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Infatuation vs Love: How It Feels and 28 Differences & Ways to Turn It Into Love

You’re getting butterflies again… but is it love? Learn the difference between infatuation vs. love, and find out which one you’re feeling.

Infatuation vs Love signs and difference

The feelings we get when we fall for somebody can be very confusing. Infatuation vs. love will often feel the same, making it almost impossible to tell which one you’re experiencing.

Have you ever felt so head-over-heels in love with someone that even the sound of their name makes your stomach flip and spin? Did you blush when they looked your way, or count down the minutes until you saw them again?

If so, it’s quite possible you were truly in love with them. What if those feelings seemed like love – but in the end, they weren’t? When you can’t tell, that is the question of infatuation vs. love.

Infatuation vs. love: why you need to know the difference

These two feelings can mimic one another. Both infatuation and love will make you feel giddy, and both will make you feel like you’ve met somebody you can see a future with. But there are some pretty big differences between them.

So many young people nowadays are convinced that they’re in love, without actually knowing what love means. They haven’t spent enough time with their supposed sweetheart, and might not recognize true love even if they saw it!

[Read: Puppy love to real love – all the signs you’re ready to take young love to the next level]

Just because you can’t stop thinking about someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in love. It could be good old infatuation at its finest.

The emotional similarity between infatuation vs. love can be dangerous, and mixing them up can cause you to make mistakes in relationships. Sometimes you don’t really know until the relationship is over whether it was true love or not.

Luckily, there are ways you can differentiate between infatuation vs. love. This feature will show you the psychology, symptoms, and differences between infatuation vs. love – so you can tell if your passion is real. [Read: Is love at first sight real? 35 signs of instant attraction]

Similarities between infatuation vs love

The definition of infatuation is an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something. The definition of love, meanwhile, is an intense feeling of deep affection. [Read: What is love? The types of love you’ll experience in your life]

On the surface, the two feelings sound similar. But if you look deeper, you’ll find they’re very different. Infatuation is short-lived. Sure, it can turn into love down the line, but it isn’t as deeply rooted as love.

Infatuation is what you probably shared with your high school crush. It sure felt like love and at the time those feelings were so strong that the tiniest rejection felt like the end of your world. If they didn’t want to sit with you at lunch, it would feel like a knife to the heart.

But, guess what? You’re an adult now. You got through those feelings totally fine in the past, and you’ll get through them again now! [Read: How long does a crush last? Grown-up crushes and how to get over them]

But first, it’s important to know the similarities. The symptoms of infatuation vs. love can overlap a lot. Both can cause constant thoughts about the person, intense sexual attraction, and a feeling of excitement.

Knowing the similarities between infatuation vs. love will help you remember that your feelings might not always be real. Sometimes, things aren’t actually as they seem, and it’s important to stay vigilant.

Differences between infatuation vs love

When considering if a feeling is infatuation vs. love, it’s important to know the key differences. If you don’t know those differences, the two feelings can get intertwined and confused for one another very easily.

Plus, if you don’t notice the difference before you make your move, you might end up making bad choices. Maybe you’ll creep out a casual fling by acting too serious or even enter into a long-term relationship with someone you don’t really care for.

Likewise, you can also miss out on something amazing. You might not realize that what you’re feeling for your new squeeze is true love, and pass the relationship off as a silly infatuation.

So, instead of waiting until it’s too late to find out if it was infatuation vs. love, figure it out now. Start by learning the key differences. [Read: Love versus in love – how to tell the difference]

1. Infatuation happens quickly

Infatuation is commonly associated with the “love at first sight” phenomenon. It can happen extremely quickly – even without you ever talking to that person or getting to know them properly.

You’ll feel immense attraction to them as soon as you first lay your eyes on them. You won’t be able to stop thinking about them, or fantasizing about them.

It can take almost no time at all for you to convince yourself and others that you’re completely in love with this person, about whom you barely know anything. It’s fast and overwhelming. [Read: Limerence – what it is, and how it’s different to love]

2. Love is a slow process

The funny thing about infatuation vs. love is that the two can be related. You can – and this is pretty common – be completely infatuated with a person, and then fall in love with them later. But the key is that love comes later… often much, much later.

If you truly are in love with someone, it takes a lot of time to develop those feelings because you need time to get to know their real personality. You can’t love someone you don’t know anything about, despite what rom-coms have been telling you for years!

3. Infatuation is superficial

Since it comes on so quickly and can happen with a stranger, infatuation is very superficial. You’re basing these feelings purely on your first impression, or what the person looks like. In short, you’re obsessed with their surface.

Maybe you see someone across the room, and they are laughing, and seem to have gained the crowd’s attention. You may be drawn to their energy or appearance, but what does that actually tell you about how compatible you are? [Read: All the different types of attraction, and what they mean]

If you never see that person again, your life will be no different than it was a few minutes ago. Infatuation vs. love separates those intensely brief emotions from meaningful long-term ones.

