Is it True Love or Simply Infatuation? How to Tell the Difference.
Love is a word that we tend to toss around unconsciously in our day to day encounters. We love a certain food, a certain clothing style, a certain fragrance, our children, or whatever it may be. We meet a new person and our world begins to change and we tend to think that what we are experiencing is true love. More often than not, we are wrong.
Our cultures, the media, and movies play a huge role in distorting the realities of love and what it truly is. There is a huge difference between the heart pounding adrenaline rush that we feel in the beginning of a relationship, and love. That adrenaline rush we feel is infatuation, not love.
True love and romantic love are not the same either. While we almost always associate true love with romantic love, true love is love in its purest form, while romantic love needs sexual attraction to stay alive.
Love isn’t sex either. A relationship built on lust can only last as long as the two people are physically close and find one another sexually attractive.
Love isn’t a feeling or an emotion. While real love is often accompanied by strong feelings and emotions, love is a choice. It’s a commitment. It’s a devotion to love another person unconditionally. Although emotions, feelings, and sex will be a part of the relationship, a lasting, healthy relationship cannot be based on these things.
The problem with most relationships is that two people will come together, they will be intensely infatuated with one another to the point where they blind themselves to the little flaws and quirks of the other person, and as soon as those rose coloured glasses come off and we start to see what we ignored before…. The trouble begins. Suddenly this person in front of you is no longer ‘perfect’. The smallest of things begin to not just annoy you, it actually starts to infuriate you. You start to notice more and more of the things that you can’t stand or tolerate. Soon, that ‘love’ turns cold and the relationship ends. It was never love to begin with.
Characteristics of Infatuation
- Sees the other person as perfect
- Wants to get own needs met; selfish
- Other relationships and friendships deteriorate
- Spends all of their time with the other person
- Lasts for short periods of time
- Dependence on the other person causes frequent jealousy
- Quarrels are serious and common
- Distance strains the relationship and afterwards puts an end to it.
12 Characteristics of True Love
True love knows no depths. It stays with you. It isn’t ordinary and it doesn’t come around often. It’s the kind of love and affection that you have for someone that isn’t bound by typical human behavior. Human behavior is simple to understand and is often very ego-based. When someone hurts you, you get angry with them. When someone shatters your ego or humiliates you, you want revenge. This is human behavior, not love.
When you experience true love with someone you, primal instincts and behavior changes only towards them. It transcends typical human behavior and makes you a better person, especially towards that special someone.
- Give and take in love. You give to the relationship wholeheartedly, without any desire or expectations of getting something back in return from your partner to justify your actions. You don’t keep score of who has done more or who has loved harder. If you’re giving to get, it’s selfish and not love. Love is selfless.
- Pure happiness. Just watching your partner smile or laugh fills you with intense happiness, even if you’re suffering inside or having a bad day. You also see something and instead of thinking how happy it makes you, you think about how happy it would make your partner.
- You keep your promises. When you experience true love, your moral conscience becomes very strong when it comes to this one person. You don’t make a promise that you cannot keep.
- Pain and anger. You may get annoyed or frustrated from time to time, but you just won’t stay mad at this person for long or give them the silent treatment and stonewall them because it hurts you more.
- Safe expression of genuine emotions. You can experience a range of emotions in front of them and know that it won’t change the way they feel about you.
- It doesn’t matter how long it takes for your partner to understand something, you enjoy spending the time teaching or learning from them.
- No desire for others. Yes, you might find someone of the opposite sex attractive and recognize their beauty, but no part of you wants them.
- Their happiness means more than your own. You look for different ways to light them up and bring them joy because it brings you happiness and joy. You dream of all the ways you can take care of them more than you dream of all the ways you want them to take care of you.
- When you fight, you truly don’t want to remain mad at them. You don’t talk badly about them after it’s resolved either because you know their actions came from a heartfelt place.
- Encompasses a long-term commitment. It’s not a here today, gone tomorrow kind of relationship. You are committed to sticking it out through the good times, the gut-wrenchingly hard times, and through all of the colours of life’s rainbows.
- It’s unconditional. When you truly love someone, there is absolutely nothing that they could do that would ever make you walk away from the relationship…. Not even infidelity. You accept every part of the other person, including their little flaws and intricacies. You don’t judge. You just accept all of them and continue to love and be loving towards them. NO exceptions.
- Common life goals. If the relationship is going to be long-term, you need to be headed in the same general direction together. If he dreams of travelling the world for business but your dream is to remain in one location doing one job, then you’re going to run into problems. If you want to live in the countryside and he wants to live in a big city with lots of action, you could encounter serious issues together. If you want children but your partner doesn’t see a future with children, there will be incompatible life goals. If your goal is to be financially independent but your partner would rather spend money like water, you will have serious issues. There needs to be a compatible direction in where your lives together are headed.
Our culture, the media, and movies have taught us to look at physical appearances, popularity and wealth when judging our relationships and love. All of this is superficial and fades away.
We are taught that sex is love. Sex is important in a loving, committed relationship, but it is merely the completion of the binding of two people within that commitment.
At some point in the relationship, as you grow older together, all of the illusions of being human are going to fade away and what you’re left with is your partner. If you lost everything tomorrow and were completely penniless, would you still love that person? If they were unable to give you sexual pleasure, would you still love that person? If they had absolutely nothing left to give but love, would that be enough for you?
If you’re in a relationship where both of you truly understand each other and feel compatible with one another, and most importantly, love each other, then chances are, you’re experiencing true love.
When two people can understand each other and relate to each other, they will start to love each other’s company and start to become inseparable. Eventually, this bond will turn into a pure and selfless love that is called true love.