Have you ever met someone that would tell you they love you or really like you even if they have not really gotten to know you? This is a common example of infatuation. According to the dictionary, infatuation is an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something. Infatuation involves a lot of passion and because we live in a world where passion sells, it can make you feel like it is everything. Think about it, if you wanted to get a job and you showed your employer that you were very passionate about working in that company, you will most likely get the job. Now there is nothing wrong with being passionate or feeling a strong attraction for someone; but there is a problem when we confuse it with love or when we make decisions based solely on infatuation. We were created to have attraction or chemistry for people (yes it can be more than one person!). However, we were also commanded to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23)! We were warned to use wisdom before we act (Proverbs 13:6). Plus an amazing thing is God who is love has also given us a guideline on what LOVE truly is (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), so we never have to confuse infatuation for love.
So lets first see the difference between love and infatuation:
1. URGENCY/RUSH vs. PATIENCE
Infatuation is a strong and intense feeling! It has the power to cause you to make rapid decisions without thinking. You sometimes feel like if you do not do something about it, you cannot function. For example, you might see a girl you think is really attractive and without getting to know her you are pursuing a relationship. Most times, you see yourself wanting something even if the other person is not ready to be in a relationship. The Bible tells us that wise people think before they act, fools don’t (Proverbs 13:16). So making rash decisions is not wise. Love, on the other hand, does not rush; it is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). Think about how God loves us, He is very patient with us, even when are acting like baby boys and girls, He is just patiently waiting for us to accept him. His love is not rushed or forced and this is what we should emulate.
2. SEXUAL DESIRE/LUST vs. PURITY
With infatuation, there is an attraction that is most times drawn by sexual desire. When I see a lot of movies, I see that what people call love most times is just infatuation. Their eyes meet, their hearts pound, they can’t breathe, one thing leads to another and they are having sex. Maybe not always in that order but the end goal is always defiling the body. Do you realise that after the infatuation wears off that’s when the movie characters start to fight? i.e. Gone girl lol. That’s when you realise that you have not really gotten to know the person you ‘fell in love with’. Well the difference between what some people call love (infatuation) and real love, is that love encourages purity. This is even a command God has called husbands to do for their wives (Ephesians 5:27).
3. DISSAPROVAL vs. APPROVAL
When you are infatuated, most times you make decisions that your loved ones don’t agree with. People around you most times would not approve of your decision i.e. your friends would not approve of your boyfriend or the boy you like. A biblical example would be Samson’s story. Samson was an example of a man that was led by infatuation, he was attracted to Delilah and even though God rebuked it and the people around him were not happy with his decision, he still went ahead to pursue her. The end result was losing his power and his sight because she betrayed him and told the Palestine’s the secret of his power (Judges 16). One thing about love, especially when someone loves you the way God has asked us to, is that people around you approve because of the good they see in the relationship.
Why infatuation is a problem and how to handle it.
The problem with infatuation is not that we feel it; it’s very natural for us to feel that way. The problem however, is when we are led by it; it then stands as a barrier that stops us from truly knowing a person. For singles, it is a problem because you might fall for the wrong person cause of something that is so temporary (short-lived). For couples, you cannot act on your attraction. Your girlfriend might not be the only person you are attracted to, but she is the only person you should act on that attraction with in a pure and godly way.
If you feel a strong attraction for someone, then first of all understand where this attraction is coming from. If it is purely a sexual attraction (wanting to get with that person) and you don’t see yourself getting serious with them, then don’t pursue it. However, if you feel a strong attraction and you are at a point where you could handle a relationship, then get to know that person first!!!!! See the fruits of the person; does it match the fruits of the spirit? Is this someone you can see yourself with or someone you are just attracted too? If it is someone that you can see yourself with, pray about it. Also don’t forget to pray about the person and the timing. It seems like a long process but we should get to a point where we don’t choose to be led by our flesh and we are led by God (Galatians 5:16).
Ladies, don’t be fooled by compliments. They are nice but they should not be the basis to enter a relationship. A guy would say a lot of things to get you. This is not to say that some of the things are not genuine but you need to check the fruit to see if it matches the type of man God wants for you. Here are a few verses to remind you just in case you don’t already know – 1 Timothy 3, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
1. It is not everyone we are attracted to that we should be with.
2. Attraction plays a role in a relationship but it is not the major factor
3. Seek God’s face in everything you do including pursuing someone.