When Does Infatuation Become Love? (Key Differences To Look For)


Happy couple

Infatuation is a powerful emotion, but can the initial feeling develop?

Can love grow from infatuation, and when can it happen?

To answer this, we need to explain the difference between the two and go from there.

What is infatuation?

Infatuation is an intense feeling of passion for someone. It’s something that’s felt very quickly, often before you know the person very well.

When it’s felt, there is an almost uncontrollable level of desire we have for the other person. They occupy our minds to a great degree.

It’s almost an irrational feeling because it’s based on our initial perceptions of someone. It’s a vision of perfection that’s not based on reality.

When we’re new to relationships and romantic feelings, we often feel infatuated at first. It’s often a youthful experience but can occur at any age.

It’s a sense of intense admiration and interest. Many relationships will begin with an infatuation stage before you develop deeper feelings for the person.

How long does infatuation last?

For men, infatuation can be based on how the object of the infatuation looks. Sometimes it’s based on their confidence and how they carry themselves.

For this reason the length of the infatuation depends on when they get passed this perception. Usually when they get to know the person better, they realize they have normal qualities.

They put the object of their desire on a pedestal and it’s when they can see they have wants and needs like anyone else, the infatuation fades.

If they never get to know the person they’re infatuated with a little deeper, then it can last a considerable amount of time. It’s a fantasy that never fades.

People define infatuation differently. I’ve heard people say they were infatuated with someone for years! I think that’s just the honeymoon period of initial love and attraction.

True infatuation where you’re irrationally obsessed with someone lasts around 3 months. By then it fades to love or you’ve found someone else to be infatuated with.

When you’re actively dating someone, the infatuation is replaced by lust. You’re emotionally and physically connected with the person and that’s when the infatuation ends.

Differences between infatuation and love

If you ask anyone with experiences in romantic relationships. Whether personally or professionally, you know the difference.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when it’s changed if you’re the one involved. It’s only some time later can you identify when your feelings have changed and aren’t so intense.

  • Infatuation is short lived and very intense. It’s spontaneous and has no warning.
  • Love is a long term feeling that builds from a personal connection.
  • Infatuation is irrational and can make you do reckless things.
  • Love is more controllable and trustworthy. You make better decisions.
  • Infatuation can’t take rejection or disappointment.
  • love is emotionally safer and open.
  • Infatuation has no concept of the future and lives for the now.
  • Love is gradual and lasts longer.
  • Infatuation has no real concern for the other person.
  • Love is formed during a stable relationship and cares.
  • Infatuation is mistaken for love in a new relationship
  • Love is when you know someone and they feel the same way.
  • Infatuation can be a brief and lustful encounter.
  • Love is when a commitment has been made.
  • Infatuation is youthful and temporary.
  • Love is secure and a sign of attachment.
  • Infatuation is euphoric but uncertain.
  • Love is stable and provides an inner warmth.
  • Infatuation is physical and uncaring.
  • Love is knowing each other and being affectionate.

When you love someone, you care deeply for them. You know exactly what they like and dislike and you will do everything you can to make them happy.

You don’t feel so caring during the infatuation stage. That’s not what it’s about. Your feelings are about gratification, not the greater good of the person.

When you love someone, you can tell them anything and you know you won’t be judged. You’ll have their support and encouragement.

With infatuation, you don’t reveal your inner worries because you’re scared how the other person will react. You don’t know them yet and they seem perfect to you.

There’s nothing wrong with infatuation. It can happen to all of us. We just need to realize that we may not act so rationally when it’s affecting us.

It’s something that fades with time and separation. This is a key difference from love, which can grow when we’re apart.

Happy couple

When do I know infatuation has become love?

Once you’ve been on a few dates, you’re going to start feeling differently about someone. The initial intensity you feel for them will begin to go.

You won’t be so obsessed with them as you get to know them. Time will pass but you won’t feel love straight away.

When you’ve finished dating and you’ve made a commitment. Perhaps you’ve moved in with them.

It’s after a few weeks to a month of living with each other that your infatuation will have gone. At this point, you’re getting accustomed to each other and you’re no longer obsessed.

When you feel normal around the person instead of your intense feeling of desire. Then we can say you’re now feeling love.

You may still feel intense physical attraction, but you behave more rationally and under control. You start to feel more a of a bond.

You begin to think about a future with this person which you didn’t do at first. You see their emotional qualities and think about spending time with them.

Can I be infatuated and in love at the same time?

It’s easy to get the two mixed together. There is a honeymoon period of a relationship and you’re still going to feel lust toward the person.

But infatuation is different and you can’t really feel them at the same time. You can feel very deeply in love with someone which may make you confused.

The thing is not to worry about what you’re feeling and what to call it. As long as you’re being respectful to each other and you’re both getting something out of the relationship, then go with the flow.

Psychologists have studied about infatuation and how long it lasts. There are studies on what is love and when it’s felt. All these studies have inconclusive results.

No one can agree how long it lasts and when love takes over. Experts can’t even agree on the actual definitions. It’s not something you should worry about.

Infatuation is certainly an interesting feeling and an enjoyable one at times. But it’s unpredictable and can go as fast as it comes without you realizing.

Can infatuation turn into love?

It can, but it’s like any new relationship. It sometimes works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

Infatuation is certainly a good start because the admiration, intrigue and physical desire are there. Whether that can survive the initial stage is down to other factors.

You can be infatuated with someone and discover you have little in common with them. It can be like a physical affair that fizzles out.

At the same time, love can blossom based on the initial attraction. Infatuation is a powerful emotion that will certainly encourage you to give a relationship a try.

The trick is recognizing when there’s nothing else there. Knowing when to walk away from a relationship going nowhere is not easy.

It’s something you would both need to talk bout openly and honestly. Something that is difficult to do if you’re still infatuated with each other.

Final thoughts

So the question: when does infatuation become love? Should be: can infatuation become love?

If you’re wondering which one you feel, then there are some key differences I’ve gone through above. Why do you want to know?

Are you considering commitment and are concerned you’re just infatuated? Are you concerned your man is just infatuated?

The answer to every question is infatuation can become love. You won’t know if it will work for you unless you give it a try.

When it happens, you feel a deeper caring for the person you’re with. Something beyond what you physically get out of them.

It won’t always happen though. It might not work out for you despite what you initially feel.

However, it’s a good foundation to work from if you can both agree there may be feelings for each other that could grow over time.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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