Monday, April 8, 2013

Food for Thought - Infatuation, Love, Abuse.

I came across this on the KidsHelpPhone website:

Infatuation vs. love

Infatuation is the initial attraction and intense desire for the other person. Infatuation sometimes feels like love and looks a lot like what is portrayed in many movies, books and fairytales. If you are infatuated you may be:
  • Nervous
  • Anxious
  • Jealous
  • Convinced that you can't live without the other person
  • Unable to see the person for who they really are because in your eyes they are perfect
Infatuation is usually temporary and eventually fades.
Love usually lasts longer and goes deeper than the strong sexual feelings related to infatuation. This doesn't mean that you don't feel sexual desire for someone that you love - it just means that you will usually feel more than just the initial excitement of physical arousal. If you love someone you:
  • See the person for who they really are
  • Accept their good and bad qualities
  • Respect their opinions
  • Share similar values and beliefs
  • Trust that they love you even when they're far away
Love doesn't depend on what your boyfriend or girlfriend is wearing, how popular they are or whether or not you are having sex with them.

I agree with what this website said. But when I think of all the romance books I've been reading, many of these "romances" fall under the infatuation category moreso than the love one. 'Tis a dangerous game these authors play, because there may be some young, easily impressionable readers who know no different and will believe that initial infatuation = love for life. Ladies and Gents, guard your hearts against infatuation and look more towards love, because if you start a relationship based off of infatuation and it fades, things could go sour real fast. Bitterness, resentment, and maybe even hateful feelings could be pinned on you by your partner, which often leads to heartbreak and hurt. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take risks with your heart; if you don't go for it and ask that guy/girl out, you may be forever wondering about "what could've been". Just don't go into the relationship thinking it's all butterflies and rainbows, because there will be rough times. Love is about acceptance of failure and shortcomings, and I hope it forms between you and your partner.

Your partner is acting abusively if they are:
  • Acting jealous and possessive
  • Keeping you away from your family or friends
  • Deciding how you should dress or act
  • Hitting, kicking or pushing you
  • Using guilt or manipulation to get you to do things you don't want to do
  • Insulting you, degrading you, humiliating you
  • Forcing you to have sex

Scary. The first 3 points about abuse kind of reflect how a lot of men in romance books treat their women, especially ones written about the 18th and 19th century. Granted, in those times women were treated much differently. However, it concerns me when modern books have these possessive themes; what exactly are romance authors trying to tell their readers?
Be Careful. Many times, people don't know they're in an abusive relationship because it's so gradual. The victim usually doubts and blames him/herself when it's not their fault.

A great romance book that reflects upon an abusive relationship is A Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas. She portrays the procession of the relationship and all the hurt, doubt and insecurities so well in the plot, also laying out the not-very-painless healing process that results. It's an incredible read, and I highly recommend it and its prequel, Sugar Daddy, and sequel, Smooth-Talking Stranger to romance fans everywhere.

And that's my rant of the day.

- sm:)e

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