The Importance of Differentiating Between Love and Infatuation in Relationships
In one of the local dailies, there’s a popular segment where people usually seek advice on relationships or matters of the heart and is a must-read for many couples. I usually read it to get an insight into what really happens behind closed doors of many relationships and I must confess marriage as an institution is slowly crumbling before our eyes. Recently there was one lady who gave her age as 21 years whose story caught my attention bugging me into writing this article, she was lamenting about a situation that had befallen her and was seeking advice on what to do. She had fallen in love with a married man who was also her boss, and at first, she thought it was lust but as days passed it matured to love. Now the gist was that her love interest was transferred to another work station which meant more responsibilities for him and less time spent together but he always finds time for her whenever around. The prolonged absence as a result of his busy schedule was affecting her work performance and other socio-related activities as he had promised within a year to settle with her. Now she was confused about the relationship and started having doubts about whether it was tenable.
The first thing that popped up in my head after reading it was:-
· Is it possible she was confusing Love with infatuation?
· Blurring her reasoning and making her oblivious of the fact that such relationships will never see the finish line.
First, what is infatuation? Oxford Dictionary describes it as very strong feelings or attractions for somebody or something especially when these are unreasonable and do not last long, while Love has many definitions, the best one for this situation is a strong feeling of affection for somebody that you are sexually attracted to.
Hence from the above definitions is it likely that the lady is infatuated with the guy? Or it’s just pure Love in the making, and probably she just wants to have a family with him. Those advocating for Love, please review the above situation, and compare it with your version of what is Love or my above definition. Does she really meet the threshold to call that Love after your careful review, personally my compass is pointing at infatuation but maybe I’m influenced to view it in a narrow perspective due to preconceived notions developed by the society in such situations?
As a realist, I’m forced to say she’s suffering from infatuation and defending my position with the following reasons and facts. First, she’s starting to have doubts and is feeling confused with the whole arrangement showing her indecision about the relationship. Secondly, the strong feelings she has for him coupled by his absence and busy schedule are rendering her unproductive at work despite the guy making time whenever he’s free. Thirdly, outrageously expecting the guy to leave his family and genuinely start a new one with her within a year. Fourthly, she’s becoming unreasonable by demanding to spend more time with the guy knowing he’s married and his busy schedule.
In fairness, the lady is still young and maybe lacks the experience in discerning true love and infatuation. Due to her strong feelings for him, she’s blurred in seeing the obvious tell-tale signs of a doomed relationship and clings on a flickered hope soon to be extinguished by reality. It might be a harsh lesson for her in the end but she will gain invaluable life experience in preparing for the tough road ahead.
Most of us have been snared by infatuation at some point in our life making us believe that we’re truly in love but due to the strong feelings, our reasoning is blurred and we often ignore the cold hard truths about such relationships. We choose to view such relationships in a single perspective that fits our dimension and shuts out anyone deviating from our thinking making us develop unreasonable demands from the other person with the hope of sustaining such relationships.
Infatuation is like a fad as time passes by doubts start creeping in, our reasoning starts to become clearer and the strong attraction wears off gradually as reality sinks in, and automatically we’re inclined to move on to the next best thing.
Even though it’s difficult at first in differentiating Love from infatuation, we should try as much as possible in being level headed and view any relationships with a different perspective to see its viability. Take time and see if those strong emotions or attractions can develop into Love, check the circumstances that led to it, lastly ask yourself if it’s making you be unreasonable.
In the end, you’ll know if it’s true Love or Infatuation.