Are you confused between attraction and love? Here’s how you can tell the difference

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“I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute. Just as some people have a secret love for rainstorms, earthquakes, or blackouts, I liked that certain undefinable something directed my way by members of the opposite sex. For want of a better word, call it magnetism. Like it or not, it’s a kind of power that snares people and reels them in,” wrote Haruki Murakami in his novel ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’. This perhaps comes closest to the perfect definition of attraction. The famous Japanese novelist said he wanted to call it ‘magnetism’ for the lack of a better word. Now let’s try to understand love as opposed to attraction.

Yes, it can be very confusing to distinguish between the two. You might often mistake attraction for love and misunderstand love for attraction. You might be attracted to a person but it does not necessarily mean you are in love with him. Many great men have paid the price for this dilemma. Sometimes, you might be in love with someone and still, you might get attracted to a third person. Should you feel guilty about that? Not necessarily because being attracted to someone is human nature. But what can have ugly consequences is when you are committed to a lover and then you act upon your attraction with someone else. Among the many reasons that lead a person to have extramarital relationships or an illicit affair, attraction can be counted as a key factor. In case, you too are going through this dilemma of understanding if you are in love or simply attracted to someone, here are a few ways to tell the difference.

There is a strange magnetism and you cannot think straight

Attraction can sometimes turn into an obsession. It’s like you cannot stop thinking, talking or fantasizing about that person. And that urge to be with him or her is so strong that you are ready to do anything to be there with the person. Strangely, this kind of magnetism does not last long. However, in the case of love, attraction can be a part of it but it does not consume the person completely.

Attraction is mostly physical or for a reason

There has been a lot of debate around this point. Most people believe that attraction is mostly physical and there is an element of lust involved in it. After the fulfillment of certain desires, you might not be attracted to the person like you were before. However, some critics believe that attraction need not merely be physical; a person might be attracted to someone’s intellectual or his personality as well. But the point here is, you are attracted to a person for a reason, unlike love that can be unconditional.

You would hardly miss it once it is over

This is one often missed trait about attraction—it can drive a person crazy as long as it lasts but once it’s over, it is hardly missed. But when you are in love, and if it remains unfulfilled or unrequited, you will always feel the pang years after the incident. Same is the case with break-ups; when you separate from a person you love, it takes decades to forget about him or her.

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