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Blessings: Finding the Difference Between Attraction, Infatuation & Love

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Love-Attraction-InfatuationFor me “love” is not a feeling but I’ll tell you what is. We live in a world that continuously affect our mindsets, influences our decisions, alters our motives and clearly muddle things up in some instances. The best lesson in life that offers clarity is “experience” ever heard of the phrase, experience is the best teacher? How about experience is the only teacher and you are the student.

For so long, I think my understanding of “love” has been miscalculated by various situations and scenarios, undoubtedly reading a lot of Mills and Boon and watching romantic movies did nothing but influence my ideologies on “love”. I hadn’t figured out why I felt butterflies in my tummy when I saw my primary school crush precisely at 9 years old or the sensational feeling almost like an “electric shiver” that ran through my body the first time he touched my head as a gesture of affection.

In a nutshell, that was my first ever experience of having a strong attraction for a boy. It was amazing in that I could not contain my excitement each time I saw him or heard his voice. All I felt was sweaty palms, increased heartbeats, wobbling stomach and worse of all a widely pasted grinned face. He was all I could think of and talk about; everyone knew I was into him. Although, I didn’t quite understand what it was I felt until much later, I knew this much, I liked the guy. I moved to the UK and it didn’t take me long to have another crush. To make matters worse, I was a daydreamer bordering on the obsessive.

I got into relationships with some dudes I didn’t find attractive. However, as time went on and we talked, laughed and shared moments, I got to like their personalities. I slowly began to develop feelings. I admit I said the “I love you” not because I meant or understood it but because that was the norm. It was what everybody said once you were in a committed relationship right? Despite all of the emotions the relationships still ended and we all moved on. I must admit though one of the relationships did hurt more than others. Slowly, my understanding on attraction and love began to form including how attraction is largely driven by emotions and how one’s views can be clouded by emotions.

Eventually with time and maturity I began to understand certain things. To start off, I experienced an intense attraction and short lived infatuation. All of these infatuations were made intense by the initial attraction I felt for the dudes to begin with. The more I thought about the feelings or why I liked them, the more I fed it and the more it grew. You all know whatever you feed, water or take care of in most cases will grow, take roots, take forms etc. To quit babbling, my experience with “love” was slowly being unravelled in my mind.

This is where am at with my understanding:

Attraction: Attraction in itself comes in different forms and it is experienced differently by all. However, all of the lovely sweet things I was experiencing with the dudes I liked and dated were mostly attraction that led to having feelings. This was even fuelled by the interaction, similarities, values and ideas we share. Obviously, the physical physique really does add a touch base to the whole thing. Needless to say, attraction is not love and love is not attraction. However, attraction is essential as it helps to aid closeness and intimacy. I also think that the longer the attraction the more it has potential to lead to “infatuation” and this is where it get interesting because infatuation can be closely linked or confused with “love”.

Infatuation: Infatuation itself I believe is stemmed from much more deeper attraction. It is the very foundation of some relationships and how far it went. When I think of infatuation I think of crushes, long term likes and equally obsession. Love is not obsessed, infatuation is. Think of it has having a new plant you constantly overfeed, over nurture basically over everything with it. Eventually, the plant will either not grow properly or wither away. In essence, infatuation has tendencies to overdo everything that can either make the other person feel suffocated or place unnecessary responsibilities on them again which can weigh anyone down mentally. Love on the other hand understands there is time for everything instead of constantly being obsessed, it understands the plant needs it own personal space and time to grow and be independent to an extent. Love is also selfless and intuitive in that when the plant needs it, it will know because it has taken time to study the plant etc. I think that “love” in general is less demanding, less needy and absolutely knows when to withdraw and reunite.

Love: What leads to love in a relationship and how do you know this is love? I think this will vary for each individual. Nonetheless, I know this much that love is not controlled by emotions rather our emotions are controlled by our feelings and our feelings sometimes control our judgments and actions. I think to “love” is influenced by a combination of factors but I do think “love” is a decision.

Unlike attraction, love is not instantaneous. I don’t believe people fall in love for the first time, I believe we grow to love and learn to based on life experiences, journey, moments, struggles and situations shared. Reading 1st Corinthian Ch 13 for the first time opened my eyes to a whole new different world and the meaning we all attach to “love”.

What is love when selfishness, injustice, unforgiveness, envy, malice and more abound even in relationships? Contrary to what we are told or see “love” carries a lot of responsibilities, accountabilities, demands, sacredness, trust, humility, knowledge and more. It is deeper than what meets the eye and it is the one thing I will not equate to feelings because I know my feelings are fleeting and are controlled by the desires of my heart. So when we say we want someone to love us we must first learn to show love to ourselves and others around us without expecting back. We must first practice it.

Unlike the movies and novels we read, we never get to share the reality of life with them. The reality of Cinderella living happily ever after yet the Prince can’t father a child? What if Snow White has an immune deficiency causing her to age a lot more?

