Love Vs. Infatuation

The dictionary defines infatuation as: "temporary passion: an intense but short-lived and irrational passion."1 Love, on the other hand, is described as, "devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, another person."2

How do you know if you’re really in love, or just infatuated? Look at the differences in the chart below and decide for yourself…


Based on friendship:

  • Getting to know someone over time
  • Growing closer over time
  • Feelings for someone you know and respect

Based on desire:

  • Liking someone right away
  • Love at first sight
  • Feelings for someone you hardly know

Physical attraction is one of many feelings:

  • Sex can wait

Physical attraction is the main feeling:

  • Sex can’t wait

Confident about yourself & partner:

  • Secure
  • Respectful
  • Trusting
  • Calm, at peace
  • Free

Insecure about yourself & partner:

  • Fearful
  • Jealous, possessive
  • Distrustful
  • Anxious, stressed
  • Controlling

Recognize and accept partner’s imperfections:

  • Occasional problems are expected

Idealized, unrealistic view of partner:

  • Doubts you’d rather not think about

Free to be yourself:

  • Unconditional acceptance

Pressure to act or be a certain way:

  • Conditional acceptance

Based on committment

Based on convenience

Work through difficulties & disagreements:

  • Can handle highs & lows

Break up if difficulties & disagreements:

  • Can’t handle highs & lows

Mutual giving & receiving:

  • Focused on partner’s needs & feelings
  • Selfless

More receiving than giving:

  • Focused on my needs & feelings
  • Selfish


  • Content when physically apart
  • Maintain individual interests


  • Miserable when physically apart
  • Lose individual interests

Emotions under control

Emotions gone wild

In love with a whole person In love with a body, a fantasy, or the idea of love




  1. Encarta® World English Dictionary
  2. Webster’s Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition