You start seeing someone.
You’re attracted to them.
There’s a lot of chemistry!
Things are going great, but there’s a little piece of you inside that’s not sure if what you’re feeling is truly love or infatuation, and you find yourself asking what’s the difference. Is there a difference? You have to have an attraction in a love relationship, right? But if it’s only physical attraction, is it still love?
There’s a big difference between love and infatuation, so it’s essential to find out if you are just infatuated with someone or love someone and the other way around. They are both intense, confusing emotions.
Whether it is love or infatuation will profoundly affect whether or not you, or both of you, want to continue the relationship. As fun as infatuation can be, it can be extraordinarily short-lived and temporary, which is why you want to be aware that it might end earlier than you may expect.
The Difference Between Love and Infatuation
Okay, so we know we need to know the difference between love and infatuation. But what could they possibly be? Both feelings are intense and physical. There are many differences, such as love is self-sacrificing, and infatuation has ulterior motives. Love is trustworthy and genuine, and infatuation is jealous and superficial.
However, there’s no doubt that both can be fun!
When you’re thinking of both, it’s difficult to clearly see what kind of relationship you are in when you are in the thick of it. There may be red flags that you should be aware of now. Whichever it may be, they are both magical and make us feel good.
We at Lovebox have put together a guide for you to find out for yourself, whether love or infatuation. We want our advice and tips to prepare you for what is to come, whichever it may be.
Ready to discover the difference between love and infatuation? Let’s dive in!
Love Is More Than Physical
True love, of course, is physical as well. But your partner, in a relationship involving true love, cares about your whole body and soul—mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Love is selfless and kind. There’s contentment and stability that come from more than a purely physical relationship.
It is unconditional and does not expect anything in return. The critical difference between love and infatuation is that in love, your feelings of being attracted to your body will continue throughout the relationship.
Infatuation Is Purely Physical
Consequently, with infatuation, the feelings of physical attractiveness and desire are fleeting. It will change with no notice or reason. Infatuation is pure physical passion. Therefore, you are sexually and physically attracted to each other.
The feelings come on fast, and you feel empty unless you have constant reassurance and affirmations from that person. Your moods shift quickly and without explanation, but your physical passion for each other stays the same. It’s euphoric.
Love Is Deep
There are many emotions associated with love. Sometimes it’s hard even to tell all of your feelings when you are genuinely in love. True love encourages intimacy and physical attractiveness. There’s a deep connection present that you frequently don’t even realize happened until it does. When true love is present, there is a deep feeling of understanding and acceptance of who you are and who they are.
The intensity that is present in love is not present in infatuation (besides the physical aspect). Instead, love has strong feelings of compassion, concern, and connection. Remember, love is an action word. And in today’s world, actions that speak louder than words are more accurate than ever.
If you are in a relationship with someone and can’t decide if it is love or infatuation, notice if the other person’s actions match their words. If they say they love you, but you feel anxious or concerned, then it may just be an infatuation.
Infatuation Is Shallow
Infatuation is shallow, but this is not to say that physical closeness and connectedness are as well. Infatuation is superficial because there is only physical chemistry and passion. Infatuation only shows the side of perfection. It isn’t about being there as you age or change over time or after you get grey hair and love handles.
Infatuation only wants what it wants right here right now. Think of infatuation as a crush you had on the most popular person in high school that you didn’t even know. You didn’t know their personality or who they were away from the crowd. You only saw the illusion they wanted you to see of their perfect side. Infatuation as an adult looks a lot like that.
Love Is Secure
There is security in love. You know that no matter what happens, that person will love you and support you in life. You are secure in their love knowing you don’t need reassurance that they choose you every few minutes.
You trust their judgment and their behavior. You both respect and trust each other. When it is true love, there is a mutual bond of contentment and energizing.
Infatuation Is Insecure
With Infatuation, there is no security. You feel on edge and vulnerable. There’s no calmness or trust, only anxiety and confusion. Infatuation alone needs constant reassurance, and it's impatient. When you are infatuated with someone, it tends to be a quick, intense, overwhelming feeling that often leaves as quickly as it appeared.
Love Is Long Lasting
Love takes time. Love is intentional. Love is long-term.
If it is love, it’ll last through the ups and downs of life. Of course, nothing is predictable, but when it is love, not Infatuation, you know your partner has committed to loving you for years to come. They are passionate about you and you alone.
They don’t need to keep catching a “high” because they have you in their life. You are both living in reality and see the truth in who each other is as a person. And you love each other, flaws and all.
Infatuation Is Temporary
In contrast, Infatuation is temporary. It is frequently reckless and short-lived. It is not living in reality but a superficial bubble of intense physical and sexual passion.
You have hopes that it is love, but Infatuation doesn’t always turn into love. Infatuation is often living in a land of fantasy, and wishing things did turn into love even if you see red flags that they may not. But there’s always hope!
Is Infatuation Real or Fake?
Infatuation in and of itself is not real; however, Infatuation can turn into true love. Every relationship starts with an intense physical attraction. What happens next is what determines if it’s real love or Infatuation. As we mentioned, Infatuation is temporary (most of the time—we’ll get into that later), and love is long-lasting; however, you must still be infatuated with your partner over the long haul to some degree.
You still want physical attraction and deep emotional connection to be present when you are in love, but you want it to be superficial or fleeting. You want your mutual physical attraction, heavy on the word mutual, to sustain you in good times and bad. Infatuation alone cannot stand a long-lasting, secure relationship. But with a healthy dose of Infatuation, while you’re in love, you’ll have a safe, healthy, loving relationship.
You Can Have Both Love and Infatuation in a True Love Relationship?