Only through life experiences and situations will you and I understand what true “love” is. Yes, the understanding of this will become apparent once we find ourselves thinking less of our selfish needs and more of others. It will also become apparent when the butterflies are gone, the sweaty palms, daydreams etc are collecting dust instead reality takes over which challenges you and stretches you out of your comfort zone.

Yes, attraction can potentially be a base to develop feelings and for love to grow as sacrifices, true intentions and genuine concerns including intimacy (I’m not referring to sexual intimacy) begins to form and become the habit of both individuals. So next time you find yourself sweating palms, feeling shy… please know that this is nothing but attraction.

Photo Credit: kennyonline.net

Blessings describes herself as a believer in the impossible, a thinker by day, daydreamer by night and a creative foodie. She enjoys earning, growing, developing and engaging herself. She can be found musing, talking, posing for the camera, telling herself off or working on a marketing project.

39 Comments

  1. Eebony

    December 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Cool write up,if most of us can discern btw all these, then we wld be able to know how/where we stand with people and be quick to define our relationships with others. Muaaaah Blessing

  2. Teni

    December 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    True talk! Love tends to be bittersweet sha and you want that attraction/infatuation part but in reality,its the love that conquers all!

  3. Hurperyeahmie

    December 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Nice write up

  4. Oluwakayode

    December 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    There exist just a tiny line between the two but a very wide gulf. And finding / distinguishing the tiny line is just like an heartache to most people. But I still believe that with due care and using the right approach we can still find true and absolute pure love in this infatuation filled world.

  5. merci

    December 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Most times we can clearly distinguish the terms but we are too caught up in the feelings of the moment to face reality!!! other times its just complicated; the one you love is not attracted to you and vice versa. God help us all.

    • Eve82

      December 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Preach to the choir Sista!!!

  6. X- Factor

    December 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    True talk!

  7. Mercee

    December 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Nice write-up Blessings. Two thumbs up! Love is largely a decision to stay committed to one person. It takes a lot of work and selflessness. If you truly love,it would be impossible to be selfish. I mean,where is the time to be selfish when you are constantly working at loving the other person completely? If some of us are honest to ourselves and count how many people we have dated or said “i love you” to,we would accept that we haven’t loved. We have simply allowed the butterflies control us.

    • Chika

      December 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      “If some of us are honest to ourselves and count how many people we have dated or said “i love you” to,we would accept that we haven’t loved. We have simply allowed the butterflies control us.” your last statement did it for me, well said.

  8. Amara

    December 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Beautiful write up. I probably identified with it because i find my self going through a phase right now where i’m not sure which is which …… that kind of thing.. but reading this clarified a few things

  9. lorenz

    December 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Honestly, I didn’t learn anything from this article. The writer seems to think she has figured out the difference btw love, attraction and infatuation. The truth is, no one has really figured it out. We all just foolishly follow our hearts, and hope we get the best out of our relationship with others, even if it initially started as just a sexual one, in the first place.

    • honyda

      December 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Best comment ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    • Me Full Ground

      December 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      @lorenz, you couldn’t learn anything from this article because as you said you are fixated in “foolishly follow” your heart meaning the same butterflies in your stomach (attraction and infatuation). Love is not foolish, it is a deliberate choice of feeling and action towards another person. It doesn’t have to be with physical intimacy. The writer has made it clear drawing from 1Cor.13 that love is not dependent on attraction or romantic feelings. Please read the article again and learn to desist from following your heart to heartbreaks.

    • lorenz

      December 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Are you saying you totally have it figured out? If you had it figured out, you would never have made one single mistake in your relationships.

    • larz

      December 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      My answer to ppl that think they cant control their feelings such as love.
      If you think you boss is a cow or want to slap him, will you? That my dear is the difference between a child n and adult. Just cuz we feel something doesn’t mean that we r slave to it

    • lorenz

      December 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Just because i think my boss is a cow does not mean i cannot exercise restraint. Your illustration is totally baseless. Just so you know, following your heart does not mean total senselessness.

  10. Thelma

    December 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    For me attraction is always a prelude to love. I know they’re two distinct things but it has always had to begin with attraction. Trying to change that though because I’m worried I’m passing up on some really good men all because of attraction (the lack thereof).

    http://www.thelmathinks.blogspot.com

  11. Naomi

    December 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Lovely write-up… That’s why when people tell me they used to love someone, I tell them if it was love it would not have ended…love is indeed selfless and deeper than what this generation depicts it to be. Its a decision!

  12. chinny Akpa

    December 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    so true!

  13. Jemima

    December 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Hmmm ! May God bless You that’s all ! Myloudthought.wordpress.com

  14. Fola

    December 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Just like the writer, I love to define love as a verb and not a noun. When I find myself doing some things I consider extra-ordinary or unusual without hassles – when I give without expecting a return, when I bend double for someone without feeling the pains, when I perform the most harrowing tasks without tiring out…then I know it must be love.

