There is no seemingly clear-cut way to distinguish between infatuation and love, at least not in any measurable or quantifiable way. However, there is one sure-fire sign that will most likely tell you whether the feeling you or someone else is experiencing is closer to love or infatuation: time.
Infatuation, on the one, hand, is defined as a short-lived passion. Think of infatuation through the analogy of the stock market: It is unpredictable and has the tendency to skyrocket and then proceed to crash and burn in the blink of an eye.
One day, life can be normal, the next day, your bursting through the roof with emotions of intense desire and enthusiasm. By definition, infatuation is something short-lived and fleeting, although, oftentimes, necessary to spark the initial stages of what can unfold over time into love over the long-term.
Love, on the other hand, is more like a steady interest rate: overtime, the more money you have in your bank account, the more interest you earn. Love is a long-term investment that accumulates wealth slowly, over time, and is not going to suddenly make any drastic increases or decreases overnight. It is more predictable, sustainable, constant, yet always evolving.
Real love is something that takes time to develop. Even if you experience “love at first sight” with someone, the test of this love can only be proven over the long-term. What I mean by this is, although love can be known immediately, it cannot be verified without surviving the test of time.
Difference Between Infatuation vs. Love
While both Love and infatuation are intense emotions, most of the time people confuse these feelings for each other. The main difference lies in actuality, intensity, and the final outcome of these feelings.
Infatuation is when you are feeling affection or love, usually at the start of a relationship and the main center of attraction is sexual attraction. Infatuation is when you immediately start to feel affection for someone while not being aware of the goods and the bads while love is a dynamic process and involves affection for someone over a long period of time. Love involves knowing the good and bad of someone and still loving them the same.
Infatuation is usually a fantasy. You get attracted to a person that you don’t know anything about. The attraction is quick and instant and it hits you right away. As soon as you see someone, you start to fantasize about your future with someone without knowing anything about them. In your mind, you believe that everything will work out just fine and your attraction and liking are based on appearances only.
On the other hand, Love is a reality that is dynamic and usually takes time. Love takes time to get to a stage where you start to see your future with someone. Love involves seeing the human side of the person, their strengths and weakness, and still loving them. You love them the same on their bad days as you love them on their good ones.
To sum it up, both love and infatuation are feelings and emotions. Infatuation is static and instant. When you see someone and you start to like them and feel affection for them this is infatuation and must not be mistaken with love. Love is complex and involves more than just appearances. It involves forgiving, accepting, compromising, understanding. It does involve affection but there’s a lot more to affection in love.