Slow Down – The Difference Between Love and Infatuation

“I love you”, she said, kissing him on the cheek.

“I love you too”, he said and returned the favor.

The words ‘I love you’ and love in general thrown around so much these days, there’s no wonder that people are lost. As a culture, we are ideally taught about this magical ‘love at first sight’ and ‘true love’ and that there’s a prince charming waiting to whisk you away somewhere or that once you marry a woman she’ll turn into ‘Super Wife’.

Not really.

How about we turn of the television a moment, shall we?

One of the things that I have and many people have experienced is this alleged ‘love at first sight’. You know when you meet someone and your heart starts beating really fast and you get nervous, butterflies in your stomach and all.

Sorry. . . that’s not love. Infatuation or lust, maybe, but love? Definitely not. And here’s why: One of the most important parts of relationships, romantic or not is knowing and understanding a person! You don’t know, or understand this person, how can you love them?

Unfortunately, this is the most common mistake made when searching for or encountering a potential mate.

Like it or not, there are chemicals in our brain that react when we ‘fall in love’, it’s part of an evolutionary program fixed into us. When in the beginning stages where passion rules all, we are completely infatuated and enamored with the idea we had programmed into us by some form of media that we have taken in since child hood. Scary enough, said chemical reaction is very much like drugs. When you don’t have it, you crave it. Every phone call, every text message, video chat etc. This is what we call ‘the honeymoon phase’. Far too many times, relationships die as soon as this is over, often ending in regretful decisions, like pregnancies, moving out of the state and even changing career paths for who you think is that special someone.

While there are those romantics out there who talk of this infatuation like it’s the most amazing thing (it certainly feels like it for a while), in the long run, it’s bad for you. Now I’m going to give a word of advice that people seem to miss all the time. You know that person that you’re absolutely enamored with, the one who makes you lose yourself, you know exactly who they are too.

Keep walking.

Yeah, I said it. That special someone that made you swoon? You should walk right pass them. If not, there’s a high chance that you can end up in a whirlwind romance doomed to fail. Now, there are exceptions to this rule though and this is one key point.

What do you have in common? What hobbies and interests do you share? Say what you will, but if you’re completely attracted to someone but every time you step out of the bed you lose interest in each other, this is you not being compatible.

I find that my best relationships have been with people that I share a common ground with. I like video games, he likes video games. Instead of “OMG my boyfriend ignores me for video games!” like a lot of other chicks, we just sit down and player co-op or switch it up and trash talk people online while kicking but. Together. Why? Because it’s a common interest, something to bond over. My parents may argue and all, but the both settle down and hug on each other and get along when it comes to music because, again, common interest.

Okay, so earlier I talked about understanding someone. Understanding, I mean really getting to know them, talk to them. Corny as it sounds, what are their hopes and dreams and aspirations, what goals. And the dreaded question. . . what do they want out of this relationship? The inability to see eye to eye is sure to doom everything. A lot of people, especially females, I know this because I am one, choose to look the other way and hope their current guy (or girl) comes around.

Thing is, this doesn’t usually happen.

So while one person is hearing wedding bells, the other is already looking for their next catch. How’s that for ‘a perfect couple’? (no such couple exists but you know what I mean)

Another bit of advice that should be followed and it’s something nobody does. . . don’t sleep with the person or commit to them until you get to know them better. I know, sounds like something your mom would say, right?

Well, it happens all the time. You’re with this absolutely wonderful person, the sex is great and all, and what could go wrong?

Then you realize one day the person is who you thought they were, which I can tell you from personal experience is really off putting. Sex too early on could end you trapped in a loveless relationship or leave you in stasis and unable to move on with your life.

And last but not least, peer pressure. You know how your friends say ‘you two are made for each other!’. No you’re not.

A big pit fall for a lot of people is listening to your friends and family saying you’re great for someone and vice versa and you just want to please everyone? Do NOT do this, especially with your love life. As a person use to giving into what the family wants, I am telling you, you do not want to do this with a significant other, especially if you marry them. At the end of the day, you’re the one putting up with their crap, not your family not your friends, you. You’re the one going to bed with the Oscar the Grouch or his twin sister.

There is no one way to handle romantic relationships, everyone is different in their approach and every person and situation is different. But it would do some good to have this knowing and understanding between one another. At the end of the day, the best love isn’t love at first sight, but love that grows.



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