4. Love is deeper

Love happens when you truly know someone inside and out. You have to care about someone for more than what they look like. It’s a connection on a personal level, not just on a sexual level.

Love develops over time. It won’t happen after one date or maybe even after a month. Love forms as you get to know someone, and develop intimacy.

As you learn more about your partner and they learn more about you, you become comfortable together. You get used to having them around, and can’t see a future without them. Your feelings are never brief when it is true love. [Read: The important real signs of true love in a relationship]

5. Infatuation is associated with anxiety

That head-spinning, heart-thumping, butterfly-inducing feeling you get when you see your crush is a form of anxiety. Infatuation causes your vitals to spike. You become highly alert, your heart rate increases, and you might even blush or feel dizzy.

This feeling of anxiety is a biological response that’s triggered when your body senses a potential mate. That doesn’t mean a long-term true love partner – just somebody you might get to have sex with. Your body thinks it might get laid!

[Read: Copulins – the female body’s secret bioweapon]

The nerves you get when you are seeing someone new add to this anxiety to make a heady mixture. The excitement of the unknown, the sexual tension, and the chemistry are all off the charts.

Will you kiss? Will you touch? What will happen? How far will things go? Infatuation vs. love is like a spark versus a steady flame.

6. Love is associated with comfort

Love, on the other hand, is calming. It makes you feel safe and not on edge. It’s not that love doesn’t cause excitement *because it does*, but it doesn’t cause the level of anxiety that infatuation does. Love makes you feel peaceful.

When you are with the one you love, the excitement is for comfort. You can’t wait to hug them and be with them because they give you security. They aren’t teasing you or making you question things.

You know your lover intimately, and you feel the comfort that comes along with love. [Read: Date fearlessly – how to get over dating anxiety]

7. Infatuation causes changes in you

The anxiety, excitement, and intense feelings you have for the person you’re infatuated with will cause you to act weird. You’ll do things you normally wouldn’t do, like going out on a Wednesday work-night just to see them.

Maybe you say things to them you wouldn’t normally say, too. You might have word vomit. You may over-share some too-intimate details too early on. Infatuation can affect you in some strange ways.

Infatuation is what makes you stalk your new partner online and research their ex, cousin, and great aunt twice-removed. If your friends tell you that you’re acting completely insane over that person, it’s probably infatuation. [Read: The most obvious signs of flirting between a guy and a girl]

8. Love allows you to be the best version of yourself

When you’re really in love, you don’t feel the need to be anybody but yourself. You don’t fake anything with the person you’re in love with because you know they love and accept you as you are

This, once again, comes down to comfort. Love allows you to relax. You aren’t putting on a show or trying your hardest to show your best side. You are actually a better person because of love.

Infatuation vs. love is the difference between trying to be better and being better. [Read: How to be your best self]

9. Infatuation makes you want to satisfy the other person

Sure, you also want to please the person you’re in love with. But infatuation takes it a step further, making you feel as if you HAVE to please that person. You put them first.

Infatuation influences you in a way that love doesn’t. It makes you compromise, but not by meeting halfway. Instead, you see the movies they want to see, eat what they like, and maybe even dress how they like.

This goes along with not being yourself. You might even shut out your friends and family to be available for this person. That is not love. [Read: How to focus on yourself in a relationship]

10. Love makes you want to make the other person happy

Pleasing someone and wanting happiness for someone are two completely different things. Love causes you to think more about your partner’s happiness in the long term. You might argue over where to eat or what to watch. But you will support them in a job transition or new hobby.

You want them to be happy in life, and love helps you compromise when it matters. There’s no need to pretend to like what they like to please them. You are yourself, and that makes them happy.

Infatuation vs. love is the now versus the future. [Read: How to prove you love someone, the right way]

11. Infatuation means that there’s a “you” and a “them”

Infatuation causes you to separate the two of you because “THEY are so perfect.” You take the emphasis off of the two of you being a pair and put it solely on them.

You might make plans for someone you’re infatuated with. Rather than doing things together, it is for them or about them.

12. Love means there’s an “us”

When you’re in love with someone, it’s like you are one unit. Sure, you are two full parts on your own, but you fit together, and you love that. You make plans together.

You refer to yourselves as “we” or “us.” Instead of focusing solely on yourself, you work towards a better and stronger relationship for you both. [Read: Signs to help you know if you’re a couple]

13. Infatuation is obsessive

When you can’t stop thinking about someone, it isn’t love. You may obsessively check their social media or text them too much. When all you do is talk about them, you are compensating for something.

