KAMPALA– Regardless of age, most people are more acquainted with the word ‘Love’ – and whenever mentioned, their hearts melt.
I have even heard spouses complain that their partners don’t love them just because there is no mention of the statement “I Love you”.
Many of us would love to hear from our partners. But from divorce statistics, phone messages, whatsup messages and brokenhearted letters, many a couple never live to this so important three-word phrase “I Love You” their, therefore, relationships barely achieve the happiness they so wish to achieve.
Many a couple seems to think that they are in great love when they regularly tell each other, “I Love you darling, sweetie…”
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While the statement may keep the candle of love burning, it is important to find out whether the person who says it to you means it or they are simply infatuated with you.
“I love you” find out whether it is the mouth that is speaking or the heart. For your information, sometimes and most times actually, the mouth speaks what the heart is not speaking.
If it comes from the mouth don’t be surprised to find statements like “let us call it quits” emerging from supposedly happy couples. Why do things happen this way?
The problem is that most of us never bother to find out in the early stages of the relationship whether our new catch who says “I love you” is actually in love with you, the person in you or merely infatuated.
Yes, ask yourself a question like; is this person in Love with me or merely interested in something about me, usually the physical deceptive appearances.
Dr. Ritu Khanna, Consultant Psychologist of Apollo Clinic says at least above 30% of the relationships break because they are hinged on infatuation
Dr Khanna says Infatuation is ‘a foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant short-lived passion or attraction’. Many of us are simply in love with the idea of ‘infatuation’, without realising we are just ‘being fools for love’.
Dr. Dayal Mirchandani [Psychiatrist] says that infatuation is a natural human instinct that may sour relationships if not handled with caution.
“Even 80 year-olds have crushes on young people or on people of their own age. That’s because humans are biologically programmed for attraction that at times proves injurious, if not fatal.” Mirchandani adds.
Infatuation however takes two phases; you can get infatuated with a person simply because you like his/her voice or the way he runs his hand through his hair, the way he/she walks, dresses, the way the nose, ears, head are shaped, movement of the buttocks etc.
The second phase of infatuation is ‘intrusive thinking’, when you start reliving every moment you have spent with this person. Before long, idealisation sets in. Almost simultaneously you agonise about losing this person, your feelings for him/her go through a roller coaster ride: precious moments of delightful reciprocity (real or imagined) followed by agonising doubts of ultimate success.
It is this type of thinking that makes an amphetamine-like substance gets rapidly activated when we feel attracted to someone.
Mirchandani says this attraction emanating out of a mere attraction to the physical which many a people mistake for Love and begin telling others that they are in Love with them.
“Later they get shocks when they discover that they are merely infatuated,” said Mirchandani.
He adds that this type of “Love” is influenced by an external attraction to the voice, hand, movement, dancing, manner of dressing, how heavy one’s bum is etc.
Carolyn Shealy and William Shealy in their book “Before I thee wed” say while infatuation exists as a kind of love, it should not be taken for True Love because it fades away easily.
“Infatuation under Eros or need love [erotic love]. This is romantic, sexual love inspired by the biology of our nature and this is not love that will last,” says Carolyn and William Shealy.
They add that infatuation is an emotional state of intense desire for the other, not necessarily for just sex! Infatuation is essentially a projection phenomenon, where our own deficiencies or needs are projected on to the other and magnified. “The other” is then idolised and put on a pedestal.
The Shealys say that infatuation often sours because the hormones take their own course, and our system has its own inbuilt self-defense mechanism and that once you are infatuated, the relationship will sour immediately the physical attraction disappears and reality sets in.
“And if you were attracted to anything physical like ears, nose, heavy bums if someone aged ot got an accident and these physical appearances disappear or are damaged, one is likely to abandon the relationship, just because the source of attraction is no longer there,” say The Shealys.
A traditional marriage councilor Ms Agatha Nafuna says if you think a mini-skirt on another woman will attract you, buy the same mini-skirt for your spouse even the same colour to avoid getting infatuated and also save your marriage/relationship.
Ms Nafuna, 68, says if you desire to get into a relationship, get in love with the person in a person and not the person for the relationship to stand the test of time.
True love should be described as respect recognition, consideration and care of other persons. And a mutually loving relationship is a constantly grows, changes, challenges experience for both parties.
The bible adds that true love is more than a sensation, a feeling, a mission, or even a doctrine. True love is a genuine desire for the well-being of another while Infatuation is falling in love with or becoming extremely interested in someone or something for a short time.
… Like incredibly intense crushes or the stomach flu, infatuations come on strong and then get forgotten shortly,” said Ms Nafuna.
The only way true love can be nurtured is for each partner to know himself /herself and to be aware of his/ her own needs, feelings and experiences and those of his/her partner.
There is a song that says “I love you for sentimental reasons.” This is a beautiful romantic song designed for easy listening as well as pleasant communication. But when we are in Love and get past the romance of a relationship, we need to explore this word “LOVE” that we use often.
Who said it? Is he the one who said it from his heart or it is his mouth that said it?
This will help you know whether your spouse is in Love with you or merely infatuated.
And don’t ask me whether I am married or not, whether I have a relationship or not because this will not save you.