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Is It Love Or Infatuation? How To Tell If You’re In Love


You've probably experienced butterflies in the presence of many different people over your life so far.

However, it isn't always easy to tell whether this attraction is meaningful. Perhaps you're facing this dilemma right now; you feel certain chemistry and you're intrigued by this new person.

But is it love or infatuation? When does infatuation end, and is it likely that infatuation will gradually become love? These are difficult questions, and the heady experiences of love and infatuation make it tough to know what's going on in your own head.

As it turns out, there are scientific differences between the experiences of love and infatuation. We’ll explore how to separate the two concepts, and why it matters.

Next, we'll go through the most common signs you’re falling in love, explaining how and when you might notice them in your daily life. This rough guide should clarify some of your thoughts and feelings, helping you to decide what to do next.

The Difference Between Love And Infatuation

In a nutshell, the difference between love and infatuation is that infatuation is a briefer, shallower state. It can certainly involve an intense obsession with a person.

However, it is often based on an idealized notion of who they are. In contrast, love can only develop when you begin to have a realistic conception of what this person is able to offer you.

This means recognizing and accepting their flaws, rather than seeing them as a faultless entity that will make your life perfectly blissful. Love is sometimes unrequited, but when it is real it is always based on truly knowing someone.

You might be wondering, however, whether infatuation can turn into love. The answer is yes! Most love begins with a period of infatuation. On the other hand, many cases of infatuation also fizzle out before they reach the level of deep emotional commitment associated with being in love.

How To Tell If You're In Love

When you think back to previous times when you've been in love, you'll likely notice that each experience has been different.

For example, perhaps one love happened quickly and another one progressed slowly from a comfortable friendship. However, there are certain common indications of flourishing love, and they tend to be present in almost all cases.

As you reflect on these signs you’re falling in love, consider when you’ve experienced them and in relation to who. In addition, repeatedly reflect on whether you're idealizing the other person or really coming to care for them not as a fantasy figure but as someone real and tangible.

9 Signs You’re Falling In Love

1. You Can't Stop Staring At Them

If you keep finding yourself gazing longing at the person, you're likely falling for them. This is a noticeable type of romantic body language when a man falls in love in particular, though it is displayed by all genders.

In general, prolonged eye contact with something means you're highly fixated on it. This applies to people as much as objects.

Interestingly, research also shows that couples who look into each other’s eyes more often test at having a stronger romantic connection. And when strangers are asked to long eyes for seconds at a time, they typically report increased attraction to each other.

2. You Feel Like You're High

As documented by many lyricists, love is a lot like a drug. In fact, when scientists scan the brains of people who are in love, the neural activity they see is indistinguishable from that displayed in the brain of a person who is high on cocaine.

Consequently, you not only find yourself feeling manic and exhilarated, but you may also be willing to say, do and risk things that you wouldn't otherwise. This surge in dopamine is also one of the common infatuation signs, but it is more intense and lasts for a longer time when you’re falling in love.

(And if you want to take a step towards your dream life, be sure to utilize The Law Of Attraction today! Get your free toolkit today, just click here now.)

3. You Always Think About Them

When you're falling in love, you're highly likely to find that you want to think about little else. Everything you see and hear will remind you of the other person. You’ll gladly begin to muse about them as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Like the “high” feeling associated with love, this obsessive focus is explicable with reference to science. In particular, your brain releases a chemical called phenylethylamine.

This leads you to feel like you just can't get enough of the object of your affection. Once again, this is part of infatuation too, but in that case, it revolves more around fantasy than reality.

4. Emotional Instability

When analyzing signs of infatuation vs. love, it’s vital to look at your emotional experience. Emotional instability is a key part of falling deeply in love, at least in the beginning stages.

One minute you will be overjoyed and energize, and the next minute you may be drowning in anxiety about whether the other person feels the same way.

These strong emotions are accompanied by physical changes like a racing heart, decreased appetite, and trouble falling asleep.

This experience is all part of becoming increasingly attached to someone, and it calms down once you become secure in the knowledge that they reciprocate your affection.

5. Intensifying Attraction

You can gain further insight into your feelings for someone by considering whether you've been through some type of bond-forming experience with them. Studies repeatedly show that you're more likely to develop an intense romantic attraction to someone if you've faced adversity together.

So, if you've been in a scary situation with someone or made a connection with them when you were feeling nervous about something, you're more likely to find yourself falling in love with them after this.

An intensified attraction not only involves a higher degree of lust but also a desire to learn about the person. You may also be increasingly invested in their well-being.

6. Intrusive Thinking

Another non-verbal sign of falling in love, intrusive thinking means that the object of your affection dominates your thoughts much of the time, even when you'd rather be thinking about something else.

For example, perhaps your job used to hold your attention and now you're zoning out to dream about the new person you've met!

Research on love shows that you may spend over 85% of your waking day thinking about the person you're in love with, even when it's to the detriment of other aspects of your life. Once again, this typically normalizes after you establish a secure relationship.

7. Planning A Future

When you move beyond thinking about kissing or dating a person and start imagining marriage, children, or a shared home, this is a very strong indication that you're falling in love.

Signs a man is falling in love, in particular, involve a shift from short-term to long-term thinking. For example, moving from the idea of a fun conquest to the dream of a serious commitment.

The science of romantic attachment suggests that this drive towards lasting love motivates us just as much as survival instincts like the need for food, water, and shelter. This fact underlines just how important meaningful social interaction is to our happiness.

8. Feelings Of Empathy

One of the most noteworthy unconscious love signals, an increase in empathy tells you that you’re really starting to grow attached to someone. You may notice this in practice when you start to feel the other person's pain as though it's actually your own.

You hurt when they hurt and you may feel joy when they succeed. Similarly, you may begin to care about what happens to them almost as much as you care about what happens to yourself.

When this empathy is reciprocal, it fosters a supportive relationship that encourages personal growth and self-worth.

However, it's always important to monitor whether you're sacrificing too much for another person's happiness.

9. You're Trying New Things

Finally, people in love are more apt to try new experiences.

Of course, you'll always go out of your way to try and impress someone who has caught your eye, but when that initial attraction turns to love you'll generally be even more willing to step out of your comfort zone. You'll take part in their hobbies, visit their favorite places, and maybe even conquer some old phobias so you can enjoy more time with them.

Research shows that people who continue to try new things with their partners stay happy for longer. So, try to maintain this habit even when the honeymoon phase is over!

Further Reading: 25 Inspirational Quotes About Love And Relationships

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Katherine Hurst
By Katherine Hurst
Katherine Hurst, is a Law of Attraction expert, best-selling author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on psychology, life design, structured thinking and emotional wellbeing.

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