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Why I Didn’t Fall in Love with My Husband

By: Kristen Clark

I still remember the moment I laid eyes on him. He was sitting 8 rows in front of me. His strong arms, wavy brown hair, and tall physique caught my attention immediately.

I didn’t know who he was or where he came from, but my stomach was churning with butterflies.

He was good looking, tall, and attending the same Christian conference I was attending. He had to be a great Christian guy (right??)!

We finally met the during the last night of the conference, right after the closing ceremonies. My heart almost leaped out of my chest when I found how close we lived to one another, and how many mutual friends we shared.

I left that conference with my head in the clouds and overwhelmed with excitement.

I was head over heels in love with this Zack Clark guy.

Or so I thought.

Looking back now, I can see a little more clearly. I wasn’t falling in love with Zack at that moment. In fact, I wasn’t even close to true love (1 Cor. 13).

We live in a culture that has totally blurred the line between true love and infatuation. The more I’ve studied what each word means, the more I’ve come to realize that I didn’t actually fall in love with my husband that day.

I fell head over heels into infatuation for him.

Butterflies, heart pounding, instant feelings of excitement, head in the clouds, can’t stop thinking about him, filling my diary with “wedding dreams,” and developing a huge crush…those were all signs of infatuation.  

Those instant feelings of “true love” were all actually signs of infatuation.

Here’s the dictionary definition for the word infatuation:

“An intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.”

Have you ever had a crush?

Maybe multiple crushes? Well…those fireworks you felt were probably a result of you being infatuated with that person. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was infatuation at first sight.

True love and infatuation are VERY different, and unless we understand their differences, we will experience a lot of heartbreak and confusion.

For starters, infatuation is built on strong, passionate and compelling feelings for the other person. These feelings can last for many months or just a few short days. We can “fall” in and out of infatuation at the drop of a hat.

We may feel passionately “in love” with someone one day, and then totally disinterested in them the next.

That is how infatuation works. It’s built primarily on strong feelings and emotions.

Here’s some of the dangers of confusing infatuation with true love. We’ll think we’re “in love” with someone when we’re not. We’ll think our “love” for someone is dying when the sparks dissipate. We’ll struggle to stay committed during the hard times because we won’t “feel” connected anymore.

True love on the other hand is entirely different.

True love is built on actions, choices and time. It’s a decision, not a strong feeling.

Regardless of what Hollywood says, you can’t “fall in love” with someone instantaneously. According to God’s definition of true love (1 Cor. 13), it’s something that has to be intentionally given and it proves itself over time.

True love takes time to reveal whether the love is genuine or not. True, Biblical, love will display patience, kindness, trust, long-suffering, it will bear all things, hope all things, believe all things, it isn’t boastful, isn’t proud, etc. (1 Cor. 13).

We can’t unwillingly “fall” into something like true love because true love is a choice, not a feeling.

On the flip side, we can’t “fall” out of love either. Married couples who say, “we just fell out of love…” are viewing love as something that just “happens” to people (hint: think of cupid). You can’t fall out of love…you choose to stop loving.

And that’s the same reason I didn’t fall in love with Zack.

I fell into infatuation and stayed there for many months. It wasn’t until we really got know each other (several years later) that I began to develop a heart of true love (as defined by God) for him.

And now, after 4 years of marriage, I am deeply in love with Zack.

It’s not just a feeling, but something we both intentionally work at cultivating in our marriage. We are determined to love one another until “death do us part,” and we know it will take hard work and a daily choice to love.

Here’s my advice for you:

The next time you find yourself swooning over a guy, ask yourself this question: Are my feelings toward this guy a result of infatuation or are they a result of Biblical love? If the answer is “infatuation,” choose to be intentional about keeping your heart and emotions in check.

Next, I HIGHLY recommend learning more about true love (as defined by God) and how to have a godly romance. To do that, check out these other GirlDefined posts:

True Love: What it is and What it Isn’t

Taking True Love into Your Romantic Relationships

Always Pursue Your King Before Your Prince

In closing, my encouragement to you is this: don’t allow infatuation to get the best of you. Don’t allow your infatuation with a guy to be the driving force for your feelings. Don’t confuse infatuation with true, Biblical love. Love is a choice, an action and the intentional pursuit of serving others. That is what will sustain a relationship long-term – not infatuation.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Do you remember a time in your own life when you were infatuated with a guy, but thought you were “in love?” What happened?
  • What dangers do you see in allowing infatuation to be the driving force behind a relationship?

Photo credit: Here 
Guy and girl

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  • Lindsay

    Good word.

  • thehappygirl

    During my latest relationship, my dad told me that love was a conscious choice. You don’t truly fall in or out of love… You make that choice. Thanks for the reminder Kristen. I’ve definitely been infatuated with guys (and secretly planning our wedding haha). None of them worked out though… The “spark” was gone in just a few short months, and some guys left because they “didn’t feel it anymore.” I am definitely applying this truth in future relationships. Keep up the good work ladies!!

