Confusing Infatuation And Love: How To Tell What You're Actually Feeling

by Djenabe Edouard

When we think about infatuation, we think about PDA, cute text messages, those butterflies we get every time we see that special someone and all the hot sex we're having.

...But what about potential love?

How often do we meet, get to know and become closer with a person whom we feel we have a sincere connection with and the potential to love unconditionally?

Infatuation may leave us breathless, but we can’t let it strangle what little logic we might have left in our serotonin- and dopamine-filled brains. Those hormones are heightened in the face of infatuation and can trick our brains into believing that we’re in love, extra motivated, self-confident and happy.

This is what we call the "Romance Stage" of a relationship, a period of time where first dates and first kisses convince our minds that nothing can go wrong; everything just feels perfect.

The addiction starts here: We don’t want to be without him or her. We even consider moving in with this person. However, we must beware, for this is all an illusion that our hormones of infatuation are conducting like a sweet symphony in our brains.

It may seem fairytale-esque, but when we feel that instant attraction to someone, we tend to want to latch on without realizing it or considering the other person's potential faults and conflicting behavioral patterns.

We get so high in the "Romance Stage" that we forget there is most likely a "Power Struggle Stage" just around the corner. This is where breakups and divorces are usually born, and unless the couple is keen and sincere about working things out, it can last a lifetime.

A solid relationship requires time, good communication and chemistry in all facets of ones relationship, be it sexually or platonically. It is best when there is a balance between the two, but the raging hormones present in the "Romance Stage" usually result in more sexual activity, leaving the platonic connections out of the loop.

When you jump into a relationship, it’s more likely that you’ll fall harder than if you just stepped in, treading lightly. It never hurts to indulge in pleasure, but it also doesn't hurt to keep your guard up at all times.

Make sure you take enough time to get to know one another before you decide to hop in the sack, or you might be left with a lot of unanswered questions about emotions that you suddenly feel for each other. At this point in your relationship, it is probably still a bit awkward to mention serious future plans.

We often leave the good questions for last, when we are blinded by infatuation and the pressures of this hook-up culture. However, these are important questions, like: Will my parents like this person for me? Where do I see myself in five years? Will this person be a good parent or will we run away and become hippies together?

There are true rewards to be found in getting to know somebody like the back of your hand, and when that connection is created, there are very little unanswered questions floating around in your head. You gain peace of mind and security when you think through things logically and compromise with the people who are dear to you.

Love takes longer to develop than we award it, Generation-Y.

Photo via HBO