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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

July 22, 2013

Infatuation vs. Love

Most teenage relationships are a combination of infatuation and friendship. When the relationship is more centered on friendship, it has a chance to develop into real love. When it is more focused on the sexual feelings that come with infatuation, ther is more of a chance that it will disintegrate into emotional and physical exploitation.

Examine these characteristics of infatuation and love with your students. Make the point that infatuation is more concerned with self, true love is more concerned with the other.

Infatuation comes suddenly and goes quickly. It is oven regretted. Love grows slowly. It's hard to pinpoint the beginning of love. Even if love ends, it is valued.

Infatuation is insecure, distrustful, and jealous. It dies with distance. Love is secure, confident, and peaceful. It survives separation.

Infatuation is emotional dependence. It's such an intense need for another that you will do anything to be in the other's presence. Rejection results in depression or thoughts of self-inflicted harm. Love is independence and mental balance.

Infatuation is being pressured to act quickly before it disappears. Love can wait for the right time.

Infatuation is centered around physical attraction, sex, and pleasure. Love involves the whole person. Sexual feelings are only part of the attraction.

Infatuation may lead you to do things you'll regret, thinks you know are not right. Love brings out the best in you. It lifts you up.

Infatuation harms your other relationships and makes you moody and irritable. Love enhances all your relationsihps. It makes you a more wonderful person.

Infatuation makes it difficult to work. It absorbs your thoughts. Love helps you organize and work well.

Infatuation is confining. It is possessive and manipulating. Love is freeing.

Infatuation is self-centered, uses the words "I" and "me" and is concerned with what can be taken from the relationships. Love is other-centered, uses the words "we" and "our," and is concerned with how much can be given and shared.

Student Assignments and Questions

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 13. Choose three of these descriptions and think of an example of how each can be lived out in someone's life.

  2. Describe a time you have used the phrase "in love" to describe your feelings for someone. Would "infatuation" have been a more likely substitute in this case or not?

  3. What are some other elements you can think of for really being in love?

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