Not sure if you are ready to take the next step in your relationship? Want to be sure about your significant other before committing to them completely? Is it infatuation or love?
We don’t blame you for asking questions, people confuse love and infatuation all the time as infatuation can give you the same feeling of helplessly falling for someone as love does.
This comes as no surprise as some infatuation is also part of love, though love is a much deeper concept.
Infatuation is distinguished by its focus on physical attraction which is also a part of love, however, love has an equal or even greater focus on emotional intimacy and vulnerability.
For the sake of a definition, we can say that infatuation is being in love with the expectations of a relationship and the intrigue of a person, as well as having a predominantly physical relationship.
Love is being fond of a person, their idiosyncrasies, and their flaws. It is based on vulnerability and is characterized by emotional intimacy playing a predominant part.
We have compiled a list of differences between love and infatuation so that you can be sure of where you stand in your relationship. Read on to find out the top 8 differences and signs between infatuation and love.
1. Physical vs emotional
Infatuation is a lot about physical attraction so if your relationship is mostly based on physical touch and sexual interactions, there is a high likelihood that it is based on infatuation rather than love.
Love is more about emotional intimacy and feeling safe around your partner and feeling understood.
If you have had deep conversations, arguments, misunderstandings, and have overcome differences together, then it is safe to say that you are in love.
If you feel safe and secure around your partner and are not merely intrigued by the thrill of someone exciting and mysterious, you are in love.
Related Article: 8 Proven Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy in Marriage
2. Listening vs talking
One of the obvious differences between infatuation and love is the difference in communication.
In infatuation, people are more interested in talking rather than really listening to what the other has to say.
That is not to say they do not listen but the listening itself is of a different quality. Listening in infatuation is spurred by a desire to banter and flirt. There might also be pressure to say something interesting.
In love, on the other hand, partners will be genuinely interested in listening to the minute mundane details of each other’s day for no other motive than the fact that they care for each other.
If you are rolling your eyes at the idea of being such a “boring” couple, we don’t blame you. However, what you have is most likely infatuation rather than love.
3. Fantasy vs reality
Infatuation is often based on a fantasy of the person you are with and can overlook the reality of who they are that might be contrary to the idealized image.
This can lead to one party feeling misunderstood or feeling like they cannot be a certain way in front of their partners.
It can also lead to some extravagant date ideas sweeping you off your feet. Hey, infatuation is not all bad.
The question you need to answer is, are you in love with the idea of being in love with someone, or in love with the image you have of them in your head, or are you in love with that specific person, flaws and all?
Another important thing to consider is whether you have seen your partner in their daily life, not just what they have shown you.
4. Conflict resolution
The way conflicts are resolved in your relationship is an indication of whether your relationship is based on love or infatuation.
In infatuation, conflicts are avoided or swept under the rug of passion. When partners love each other, they care deeply about the foundation of the relationship and have an urge to resolve any conflicts that come up.
In love, there is also a tendency for partners to take the blame upon themselves. Although, there might be a tendency for a partner to not address issues based on past experiences, there is, however, a strong desire to make up for any tension.
Infatuation runs from conflict and there is not a desire to resolve issues per se, rather there is a desire to return to the passionate bliss before the conflict.
Time is a well known indicator of infatuation and love. Although it is entirely possible for people to become close in a really short span of time, in general people will be skeptical about your intimacy if you two have come to know each other recently.
This general perception has some truth to it. Love is a deep bond and takes a long time to develop.
Do you think you really know your partner in the short time you have been together?
That is not to say your bond is any less true if it has not blossomed completely, however, time is the ultimate test for any relationship.
Infatuation can lead to love as well but it takes time for the bond to develop that deep. Love in general takes time to develop to a point where you are ready to go to almost any lengths for your partner and for your relationship.
Age can also be indicative of infatuation and love. Youth is more prone towards infatuations as love requires a level of maturity and self awareness that is usually lacking in younger people.
6. Public vs private
Although people can have different perspectives on making the more intimate parts of their relationship public, it can also be indicative of the difference between infatuation and love.
If you and your partner have not made your relationship public yet, that might be a major red flag.
As for doing things together, again, every couple has their own dynamics, however, in love there is an ease in doing things together. If you are both comfortable around each other’s friends, that is a good sign.
Of course, there are guy’s nights and gal’s nights but your partner should want to be more present in your life in general and want to spend more time with you if they really love you.
A clear indicator of love is if they are not only there in your life for pleasure but support you in the time when it gets difficult.
If you can count on them to support you when you are facing difficulty in life then they are not merely there for fun but actually care about you.
If they gain nothing out of it but are still there to help you, that is a sign of true unconditional love.
Think back to times of crises, have they stuck by you to the bitter end or have they dipped out when the going got too hard?
Do you think you can count on them to at least be there and support you no matter how hard things get? If yes, then your bond is one of love rather than infatuation.
8. Deep vs shallow
The kind of conversation you engage in can also be indicative of whether your relationship is one of infatuation or love.
Does your conversation mostly revolve around flirting, banter, or common interests? Shallow conversations get a bad rep but they make the bulk of conversation, there are only so many deep conversations one can have.
However, if you have not had any deep conversations, then that is a troubling sign. Usually a mix of both is best suited in most loving relationships.
Do you know what they want out of life? What was their childhood like? What are their hopes and fears? How do they feel about everything and anything? Have you talked to them about the future? About having children? About growing old?
These kinds of conversations make you really understand one another and can eliminate any preconceived notions you may have of the person before you.
If you feel like you really know your partner and love everything about them, then that is a positive sign.
We hope these differences make things clear for you. You can use these signs to determine whether you are ready to take your relationship to the next step or you need to re-evaluate things.
If the signs point to infatuation, do not be worried, all is not lost, it does not mean your relationship has no room to grow.
Talk to your partner about your feelings. Prioritize interactions that make you bond closer in terms of understanding one another.
Get to really know each other, get to know their past, their day to day activities, etc. If your being suddenly more present in their life scares them away then they are just not ready for something deeper.
If on the other hand, they are uncomfortable but are willing to compromise, then it could be a positive sign.
People can have a hard time opening up for any number of reasons including traumatic childhood experiences.
If they are willing to step out of their comfort zone for your sake, then your relationship has a chance to grow.