Have you ever been infatuated with someone or something? You know, borderline obsessed?
A friend was talking about her teenage daughter who is currently infatuated with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Her daughter cannot see how poorly this boy treats her. She says things like, “but mom, he knows me, he gets me, and we love each other.”
Ugh, it’s so hard to witness infatuation, especially when it involves someone you care about. My friend didn’t know how to help her daughter – other than locking her in a room (which she knows is not possible or reasonable). She tried talking and reasoning with her, but her daughter still wants to spend time with this boy.
It made me think of myself when I was in my early 20s. I can recall being so infatuated with a guy I was dating – that I kept dating him even after I found out he had a girlfriend?@#!
When I confronted him about it, he told me they were in the process of breaking up. I believed him and we continued dating. One day he was going to leave her, the next he just couldn’t. This went on for a while and you could probably guess what happened. He never left her.
Infatuation is something that can happen when we are younger or older, and we can become infatuated with someone or something. We can become infatuated with our health, personal development, our home, our pets, big things, little things, etc.
However, the one we can relate to the most is being infatuated with someone. This could be with an actor, author, teacher, celebrity, self-help leader, reality star, social media influencer, personal trainer, athlete, co-worker, boss, classmate, etc.
It got me thinking – Why do we become infatuated?
There are many answers to this question such as: – we are confusing infatuation for love – we are putting someone on a pedestal thinking they can do no wrong – strong physical/chemical attraction – we are lonely, not taking care of ourselves, we are not loving ourselves – we are not accepting ourselves, our lives – we do not value ourselves – we compare ourselves and our lives to others.
We become infatuated with people that appear to “have it all.” It can be someone you meet in person who “says” all the right things, telling us what we need to hear at that moment in time. Or it is someone you see in the media that “appears” to have all the qualities you wish you possessed. When we are in a vulnerable place, we are drawn to them, want more, and become infatuated. We are looking outside of ourselves to fill the voids.
Fortunately, infatuation is short-lived. However, if you know someone that moves from infatuation to infatuation or if you find that you do – take a moment to look within. How are you treating yourself? Are you taking care of yourself? Do you love yourself? Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you lonely? Are you longing for connection – love – to be seen – to be heard? Do you appreciate what you have?
Looking back, I realized that I easily became infatuated in my early 20s because I was longing for connection. I was comparing myself to others. I was trying to figure out who I was at the time. This guy, whom I was immediately attracted to came into my life and filled the void. I felt connected to him. He made me feel seen and heard. Which was great – for a while. However, I was really longing to feel a connection to myself. What I really needed was to be able to see and hear myself.
If you know someone that moves from infatuation to infatuation – the most loving thing you can do is – be there for them and listen. Remember you can’t fix or change them, but you can let them know you are there for them. It is not helpful to judge or criticize them. Put your focus on caring for them and reminding them of the things you love and appreciate about them. Try and find moments when they are ready to listen to your point of view – but be prepared if they get upset or disagree with you and then be prepared to continue to love and support them.
“Infatuation is when you find somebody who is absolutely perfect. Love is when you realize that they aren’t and it doesn’t matter.” Unknown