Love vs Infatuation (Compare & Contrast Essay)
“…but I can’t help falling in love with you”. I’m wondering, did Elvis Presley really know what he was talking about when he composed that classic love song? Love. Everyone has felt it before, right? But how do we know that emotion we feel is really the one we think we feel. Do we really understand the difference between love and infatuation?
Love is a tender, passionate affection for another person. On the other hand, infatuation is a foolish and extravagant passion. Though these formal definitions may show a stark contrast in meaning, discerning the difference in a real life scenario is truly no easy task.
Infatuation has the eyes of a falcon. It has scores points for detail and seeks out the most fashionably impressive individual: The most beautiful girl, cutest guy and so on. For the lack of a better term, I’m going to go ahead and say this. Love is blind. It isn’t affected by physical attraction, appearance, or even human nature. To truly love someone involves overlooking all flaws and imperfections they display. Looks aside, this includes religion and even gender boundaries (Yes, I mean it).
Moving on, infatuation is short-sighted and short-lived. Distance and time are factors that severe the bonds in a relationship built on infatuation. It’s like building a castle on a bad foundation, and when time takes its toll, it will ultimately crumble. Love on the other hand, is eternal. Separation only strengthens it, fuelling its passion to burn brighter. The longing to be together would only deepen the bond, rather than weaken it.
Furthermore, Infatuation is impulsive (Does Romeo ring a bell?). It acts on instinct and on the spur of the moment. This form of affection doesn’t wait until the time is right, but rather chooses to fulfill its lusty desires with no regard for anyone else. On the opposite end of the spectrum, love is patient. Time is immaterial to it. Literally, love can wait forever, or at least until the time is right for it to blossom. It’s the product of the magic that God created, and not the drunkard sensation you get after a barrel of beer.
Nevertheless, infatuation is selfish. A common individual would like a “love” to work in their favor, in their own benefit. Let’s look at this from a regular perspective: Ladies, if you could choose between a rich, established gentlemen or a kind, loving, REGULAR guy, which would it be? It’s not an easy decision, because of what? A selfish attraction. Un-likewise, Love is selfless and understanding. Sometimes it’s not the pleasures but the compromises that express how true a love is. As quoted by Maroon 5 in their hit-single She Will Be Loved, “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along”.
I know it may not be easy for an intellectual to accept the points mentioned above, so I’m gonna explain this from a scientific standpoint. Infatuation is the result of a series of chemical responses and reactions within the human body. Yes, this involves hormones and pheromones, common in all living organisms. The human brain reacts to sexual attraction the same way it reacts to thirst and hunger. Mother Nature made it this way to ensure continuation and survival of the species. Just like the body needs food and water, the same force drives it to want to mate and reproduce. Intimacy is only added into the equation due to pop cultural influence. You wouldn’t say that litter of kittens is a result of a divine love, would you? We can’t fault infatuation, because it’s only natural.
Simply put, true love cannot be explained by scientific means. True love is the result of God’s grace on us. It’s devotional and committed, the same way God loves us for who we are, the same way He loves us for our imperfections. It’s a sacred bond that withstands the test of time, which conquers every obstacle. It’s like gravity. You can’t explain that it’s really there, it just is.
Fact is, infatuation is a lie. We only lust people for their perfections, but truly love people for their imperfections. I guess that’s the hardest fact to accept: That we are all actually under the veil of infatuation, like it or not, and you’d be naïve to insist otherwise. Anyone can and might “fall for” that beautiful girl across the street: the one with the perfect eyes, perfect hair, perfect body… but it takes that special someone to overlook all your flaws, and see you as the person you secretly wished you were, and still be able to look you in the eyes and say “Saraeng Haeyo, I love you”…