Are you feeling butterflies, or are you falling in love? It’s challenging for some people to distinguish between the two. However, butterflies come from infatuation and romance and are usually short-lived. True love is a choice, and it’s nothing that will go away anytime soon.

The feeling of butterflies in your stomach is transient. It only lasts a couple of months before it subsides for most people. Others may experience these sensations for up to a year, but this would only be in rare cases. How do you know which one you’re experiencing?

Twelve Ways to Separate Feeling Butterflies from True Love

The difference between infatuation and love is that the person with these butterflies depends on that feeling. They need that rush or thrill to be satisfied. Sadly, when the surface goes, usually they’re right behind it.

True love, however, is quite different. It doesn’t happen quickly but tends to last for a long time. They say it takes a minute to fall in love with someone, but it can take a lifetime to get over that person. Here are some ways to tell the difference between infatuation and love.


1. Physical Attraction is Driving Your Feelings

You can tell when you’re captivated by the way you feel. If you’re stuck on their physical attraction and can’t seem to get past it, it’s a sign that you’re feeling butterflies rather than love.

To develop a loving relationship, you must look beyond the exterior and see the heart. You want someone as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, but you must remember that beauty is only skin deep.

The person who is eye candy might treat you horribly. However, the person you wouldn’t usually consider might be the one who treats you like royalty.

2. Infatuation Happens Fast

Infatuation stems from the chemistry of a physical nature. Yet, love takes time. There are stories where people fall head over heels in love at first sight, but it’s easier to explain these scenarios as butterflies that grew into something more profound.

Until you’ve sat by your partner in the hospital while they were sick, held them when they felt like their world was falling apart, or wiped their tears, you genuinely don’t know them. You cannot love a person until you know everything about them.

3. There Are No Deep Conversations with Infatuation

It’s very romantic to curl up by a fire and talk to that person who makes your heart skip a beat. When you’re infatuated and feeling butterflies, you’re more interested in making out physical contact than taking time to talk.

Deep conversations are where you get to know someone’s mind, body, and soul, and it’s an integral part of any relationship.

4. Infatuation Doesn’t Complete You

When you find your soul mate, you feel a sense of completeness. You feel like you’ve found the other half that’s taken you years to search. When you’re feeling butterflies, you don’t have that sense of being complete.

Instead, you’re probably thinking they’re cheating if they don’t call several times a day, or you’re constantly questioning whether they’re really into you. True love allows you to share your most profound dreams and darkest fears, and you feel free to open yourself up to be vulnerable because you trust them.

According to BYU Scholars, vulnerability becomes empowering and not debilitating, especially with the right person. Even if you’ve been hurt before, being with the individual that completes you changed everything. It’s a liberating feeling as it allows you to tear down walls and feel free to be yourself.

5. Infatuation Focuses on the Right Now

When you’ve found a romantic love written in the stars, you look to the future. However, infatuation and feeling butterflies can’t go beyond the here and now.

The infatuated individual isn’t making plans for growing old together. This person is only concerned about fulfilling their physical needs with the latest and most significant object of desire.

6. There are Unrealistic Expectations with Infatuation

Since these butterfly feelings are based on physical desires and lust, the other person will always be insecure about the relationship. One person wants more, while the other wants their needs met. One of you will always be sitting and wondering if this association will ever go anywhere.

When you have genuine and romantic love, there are no unrealistic expectations. You accept the person and don’t want them to change a thing. You appreciate what they offer and wouldn’t want to force them to be something they’re not, as you love them just the way they are.

feeling butterflies

7. Infatuation Exhausts You

While butterflies are great, the continual process of infatuation can drain your resources. It takes so much of the energy that you never even dreamed how exhausting it could make you.

Love also can be exhausting, but it’s not a forced feeling as it’s one you can’t stop. You can control your infatuation at any moment when those feelings die, but love is uncontrollable. It will make you do and say things you never thought possible.

8. Love if Forgiving and Kind

Feeling butterflies and trying to form a relationship from these feelings often ends in heartbreak. When everything is said and done, you may feel cold and isolated when it falls apart.

Thankfully, when you’re with someone in love, they can overlook your idiosyncrasies and are willing to forgive you time and again. Infatuation lacks the substance that love provides.

9. Love Develops a Strong Root System

Someone who’s infatuated wants to get married right away because they’re afraid if they don’t move quickly, they will lose them. However, the person in love wants to take things nice and slow.

They desire to savor each part of the relationship they’re building. An article in the Chicago Tribune says love is like a friendship that catches on fire. It develops a robust root system to grow into something beautiful.

You both strengthen one another in the growing process, and even if you’re far apart, your hearts are always close together. Infatuation, on the other hand, is just a fleeting desire. It comes with much insecurity and nagging doubts.

10. Love Makes You a Better Person

In the grand scheme of things, infatuation isn’t doing much for you. However, love will allow you to become a better person. Have you ever met someone who was a complete mess until they met the one individual that changed their life?

They give them a sense of belonging, help them establish their life, and make them want to do and be a better person. That’s how you can tell the difference between love and butterflies. Love gives you a desire to grow and change into the person you want to be, but infatuation believes there’s no reason to alter anything.

11. Infatuation is Insecure, But Love is Confident

You don’t question things when you have a spiritual connection with someone. You know how they feel about you, and you know exactly how you think about them.

Infatuation is not romantic, and it causes the other individual to constantly wonder about their position in this person’s life. Being involved in a relationship based on infatuation is nothing but a very insecure situation, and it’s flaky and breakable.

12. Infatuation is More of an Idea

Sometimes people become infatuated with love. They want the white picket fence and the perfect family like everyone else. When someone is feeling butterflies, their senses are more based on a fairy tale than grounded in reality.

Love happens at the soul level, and it’s a connection that’s more than an idea. Infatuation is someone being in love with the idea of being in love, but someone who has the real thing knows there’s a big difference.

feeling butterflies

Final Thoughts on Feeling Butterflies and True Love

Have you ever given a speech and felt those butterflies in the pit of your stomach? Sometimes, these feelings are so intense that you feel sick. Compare that to infatuation. Infatuation is based on senses and emotions and is not grounded in reality.

Now, think of planting a seed in your garden. It takes time for that seed to germinate and sprout. It must develop a root system to hold it in the ground so that the first wind or rainstorm doesn’t wash it away.

Though it’s a much slower process, it’s about building something that will last. A romantic relationship based on genuine love is much like that seed. Someone infatuated will never take time to build that root system that allows the relationship to grow and thrive.

They’re more concerned with their feelings and the here and now. You can quickly tell the difference between the two by examining the abovementioned points.