When relationships are new, the excitement of it all can be invigorating, intoxicating, and addictive. We can obsess about the other and be in a state of nirvana for a good while. The potential of something new maybe being forever and changing your life entirely is fun and exciting. So, why does the infatuation phase of a relationship get such a bad reputation within our church circles? For 2 reasons. First, we learn that infatuation can lead to lust and the crossing of lines of the law of chastity. Second, infatuation can lead to commitment to a person that may be fun in the short term but not be good long term relationship material.
However, do these 2 risks mean that infatuation in general is bad? No. Not at all. The experience of infatuation of positive. It is the rocket fuel that helps to bring couples together before they really know each other very well. It’s what kick starts a relationship. The excitement helps to provide the motivation to go forward and see where things will go from there. A song that does a pretty good capturing the thrilling experience of infatuation comes from the 2011 song, “Brighter than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat. From the song:
I'd never seen it
But I found this love, I'm gonna feed it
You better believe
I'm gonna treat it better than anything I've ever had
'Cause you're so damn beautiful
Read it, it's signed and delivered, let's seal it
Boy, we go together like peanuts and Paydays
Marley and reggae
And everybody needs to get a chance to say...
Oh, this is how it starts, lightning strikes the heart
It goes off like a gun, brighter than the sun
Oh, we could be the stars, falling from the sky
Shining how we want, brighter than the sun
Feel free to listen to this song after reading this article. It captures the experience of infatuation about as well as any song I know of.
*Consider and balance the risks: Because the risks of getting swept away by infatuation could lead to a crossing of lines with the law of chastity, work hard to stay within those lines. For ideas on how to do this, review my previous article on the subject at: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/keeping-the-law-of-chastity-while-dating-156/. When you are careful with your boundaries, you can enjoy and indulge in your infatuation with another and keep your moral cleanliness.
The other risk is that infatuation could sweep you away into committing to a person that excites you physically and emotionally but is not in fact good long term commitment material. It is important to learn if another has long term potential and if they don’t, I agree that breaking up with another sooner versus later is a good idea. So, to figure out if they are in fact someone you could happily be with for the rest of your life (and for eternity), it is important to learn what you can about them from the start. But before you get to that ultimate point of decision, why not enjoy the journey along the way? I recommend it.
For more information on determining if another is good marriage material, consider reviewing this previous article:
*Enjoying the Ride: as you keep the law of chastity and as you are learning and deciding if the other person is good marriage material, enjoy the journey from there. Allow yourself to dwell on the other person. Keep a positive attitude. See this as a fun journey and allow yourself to have a good time. Express how you feel, show some physical affection, and have a great time. Take pictures and videos together. Compliment the other person. Don’t hold yourself back. Too many relationships that could have been marriage material ended with person acting too cautious, too self-protective, too slow, too careful, and so on. They didn’t know how to enjoy themselves or how to let go, treating the dating process like a rigid, serious, pressure packed job interview. This is a great way to push the other person away and lose whatever potential was there. Plus, approaching a relationship like that is no fun.
Consider these scriptures in relation to this topic: men are, that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25). Also, for man looketh on the outward appearance (I Samuel 16:7). An important element of this life is…fun. Part of that fun involves physical attraction to others and having a good time. And physical attraction is a big part of infatuation and what brings people together in the first place. Enjoy the journey of seeing where a new relationship goes. Don’t be so overly cautious and careful that you aren’t opening up and having fun. You can be reasonably careful and have a good time at the same time. Plus, by enjoying yourself you send the other person the message that you are opening up and giving things a full chance.
Like the old saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. In other words, don’t ruin and squash infatuation feelings that can make for an enjoyable journey as you get to know someone. Doing so also helps allow you to enjoy the dating process and maintain a positive attitude. This also gives you the stamina and longevity to continue the process over time until you finally meet and marry your partner for time and eternity. And remember, this process was meant to be enjoyable. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.