There is a difference between love and infatuation.
Take this as a boring repeat Chemistry lesson which is however, very crucial.
Infatuation is what we first experienced in our teenage years. When we were really crushing on a particular guy we considered cute and had trouble concentrating in class because of it. Reminds me of a sad story some time back in the local news, where a teenage girl committed suicide after one of her teachers was insensitive enough, to read text messages she exchanged with her boyfriend, in front of the whole school during assembly. The poor girl couldn’t bear to think of the teasing she was going to endure afterward from her peers and in a swift move, decided to end her life.
It is a sad case that turned tragic. But one that reeks of infatuation.
In her situation, she can be excused because as a teenager, you are still way behind on the road to maturity. This is a stage where you confuse strong feelings you have for someone else as love and not your raging hormones playing tricks on you. When a person is in the infatuation stage, he or she is willing to do the unthinkable for the sake of the “love” he or she assumes is feeling. Infatuation refuses to let you see the reality but instead lets you dwell in the fantasy world.
Indeed, you dwell so much in the fantasy world that you cannot accept that relationships sometimes fail. You cannot accept that people move on eventually after a failed relationship. You refuse to see commitment phobes for who they really are, instead making excuses for them and reaching out to them, when all the signs read that the other party is not ready to be exclusive.
You go take an elevator in the tallest building in town, get to the top floor and plunge yourself head first to your death below, because someone said what you had was over. You stab your boyfriend 22 times killing him in the process, because he was supposedly flirting with other chics. The latter, which happened about one or two months back, in my country.
In your infatuation with this equally young man, you do not weigh the options that by resorting to such a brutal punishment for his misdeeds you risk messing up the rest of your life at only 22. And for what?! Because someone who was not even married to you nor ready for marriage, was just being a typical young guy trying his options with other chics.
When adults are infatuated, it is even more detrimental than when it happens to teenagers. Teenagers are still growing and can therefore be excused for acting foolish in love. Adults, I believe have already long passed that stage of infatuation, had a couple of relationships which failed that taught them the reality of the dating world. And so for an adult to act all infatuated, it simply comes out as just plain stupid.
Sadly, there are several people out there and women, for that matter, who stubbornly refuse to distinguish between infatuation and love.
Infatuation is the root cause of women clinging to men who do not value them. Men who have piled up excuses over time as to why they cannot exclusively date them. Men who act hot and cold.
It is the root cause of women constantly going back to men who have no further use for them all the while ignoring the fact that he declared it was over long time ago. Women who refuse to accept that relationships fail and beg and whine for the man to give them another chance. Women who act all dramatic in public because a man has absconded his parental duties. I speak to such women today.
Love is not stupid. It was never meant to be.
It is actually love that keeps couples together long after the kids have come, the hectic schedules have taken over, the financial constraints have reared their ugly heads occasionally, in-laws have moved in and do not seem to mind that they have overstretched their stay…the list is endless. Love is considerate. It understands that it will not always be smooth sailing and that there will be rocky patches to navigate along the way. Rather, it is the commitment you made to one another that will ensure that the love you feel for one another survives.
Love accepts heartbreaks no matter how piercing they are. It allows the other person to state their position and gradually, no matter how difficult, start to accept the break up and move on. It does not give the person reason to shame this man for his parental misdeeds. No matter how much of a betrayal it seems, it gives the woman courage to forget about this deadbeat dad and try as much as possible to raise her child singlehandedly.
Love sees no need for vengeance. It does not turn the woman into a pathetic sight always bombarding this man who no longer values her with ‘private calls’. It does not let the woman lose her dignity, because she is too high on infatuation, to notice that her attempts to piece the relationship back together, are coming out as downright desperate.
Love allows this woman to be dignified in the face of rejection. So much to the extent where this man in question, actually starts to pay attention to how dignified this woman has handled herself despite his actions. Love does not compete unnecessarily with another woman over a certain man’s attention. By the way ladies, a man who loves and values you, will not put you in a position where you feel like you have to fight another woman, just to prove your position in his life. He will not give you mixed signals. He will not make you wait for him to make up his mind over what exactly he wants to pursue with you.
A man in love declares it with actions and words. Do not be fooled by actions if his words read otherwise or vice versa. The two go hand in hand. Therefore, if you feel conflicted, act like a woman who was initially in love with this man and not like an infatuated woman. You are just too dignified to cling.