Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Is infatuation a common experience when falling in love?

"I just can't get him out of my mind. I think of him all the time. Every waking moment of my day is spent dreaming about him. My whole life is built around his existence! Everything about him preoccupies my thoughts. He totally consumes my every waking moment."

This is not an uncommon experience for many people, particularly in the 'early days' of  falling in love. The journey of romantic love in the first flush of attraction is filled with the most sublime, agonizing and intense thoughts and feelings imaginable.

The infatuation pathway we find ourselves traversing is profoundly personal and both exhilarating and disturbing. Before we know it, we are catapulted headlong into an emotional frenzy which seems unstoppable, unmanageable and all consuming.

What causes this infatuation - this all consuming obsessive thinking and focus? What causes such intensity of emotion?

This is how one person described their experience.

"I met him at friend's home. I was already in a relationship. But I knew from my previous experiences of infatuation, that I was always limerent vulnerable and limerent ready. It was his physical proximity and his open conversational vulnerability that linked us. He spoke in a way about his life that laid bare his defenselessness. His honesty had real integrity and transparency. He was unpretentiously authentic. 

His openness about his struggles and life journey so resonated within me that I instantly and emotionally connected with him and felt this deep yearning to be embraced by his understanding and empathetic words as well as his physical touch."
All this happened within minutes of meeting him. Unexpectedly, like a lightning strike, a bolt out of the blue!  I was hooked! 
To experience such open authenticity gave me a pathway into his life where I felt safe and secure. That's what made him irresistible. His emotional exposure embraced my own vulnerabilities and I felt totally safe! I wanted to experience more."

Infatuation contains so many mixed emotions. We all invest so much of ourselves into what others may see as an irrational and unsustainable response when we become infatuated. Infatuation is such an individual experience, which is so captivating and consuming that we become totally mesmerized by the person who now becomes the focus of our inner world. 

The agonizing power embedded in this transfixing experience reverberates throughout our whole being and we are rendered almost totally helpless as we often inadequately deal with many of the primal psychological forces now controlling our lives. 

This experience is so primal, so primordial, so universal that when we enter into the realm of infatuation we are entering into the instinctual driving forces which have little to do with rational behaviour, and everything to do with basic instincts which are part of the fabric we share with the rest of humanity. We should never underestimate or ignore the primal drives which nature has invested us with, as part of our behavioural response necessary for the procreation of the species. 

Attraction and infatuation are prescripted natural awakenings generated within us by the  biological agendas which form part of the human fabric we all share. Their compelling power when ignited, create physiological and psychological responses in us which display primal agendas which seem so foreign and antithetical  to the domesticated and respectable socialized agendas which are considered to be the normal and acceptable codes of behaviour.

When deep attraction occurs and infatuation experienced, we are witnessing within ourselves a complex mixture of primal drives and  psychological needs and desires. For some of us our needs and drives seem to collide and we are left totally overwhelmed by the intense feelings of sensuality, sexuality, exhilaration as well as emotions which create anxiety and a disturbing urgency for resolution. 

 In fact the existence of "infatuation" in our attraction-attachment kit, is what brings the opposite sexes (same sexes) together and is part of the arsenal nature uses to create initial responses along the pathway of bonding. 

Added to the natural psychological and physiological forces of attraction/attachment within us, are the overlays of needs created within us by the personal life histories we have experienced from the moment of our birth. The authenticity of attraction/infatuation we experience so naturally, is 'flavoured' by the agendas we carry from childhood. 

We interpret these experiences of attraction/infatuation  through the prism of our personal life journeys.

Deep 'irrational' infatuation has a powerful and authentic natural instinct as well as an emotional agenda which is peculiarly unique for each of us, based on the life experiences we have encountered before "infatuation" obsesses us.

If you feel overpowered by in infatuation forces consuming your life, you are not alone. It is understanding and unraveling these forces which is so necessary to get our lives back into some form of equilibrium.