Falling in love should happen slowly, not all at once.
By David Wygant — Last updated on Dec 02, 2023
Photo: brainmaster | Liderina | Getty Images
You know when you start having a dream, but you’re half-awake. Every time you go back to sleep, the same dream comes up like some weird series on television. That’s what was happening to me.
I dreamt I was at my ex’s house. I was chasing her all around the living room. I was infatuated and intoxicated by her and her beauty. When I woke up, I lay there in bed, half awake, half-asleep, and I started thinking about the intoxicating power of being infatuated with someone.
What causes infatuation?
Infatuation can happen when you idealize a person or when you put them on a pedestal. You believe them to be untouchable.
You’re listening, but you’re not really hearing. All you’re thinking about is how beautiful they are, how much you want them, and how much you want to see them. It becomes dangerous because when you get that intoxicating feeling about someone, you miss red flags or warning signs that things are not as they seem.
The signs of infatuation can include seeing and expecting perfection, dropping everything for them, and becoming overly jealous and possessive.
Infatuation varies by person, but the most common timeline for infatuation is one-to-six months. However, there are times when the feeling can last for almost two years, as well as just two days.
You can’t do anything to prevent the feeling of intoxication; it’s a natural human reaction. But what you can do is control your response to it.
There are a few steps to take when you meet someone who’s intoxicating and you start to become infatuated with them. Enjoy it because it’s a beautiful feeling, but stay alert and ready.
How to know if you’re infatuated with someone too soon:
1. In your early interactions with this person, write down all the things they say they want to do with you
Write down all the promises they make and, over the next 30-60 days, see if the person actually follows through on what they say.
It’s so important because if someone follows through on what they say, that feeling of intoxication you have is validated. It shows they’re serious in their intent, and you’re a little safer surrendering to those feelings you’re having.
2. The next thing you need to do is go a little deeper into yourself
Write down exactly how you want to feel in a relationship. This is so important for your mental health.
Write down what you want to feel — emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Then ask yourself if this person makes you feel what you need to, or are you just in an intoxicated trance? Do they listen to you the way you need? Do they love you the way you need? Do they connect with you as deeply as you want? Is the intimacy giving you what you need? Does this person make you feel comfortable?
Remember that at the start of a relationship, this person will be on their best behavior. They will be doing their best to impress you, and it’s only going to go downhill from there.
The next time you’re infatuated with someone, take a moment to get sober and have some clarity.
Get as sober as you can, because that’s the only way you can unhook yourself from the love drug that’s hitting your system. When you crave something so badly, you can’t have clarity. If you’re sobered up and don’t feel like you still love this person, you have your answer.
My advice is always the same, and it’s so important you write everything down and understand what you really want. That way, when you meet this amazing person, you’ll recognize them, and won’t become seduced by the feelings of intoxication you have when you’re first attracted to someone, regardless of whether they’re suitable for you or not.
Infatuation can put you under a powerful spell, which limits your ability to think and reason properly. It can make you act recklessly and out of control.
The moment you start to sense those wonderful feelings rising up through your body, don’t run from them, and don’t avoid them. Enjoy every sensation, but never forget to take a step back, stay in control, and make sensible choices.
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David Wygant is a dating coach who spent the past 20 years helping men and women transform their love lives. As a lead writer for Ask Men and Huffington Post, his advice has been offered across television, newspapers, and magazines, including MTV, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, E! Entertainment Television, and more.