Love vs infatuation. Romeo and Juliet, Callisto and Melibea, Beauty and the Beast, who has never dreamed of a book lover? From childhood, we learn an ideal of biased love, since that idea of perfect love is implanted in our society, where you love and love you at the same level. A relationship where you would give your life for the other person and want the other person to give it to you.
However, we know that love is much more complex than what we are sold in movies. But, what they don’t explain to us is the phases that people go through before loving completely. Many times it is confused between being in love and truly loving, so in Bigmatrimonial we want to explain to you from the point of view of psychology what are the differences between both concepts.
What is love: definition in psychology
As collected by the dictionary provided by the American Psychological Association, the term love is:
A complex emotion that involves strong feelings of affection and tenderness for the love object, pleasant sensations in its presence, devotion to its well-being and sensitivity to its reactions towards oneself. Although love takes many forms, including concern for human beings (brotherly love), parental love, erotic love, self-love, and identification with the whole of being (love of God), the triangular theory of love proposes three essential components: passion, intimacy and commitment.
The combination of these three elements of Stenberg’s theory gives rise to 7 types of couple love.
We understand as the love that emotion experienced towards another person once we have already known it in a deeper way. That is, we know the defects and advantages of it and even so, the affective feeling towards that person continues to exist. Once this phase of romantic love is over, people are no longer based only on the attraction, romanticism, and idealization that we find in falling in love. In this, the need for respect, commitment, the desire to share and forgive become more and more present.
What is infatuation: definition in psychology
As indicated by the neurologist and psychiatrist Mora (2007), we know the concept of falling in love according to psychology as:
The state of a person dominated by a lively feeling towards another, whom he considers to be his highest good, with which he wishes to be united forever and for which he would sacrifice, if necessary, his own life.
Falling in love is often considered the first phase of a love relationship , where people report feeling attracted to a specific person and with whom they experience a series of physiological changes when they think or see that person.
During this phase, lovers do not really know the other person and, therefore, see everything they do, say and surround them as correct and ideal. It starts from the base of an attraction which almost involuntarily drives us to focus all our attention on it. This is due to the sensations produced by their presence.
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Characteristics and symptoms of falling in love
I present you a series of attitudes and thoughts characteristic of those in love:
- Desire for physical contact.
- Desire for reciprocity.
- Fear of rejection.
- Lack of concentration.
- Regular thoughts about the other person.
- Nerves and anxiety.
- Interest in the likes of the other person
- Attention focused on the other person.
- Just seeing the positive in the other person.
What is the difference between love and infatuation
After seeing the definition of maor and infatuation we can conclude that it is not the same, but how do you know if you are in love or love? What concrete differences are there between love and infatuation according to psychology?
According to Fromm (1957) a series of points could be identified in which the difference between love and infatuation is distinguished:
- Falling in love is born by feeling an attraction to a person and through which we drop the “barriers” that separate us from other individuals. While love is born once you’ve really known the other person.
- In infatuation we have the feeling that we have created a special connection with that person, so we share with him our innermost feelings and thoughts. In love, opening up with the other person is a consequence of the trust created between them.
- A chemical change occurs in our biological organism. Thanks to this change, the person in love feels happy and in a good mood. Love no longer gives rise to these organic processes.
- During this phase, the person in love has the feeling that the person they are in love with is perfect and that they are the most wonderful person in the world. This point is considered as the biggest difference between both concepts.
- You start to love when you stop being in love.
- To love requires time to get to know the other person, both the good and the bad, both the defects and the virtues.
- Love starts from the base of reality, where you stop seeing your partner in an idealized way .
- It is considered that to love a person it is necessary to put on a scale the good and the bad of it and then love it.
- While falling in love is the first contact with the other person, love is born from real coexistence with her. Of sharing and receiving. Of living interests and dreams in a shared way.
- While infatuation may not be entirely reciprocal, love must be. You cannot love someone who does not love you. In infatuation, the idealization of her can make you accept that she does not love you as much as you love her, however, if you love someone and that person is not interested in you, you will experience a feeling of frustration.
- In the infatuation phase people feel affection and admiration for the other person, while in love these feelings disappear to give rise to what is known as attachment.
This article love vs infatuation is merely informative, in Bigmatrimonial we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
Eric Cameron is a passionate relationship coach and counselor with a focus on helping couples reconnect and build strong and lasting relationships. He has years of experience working with couples and helping them to understand the intricacies of healthy relationships. He also provides guidance on how to maintain a healthy relationship and deal with difficult topics. Eric’s approach is tailored specifically to the couple’s needs and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.