After everything we’ve said to explain the difference between love and Infatuation, we’re now saying you can have both in a healthy relationship.
Yes! It’s possible.
First, when you are in a healthy, loving relationship, are you infatuated with each other. The difference is that it’s a healthy level of Infatuation. You are obsessed with each other in the sense that you deeply love and care for them and don’t want anyone to wrong them or hurt them. You love the way they look, and you’re still sexually and physically attracted to them. You constantly wish to level up your love and show them how much they mean to you.
Second, there’s still a sense of euphoria and lust when you are in love. But, again, it is a healthy dose of euphoria and lust. You are safe and assured in their love for you and your body. Plus, if you both are still infatuated with each other, that is a good sign that it is a deep emotional bond that connects you two at this point.
Finally, your thoughts, feelings, mood, and anxiety are also affected by love, just as they are affected by Infatuation. The difference? When it is true love, everything is calm. You feel secure in their love. You may still feel anxious and insecure sometimes, but overall, there is a healthy amount of emotional safety and security.
Can’t Decide if It’s Love or Infatuation? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions
Okay, so you’ve read the difference between love and Infatuation. But each relationship is different, so you’re not sure if you’re feeling intense feelings of true love or temporary passionate feelings of Infatuation. It happens!
Each relationship is unique, and each human being has their way of feeling and thinking. It can be a confusing and exhausting process. To help you decide, we’ve come up with five questions to ask yourself to determine if it’s love or Infatuation.
1. Is My Day-To-Day Mood Affected by My Relationship?
If you find yourself unusually anxious or sad regularly, you may have symptoms of an unhealthy infatuation. Feelings of extreme mood changes can be a red flag that you don’t want to ignore. An excellent way to find out for yourself if you are in an unhealthy relationship with Infatuation is to notice how you act if you don’t get a call or text from this particular person promptly.
Do you experience feelings of anxiety or stress? Do you start feeling insecure or jealous? A definite red flag is if you don’t hear from them, you start checking their social media activity, such as their Instagram story or Snapchat story.
In contrast, if you are in love (or in the infatuation stage headed toward true love), then you won’t feel anxiety or jealousy when you don’t hear from them. You just trust you are both adults with lives and responsibilities, and they will respond when they respond.
2. Is It Only Physical Attraction?
We all know you must be physically attracted to each other before there’s any degree of love or Infatuation. We’ve all been there: heart pounding in your ears, hands sweaty and awkward, and cheeks flushing red. However, if there is only intense physical attraction, then that is a good sign that it is only Infatuation and isn’t or won’t move on to true love.
To move on to true love, you must maintain physical attraction, but it is much more intense and steadier, more like a calming feeling in the middle of a chaotic world. You both love each other for precisely the way you look on your good days and bad. Your feelings of passion aren’t associated with short-lived superficial physical attractiveness.
3. Are Your Feelings of Infatuation Mutual?
If they are mutual, it is a good sign (although no guarantee) that your feelings of Infatuation can turn into love. On the other hand, if your feelings are not mutual, it can cause unnecessary jealousy, control, panic, and an unhealthy obsession with the other person.
When experiencing extreme levels of passion and good feelings, it’s easy not to see critical red flags, such as the other person not exhibiting the same signs of mutual attraction and sexual desire. The best thing to do is address your feelings as soon as possible, so there’s no room for additional hurt or unnecessary feelings of anxiety.
4. Is There an Unnecessary Amount of Drama and Confusion?
Does the other person constantly need to feel intense, passionate feelings? Do they need constant reassurance? Are there feelings of possessive anxiety? A yes to all these questions are all signs that your relationship is most likely Infatuation, not love, mainly if they try to use other forms of control and possession to manipulate your relationship.
Feelings of intense passion can be confusing because you need a degree of both Infatuation and love; however, the determining factor is if the desire is associated with short-term feelings of pleasure but not deep emotional satisfaction.
5. Have Your Friends and Family Mentioned You Haven’t Seemed Like Yourself?
Change can be good. Learning more about yourself and who you are is essential. But if your friends and family mention that you’ve been on edge or tense lately, it might be a good sign that you have an unhealthy infatuation with someone.
Have you noticed your responsibilities or job tasks have been slipping lately? Have you been ignoring those important to you, such as your siblings, grandparents, or friends? It might be best to reevaluate who is in your life and if it’s best for you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Communication Matters for Both Love and Infatuation
Communication matters regardless of your status in a relationship. The better your communication, the less likely one or both of you will get hurt. Discuss your feelings and your concerns—another good way to navigate the emotional health of your relationship. You want to be open and honest now. If you decide it is for sure love, you also want to start expressing it more verbally!
Find ways to say I love you through text, FaceTime, or snail mail. One of the unique ways to say I love you is through our Lovebox-connected messaging system. It’s super simple and easy! First, send a message with drawings, stickers, love notes, and images.
Then, the spinny heart on their box will spin to let them know they have a new message, and then after they read it, they can return a shower of hearts to your phone. Better yet, get two, so your loved ones can send you a love note in return!
Love and infatuation are both accompanied by intense feelings, attraction, and emotions. However, there are many differences between the two, including love is more than physical, and infatuation is only physical. Love is deep, and infatuation is shallow. Love is secure, and infatuation is insecure. One of the most important things to remember is that love is long-lasting, and infatuation is temporary.
If you’re still not sure whether or not it’s love or infatuation, we provided five questions to try and narrow it down. We know it’s not easy, especially when there’s a lot of attraction, but it’s important to find out now so if it’s temporary you’ll be sad that it’s over but thankful for the short time you had together. If you haven’t yet, ask yourself the five questions!