'Dear Stephen,

There's been a lot of talk about fated love and even love at first sight on
the Modesty Writer's Guild and that really got me thinking about what love is.
How do you distinguish between infatuation and true love? Both sentiments, you
feel viscerally down to the marrow in your bones, but which is which?

I crush really easily. I remember my very first one being in kindergarten,
however as I got older I started to have these consuming crushes that I easily
mistook for fated love. Those crushes where you can barely function and you
spend you days dreamily lying on your bed thinking of this person, looking at
their pictures, mapping out your future together, and making silly little
connections that deem your infatuation written in the stars. Along with this is that
anxious feeling that drives you insane--this is not love. It's more like mad
cow disease where your brain turns into mush. Oh how I've suffered.

So I'd venture to say that love is when you don't feel anxious and on the
edge of your sanity, but rather love is marked by poise and stability. You can
function and you just have this joy in your heart when you think about that
person, but it doesn't consume you. It doesn't have those extreme highs and lows
of infatuation; instead true love is quite linear because you are confident in
the sentiment. You know it's real and there's no need to map out your future,
constantly look at pictures, and make silly little connections because you
trust that your future together will map itself, no pictures are needed because
there's one in your heart, and you needn't make connections because it's
already there. I guess to conclude it means that once you lose that confidence and
you lose your poise, that love no longer exists and it's time to move on.

Isn't it amazing what wisdom comes with failed relationships? To add to the
fated love discussion, I really thought that I'd found that 2 years ago. The
way I got together with my ex was practically magnetic. Our hands just met
during a car ride back to the cabin after snowboarding, and we seemed to remain
attached at the hip during our summer together. I was born on his parents'
anniversary, he was born on my parents' anniversary. It all seemed so fantastic and
cosmically-aligned during the year and a half we were together, then reality
set in. I was ahead of him in terms of our career paths and he started to blame
me for his academic difficulties. I guess while our love seemed so seamless,
even indestructible at one point, our differences in priorities and even the
perceivably niggling problems I tried to shelf out of existence came back to
haunt me when the relationship fell to pieces. So while I'd like to believe in a
fated love, I realize that there are certain character-based requirements
that one should never ever yield. So for me, choice is the front-runnerâ€∫unless of
course my soulmate turns out to be perfect.'

your initial question is what is the difference between love and infatuation.
well infatuation i believe is all inclusive with some sort of mixture of chemistry and hormones. i believe that there is a stage in a relationship where infatuation is necessary, its the mindset that you can not help yourself but think of that other person, every thought, every feeling/emotion, every future plan, all includes them somewhere in the picture. i think those all consuming feeling can lead to love but do not necessarily include love. i think love is a choice. those butterflies will not always be there, waking up beside that other person will not always be the desired choice. when you are upset, when they hurt you, when they abuse your love, when they aren't there when they need you, when your unconditional love is suddenly tested... that is where love is prevalent. i have always thought of relationships like this;
months 1-3 is the infatuation stage (the other person can do no wrong)
months 4-7 are the breaking down of the walls, starting to see the flaws.
months 8-12 are who the other person really is, if they were putting on a show that entire time you start to see behind the scenes. how genuine is this person?
months 13-? if you do not think you could spend the rest of your life with this person then what are you doing here? if there are still doubts then you are leading that other person on and have some deep seeded issues with co-dependence, or fear of being alone. get some therapy and break up with that other person. please!(for both your sakes!)

who really knows what love is? it is like the wind, or GOD, we have never seen either but we know that they exist. it is the cause for many broken hearts and yet completeness. I think it is amazing that the english language is one of the only language's that has only one word for "love". I also think it is a word that is abused in our society. how can you tell your dad/mom/relative that you love them, and then within the hour say "i love your shoes", "or don't you just love that book?". are we not stating that this thought/feeling can be attributed to both someone we deeply care about and also a nice looking inanimate object? many songs have been written about this experience called love, but in the words of christian winterset "i love you means more if first said tomorrow." in other words don't throw the phrase i love you around haphazardly. wait until you have seen behind the scenes, and they have truly proven that they are not a mere actor/actress. for if "all the world is a stage", then love is the inspiration for each and every individual performance.


I really liked what you had to say about love. I have thought about it a lot, and wondered if it is even real. Is there any such thing as completely selfless love here on earth? anyways... thanks for sharing...
Story of a Girl said…
awesome. and yes, the word is way abused and misused.
MattSetzer said…
Wow...Is it by chance that I go on to your blog today and pick a random entry from 2004 that applies directly to my life, I think not.
Zjestus said…
Wow.. really needed to read this.

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