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Beware of Infatuation Goggles
Are you in love or are you wearing Infatuation Goggles? Is your body chemistry working in your favor? Perhaps your brain is adding a dash of romance to your life? Learn about how infatuation can make you, break you, and leave you stunned in its aftermath before it’s too late.
No, the world isn’t perfect, but Infatuation Goggles can sure make you feel like it is. That's why I feel the term "Infatuation Goggles" accurately describes the effects of infatuation. Infatuation Goggles work a lot Beer Goggles minus the alcohol. Once the Infatuation Goggles come on, everything looks lovely, rose-tinted, and dandy - especially when your crush come to mind. If sparks actually flew when you saw your crush, onlookers might think you were a robot. But even without sparks visibly soaring through the air, infatuation can make you glow with confidence, positivity, and seemingly inexplicable passion for life.
The Infatuation Goggles might feel great to wear, but infatuation isn’t love. Love is more than a chemical reaction. Just because everything feels perfect to you doesn’t mean all is well in your love life or the rest of your life, either. Your brain might be doing its own thing, but any smoke and steam you produce remains in the air you breathe. It’s up to you to make sure you like what you see once your infatuation fades.
Not all infatuation is created equal. Each person’s specific pair of Infatuation Goggles can vary in terms of intensity. Why? Because infatuation is a neurochemical response to someone you find attractive. Infatuation sensations can last anywhere from two days to a two years.
“You might actually feel high and euphoric when you're infatuated with someone,” explains Lindsay Woolman of LoveToKnow.com. “In your brain the dopamine center is rewarded when you see or think about your love interest. Then your brain gets flooded with dopamine.”
Infatuation does so much more than manipulate the reward center of your brain. The euphoric feelings associated with infatuation are products of a not-so-delicate dance of adrenaline, norepinephrine, PEA (phenylethylamine), testosterone, estrogen, and declining serotonin levels intermingling with a lack of serotonin. This serotonin deficiency is similar to the one shown in the brains of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). So infatuation has very real effects on your brain that can alter your state of mind and impact your judgment.
"Individuals start to ‘zero-in’ on the person they desire, and at the same time, often have a feeling of euphoria," explains Dr. Maryanne Fisher in Psychology Today. "Norepinephrine is a stimulant, so it also causes individuals to feel alert, potentially unable to sleep, and enables them to notice and remember even the smallest of details about their partners. PEA is responsible for the feelings of giddiness, and may cause the loss of appetite. "
Sounds like a healthy natural high, huh? But there’s the catch: This person who feels so perfect for you might not be such a great match after infatuation fades. Infatuation tricks your brain into believing you’re more compatible with someone than you actually are. You might even think you’re more similar to your crush than you actually are, or lower your standards so your crush can meet them! Once the Infatuation Goggles come off, the world is no longer rose-tinted and your decisions still stand. Once the high of infatuation dissolves, we’re still left with the decisions we made and the person who inspired our lovey-dovey sensations.
Mistaking Infatuation Goggles for “the real thing” can feel like a neurological bait-and-switch. Realizing your so-called "true love" connection was all in your head can crush you harder than the reality of an awkward date. So while infatuation can evolve into a lasting connection, it’s important to remain grounded and avoid getting too caught up in your feelings or fantasies. They’re probably far more fleeting than you think. Remember: Your brain is the mastermind behind your infatuation.
At the end of the day, your heart belongs to you. Why not enjoy your infatuation sensations for what they are, instead of dwelling on a relationship for what it isn’t? If you feel great and you know it, don’t just clap your hands - own it! Take advantage of your glowing confidence via self-improvement. Go out and socialize, exercise, get creative, experiment with your fashion and makeup, or flirt! Or better yet, stay in with nothing but a fascinating book, some coffee/tea (whichever you prefer), and all the smiles you want. But whatever you do, don’t mistake Infatuation Goggles for true love and do not make long-term decisions based on your infatuation sensations.