AnnLanders.com - Advice for your Everyday Life
Section: relationships 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
The enclosed column has been glued in my scrapbook since the mid-1970s. I was strengthened by looking at it again and came to realize that my latest relationship was not the true love either of us was seeking. I miss him, but I know I made the right decision. Thanks for your wisdom. -- E.M., Albuquerque, N.M. "Love or Infatuation?" Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another. Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows -- one day at a time. Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream. Love is quiet understanding and the mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you -- to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him nearer. But near or far, you know he is yours and you can wait. Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him." Love says, "Be patient. Don't panic. Plan your future with confidence." Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. If you are honest, you will admit it is difficult to be in one another's company unless you are sure it will end in intimacy. Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers. Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away, you wonder if he's cheating. Sometimes you check. Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. He feels that trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy. Infatuation might lead you to do things you'll regret later, but love never will. Love is an upper. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person than you were before.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers