Real Love Versus InfatuationBy Dr. Margaret Paul
June 04, 2012
Do you know the difference between real love and infatuation? They are light years apart.
In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love, you want the other person. ~Margaret Anderson
Real love is never ownership, only stewardship of this moment's experiences. ~Karen Casey
I love the quote by Margaret Anderson. However, I would add that in real love you also want your own good as well as the other person's good. When you are supporting your own and the other person's highest good, you never need to possess the other person. You want to share love with your beloved, rather than get love through owning the other person.
There is nothing controlling about real love—it supports your own and your partners' freedom. In contrast, infatuation is often jealous and possessive, coming from fear of loss. 'Love' that comes from fear is not love—it is neediness. Infatuation comes from inner emptiness and expects the other person to fill the empty place that comes from self-abandonment.
Real love of another comes from real love of self—from knowing and valuing your true self so that you can know and value the true self of your beloved. Infatuation comes from projecting onto the other person the qualities that you disown in yourself. When you are infatuated, you are seeing the other person though the ego wounded eyes of your self-abandonment.
Beyond Infatuation to Real Love
Sharing real love with a beloved partner is truly the highest experience in life. Nothing comes close to the joy of sharing your heart and soul with another while the other is sharing his or her heart and soul with you, and you are each fully receiving each other. Nothing is more profound than these moments of sharing love.
Most people sense the truth of this, but often confuse the sharing of love with the getting of love. While getting love may provide a momentary good feeling, it is a mere shadow of the joy experienced in the sharing of love.
You can't share what you don't have. If you are not loving yourself—through defining your own worth, speaking up for yourself, taking responsibility for learning from and managing your feelings, creating financial and relationship safety, taking care of your body and managing your time and your environment well—then you are not filled within with the love that is Spirit. We get filled up with love when we are loving and valuing ourselves. Our intent to love ourselves and to learn with Spirit about what is loving to ourselves, is what opens our heart to being filled with the love that is God.
Real love comes only from this full place within. If we are not loving ourselves, then we are abandoning ourselves, which creates an empty place with. Infatuation comes from this empty needy place, which is why it doesn't last.
Love that lasts is love that is not based on what you get, but on the true cherishing of your own and the other person's essence—the true authentic self. If you don't know your own true self, you likely can't see another's true self. If you believe that you are your ego wounded self, filled with fear and false beliefs and needy of being seen and loved, then you have not yet done the Inner Bonding work necessary to discover the magnificence of your true, authentic self.
If you want to share the greatest experience in life with your beloved, then focus first on learning to see, hear and value your true essential self. The Inner Bonding process is a powerful way of discovering the beauty and fullness of your essence so that you can share real love.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Relationships Course: "Loving Relationships: A 30-Day Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul - For people who are partnered and people who want to be partnered."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
Photo by Panaji Otis
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What is your first reaction when someone is harsh, critical, sarcastic, angry, judgmental, attacking? Do you attack back? Do you withdraw and get silent? Do you defend and explain? Today, honor the feeling in your body that says "This doesn't feel good" and either speak your truth without blame, defense or judgment and open to learning, or lovingly disengage and compassionately take care of your feelings.
By Dr. Margaret Paul