Is It Love Or Just Infatuation? 10 Differences

So you’ve met the girl of your dreams, things are going great, and you can really see a future with her. And really, that’s awesome. But even though you may be absolutely crazy about her, this is how you know your feelings for her don’t constitute love quite yet.

  1. You haven’t had a big fight yet. You’ll know what The Big Fight is when it happens. It won’t be a minor disagreement or a mild annoyance — it’ll be the first time you have to question if your relationship will make it out alive. Until this fight happens. you can’t say for sure that you love each other. A relationship without tests hasn’t had to prove itself, and surviving the first Big Fight is evidence that you’re willing to work to be together even when it’s not easy to look the other person in the eye.
  2. You don’t know each other’s pasts. Everyone has a past, and it’s easy to claim that you’re in love with someone when you don’t know what they’ve been through to become the person they are today. If you and your partner can’t accept who you were and how that person shaped the person that you now are, whatever you have is something much more shallow than love.
  3. You haven’t had to help each other through a tough time. Instances of struggle and tragedy really help reveal who really cares about you and who just enjoys your presence when you’re a ray of smiles and sunshine. Dealing with a partner who can’t get out of bed because she’s so depressed over losing her job is a lot less fun than dealing with a partner who’s constantly cracking jokes, but if you feel less for her when she’s down, you don’t truly love her.
  4. You haven’t let yourselves be physically ugly around each other. You define your interpretation of “ugly,” but achieving that level of comfort with a partner is crucial to determining whether or not you really love her (and vice versa). If you’re not comfortable letting your partner see you when you look like a zombie after a bout with the flu, you need to get over it before you can claim that you love her. Otherwise, you’re still trying to put up a front to make her continue to see you without any flaws.
  5. You view her as “perfect.” Putting a woman up on a pedestal is absolutely not love. You may think that treating your partner like a queen is evidence of your feelings for her, but all it really shows is that you can’t see her as a human being, flaws and all. True love means seeing someone for both their good and bad qualities and still thinking they’re amazing.
  6. You haven’t had to forgive each other yet. Sometimes, conflict doesn’t occur in the form of a two-way fight, but in the form of one person royally messing up and having to beg their partner not to leave them. It’s easy to stay with someone when you have nothing to forgive them for, but when you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth staying with someone who hurt you and you decide that the answer is “yes,” that’s a good sign that what you feel for them runs deep.
  7. You want to rush into big relationship milestones. It’s cliche, but true, to say that “love is patient.” When you’re in the early stages of being absolutely crazy about someone, it’s easy to want to jump to moving in together and getting engaged and having six kids as soon as possible. But a strong future takes a long time to build, and if you truly love each other, you’ll make the effort to carefully construct your lives together over the years rather than trying to hurry everything up.
  8. You haven’t had to overcome a challenge to be together. Some people get lucky and have absolutely no relationship hurdles from the moment they meet until their dying breaths. But most couples have to overcome some obstacle standing in their path to mutual happiness. If you don’t think you’d be willing to stick around if your partner’s parents started to cause drama or if you two were forced to be long-distance for six months, the “love” you feel isn’t love at all.
  9. You’re hiding the worst parts of yourself from her. You don’t need to immediately reveal all your biggest flaws to someone you like, but by the time you say the L-word, your partner should know if you have anger management issues or a bit of an alcohol problem. Think about what you’d consider your greatest personal problems, and make sure your partner is aware of them before you use a word with that much power.
  10. Your vision of the future together involves dreams, but not plans. It’s nice to imagine yourselves years down the road, traveling through picturesque cities and owning a successful business together. But if putting together a plan to actually make those dreams happen sounds too hard, you’re romanticizing a future that you have no real intentions of building. Making plans happen is tough, and it takes true love to want to put forth the work to make your “couple goals” a reality.