Do you know the difference between love, lust, and infatuation?
If you’re a little unclear on the difference between the three, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people also get confused which can spell doom for relationships, especially in their infancy.
One key reason why we should learn to tell one from the other is because these feelings have a direct impact on the way we communicate and make decisions in our relationships.
Once you have a better understanding of the emotions you are experiencing, you’ll be better placed not to mistake them e.g. you won’t mistake infatuation for love or confuse lust with love.
So let’s see how you can differentiate love, lust, and infatuation:
Infatuation can be draining and one sided
We’ve all probably had a crush on someone. That’s infatuation.
It’s a powerful feeling that makes you giddy and prone to wonderful daydreams and puts a silly grin on your face.
It comes on suddenly and can often be one-sided.
While the signs are easy to spot and quite real, being infatuated means that you’re living in an illusion.
You idolize the object of your affection and don’t see any of their negative traits. You also only show them your good side. Infatuation often makes you jealous and obsessive and it can be quite a draining experience.
This doesn’t mean that infatuation can’t develop into love. It can, but it will take some time and effort from both partners.
Lust is based on sexual attraction
Lust is often described as a raw, primal feeling that’s mostly physical.
It’s also often based on feelings of sexual attraction, arousal, and fulfillment.
So, what is the main difference between love and lust?
When you’re in lust, you want immediate gratification and unlike in love, you’re not looking to develop a deep emotional attachment with the other person.
You simply want their touch and physical energy.
Lust, being a heady, addictive experience can really wreak havoc on your emotions. If the object of your lust is your partner, you can leverage those emotions to boost your sexual intimacy, improving your relationship as a result.
However, if you’re not in a long term relationship, it’s important to remind yourself that lust is a temporary feeling. Healthy relationships are rarely built upon lust alone, especially if you’re looking for a deeper connection.
Love build up over time
Unlike lust and infatuation, love builds up over time and has depth and breadth to it.
Just like the other two feelings, love can be powerful and overwhelming.
Learning the difference between love and infatuation is important to make the right decision in relationships.
The key difference is that love lasts much longer than lust or infatuation. Another difference is that love isn’t a selfish feeling. You want what’s best for the other person and you’re motivated and energized to be a better person yourself.
Furthermore, you have a more balanced view of your partner and you accept them, imperfections and all.
Instead of building an idealized image of them, you are open to their flaws and love them all the same. You are also comfortable being yourself and your differences don’t stand in the way.
Open communication fosters relationship satisfaction
Now that you know the difference between love, lust, and infatuation, it’s imperative that parents take time to teach these concepts to teens who get them mixed up the most.
Most teens experiencing these feelings for the first time understandably get overwhelmed and can easily confuse one for the other.
For instance, teens who are addicted to pornography might come to confuse lust for love and end up seeing others as mere objects to sate that lust. Unfortunately, this can complicate their future relationships.
Additionally, knowing how to differentiate the three emotions comes in handy when examining where your relationship actually stands and whether it has the potential to last.
Lust and infatuation, in most cases, are natural and often appear in the first phase of most romantic relationships.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that relationships that start out with lust or infatuation go on to become loving, long-term relationships. Some do and others were never meant to get there.This answers the question, “can infatuation turn into love?”
Open communication is a key ingredient for any successful relationship so it’s imperative to talk honestly with your partner about your emotions. That way, both of you will be on the same page on where the relationship is headed, regardless of the stage you’re in and enjoy long lasting relationship satisfaction.