Love is a powerful emotion. But understanding love is not always easy. It is possible to love someone who is not great for you, it is possible to fall out of love with someone that is ‘perfect’ for you, and it is possible for you to struggle to feel love despite everything you need being right there in front of you.
Perhaps no emotion causes more issues when it comes to love than a similar emotion: infatuation. Infatuation feels like love – walking on a cloud, adoring your partner – but infatuation itself is not love, and distinguishing the difference can be critical.
There is a reason that the initial stages of a relationship are referred to as the “honeymoon period.” These stages feel intoxicating like a drug, and often occur in the early stages of falling in love.
Infatuation is your mind telling you that this person is making you happy. It is the endorphins you get from all of the great feelings you want in a partner:
During the infatuation period, your whole body is filled with the great feelings that come from meeting someone that makes you happy and fulfilled.
Often infatuation is the first step towards love. Some couples that have been in love for years still feel this high. But infatuation is not yet love. This honeymoon period most often occurs when the couple has yet to face serious challenges, and has not yet “gotten used to” their partner in a way that tests the relationship’s strength.
At some point in the relationship, all couples will have problems. Those problems can eat away at this honeymoon period, because no one is imperfect, and problems give rise to imperfections. The key to know if love is there is to see how you two handle these challenges as a couple, and what strength you have together when they are over.
Don’t Let Infatuation Blind You
Some couples are simply great together, and it all started during this honeymoon phase. Almost every happily married couple has a honeymoon phase, as did many unhappy couples. The truth is that it is very hard to know whether or not a relationship will be love simply by infatuation alone, no matter how amazing it feels.
You have to be careful not to let infatuation cause you to make assumptions you may not be able to change, or to blind you to the relationship’s difficulties. Instead, you’ll want to let time take its course. If it is true love, you’ll know by the way you respond to regular, boring life challenges (finances, arguments, snoring), and how close you feel throughout – not by the high you feel early in the relationship.