Infatuation vs. Love: A Complete Dissection

infatuation vs love

What are the real differences between infatuation vs. love?

We’ve all probably experienced infatuation at some point in our lives. You know the feeling. It’s like a rush of excitement and butterflies. 

You lock eyes with someone to who you’re instantly attracted to. And even though it’s purely physical, you feel there’s a connection between the two of you. 

Chances are, this “connection” is more like a spark or sexual chemistry.

Maybe you start dating, and you can’t get enough of them. You want to spend all your time with them, you can’t stop thinking about them, and maybe you feel a little jealous when they’re with other people. 

You think you’re in love, and you tell everyone that you are, but how do you know for sure? What’s the real difference between infatuation vs. love?

Love is worlds apart from infatuation and lust. 

Love is knowing who someone is in a deep, intimate way. You know their best qualities along with their flaws, and you still love them for who they are. 

Knowing the difference between these two powerful emotions is key to finding a meaningful relationship that works for you. 

Infatuation vs. Love: A Complete Breakdown

Definitions: infatuation vs. love

According to the dictionary, infatuation is “a feeling of foolish or obsessively strong love for, admiration for, or interest in someone or something.”

In contrast, love is “a warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion to another person.” But what do these differences look like in practice?

Infatuation is fast & furious. Love takes time.

Infatuation can happen in a heartbeat. You don’t have to think about it or process how you’re feeling. It’s a type of lust that hits you instantly. You don’t have to know who they are or anything about them.

In a moment, you’re already picturing making out with them and plotting out your picture-perfect future together. And it’s all based on an illusion of who you imagine this person to be.

Finding real love requires time. You have to meet this person, spend time with them, and get to know who they truly are. 

It’s easy to confuse love with infatuation. But chances are, if you think you’re in love after a few weeks or less, you probably haven’t given yourself enough time to get to know them. 

Infatuation craves physical affection. Love craves a deeper connection.

When you’re infatuated with someone, the attraction you feel is likely to be heavy on the physical side. You can think of it as the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship. 

You can’t keep your hands off each other, you want to physically be around them as much as possible, and when you think about them, it tends to be mostly in a physical sense. 

Love, on the other hand, runs deeper. It’s about having that physical attraction but also establishing a deeper, emotional connection. 

Infatuation is being in love with the idea of someone. 

Once the honeymoon phase is over, normally about a year in, the mythology you’ve built around your partner fades and you’re left with the actual person. Successful relationships occur when you make it past the fantasy, accept each other’s flaws and still love each other. 

Infatuation is often linked to the idea of who someone is—an idea that is usually conjured in your mind based on who you want them to be. 

Love is being in love with who the person is.

You can’t truly love someone until you know them intimately, and you’re willing to accept them for who they are, flaws and all. 

Infatuation is fantasy. Love is reality. 

Infatuation follows a timeline. Love is timeless.

Infatuation can be a fleeting moment that comes and goes just as quickly. You can feel intensely about this person, but it can change overnight. 

Love is timeless. Your feelings won’t just magically evaporate one day. You’re certain that you want to be with this person long-term, and when you picture your future, they are firmly there by your side, through all the highs and lows.  

Infatuation brings out obsession and jealousy. Love brings out understanding and trust.

Infatuation can trick you into thinking you’re in love because of how much you seem to care about this person.

You message and call them often to check up on them. You want to have all their time and attention. When they’re not with you, it can leave you feeling jealous or resentful. 

This is an obsession. Love is built on trust, and you should both feel secure in your relationship at all times. 

You should both have thriving independent lives outside the relationship—this shouldn’t feel threatening.

Can infatuation turn into love?

We’ve explored the key differences when it comes to infatuation vs. love, but can infatuation transition into love eventually?

Yes, but there’s no certainty on when or if this will happen. Only time will tell.

However, if you feel strongly about this person and you want your relationship to go the distance, there are some things you can do to better your chances.

We advise communicating openly and frequently with your partner. We also recommend practicing practice and understanding. 

Accepting your partner for who they are is key if you want to take your relationship to the next level. 

So, that’s a wrap on infatuation vs. love!

If you’re struggling to put a label on a new romance, take a look at this article and see what circumstance most resembles your bond.

Good luck!

About the author: Shani Jay

See more articles written by Shani Jay