10 Important Ways Infatuation Is Different From Real Love

Working out whether you feel love or infatuation can be confusing. These two states of being tend to feel the same. In fact, sometimes infatuation can actually feel more powerful. The difference is love keeps people bonded together in trust, respect, and commitment whereas infatuation is a fleeting, idealistic feeling. Here are the main ways that these two similar concepts feel different. Read on to work out how to identify where you really stand.

  1. Infatuation tends to focus on the physical. Infatuation tends to focus only on the physical aspects of a relationship. It’s common for someone who’s infatuated to feel totally physically attracted to another person. On the other hand, love is about more than just a physical connection. Love happens when there’s emotional bonding. With love, there is connection on other levels as well.
  2. Real love can take time. Despite reports of falling in love at first sight, true love usually occurs gradually. You might be attracted to someone from the beginning. But love includes many factors that you don’t get from simply looking at a person. Real love involves trust and respect. Those typically develop over time. But you can become infatuated with someone very quickly.
  3. Infatuation makes things seem perfect. When you’re infatuated with someone, you view them in a perfect state. Their flaws don’t appear to you because you’re blinded by the intense feelings of lust. But no one is perfect. Real love is about acknowledging that someone isn’t perfect and still desiring that connection anyway.
  4. Real love is hard work. Sometimes, love hurts. When you love someone, you want the best for them. That can mean wanting them to find someone else who’s better for them than you are. It can be painful and exhausting. Infatuation, however, tends to be positive and exciting. It usually fades when things get difficult…
  5. Infatuation fades. You don’t stay in lust with someone forever. Infatuation and obsession dwindle over time. Usually, that’s when things get difficult. People might lose their feelings of infatuation when they get bored. Or it might be when they notice something else that hooks their interest.
  6. Real love is selfless. While infatuation is about fulfilling your own needs that arise in relation to the other person, real love is selfless. It’s about meeting that person’s needs and making them a priority. That doesn’t automatically mean that you have to neglect your own needs when you fall in love. But you do consider your partner. And, sometimes, you make sacrifices and compromises for them.
  7. Infatuation feels impossible to ignore. Infatuation seems like love because it feels very intense. Usually, it’s impossible to ignore. When people talk about being hit with the love bug and totally consumed by someone new, it’s often infatuation. Real love actually feels more steady and manageable, although you can still get butterflies!
  8. Real love is a bond that transcends the surface. Love is deep. Infatuation is shallow. Real love is about forming a connection with someone, trusting them, respecting them, and committing to them. It involves so much more than having a crush on them. Infatuation, comparatively, is all about an obsession with the idea of someone. It usually doesn’t go any further than skin-deep. Once someone reveals their true selves, infatuation tends to wither away.
  9. Infatuation doesn’t require you to really know the person. You don’t have to know someone well to feel infatuated by them. That’s why so many people feel infatuated with celebrities they don’t know. It sometimes involves building an image of that person in your head, whether it’s correct or not. You might think you know them really well, but then actually get to know them and find that you fell in love with a false image.
  10. Real love is accepting their flaws. Real love involves accepting a person’s flaws. And we all have them. It’s when your connection with someone is so strong that you don’t care about things that would otherwise turn you off, such as mood swings or insensitivity. That said, that doesn’t mean love is about putting up with unacceptable behavior. Anything that puts you in physical or emotional danger, erodes your worth, or crosses the boundaries that you set, is not a flaw. Rather, a flaw is something you don’t like about someone, but it doesn’t alter your relationship in a significant way. Always running late is a flaw. Physical abuse, for example, is a violation that you shouldn’t accept.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.