Love Isn't the Same As Infatuation
Why knowing the difference could save your relationship.
Relationships take work and aren’t always what they seem on the outside looking in. Don’t get me wrong, relationships are wonderful. Full of growth and mystery, full of love, thrill and excitement. Relationships can lead to something really rewarding, but they can also lead to one of the most heartbreaking experiences you’ve ever endured, depending on how invested you were. They say that falling in love is easy, and anyone can do it. That’s why it is called falling in love—you don’t have to do anything.
Staying in love takes work. Staying in love can only happen when two people invest their whole heart into the relationship. Fighting for your relationship means learning to be patient, living selflessly, not taking things personally and keeping your love on no matter which crazy obstacles get thrown your way. It means forgiving, embracing and understanding. Relationships are not for the weak, and they were never meant to be something to get into if you’re just bored or looking for fun.
REAL LOVE VS. INFATUATION
Love is exciting, and people want to feel loved—they want to feel needed and accepted. Wanting to be in love comes naturally for everyone, but it doesn’t mean that everyone is necessarily ready for it. There are obstacles to endure and challenges to be faced. Real love means pushing through, despite your feelings. It means choosing to love someone even when you don’t necessarily “like” them that day.
Infatuation is the complete opposite though. It means basing everything off the way you are feeling and getting caught up in the emotion without totally thinking your way through. Infatuation is an intense but short-lived passion or admiration toward your significant other that may not make its way through the hard times.
Before getting into a relationship, you need to be in a place where you are perfectly OK with being alone. You need to learn to be content and independent. You need to find confidence in yourself—not cockiness. You need to discover who you are as a person and learn to chase after your passions and dreams without someone by your side.
INSECURITY VS. IDENTITY
Being in a relationship takes you to a whole new level, and if you aren’t secure in yourself and who you are as a person, you can lose yourself in the mix of the relationship. An unhealthy relationship depends on their significant other for happiness. A healthy relationship comes from knowing your identity in Christ, putting work toward the relationship to keep it solid, showing progress and having two strong people who know what they want, choosing to chase after it together.
A strong relationship means vulnerability and perseverance; accepting the other person for who they are and not trying to change who they were created to be. It means truly accepting the relationship for where it is and knowing that growth will come from perseverance. A relationship should challenge, sharpen and grow you into a better person. It should be stretching, but all done in love. It should not tear you down or lower your self-esteem. You should feel fully confident in stating your own opinions, but also respect and hear the other person out.
RELATIONSHIPS VS. SINGLENESS
Many people have this idea that relationships come easy, that being single is some sort of disease and that the cool thing to do these days is to find your “person.” I believe that a relationship will come naturally to you when you are ready for it—for a completely new change and growth. Relationships are rewarding, especially when you get through obstacles together as a couple. It’s the greatest experience to go through, but if it is not the right timing for you, it is not worth it. You need to be ready to lay down a selfish life of your own for someone else. You need to be ready to take on the challenges and insecurities that come your way. You also need to be ready to learn the flaws about yourself that will most likely change.
Singleness gives you the opportunity to grow in a different way. It means giving your whole self to the Lord, and pursuing the things on your heart without anyone holding you back. It is a different season that allows you to have more freedom in every area of your life in which you are able to explore and go after wholeheartedly.
Right now, learn to be content with wherever you are at in the present moment, single or dating. You are in this spot for a reason, and with that, you are going to grow no matter what. So, give it your all. And if it doesn’t work out, grow from it. For some, it may just look differently. But my advice to you is to enjoy the process. There is a reason for where you are at in your walk currently, and let me tell you—it is a beautiful journey.