Infatuation can get out of hand because it involves so much built-up tension. The speed and intensity of your infatuation can be dangerous. It overflows within you and can cause obsessive behavior. [Read: How to end things with someone who is obsessive]

14. Love is steady

Love is steady and smooth. Sure, there will be ups and downs, but you don’t become overwhelmed when it is really love. Love adds happiness to your life, and it doesn’t absorb everything else.

Love doesn’t get in the way of your family and friendships, or work. Infatuation vs. love is intensity vs. ease. [Read: How to calm down – instant hacks to put the crazy away]

15. Infatuation is reckless

Infatuation can become dangerous. It can force you to make bad choices or do irrational things. Maybe you sell your car to give them a loan to start a business or make some other reckless decision just because of these intense emotions.

Irrational decisions like this lead to long-term problems and consequences. There are often a lot of regrets when it comes to infatuation. You’ll never regret falling in love. [Read: Dumb things we do for what we think is love]

16. Love is secure

Love can be wild, but it is normally calmer. If you are investing in a future together, you make sure you look out for each other’s best interests. You have each other’s backs, and knowing you’re looking out for each other gives you a sense of security.

Love brings comfort and safety that helps you make smarter and healthier decisions. If you’re in love, you’ll feel more secure in your life.

17. Infatuation is possessive

Infatuation is very easily paired with jealousy and control. It is strong but unstable and unsustainable. It can make you act out and hurt the person you’re infatuated with.

Infatuation can make you do and say things you regret. Even just some badly-placed words can truly hurt people. If you’re infatuated, you may threaten, control them, or even manipulate people. [Read: Jealousy vs envy – how they’re different and how they hurt you]

18. Love is confidence

Love goes along with trust. You have confidence in your relationship, yourself, and your partner. You are two whole people. Love means you let them live their life, and you live yours, but you come together within that shared experience.

Infatuation vs. love is a crazy controlling relationship vs. a stable and healthy one. [Read: How to feel more secure in a long-term relationship]

19. Infatuation is short-lived

Infatuation is like a plane flying overhead. It grabs your attention, makes you look in a different direction for some time, but then eventually passes by. Then you finally realize that you’ve just wasted time on something that wasn’t even remotely important.

The good news is that you’ll get over the people you’re infatuated with fairly quickly because there’s no deep connection involved. They come, they go, and you go on to live your life and accept them as just a nice memory.

[Read: Learn how to recognize true love when it comes your way]

20. Love is everlasting

Hopefully, anyways. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, and it is possible to fall out of love with someone. However, if you’re truly falling in love with someone, it won’t drift away overnight.

If things end, your feelings for this person will remain deep-seated for a long time – both during the relationship and afterward. You’ll always remember your feelings for that person, and they’ll always be a part of you.

What to do if you’re experiencing infatuation

Now you know the difference between infatuation vs. love, you should know which one you’re feeling. If you’ve realized you’re in love – good for you! You have a bright, secure, blissful future ahead.

However, if you think you’re infatuated, you might be feeling worried. Infatuation is intense and powerful and can cause serious damage if it isn’t handled properly.

Infatuation might already be making you act jealous and manipulative. It might be causing you heartache, too, as you struggle to contain your overpowering passion. Maybe you’re even neglecting other, more important relationships in your life as a result of your infatuation.

Of course, you don’t want to alienate the person you’re infatuated with. Even if you are only infatuated, there’s always a chance that your connection could develop into something deeper. You might even be wrong, and actually be falling in love.

[Read: Infatuation – the definition, the signs, how to break out]

On the other hand, you might want to break your infatuation. Sometimes we fall for those we can’t have, so you might want to know how to make those sexy feelings go away.

So, you need to know what to do if you think you’re experiencing infatuation. We’ll show you how to confirm your theory, how to break out, and whether this feeling could become something more.

1. Prioritize date nights, not sex nights

One of the biggest differences between infatuation vs. love is the level of raw passion. If you’re infatuated, the sexual tension between you will fizzle and burn. It’ll be hard to be together without tearing each other’s clothes off!

However, you need to control that flame. If you don’t control your sexual desire, you’ll never get a chance to get truly intimate and build a stronger spark. It takes vulnerability and deep discussions to truly know each other.

If you’re experiencing infatuation, prioritize date nights instead of sex nights. Not only will this prevent you from having sex you later regret, but it will also give your romance a chance to grow.

Hot dates may be tempting, but you won’t satisfy your craving for that person just by having sex. Just making love alone won’t make you fall in love. [Read: How to know when a sexy affair is turning into love]

2. Ask probing questions

Remember, infatuation is superficial. It’s all about what’s on the surface.

If you get to know the person you’re infatuated with, you can work out if this is infatuation vs. love. If you’re infatuated, you’ll find you don’t actually have anything in common aside from physical attraction. This will make it a lot easier to break out and move on.

