One of the most difficult questions to answer, it seems, is whether or not you’re in love with someone.
Or is it merely just a really hot and heavy case of infatuation, The reason this is such a hard question to answer is because the signs of love and infatuation are almost interchangeable, at first, anyway.
Of course, as time goes on it becomes easier to tell the difference but, by then, it’s usually too late.
Starting with the very first meeting, you both will feel a strong pull towards each other.
That’s easily identified as attraction. As you talk, this attraction becomes even stronger and you want to spend as much time as you can with this person.
You agree to go out on a date and that leads to even more of a pull. Now this is where things get a bit tricky.
Suddenly, you have no interest in eating and you have trouble sleeping.
Nothing really interests you other than this new person in your life. It’s almost like you have a mild case of the flu.
That’s why it’s called “lovesick.” When your phone rings, you jump ten feet and nearly kill yourself in answering it because you just KNOW it’s the object of your current affections.
If it turns out to be someone else on the end of the phone, your heart plummets and you can barely wait to end the call.
Taking it further, when you know you’re going to see this person, your hands are sweaty and you can’t stop pacing.
You check your look in the mirror over and over again, needing to look your absolute best.
This is the stage when EVERYTHING this other person does is cute.
It doesn’t matter if his table manners are atrocious or her laugh is enough to set most people’s teeth on edge, these are the traits of your current beloved and there has never been a more perfect person.
The two of you can’t stand to be apart.
You never run out of things to talk about, and you can’t keep your hands off of each other.
Now, up to this point, these symptoms may simply mean that you’re infatuated with each other or it could, indeed, be true love.
Give this stage about six weeks to a full two months. If his ability to belch the entire alphabet has lost its impressiveness or her constantly interrupting you in the middle of talking is no longer charming, this might be the beginning of the end.
Suddenly, you CAN stand to be away from each other for days at a time.
This may mean that things are starting to settle down a bit. Now, this still doesn’t mean you’re not in love, but it does show that you’ve moved out of that “honeymoon” period that all relationships enjoy.
The true difference between infatuation and love is that even after you’ve stopped thinking everything each other does is cute and wonderful, you still want to be together, you just might be in love.
If you find each other disgusting at this point, it was all a wonderful dream, or infatuation.
Also published on Medium.