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From YourTango

Fairytales like Cinderella and Snow White romanticize love by showing the main characters living happily ever after. In Hollywood movies like Pretty Woman or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, we see slight variations of guy meets girl, guy loses girl and guy gets girl back. In most of these movies, they live happily ever after. In fairytales and movies, we’re led to believe that happily ever after means that everything is always wonderful between guy and girl.

In real life, here is the more common scenario: Guy meets girl, guy has fun with girl but wants to date others, girl just wants to date guy and tries to keep his attention, and girl may stay too long with a guy who isn’t right for her. Or if guy decides that he wants girl, fears and insecurities that surface from both individuals means that things aren’t the happily ever after portrayed in fairytales and movies. Placing unrealistic expectations from fairytales and movies onto your own love life when reality is different makes it hard to know if you’re in love. If you believe happily-ever-after means everything always flows wonderfully, and when your own relationship ebbs and flows, you may not realize you are actually in love with a wonderful guy. Additionally, having strong feelings for someone can make you think you’re in love when you’re actually in lust or infatuated. Here’s the important distinction between lust and infatuation:

Lust is a physical emotion and reaction to someone else’s physical appearance. It’s when you’re sexually attracted to a guy and want him only for sex. Lust tends to be short-lived and is more about immediate gratification. If it’s just lust, you will have sex in the heat of the moment and only feel physically fulfilled.

Infatuation is an intense feeling. It happens when you are attracted to a guy’s appearance or attracted to him sexually. Infatuation happens early on and tends to become obsessive. When you’re infatuated, you see him through rose-colored glasses based on who you imagine him to be. You have put him on a pedestal and don’t acknowledge him for who he really is — good or bad. You may behave irrationally, become caught up in your feelings of what you think love is and aren’t living in reality.

The intensity of feelings that come with lusting after someone or being infatuated may cause you to think you’re in love. When the guy you’re lusting after or are infatuated with doesn’t feel the same way, disappointment and heartache ensue. As a result, these lustful and infatuation experiences that don’t work out, will cause you to believe, “Love is hard, painful and uncertain.” The reality is love isn’t any of these things. If you’re experiencing love to be hard, painful and uncertain, and asking, “Am I in love?”, you are not in love. 

Lust and infatuation are usually fleeting and short-lived and don’t tend to turn into love. When you are in love, you will have intense feelings for a guy, and be attracted and connected to him on the level of mind, body and soul. Here is my perception and experience of love.

Read on at YourTango.com to see if you are really in love.

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