By definition, infatuation is an intense, short-lived passion or admiration for another. Short-lived… that’s the key here. A relationship marked by such passion is irrational and inconsistent. It’s based on the ever-changing, unpredictable feelings that come up from moment to moment. Compatibility, on the other hand, is a state of like-mindedness between two people. It’s a steadiness and a consistency that a healthy relationship needs in order to thrive and last a lifetime. Living in a country where half of all marriages end in divorce, this is an important discussion to have. Avoid infatuation and instead seek compatibility in your relationship. Here’s why:
1. Passion Can Create Blind-Spots
Let me clarify what I mean by this. I am not saying that your relationship should be passionless. Passion is a beautiful emotion. I believe a marriage can be passionate in the long-term when both husband and wife make the daily choice to love and pursue one another. What I do mean, is that when a relationship (specifically a dating one) mostly focuses on passionate moments and physical attraction, the most important pieces of identity are missed. Let’s be real: a couple can’t TRULY get to know one another when most of their time consists of passionate make-out sessions on the couch.
A lot of dating relationships look like this. It’s all about keeping the fire alive, and when this fire or infatuation suddenly dies out, that’s the end of it. People tell themselves that they simply must have fallen out of love. To be blunt, I don’t believe you can fall out of love. Rather, you can fall out of infatuation and/or claim that love is a feeling rather than a daily choice.
When couples focus on WHO their significant other is on the inside during the dating stage, the truth becomes clear. Hormones are crazy little things, and when couples spend all of their time on the physical aspects of their relationship, they become completely blind to the ones that matter most. I went to a youth group that once put it this way: when you’re wearing your rosy-colored glasses, you aren’t seeing your relationship clearly. Have important conversations that reveal the depth of the person you’re with. Discover and understand what they believe and value, what they fear, and what they dream about for the future. Get off of the couch and allow yourself to see who your significant other actually is. My husband and I love each other passionately, but with a passion that has grown over time – one that is forming roots that will last.
2. Infatuation Comes and Goes, but the Soul is Forever
Since infatuation is emotion-based, it will never be able to sustain a relationship. Our emotions are constantly up and down, and if we let them dictate our lives (which is all too easy to do), the result is a whole lot of crazy. I’m not trying to be unromantic…believe me, I LOVE romance. I just really believe that when choosing a life partner, a lot more than just feelings need to be considered.
I married my husband because of his incredible character. He loves people well, inspires me to choose joy and love every day, and is my accountability in all things. I love the way his mind works, and I love the simplicity of just being with him. These things that make up his soul and character are who Mikey really is. They give me assurance in who he will be even when he’s old and gray. I choose to love him because of who he is, not just the way he makes me feel. Infatuation in a relationship goes as fast as is comes, but loving the soul of another is something that lasts a lifetime.
3. Life can be so much more FUN!
When you’re doing life with someone who’s like-minded in the important things, your marriage can be a whole lot of fun! Rather than spending a lot of your time arguing or working to find compromise, you can have the most meaningful late-night talks in bed, or laugh until your bellies hurt about almost nothing at all. When you and your spouse are compatible, loving them often comes with ease, and doing all the little things with them is something you look forward to everyday.
Of course, every marriage requires compromise and entails at least a little arguing. I married a man who is almost as stubborn as me… and we’ve argued about the silliest of things. That being said, it’s a huge blessing when conflict is a mere sliver of your life together. Believe me, building a relationship on compatibility rather than infatuation will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
What’s the Take-Away?
Choose to do life with a person you actually LIKE – someone who makes you laugh, who is able to give you advice and guidance, and who encourages you to grow always. Walk through life with someone who shares your deepest values – someone who will parent WITH you and not AGAINST you, someone who will hold you accountable to achieving your dreams and becoming the person you believe you’re called to be. Don’t spend your life seeking the passionate flings that always fade… Choose a life of consistency and joy, and live it with someone who you feel has been made just for you. If you do, the passion will be long-lasting!
Also, take a listen to the podcast below to hear some of my husband’s thoughts on this topic of compatibility: