Is it Love or Infatuation? How to Tell The Difference

Mackenzie Wright's picture

Many of us dream of finding true love; the unfortunate reality is that some of us wouldn't know it if we tripped over it and it gave us mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Thanks to all the fantasy movies and reality shows we've been exposed to, the majority of us couldn't pick true love out of a line up.

One thing that's often confused with love is infatuation. Infatuation can, on the surface, feel a lot like what we think love is. You don't have to go very deep, though, to see the very vast and significant differences.

So, are you in love? Or just infatuated? Here's how to tell.

Perfection vs. Flaws

When you look at him, you think he's just perfect the way he is. You couldn't have asked for a better lover-- he's even more perfect than you could have dreamed before you met him.

If this is the case, you're infatuated. No one is perfect; you're not seeing him, you're seeing the superman you wish he was.

One thing that's often confused with love is infatuation. Infatuation can, on the surface, feel a lot like what we think love is.

If you were truly in love, you'd be able to recognize his flaws; you'd find them annoying, yet charming and adorable in their own way. And you'd love him anyway.

Needs vs. Wants

You have a burning, yearning for her. In the morning you try to coax her back to bed when she’s getting ready for work. When you’re sick, you don’t want anyone else to take care of you. You know she’s out with friends, but you still feel it’s important to share every thought that pops into your head, so you’re constantly texting or calling her.
If this is so-- all the time-- it's infatuation.

When you're infatuated, there is a selfish desire-- you want your needs met. You don’t care if she gets in trouble for being late. You don’t care if she is put out, or if she’s having a good time. You don’t worry about her needs; you worry about her meeting your needs.

With true love, feelings of neediness generally take a back seat to what you want. And what you truly want mostly is to fulfill the needs of the one you love, even if it puts you out.

Inseparable vs. Separable

You want to be with him every minute; you want to make him the center of your world, and you want him to want you to be the center of his. You can’t bear the thought of going even a night without seeing him, or a day without talking to him. All you want is to be together.

That is the essence of infatuation— it’s obsession. The person of your desire has an effect on you like that of a drug— you’re addicted. You’re also insecure— deep down you know the relationship isn’t really right, and you feel like the closer you stick to him, the less of a chance of something coming between the two of you.

When you’re in love, you do want to be with him— but even if you’re not, there is sense of contentment. Everything in life is sweeter — including the time you spend at work or with other friends — knowing your love is part of your life.

He doesn’t have to always be under your nose. You don’t feel like being apart from each other is the end of the world; in fact, it just gives you something to look forward to after you go off to do your own things.

In light of this new understanding, you may want to re-evaluate your relationships— past, present, and especially future. Infatuation doesn’t last; hold out for true love. It’s worth it.