mere hormonal response to the instant attributes present. If follows that infatuation would most likely cease to exist from the very moment the instant attributes cease to exist. On the other hand, love is a long-term feeling.
This is because it is not founded on mere physical attractions but on the substance of the personality present. Love may not necessarily last forever but generally, it stays much longer than infatuation ever would.
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2. Love can be unconditional; unconditional in the sense that there could actually be no reason to love someone, yet the love is still present and active. A typical example of this situation is philia love. Now, a mother actually needs no material reason to love her new born baby. And generally, new born babies can be lovable and people actually need no reason to love them.
This is unconditional love playing out. People may love their cousins without any material reason; just for them being their cousins. On the other hand, the feeling of infatuation is always conditional upon an existing circumstance such as physical attraction. There is actually a reason or reasons to feel infatuated towards someone, usually by reasons of what you see, feel or experience from the person. Most often, infatuation is interested in what it benefits from the other.
3. Love does not occur instantly; it rather takes time to arise and this probably is the reason while love qualifies as a long-term feeling. The popular experience of love at first sight could qualify as infatuation because love goes beyond an instant encounter.
On the other hand, the feeling of infatuation can occur all of a sudden. This is because infatuation is blinded by mere physical attractions and does not go beyond what is presented before it.
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4. Love is a deep affection towards another, and most often it does not fade away easily. The feeling of love goes beyond things that can be described. Love is spiritual and it shares a bond amongst the relevant persons. Because love is characterized by a deep affection, making sacrifices for the other is an integral feature of it and the feeling of love does not fade away easily.
On the other hand, infatuation is a mere strong feeling towards another. Thus, the feeling although strong is usually not a deep one. The feeling of infatuation is superficial; it is shallow and lacks substance. Therefore, infatuation can easily fade away.
5. Love goes beyond the physical attributes. Love is a connection with the soul of another. Inasmuch as love may be preceded by infatuation and in fact may actually involve physical attraction, it goes beyond it. Physical attraction is not the basis or substance of love.
On the other hand, infatuation is characterized by physical attraction, even though it may go beyond that. And where it does not eventually go beyond that, most likely it would cease to exist in s short-while.
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6. Love is not defeated by distance. It is a popular saying that distance is not a barrier to love. Love therefore can continue to exist between persons, their physical distance to each other notwithstanding.
On the other hand, infatuation is wholly defeated by distance. Once the parties are long separated by distance the feelings begins to fade away.
7. Love is a communication with the soul of another. Love comes from the heart. On the other hand, the feeling of infatuation does not come from the heart. It is rather a product of the brain’s work by its evaluation of the qualities presented before it.
8. One of the attributes of love is that love is not jealous. On the other hand, one of the attributes of infatuation is that it is jealous and possessive.
9. Love is not particularly interested in the flaws of the other. Thus, love tolerates flaws. On the other hand, infatuation seeks perfection from the other.
10. Love is endowed with several virtues such as patience, kindness, absence of jealously and envies, willingness to sacrifice, and so on. All the attributes of love are in no way attributable to infatuation. In fact, infatuation is endowed with the opposite.
Having distinguished between love and infatuation, it could be seen that both have some sort of relationship to the extent that love could be preceded by infatuation.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.