I Often Mistake Infatuation For Love & It’s Ruining Dating For Me

Infatuation is short-lived and wildly intense; love is grounded and can still be intense but not in the same way. Unfortunately, it’s the former that usually takes over and leads me to people who aren’t good for me every single time. I keep thinking that maybe this time my lust is love, but it’s not and it’s really screwing me up.

  1. I get very excited when there’s physical chemistry. Physical chemistry can be so lovely that it’s blinding. It can feel ridiculously good, leaving me wanting more and more no matter what the source is. I want to spend all of my time with this person and I crave them because I enjoy the high that the physical chemistry gives me. This is when I start to confuse infatuation with love.
  2. The lust feels like love to me. The high that comes from being lustful or infatuated feels kind of similar to the feeling of love. The difference is that while love is more grounded, the energy of infatuation is crazy. I can justify the lust, saying that it’s definitely love. I find myself convincing myself that I know what I feel is true. Either they feel too similar or I’m really good at lying to myself.
  3. It makes me blind to red flagsI’m so excited by the idea of a person that I’m totally unable to see the red flags in front of me. It’s infatuation because the person is generally not good for me. I overlook the fact that they’re pretty emotionally unavailable because I’m so caught up in the sparks. I also make excuses for the warning signs if I manage to see them at all. The red flags are nothing when I have rose-colored glasses on.
  4. I make poor choices. I find myself in relationships with unavailable people and those who just aren’t good for me. Because I’m chasing after this feeling, I’m sort of blind to what I should be seeing. Then I wonder why I get my heart broken. My friends are on the outside saying, “Duh, I told you so!” while I’m wondering why everything has collapsed down onto my head.
  5. I’m truly searching for love. The sad thing is that infatuation isn’t what I’m looking for. What I’m really looking for is genuine love with another person. I’m looking for groundedness, commitment, and kindness. That’s not at all what I keep getting myself into, though. Instead, I find myself in chaos. My hope is that eventually I’ll start looking in the right places and I’ll find that love that I’ve been looking for.
  6. I end up thinking everyone could be “The One.” When I’m mistaking infatuation for love, it’s easier to believe that a person is super significant. I think that they’re the one for me, so I get carried away with that train of thought. I make too much space in my life for them and I start to get obsessive. This is the infatuation taking over my mind, rendering me totally useless. I won’t find the right person for me from chasing highs.
  7. I’m addicted to the high. I just absolutely love when I have chemistry with someone, whether physical or emotional. I’m addicted to the feeling. I sometimes chase it even when it isn’t in my best interest. It just feels so good, even though ultimately it isn’t what I’m looking for. The high may be fun in the moment, but it ends up hurting in the long run, much like drugs in my veins.
  8. Logically I know the difference but it’s difficult in practice. I’m not a stupid person, I know that there’s a difference between infatuation and love. I even have an idea of what both of them look like. However, in practice, I tend to lose all logic. It slips away when I start to feel the sparks with another human. Nothing else matters but that feeling when it’s kicked in. I become a bit love-drunk and act stupidly.
  9. This way of being means lots of heartache when it ends. I get myself all worked up in a frenzy over this person, so when it ends, I’m devastated even if we were only together a short time. The pain is very real and it sucks a whole lot. What sucks even more is that the other person generally isn’t suffering as much as I am, so I feel stupid. I know I’m not stupid, but the over the top hurt makes me feel that way.
  10. It’s keeping me from a real relationship. I keep going after people who are also emotionally unavailable. They’re just looking for infatuation as well, and they don’t have the capacity to love someone at the moment. This pattern is keeping me from finding the love I truly desire.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.