Love and Infatuation

I’m infatuated with you.

Words I loathe hearing.

Because infatuation is something that doesn’t last, it fades so quickly that everything clouds your true judgments.

So, if I could teach anything to anyone, it would be how to distinguish love from infatuation.

And maybe eliminate infatuation from your vocabulary.

Or just when you talk to me.

Because there is a difference.

We have all been there, filled with that feeling when you are physically aware of all of the emotions that are busting within you. When that sensation just overcomes you and you ignore everything that is real about a person. When you experience infatuation, you experience something unlike anything else. I have experienced that, countless times, it’s overwhelming. Infatuation is overwhelming, which I think is why I have come to loathe the word.

When you ask someone to describe love, explain it in any way that they can – they always end up saying it is something that they can’t do effectively. But then there are others, mostly those who are from a research background, tell you that love is a physical manifestation of your emotional states. That your adoration for another person will manifest itself outwardly through your palms sweating, butterflies in your stomach, and the blush on your cheeks.

But when I think about it, when I feel love and it physically manifests itself – I never once have any of those things happen. Because love, to me, is the unwavering acceptance of another person. And all of those things that I just stated have never once been partnered with that, for me. Because to love someone, you have to strip off all of your armor, you have to become your most vulnerable self. Every experience I have ever had of love has been when I have fully given myself over to someone, where I can talk with hopeless abandon without fear of judgement. I have found that love consist of allowing another person to see you in your entirety. To understand and accept another person for all that they are, but at the same time, you have to want them to be better, stronger.

Can you think about a time when you crossed the line? When you could look back and realise that it wasn’t love at all but infatuation?

I can.

The day that I realised it wasn’t love at all was a day when I knew that I couldn’t actually be myself around the person I was with. I would put on this face, I would be deathly scared for them to see me without it on. And then that just sort of became the norm, it became something that I had to do in order for them to even like me.. or that’s what I thought. You make excuses when makeup can’t hide your imperfections, you make excuses when you can’t stand to put on the face. That’s not love.

And deep down I knew it.

Because I saw love, I felt love. I saw it in the way my Grandfather would look at my Grandmother like she was the only woman who walked this Earth. I saw it when he would take her calloused hands from hours of her laboured job as a dietitian, I just rub them until they felt better. I saw it when he smiled at her. It was a constant acceptance of everything that they were on their own coming together to become one. 

And when you are infatuated with someone, to me, you are not comfortable around them – not in the complete sense of the word. Because we are all going to have days when we don’t want to put on makeup, we don’t want to put on nice clothes. We are going to have days when blemishes pop up, when our fragmented insecurities come out. We will have days when we won’t be able to get out of bed because we are so filled with anxiety, overwhelmed with just a lethargic sense of being. We will have days where no matter how strong and thick that armor is, we just won’t be able to hide everything that is making up hurt.

Those are things we shouldn’t have to hide from the person we love.

The difference between love and infatuation lies within complete and total acceptance of everything little piece of someone. Love means understanding that you can confide in another person, and wake up the next morning with them still there. Love means being able to tell someone you are struggling, love means being able to tell them the things that you struggle to tell yourself. Because at the end of the day, it is so much easier to open up the suitcase filled with all of your demons with someone else by your side. Especially if you know that the other person will stay for the entire journey, hearing all of your stories. Because you know that after a quick glimpse inside they won’t just run for the hills. 

A healthy relationship filled with love is one that fosters so much courage and reassurance. Because it’s difficult to travel this world with someone who isn’t willing to take care of you, be there by your side, willing to hear all of the bad news with you, and still hold your fucking hand.

And the only secret you ever need to know about love and finding that person, is that you have to be willing to make all of the toughest drives together.

And I am so fucking scared that so many people within this world today, with how many dating apps and how dating in general has changed, mistakes stripping our clothes off with stripping off the armor. Yes, intimacy is an important part of any relationship, but it is not even close to being the entirety of it. Intimacy is easy. All it really takes to build that confidence to allow someone else to see you naked is a few cocktails and a condom. But it happens, and then it’s over. You don’t leave suddenly having some deeper, fuller meaning of why that person is who they are every morning they get out of bed.

Love means not having to hide yourself or change anything about you for someone else, but still mustering to be the person you are because the motivation that they seek in you makes you want to become a better person. Love is being inspired by someone else. Love is seeing all of their quirks, their struggles. Love is hearing all of their words, and also hearing the words that they say with their eyes.

Love is not infatuation, love is not intimacy. Love is a connection between two people who cannot easily be wavered if someone gets jealous or another person is having a horrible day (or month).

Love is love.

Love is equal for everyone who is lucky enough to experience it. 

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