Have you ever felt the excitement of new love? When love begins, it’s thrilling, and you think about the person often. You feel happy at the very thought of them. You get butterflies in your stomach, and all you want to do is spend time with them. But is this genuinely love, or is it infatuation? Love vs. infatuation can be a bit confusing. And if it is true love, will it last?
The Chemistry Of Love
Infatuation refers to the early stages of a relationship when the adrenaline is pumping, and chemicals are produced in your brain. And, if the other person feels the same way about you, they’re also creating the same chemicals. That’s why they say that you have chemistry with one another.
You might never understand all the reasons why you’re attracted to someone. But when chemistry does take place, it’s exciting and euphoric. It feels like it’s beyond anything you could have ever imagined. But that feeling doesn’t last long.
Those chemicals that your brain produces start to subside. They might not completely go away, but they’ll never be as high as when you first met the other person. So that infatuation, while intense, fantastic, and wonderful, is relatively short-lived. So can infatuation really be a kind of love? The short answer is yes.
The Long-Term Effects Of Infatuation
In the social sciences, we study love in different ways. For example, we can talk about love that’s called companionate love, romantic love, fatuous love, empty love, passionate love, liking love, and many, many more. Many models have been made of the various types of love, and infatuation is indeed part of love.
The upside is that it feels fantastic. The downside is that it doesn’t last that long. Therefore, if you want a longer-lasting relationship, you can’t stop with the infatuation.
Some sociologists believe that infatuation, or lust, was designed to draw people together. It wasn’t meant to keep people together, though. Because if we stayed in that euphoric state, our productivity would go to practically nothing. That strong chemical desire to spend more time with the person you’re in love with would lead to neglecting things like planting crops and raising animals. If we stayed in that euphoric sensation of infatuation, if it lasted a lifetime, we wouldn’t do those things. We would be so unproductive that the human race couldn’t bear its weight; we wouldn’t have enough to eat or things to sustain us.
The Three Components Of Long-Lasting Love
So, when looking at infatuation vs. love, how do you turn infatuation into a long-lasting love? Dr. Robert Sternberg says that if you want love to last a lifetime, it needs three essential components – intimacy, passion, and commitment. You probably have a decent understanding of passion, but think of it in a broader sense. It does have a sexual dimension, but it’s a craving for oneness. I want to share my life with you, and you want to share your life with me. That passion will change with time as the relationship either fades or deepens.
Intimacy takes a while to develop. It means we both get to the point where we can be open and transparent and vulnerable with the other person. In essence, we let down our walls so we can see who we honestly are and what we truly think, feel, and believe. Then, as we begin to accept each other for who we are, we develop a kind of love that can last a lifetime. So, while infatuation can bring you together, it won’t survive without working to build intimacy.
The last component is commitment. This part develops slowly, just like intimacy. The commitment part will keep you together during the bad times, and there will always be bad times.
Move Infatuation To Intimacy For A Deeper Love
So, the debate between infatuation vs. long-lasting love boils down to work. Not hard physical labor, but the kind of work where you learn how to open up to each other, understand each other, and accept each other. You won’t always like how your significant other thinks or feels. But by finding a way to blend those things together, even when you differ, you can be deeply in love for the rest of your life.
At Marriage Helper, we call this the LovePath. We have several different resources you can use to help you along this path. First, we have a free mini-course called, “How To Get Your Spouse Back”, which is an excellent resource if you feel your intimacy is fading. We also have The Art Of Attraction Toolkit because love begins with attraction. Not just physical attraction, but emotional, spiritual, and intellectual attraction as well. If you’re not sure what is going on in your marriage and you want someone to help you figure out next steps, get in touch with one of our Client Representatives here.
Infatuation is exciting, but it doesn’t last long. So don’t ride the emotional roller coaster if you want a love that lasts a lifetime. Instead, learn how to be transparent and open to love each other deeply. And that’s the love that lasts the rest of your life.