ask dr-robert

ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Dear Dr. Robert,

I would be most grateful if you could help me to understand what love is, what infatuation is and if there is any relationship between them. In other words, what is the difference between love and infatuation?


ask dr-robert


My pleasure.

The difference in these two emotional states is made very clear if one looks at the etymology of these two words. Etymology is the study of the origins of a word in some earlier language.

The word infatuation finds its roots in a latin word, infatuare, which literally means to become foolish. So one who is infatuated is simply foolish.

The word love comes to us via a word in Old English, lēof, which means "dear." So to love someone means to hold that person dear, to consider that person precious.

Anyone can be foolish, but only someone with a wise and open heart can hold another person dear.

I hope this helps.

Be well.

p.s. Click on this link for more on the difference between love and infatuation.

Thanks to your support, "ask dr-robert" has become the world's number one ask the psychologist site.

Pass it on:

Tell a friend about this page!
Their Name:
Their Email:
Your Name:
Your Email:
(all information remains private)

Or, if you find the site worth sharing, link to from your webpage, newsgroup, discussion forum, or blog.

return to ask dr-robert archives

page last modified May 13, 2008

copyright robert saltzman 2008 all rights reserved