The word “love” is thrown around quite often nowadays—but is it used correctly? You feel love when you care very strongly and deeply for another person. You support them, you work with them to solve conflict, and you’re willing to stand by them in good times and bad.
Just like love, infatuation (or lust) is powerful. It gives you goosebumps, and swarms your thoughts with wonderful daydreams. Having this sort of “crush” can be a lot of fun, but the feelings of infatuation can be so intense that we often mistake them for love. Differences between the two include:
Love gradually becomes deeper and more powerful over time. Infatuation is often powerful more immediately, but short-lived.
We see it all the time in TV and movies—people meeting and having a strong physical attraction immediately. Unfortunately, they almost always call it love—which is nonsense. True love begins great, and continues to get increasingly greater. Though infatuation can initially feel just as powerful, it fades fast.
Love considers the other person. Infatuation is selfish.
People who are in love value each other’s feelings over “winning” a dispute. They would rather spend time enjoying each other than proving themselves right. True love survives and solves conflict, while infatuation simply glosses over it.
Love accepts the entire person, imperfections and all. Infatuation flourishes on perfection.
Love goes beyond physical attraction—it values the person’s mind, body, and soul. A person who is in love accepts every flaw of their significant other, and does not ask them to change for selfish reasons. On the other hand, infatuation focuses on the physical and attempts to hide or change the other person’s flaws.
Love brings you up. Infatuation eventually brings you down.
Love is energizing; it improves your overall disposition and makes you feel like your best self. Thinking about the person you’re in love with brightens your spirits and makes you feel happy. On the contrary, infatuation feels draining. It brings out jealousy and obsessiveness in each other, and can cause you to neglect other relationships.
What does it mean to love someone? It’s helpful to outline the differences between love and having a “crush.”
Love allows you to be yourself. Crushes are all about perfection.
Love accepts the other person’s flaws. Crushes suppress them.
Love goes beyond looks. Crushes revolve around physical attraction.
Love develops overtime. Crushes occur right away.
Love can last a while. Crushes are often short-lived.
Love makes you energetic. Crushes tired you out.
Love makes you happy. Crushes make you jealous.
Both love and crushes are powerful.
Remember… infatuation is very normal, and it’s bound to happen—you’re not going to fall in love with every person you meet! Just make sure both people in the relationship are on the same page.
source: sexuality resource center for parents