So you have finally met Mr or Ms Right, that one person that you have been holding out all of your hopes for has finally arrived in your life, and you couldn’t be happier. Every time that you see them your heart races, your face lights up and the world seems a better place for having them in it. All of your friends start making fun of you because this person is all that you can think about and focus on, and your mother is constantly telling you to be careful. But you know just what type of person you have been looking and waiting for, and now you have them, a friend, and a lover, and as you are willing to believe, a soul mate.
Making the Relationship Public
Things have been going well between you and naturally the next step in the relationship is to bring it out into the open. Everyone is eager to recognise your new status as a couple, and your friends and family are secretly discussing the future of your relationship. When anyone mentions the future all you are thinking about is going places and doing things together, in reality what the future means is long term commitment, are you ready for it?
Is everyone saying just how pleased they are for you or are they asking how sure you are? How are you feeling in yourself now that this relationship is out in the open? Are you happy that you are comfortably in love? Or are you happy that you just have someone alongside you that you can feel easily comfortable with? Are you really, totally sure that this is the ‘one’ the one person that you will be happy to spend the rest of your life with, or at this moment in time are you just happy that you have someone at all?
Questions like these will take a lot of in depth thought to answer. New love presses so many of our emotional buttons all at the same time that it can be hard to know whether you are coming or going half of the time, making it very difficult to be objective about anything, let along your relationship. How can you tell the difference between what is love and what is infatuation?
Love is a dynamic emotion, it changes and flexes and grows with the relationship. Love adjusts to changes in circumstance and life events; it matures along with both parties in the relationship. Love can be seen to bring out the very best in people. No matter what happens during the life of a couple love remains, jobs will change, children are born and grow, events happen both good and bad, yet through it all love remains constant, adapting and bending to stay intact no matter what circumstances life throws its way. Being in love involves shared emotion, trust in each other and the willingness to see the relationship grow and evolve. As love evolves and deepens so does the level of trust and depth if emotion shared between two people. Love is a commitment that has no end.
Infatuations fills your mind with endless thoughts of the object of your desires. You will do whatever you can to be close to this person, going out of your way and sacrificing other things in order to be with them. They become the very centre of your world and life revolves around them and what they want. You enjoy being in each other’s company and you both think about each other constantly. But could this really be described as love?
When you are infatuated with someone you are happy in the here and now of the relationship, you expect this state of bliss and happiness to be eternal and have no real thoughts about the progression or evolution of the relationship. Infatuation does not always lead to lasting love; the deep levels of trust and understanding are very rarely laid down during this type of relationship. This is not a relationship that cries out for commitment. Of course people in loving and long lasting relationships are infatuated in some ways with their partner, this is never more apparent than when a couple are forced apart for work or other reasons, the absent partner will very much be in the others thoughts all the time they are away.
Telling the Difference
So really, how are you supposed to tell the difference? There is a simple answer but it is not an answer that many people will readily accept as it requires you to take an honest and frank look at your relationship. You need to ask yourself ‘Is this relationship bringing out all that is best in who I am?’ and you need to be honest about the answer. It is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but every now and again you need to take a step back and take a good look at your relationship and ask yourself the question again. Maybe you will not like the answers that you find, perhaps you find that you are not fulfilling your true potential within the relationship, or you feel the relationship is unbalanced and one sided.
There are some points that you should bear in mind during these relationship evaluation sessions:
• Are you really happy? You should be able to answer this one with a simple yes or no. When you rise of a morning do you feel glad that you are alive and thankful for what you have? Do you feel loved and do you feel as though your partner treats you as a person of real value and worth, do their parents know about you for example?
• Is your life heading the right way? Are you hopeful about your future and dreams that you feel you can aim for? Is your life benefiting from having your current partner in it?
• Are you alone in this relationship? In other words are you sure that your partner feels for you the same way you feel about them, or are they just happy to be part of a couple?
Defining the Difference
The answers that you come up with during your evaluation and the courage you have in asking those tough questions will help you to define the difference. If you are infatuated with this person your life will literally be revolving around them, and you will be blind to everything else that is going on around you. To your mind this person has everything: looks, intelligence and personality that no one else can hold a candle to.
The thing is, living like this you are blinkered to the flaws in your relationship, and the way that your behaviour is opening the doors to you losing your self esteem as you forget just who you are and lose yourself in a one sided relationship which effects all of your decisions and life choices. We can all look back at an early romance and remember just how much in love we felt at the time, when now we know it was simply an infatuation.