Sunday, 9 October 2011

Love in a mist

Have I ever been infatuated with anyone? Depends what you mean by infatuation, doesn't it? The dictionary says "an intense, short-lived passion", but I wouldn't describe it that way at all.

I think the point about infatuation is that (a) it involves a completely false, rose-tinted picture of the person concerned and (b) far from being short-lived it can go on for quite a while, long enough in fact for you to cohabit or marry before you realise how deluded you've been.

I guess on the whole I'm too level-headed a person to have been infatuated with anyone for long, but I was absurdly besotted with one particular woman for a year or two, despite all the evidence that she wasn't nearly as special (or compatible, or even available) as I thought.

Fortunately for me it was an entirely unreciprocated besotting, so it never got to the stage of living together or tying any legal knots, and I never faced the humiliating final stage of seeing my perfect partner turn into a mere mortal who just got on my nerves rather than inspiring me.

Even if I'm not prone to infatuation, I've often idealised someone to the extent that infatuation wasn't far away. I've exaggerated their virtues and overlooked their faults to a ridiculous degree, I suppose for the usual pathetic reason that I'm beguiled by their beauty and assume they must have a beautiful brain to match. Which of course absolutely doesn't follow.

I'm also easily taken in by confidence and poise, which I carelessly equate with exceptional wisdom. While in reality it may only mean they've always had it easy.

But at my advanced age I've met enough people with bird brains and feet of clay to make me look long and hard at anyone who comes trailing a saintly aura. The saintly aura might just be a cloud of cobwebs.

26 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

Hormones! Damn them.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - Oh no, you can't blame the hormones, that's too easy.

Wisewebwoman said...

I think the obsessee is always aware of the obsession of the obsessor on some level.
I know I was in the few times it happened to me.
Much as the obsessor thinks they are hidiing it.
And I am also sure, much to later mortification, that I, as obsessor, was totally obvious to my obsessee :-)
It is only when it converts to stalking it moves into danger.

XO
WWW

Jenny Woolf said...

I think sometimes being infatuated with a person is actually being infatuated with an idea or a wish - to be young, or glamorous or something. But it takes the form of sex because it's easier (and more fun_) that way!

Well, that's my theory anyway, and I don't suppose it will ever be proved or otherwise ! :)

Baino said...

OH my. Do I know about infatuation. Then I tend to confuse it with love where does one stop and the other end? And the target of my infatuation is very much aware of it. Just can't to a damn thing about it from 7,000 miles away.

Macy said...

Being infatuated with someone is definitely a form of delusion.
And not necessarily any more fun when you are the object of adoration either....

kylie said...

i've had many infatuations...well, more obsessions really since i can usually see faults but am obsessed nevertheless.
it's bittersweet

Nick said...

www - I think sometimes the obsessee is aware of it, sometimes not. There have been times in the past when I was told someone had the hots for me, and I was totally oblivious. As for stalking - that's a very nasty business.

Jenny - I think you're right that the other person can represent a certain quality you feel a lack of. You think the quality will somehow rub off on you, but it seldom does.

nursemyra said...

I know about obsession :-(

Nick said...

Baino - At your age, sweetie, you should be able to tell the difference between love and infatuation! But whatever it may be, a distance of 7000 miles between you isn't helpful....

Macy - It's a delusion all right, a denial of the person's inevitable human flaws. I've never been the object of a seriously persistent infatuation, but I have been volubly "adored" on occasion. I found it more amusing than annoying.

Nick said...

Kylie - I wonder what exactly you're obsessed by? Are you just fascinated by what makes the person tick?

Myra - I somehow suspected that. Particularly since obsession is a recurring theme in your posts.

secret agent woman said...

To me infatuation is an early stage and obsession is the longer-term willful blindness to flaws. I suspect a lot of it is chemical. I think we are attracted to people sometimes on a level that is physiological and outside the influence of logic. Unfortunately for my poor heart.

e said...

Must one become infatuated with humans??? We are hard-wired to be social creatures, but I find myself more infatuated with ideas or places these days and far less so with humans.

Nick said...

Secret Agent - I suspect a lot of it is chemical as well. And the wilful blindness can go to amazing lengths, like excusing alcoholism and blatant womanising.

e - I can't say I've ever been infatuated with places. There are ideas I'm strongly attached to, but I would say they're firmly rooted in the real world.

Roses said...

I've suffered my fair share of infactuation. It's not great fun.

But hey, we have to laugh.

Nick said...

Roses - You can laugh about it afterwards, once it's all done and dusted, but at the time it's a bit of madness that can lead to very embarrassing consequences.

kylie said...

no, i dont think about what makes them tick, i just want their company which is obviously a bit insane if it is a one way thing

Nick said...

Kylie - Hmmm, obsessed with wanting someone's company. Interesting.

Rummuser said...

I have just come out of an obsessee situation with a young lady doctor who could not get over two revisions to a hip replacement. I quite enjoyed the attention and awe! Nice to be a novelty.

Nick said...

Ramana - Ha, so who was obsessed with whom? You with the friendly young lady doctor or the doctor with your medical novelty?

Grannymar said...

Nick, Do you think that Rummy guy took pleasure is showing off his etchings.... I mean scars? :-)

Nick said...

Grannymar - As long as it was just the scars he was showing off and nothing he should be keeping to himself....

Rummuser said...

Grannymar, Nick, do you think that I had a choice in the matter of what I could show off and what not?

Nick said...

Ramana - Well, I hope you were allowed a certain degree of anatomical privacy and dignity....

blackwatertown said...

Good take on it all here and at the other post you've linked to.
Infatuation - it's not all bad though - gets the blood flowing, life seeming more vivid - a bit like Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night "in love with love" - can be fun even if it goes nowhere.

Nick said...

Blackwater - It certainly gets the blood flowing. Just as long as it doesn't interfere too much with the needs of everyday life.