    • H's boo

      December 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

      I have done all these things and it still turned out not to be love. This love thing is a mystery. It is hard to comprehend!

    • Blessings

      December 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Hey hun,
      Have you tried the “loving yourself part”.

  15. Me Full Ground

    December 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Brilliant write-up. Great sequential analysis of the concepts with concrete and realistic personal experiences that clarify and drive home the message to the reader.

  16. Blessings

    December 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone. Its so “schamazing”. lol. x

  17. Totori Gist

    December 13, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Hmmmmmm. Well written and comprehensive. However, i think attraction, Infatuation and Love are most times, difficult to differentiate in real life situations. They say when you love, it’s only natural for you to guard it jealously, and desire the total attention of the one you love. Would you call that infatuation? Just wondering.
    http://totorigist.blogspot.com/

    • Blessings

      December 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks for the comment.
      Re. the real life situation I think it is easy to differentiate as long as our emotions are under check. Its our emotions that sometimes cloud things up.Our emotion is largely driven by our desire, our desire is largely driven by what we consume and indulge. Our motives on the other hand can help to clarify things if are open to it. Sometimes our motive is selfish, self-centered etc.
      I also do think its fair to want to guard what you love jealously and also feel wanted by the one you love but it is infatuation when everything is driven by emotions that are selfish and bordering on the obsessive side. Mainly because there is time for everything. I only think its fair that when both parties in the relationship care for each other deeply it is only imperative for both of them to guard it jealously and for both of them to make a worthwhile time for each other without losing their identities and responsibilities to others things that are of importance to them. I hope this helps.
      I am still a learner myself lol. x

    • Me Full Ground

      December 14, 2013 at 4:12 am

      @Blessings, God bless you. You clearly understand the issues you are dealing with. Emotions and selfish desire of “feeling wanted”, “in control”, “romantic and sexual fantasies” have continued to becloud the judgment of a lot of people in relationship matters. Thus, when paid some attention, complimented, gifts are bought, flowers are given, etc we begin to feel loved. In my opinion, these are seductive manipulations that appeal to weak minds seeking personality validation. They do not necessarily equate love.

  18. Lola

    December 13, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Wow! Good write up and description of love, attractions and infatuation. Like U have clearly explained there R differences among the three but my understanding is that one needs attraction to notice the significant other, also infatuation sometimes is needed for one to build love. The important thing is not to get married based on the first two. U need to go through the process and get to love before one says I do. So back to ur explanation of the 3 on needs to know what feelings they R experiencing before you commit. If it aren’t love then dont commit.this is my option and everyone is entitled to theirs.
    Ps well done for publishing an article on bella Nigeria. I’m guessing this is not ur first published article. im just seeing ur article for d first time.xx more greases to ur elbow. Congratulations .;)

  19. omo akhigbe

    December 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

    yes, LOVE IS A CHOICE and it is selfless and not Wicked.

  20. Yvonne

    December 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Y’all should check out this blog
    Naijasinglegirl.wordpress.com

  21. akeem stunna rotimi

    December 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    How many of you could able to finish it? Lolz… The headlines lead me to open and its interested, I didn’t finish it though.

  22. akeem stunna rotimi

    December 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I mean, interesting!

  23. D Weight-Watchers

    December 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    All these emotional upheveals; definitly not for me, as for me I love with my head.

  24. Grace

    December 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    OK.
    NICE writeup. I have also tried to figure out what love is. I mean true love and over the years I have been involved with one relationship or the other I thought was love at the beginning and later found out that later in the course of it. what I thought was love was not.
    I later got to understand that there are two types of love.

    1. God’s kind of love and
    2. human love which also come under Hollywood love. the mistake a lot of us including myself used to make was trying so hard in vain by all human effort and possible means to turn the human love to God’s love or make human love {Hollywood love} have some of the characteristics of God’s love which is the greatest mistake to make. by the time I describe God’s kind of love, I hope ya all will get a clear picture of both. This God’s love is actually given to a child of God once they are born again. just as we are given faith it is the same way we are given the love of God {it is actually given by the holy spirit and it is a persons responsibility to walk in the light of this kinda behaviour towards their husband or wife because it resides inside them}. 1 Corinth 13:5

    love is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
    it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. it has self-control not the one we see where peoples emotions are running wild or going on rampage like they cannot control themselves.
    Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking;
    it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

    6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

    7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

    8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

  25. Adiechi

    December 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Well thought out write-up. I had serious issues in the infatuation and love department until I read up on it and became introspective. I think getting older helped also.

  26. Jozzy

    December 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    keep it up Blessings.

  27. tobee

    December 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    @ lorenz, stop foolishly following ur heart,that’s wat d article is all about.if u cannot see any oda good msg frm ds article,den dis singular advice mite be all wat you to nid to figure out wat love is about…. nd pls get over urself!

  28. Ishani

    March 27, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Nice article……. I really liked your writing style and i really felt connected with you…. But my question is have u ever fallen in love?

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