  • Star Gasa

    Looooove this blog and love this article, I’m doing my honors degree so I don’t get to read as many articles as I would like to but im certainly glad I read this one.
    Infatuation is the reason for many heartbreaks and it pains me to see us girls(mostly) fall into this trap. I myself have fallen prey to my own infatuation as well as that of some rather ‘convincing’ guys.
    But how do you steer clear of that when, for most people, including you and your husband, it started out as meer infatuation which later became love as described in the bible?
    Would you say, had you not acted on your infatuation you would have probably not married and fallen in love with you husband?

  • Anonymous

    What if the feelings of infatuation came after you fall in love? If that makes sense. I definitely didn’t feel that way until after I began to love him, true biblical love, and am now struggling because God doesn’t have us together anymore but I still love him and have the desire to live out God’s love towards him.

    • Jenna

      I too, am in the same boat. I remember this daily: “If love was always reciprocated, it would never be unconditional”. It is a season in which we have no distractions of human love to keep us from learning that of our Heavenly Father and his ways…none-the-less, a very real daily struggle! An opportunity to keep trusting. May G-D bless you abundantly in this season!

  • I need to be reminded of this sometimes! It is so easy to forget that there is a difference between true love and infatuation! Thank you for writing this post!
    Rebekah

  • Katherine

    Great post Kristen

  • Ashton

    I never really paid attention to any guys in elementary school and most of jr. high, but a few years ago, when I was 14, I met a guy unlike any other… long story short, I basically tricked myself into thinking that I truly loved him for about 2 years! I never understood the difference between true love & infatuation, until he was in a relationship with another girl. That was a huge wake-up call in which I was able to address & make it right with God.
    It saddens me how so many girls fall into the trap of infatuation and mistake it for love. A lot of time could have been spent on something more worthwhile, than thinking about a relationship when you’re younger than 16. I love this blog! 🙂
    Blessings, Ashton <3

    • I too was infatuated with a guy for probably close to two years. I was totally certain I was in love… and then one day I woke up and it was gone.

  • Rachael Londeree

    I haven’t started dating yet but this is a great lesson to put in the books. And I will try to use this in writing my letters to my future husband that you mentioned in another post! loved it!!

  • Excellent post, Kristen!

    We really need to discern sudden passions of biblical love. You spoke in a very clear and uplifting!

    I read the post about your history with your husband and I confess I was thrilled! You are very beautiful physically, but the beauty of obedience that Christ saves in his heart still draws the most attention. Continue to bless us with their testimonies and married life advice. Jesus te abençoe muito, um beijo!

  • Bia Baraldi

    thank you for the text. it helps me a lot. kisses

  • Marie

    I guess that’s why so many people are critical of people getting married straight out of high school. I wonder if infatuation is what causes alot of girls immature jealousy, possesiveness, and neediness- because they have nothing but emotions to hold on to. I guess if your relationship is based on feelings, you probably aren’t ready to date yet. Just thinking “out loud”.

  • JustBabs

    this just hit me “Love is a choice, an action and the intentional pursuit of serving others” I refuse to let infatuation guide my choices nor will I allow my mind to linger there. I’ll take every thought captive until such time

  • HorseLover

    Great post! Thank you so mush for posting this but I have a question and if no one can answer it it’s fine. I’m in a relationship with someone and he has said once or twice that he loves me. I wanted to say it back but I don’t know if I loved him or not. What are some other ways I can know if I love him or if it’s just infatuation?

    • Leanne

      Well, to ask the question of does he love you, does he exhibit traits mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13? Another good indication is does his attitude resemble that of Christ, who cared about us more than Himself? If you have the Bible app on your phone, just search “love.” (You may need to search in different versions). There are soooo many verses of Biblical love. Biblical love is sacrificial — as you might hear in wedding vows, people pledge to love one another “in health and IN SICKNESS… till death do us part” I put caps to emphasize since I can’t use italics here haha! My point is, true love will be a very intentional effort, and it will take work! Love works even on the days when you don’t FEEL like it. To sum this up, is he willing to do that for you, and are you willing to do it for him? That is a good indicator of whether you really love someone.

  • Susannah Grant

    Great post! I think I always knew the difference in the back of my mind, but this clears any confusion I might have had and brings it to my attention.

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  • Laura

    This was such a helpful blog! I’m infatuated with this christian guy and I’ve just realised, the main reason why I wanted him to be intrested in me is just that I would like to feel loved and special. I looked for those feelings in the behaviour of a guy instead of looking up to God and his opinion on me. Sometimes it’s just so hard to stay “God-focused”…


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