Dear Barb – Follow Instincts on New Relationship

Dear Barb:

I am divorced and in my mid thirties with two children. I have been single for about three years. It’s been hard for me and my children being alone without a partner in my life. Six months ago I met a great guy and we seemed to click right away. We spend a lot of time together and have been talking about moving in together.

As we get closer I am beginning to wonder if I really love this man, or am I just infatuated. I feel a very strong physical attraction and miss him terribly when he is not here, but I don’t want to bring him into my children’s lives until I am sure that this is going to last. Are there any clues that I can watch for that would help me to understand whether this is love or just infatuation? Thanks.


Hi, Tina. Congrats on finding a new partner. I’ll do what I can to help you unravel your true feelings for this man.

Most relationships begin with physical attraction and an element of infatuation. Eventually the infatuation diminishes and you are left with a deep sense of love and caring, or the relationship fizzles out and each goes his or her own way.

According to Wikipedia, following are the definitions of love versus infatuation.

Love ?usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person.? It is also described as ?any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment.?

Infatuation, on the other hand, is ?the state of being completely carried away by unreasoned passion or love: addictive love. Usually, one is inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone.?

It is a ?common emotion characterized by unrealistic expectations of blissful passion without positive relationship growth or development.? Infatuation is also distinguished by a lack of commitment, trust, and loyalty, and is often not reciprocal.

According to the description of your relationship in reference to these definitions, it does appear that you have both gone beyond the initial infatuation and are moving to the next phase of your relationship. On the other hand, if you are questioning whether this is really love, then it is not a good idea to move in together. As I am sure you realize, this is a big step and would have a great impact on your children’s lives, so you are right in being cautious.

My advice is to wait a while until it feels right; you will instinctively know when to make this move. Follow your gut feelings. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Thanks for writing, Tina.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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