Love is such a subjective thing so trying to figure out when you’re in love is complicated especially for women. It is by far the biggest and strongest emotion. Many have written on this subject before so it’s not something that is new or unfamiliar to us but seeing it from a different lens is hopefully helpful to you.
Can you remember the excitement of meeting a new person, clicking with them and spending time with them and then, the idea of love somehow becomes fitting? I think it is safe to say that when we start labeling relationships as somewhat beyond infatuation is when we can start stepping into this notion of love. Well how do we know then that it’s love and not really something else?
Psychology Today recently published a 20 question guide to tell us if it’s love or infatuation.
Rate yourself from 1= strongly disagree to 7= strongly agree and respond according to your current love interest or romantic partner
1. I stare into the distance when I think of ________.
2. I feel that I can count on __________.
3. I get shaky knees when I am near ____________.
4. I am prepared to share my possessions with ____________.
5. I would feel lonely without ______________.
6. My feelings for ____________ reduce my appetite.
7. My thoughts about ____________ make it difficult for me to concentrate on something else.
8. ____________ is the one for me.
9. I am afraid that I will say something wrong when I talk to ___________.
10. ____________ knows everything about me.
11. I hope my feelings for __________ will never end.
12. I get clammy hands when I am near __________.
13. I feel emotionally connected to ____________.
14. I become tense when I am close to ____________.
15. ___________ can reassure me when I am upset.
16. I have a hard time sleeping because I am thinking of ___________.
17. I search for alternate meanings of ____________’s words.
18. ____________ is the person who can make me happiest.
19. ____________ is a part of my plans for the future.
20. I am shy in the presence of _____________.
Now add up your scores on each set of items:
Set 1: Items 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20
Set 2: Items 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19
Have you figured out which set reflects which component of romantic love? If your psych radar is turned on, you’ve concluded that Set 1 measures infatuation and Set 2 measures attachment. Now that you’ve totaled your scores, see how you compare with the study’s samples, which consisted of nearly 560 adults ranging from the late teens through the mid-50s, and about 2/3 female.
If your infatuation score was between about 40 and 45, and was approximately equal to your attachment score, then you’re most like people who were not yet in a romantic relationship with the object of their desire. The highest infatuation scores were, in fact, highest among the U.S. sample (45 on average). Partners who had either gotten married, were living together, or who were dating had infatuation scores between 20 and 30 among the Dutch and slightly higher among the Americans. People either cohabiting or married had the highest attachment scores, in the 60s and above.
So now, looking back at your scores, it’s likely the longer you’ve been involved with your partner, the more likely your infatuation score would dip beyond the midpoint of the 1-7 scale, but your attachment score would be at or near 7. We might conclude that the lower your infatuation score and the higher your attachment, the more likely it is that yours is a love that will endure, a finding that fleshes out the results of other studies showing howstress, dissatisfaction, and even educational level can contribute to marital unhappiness.
Other results from the study support the idea that it’s important to distinguish between attachment and infatuation. People in relationships for longer periods of time were lower on infatuation and higher on attachment. Part of the reason for this might have to do with another fascinating result: In both U.S. and Dutch samples, high scores on infatuation were positively related to unhappy feelings. Conversely, people with high attachment scores reported lower levels of unhappy feelings.
If you want your relationship to be a happy and enduring one, it’s the attachment component of love that will make this happen. By knowing how the numbers add up, you can see how both you, and your loved one, can enrich and enhance yours.
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