However, if the relationship has the potential to become love, you need to get to know the person to start the process. You might find you have everything in common and start dating more seriously.

Either way, you need to ask probing questions. By asking deep, serious questions about your beloved, you can understand their values, interests, hopes and dreams – and whether they’re compatible with yours.

[Read: 70 seriously deep questions to ask a potential partner]

3. Talk to them on the phone

Sometimes, speaking to the person you’re infatuated with can feel like too much. Maybe you feel intimidated or you don’t know them well enough to ask them questions in person.

The easiest way to start a casual chat with somebody is over the phone. The physical distance between you will make you feel more confident – and stop you from having sex! Either call them up or shoot them a text.

If you call the person, make sure you have a proper, substantial conversation. Don’t just chat about the weather. Go into the call with clear goals in mind: decide to find out more about their life-plan, or to work out if they’re interested in a relationship.

If you text them – don’t sext. Keep the conversation platonic. Sure, you can flirt a little, but keep the conversation focused on your goals. If it seems like they might be the type to ghost you, make sure you voice call instead.

[Read: Is he ghosting me? 25 signs he’s leaving you on read]

But seriously, if they’re a potential ghoster, break it off. It’s just an infatuation, and they’re not invested enough for a relationship.

Can infatuation turn into love?

Yes… and no. Some lucky couples do turn their infatuation into a long-term relationship, but the differences between infatuation vs. love sometimes make this impossible. [Read: 37 signs to tell when ‘like’ is turning into ‘love’]

This is because they are fundamentally different emotional states. They might feel the same, but they are poles apart. Infatuation is not founded on the deep, open, intimate knowledge of your partner that love needs to thrive.

However, it is occasionally possible to turn infatuation into love. If you are willing to put in work to change the very nature of your connection, you can find a way to win your lover’s heart.

Ways to turn infatuation into love

1. Decide if you want to make a commitment

First, you need to be real with yourself. Turning infatuation into love isn’t going to be an easy task, so you need to be truly committed to falling in love with that person.

If you’ve already started to find out more about them, and you like what you see, then you can proceed. However, if you have any doubts, give up. It’s only worth spending this much effort on someone who’s perfect for you.

2. Give it time

Change won’t happen overnight. It takes time to fall in love – that’s what makes it different from the swift rush of infatuation. Love is always a slow burn. But it’s also always worth it!

Take the time to get to know your partner. Go on lots of dates, get into each other’s hobbies, read each other’s favorite books, and go on long trips together.

The longer you spend getting to know each other and becoming comfortable, the more chance you have of falling in lasting love. [Read: 80 fun activities to do with your date]

3. Open up and let yourself be vulnerable

You need to let your partner in. Love is all about vulnerability. By opening up and showing somebody our flaws, we give them the chance to love our full, imperfect selves. Loving someone’s flaws is the deepest type of love.

Of course, the superficiality of infatuation might make this one hard. You might now even know the person all that well yet. But just remember, every relationship has to start somewhere.

[Read: How to open up and share with the person you’re dating]

Try asking questions, having deep conversations, and turning to that person for emotional support in tough times. You never know – you might find opening up even more thrilling than hot sex!

4. Learn how to have healthy conflict

The difference between infatuation vs. love boils down to this: infatuation is easy, love is hard. The road to love will have a lot of bumps and turns – so you need to know how to navigate them.

If you want to turn infatuation into love, you need to know how to have healthy conflict. It’s possible that your lover won’t want to go from infatuation to a committed relationship. If this happens, you need to know how to state your case – and respect their final decision.

[Read: 25 ways to survive the first fight in a relationship]

Even if your lover does want to get closer, you’ll still need to know how to compromise. Being in a relationship is all about working together.

5. Remember that love is an action

Always remember that love is an action, it’s something you actively do. Turning infatuation into love means you have to make active changes in your relationship, and consciously do things that’ll bring you closer together.

Nobody falls in love instantly – that’s a sign of infatuation. Know that you’ll have to keep working on your love and building the relationship you want with your actions.

Is infatuation always a bad thing?

So, now you’ve learned all about the differences between infatuation vs. love. You’ve heard how great love can be, and you’ve heard about the dangers of infatuation. But is infatuation always a bad thing?

Our answer: not necessarily. Infatuation can be thrilling, sexy, and fun. It can give you some powerful experiences, and some really great sex! However, infatuation often goes bad because those who experience it expect it to become more than it is.

[Read: Flirtationships – what they are, and 41 signs you’re in one]

Infatuation is not love, by nature. It’s different, and that can be its strength as well as its weakness. As long as you stay aware that what you’re feeling is only infatuation, you can be free to enjoy it.

Infatuation vs love is a big question. Yet, paying attention to the similarities and differences between them can help prevent you from making a major mistake or losing out on something meant to be.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...