What is infatuation?
There is no real definition of infatuation. But there are some telltale signs. According to dictionary.com, infatuation is ‘an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something’.
Wikipedia calls it as ‘the state of being carried away by an unreasoned passion, usually towards another person for which one has developed strong romantic or platonic feelings.’ Infatuation is often one-sided. You could have feelings for another person that they do not reciprocate at all.
Is it a problem?
No, unless we make it one. Infatuations can be intense and deep and have their own worth.
For example, you could be deeply infatuated with your professor and it may give you a lot of purpose, a sense of connection, a desire to excel. You may top your class to have your professor notice you. You may never want to look pretty or attractive (as in romantic love) but rather be valued as a person.
You can also be infatuated with your boss – the first one reporting at the office in the mornings and the last one to leave, even delivering those magic numbers no other form of motivation could drive you to.
However, infatuation is a problem when it drives you to impose yourself on another person without their consent or cause them discomfort, such as following your classmate around the town or sending them unwanted surprise gifts.
Why does it happen?
There are many reasons for infatuation, but the most basic one is chemistry. When you see a person you are attracted to, the brain is filled with dopamine, which provides the sensation of pleasure. Sometimes, this pleasure response feels so good that it may lead you to feel a real ‘connection’ – the classic sign of infatuation.
Sometimes the body gets addicted to that feeling of pleasure and could rush you into seeking a relationship. But as the attraction wears off, so does the rush of dopamine, and that’s when things could start to fall apart.
Who does it happen to?
Infatuation can happen to anyone. No matter how young or old you are, it can hit you. Some people are more susceptible to it than others, but everyone gets infatuated with someone else at some point in their lives.
Infatuation feels no different to love. But is defined by the lack of any relationship. It is usually one person’s feelings towards another without reciprocity.
Infatuation is usually strong and intense. However, most infatuations tend to have a short shelf life with the person moving on after the initial phase of excitement.
What can you do about it?
If you are infatuated with someone who is close to you, talk to the person. Let them know that you like them. If they reciprocate ask them out on a date, a coffee or a movie. You may hit off and go on to have a strong loving relationship. Or you might realise after a couple of days or months that you and that person actually have nothing in common.
If however, you do not see any reciprocation, back off. A relationship cannot be forced. And there is nothing more to be done. Any tricks and tips you may have read in books, seen on TV or suggested by your friends would only lead to the harassment of the other person.
It may seem hard at first. But put yourself in their shoes. Would you like to be forced by someone else to like them, love them, even if you didn’t reciprocate their feelings? Moving on and looking for someone who would reciprocate your feelings is the healthiest thing to do. Remember, relationships are fun only when both partners want it equally.
So, just remember that infatuations happen and they are ok. But make them a force for good for yourselves and the person you are infatuated with.
Person in the picture is a model.