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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oh That Infatuation!

“Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven’t got a clue.”

~Lionel Richie, Hello, 1984.

Is there a worse place to be than head-over-heels ‘in love’ with someone who either doesn’t know it yet, or who’s just flatly not interested? Well, we should know that ‘in-fatuation’ is not really ‘in-love’.

It’s a lie. It’s not love because it’s unrequited.

I’ve had two significant episodes of life-disordering infatuation rock my world, one as a teen and another as a thirty-something. Both were remarkably similar in their inception and the character of the feelings as I look back, and what they caused in me — a funnelling into depressive feelings on both counts.

A Deeper Look at Infatuation

Infatuation is an overly romanticised point of view.

It’s choosing for something that is — and probably will always be — a rank fantasy.

Now, certain fantasies are harmless, but not this type. It may not harm the other person or anyone else — (or it might prove bothersome to them) — but it’ll function harmfully against us, as our thoughts are led away from truth more and more routinely. (Besides, if we act on these infatuations think of those loved ones inevitably hurt.)

For one example, we become tunnel-visioned as our focus shifts off things we should be thinking of, and onto things that don’t bear that sort of continual consideration, or perhaps any consideration at all.

But we’re to be forgiven for being attracted to people, and for not having the faintest clue as to why. Why become infatuated? The infatuated hate it — it’s generally not a choice they’d choose.

Infatuations make children, again, out of grown adults and in a flash we’re back in that schoolyard situation blushing uncontrollably and fumbling our words.

What To Do About Infatuations

There’s probably no better way of dealing with such irrationality as putting it to bed as quickly as possible, and this is easier said than done. If the issue is unrequited it makes little sense to continue entertaining it in our consciousness. Talking to a counsellor, or a trusted accountability partner, about strategies for ‘re-thinking’ these situations should help. But we need to go to them prepared to listen.

Additionally, we try to think of the things we need to focus on, like our family and our responsibilities, and the good things in our lives. We try to do those the best we can and therefore negate what are otherwise extraneous thoughts that come to mind at the least expected moment.

Perhaps most of all we should go easy on ourselves and understand that of all things we cannot take the child out of us completely. We’re given to all sorts of childish responses and infatuation is just one of them.

Accepting that we’re vulnerable is a sign of maturity all itself.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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