Stages – In Love

inlove

This page links to a few thoughts which might be relevant for you if you’ve fallen hopelessly for someone!

Key Thoughts:
A huge question at this time is this:  Is this feeling infatuation, or is it based on true friendship between us, and true concern that we feel for one another?
I have personally had a couple of mad crushes in my life, and it has taken me lots of time and effort to sit down and work out why these would not have worked out as relationships.  Here is the thing:  at the time they felt so real!  I refused to allow anyone to call these things “infatuation”.  All the same, I also generally refused to use the phrase “falling in love” reserving that only for my husband, thank you very much!

A few years on, these are the questions I would ask you to ask yourself about this person, to help you see whether these feelings come from something real between the two of you, or whether they have just materialised from your own deep yearnings.

1.  Have I known him/her for at least two years?
For me, I know that when I have known someone for that length of time, and I know that I know them, then the true reality of who they are is able to puncture any fevered dreams.

By knowing him/her, I mean frequent interaction in person, face to face, not, for instance, over Facebook…

2.  Do we truly have shared values?
Think for a minute about the things you may have argued about – if you’ve ever actually allowed yourself to argue with them.  If someone else had their values, could you honestly seek close friendship with them? Someone might be a Christian, yet go about their  life in a way that is completely incompatible with your own lifestyle. That said, I actually think that sincere arguing would be a good sign, as it shows that you are prepared to be real with one another.

3.  Have we ever actually spoken?  Can we talk about mundane, down-to-earth subjects, (a good thing) or are we always talking about “feelings”?!  Can we interact positively and normally, without the existence of heightened emotion:  always laughing, talking excitedly and so on

If indeed all of this is based on infatuation, then to my mind this is not a relationship that is likely to last. From experience, infatuation is simply not real.  It seems alluring, and magical, largely because it is based on an illusion that has been created within my own mind.  So my own mind fills in this person’s qualities with qualities that I would want and need, so of course they appear perfect – because my mind creates this illusion to be totally perfect!

I would take the time to get to know the person for who they are.  Ultimately you might not end up with this fascinating romance that you are dreaming of, but you might at least end up with a friend.  If conversely, you go ahead and build your future based on infatuation, then it might end up that the only similarity between your spouse and the spouse you dreamed of is that they look alike!  Or perhaps even this might not be true – in your dreams your spouse was always attractive from smiling and being happy, not off-putting from a face contorted in rage or sarcasm.

Here are a few links to the things spoken about above:
The difference between love and infatuation  (This is something of an ongoing obsession for me on  this blog!)
More thoughts on infatuation here
A few posts about falling in love
A post on getting to know someone for at least 2 years before considering them romantically is here (the definitive post)
Some other posts on the two year thing are here
What is friendship?  I try to answer that question here
Some other thoughts on friendship are here

Other things you might like to think about:

Attraction

Exercising Discernment

Falling in Love

Feelings

Friendship

Infatuation

Learning from others

Necessary knowledge before marriage

Premarital sex

Promoting yourself as a potential spouse

Sexual Desire

Young Love

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