“Do I Really Like Him?" Learn The Signs Of Attraction Vs. Infatuation

Updated April 9, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Not sure about your feelings?

When you first meet someone, you may find yourself incredibly attracted to them. It could be their mannerisms, their laugh, or the way that they speak that draws you to them. They might tell you something about themselves that entices you to want to get to know them better. On the other hand, you may be strictly drawn to a person sexually.  That infatuation doesn't necessarily have to do with getting to know who they are on the inside, but rather how they look, smell, sound. It’s primarily physical. Although it may seem like you should be able to tell the difference, it’s not always that easy. Let’s look at the differences. 

Attraction vs. infatuation

While it may seem easy to distinguish between the real attraction and physical infatuations, the lines between whether you strictly find someone sexually alluring or if you're into who they are inside can get blurred. Before delving into a more serious relationship, it’s important to step back and determine what it is you really like about this person. Is it something about their personality, or is it just the way that they look? Is it their smile, or is it their compassion for others and the deep conversations you have? Or is it a combination of both? 

Remember that just because you’re drawn to someone physically doesn't mean that they're someone you want to integrate into your life. It sounds intuitive, but it doesn't necessarily work that way because our bodies and minds can trick us, and we may overlook red flags based on physical chemistry.

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to see if you are genuinely attracted to them as or person or are just infatuated by them physically.

Do they make you laugh?

Someone that makes you laugh is tapping into something that's genuine inside of you. One study by the University of Kansas found that the more a couple laughs together, the stronger their romantic connection is. When first meeting someone, in particular, the ability to laugh together also provides each person with subconscious insights into the other person’s intelligence and creativity, among other important characteristics. There's nothing like laughing hysterically with someone that gets you. 

Do you get excited thinking about them?

When you think about this special person, do you get butterflies in your stomach? Does your heart skip a beat? Do you feel excited about who they are as a person and want to spend time with them – not just sexually, but doing things together that you enjoy. You want to be able to have fun with each other, not just by hooking up, but by spending quality time together.

Do you act like yourself around them?

You want to be able to be you when you're around your partner. If you feel the need to be someone that you're not or find yourself constantly trying to impress them, this may not be the partner for you. 

With a real relationship, you need to be able to be your real self with them. Anyone who loves you should love you for who you are, not just the idea of you, not who you're trying to be, but who you are as a whole person. Love isn't something that you need to put on a face for. You should be able to be yourself when you're around the person that you like. If they don’t like you for you, this is not a relationship you want to invest in. You need to be comfortable with the person you're with, and they need to appreciate you for who you are. 

What do you know about them?

Think about what you know about this person. If you think they’re attractive, that's one thing, but what do you know about who they are on the inside? Do you know what they’re passionate about? Have you met their friends? You could just be wanting to assign romantic value to someone who you don’t truly feel that way about, so be careful. It’s essential to take inventory and think, “do I just like the idea of this person, or do I like who they are in reality?"

How long have you known them?

Maybe you’ve been friends with this person for a long time and you recently developed romantic feelings for them. Alternatively, this could be a new connection, and you're excited about it. If this is the case, remember that the excitement over a new person doesn’t last and it takes a while to genuinely get to know someone.  Take your time before rushing into milestones such as moving in together or even getting married. You want to truly get to know this person inside and out before making a sustained commitment to them. What are they like in stressful situations? What are they like when they're sad? It often takes time for a person to unleash their authentic inner selves, and that's something that you want to see before doing anything that ties you to this person long-term.

What do your friends have to say about them?

Ultimately, you’re the one dating this person, so what other people think doesn’t always matter. That said, it can be helpful to get opinions about this person from those who are close to you because you aren't objective in this situation. You see the positive aspects of this person. Your friends know you and hopefully have your best interest in mind, so they can look at this person from an objective perspective. Sometimes, your friends might pick up on red flags that you're trying to ignore because of how into this person you are. If they mistreat your friends and family or actively try to distance you from them, that's a warning sign that you need to acknowledge. For many people, close friends are chosen family, and their perspective matters.

How much effort are you putting into this connection?

You want to make sure that you stay away from being co-dependent towards someone. Remember, your feelings and your reality matter more than anything. Relationships are lovely, but you need to foster a sense of independence in yourself before entering any relationship. Don't spend so much time exerting effort into a relationship that you neglect your wellbeing. A relationship should add value to your life, not completely consume it. If you find yourself obsessed with your relationship to a point where you're losing your sense of self, or if you haven't found your sense of self yet and seek it out in a romantic connection, take inventory of that and work on establishing independence first.

Is it true love?

Not sure about your feelings?

To be in love with someone, you have to get to know them inside and out, which means spending quality time together. Getting to know them on an intimate level means caring about what they care about because it's important to them, and vice versa. True love is based upon caring about the other person on a deep, intrinsic level and getting to know them in ways that you can’t see on the surface. That’s the difference between infatuation vs love. When you love someone, you want them to be happy; you consider their emotions and excitedly embrace who they are inside.

Getting help

Healthy relationships are founded on more than just physical attraction and infatuation. And they’re an important part of life. In fact, research indicates that good relationships can help people better handle stress, practice healthier habits, build stronger immune systems, and even live longer. 

However, physical attraction to someone does not by itself lead to a healthy relationship. If you need help identifying whether you are truly attracted to someone or simply infatuated, a professional counselor can help. Working with a relationship counselor through Regain can not only help you better understand what love is and is not, it can help you understand more about yourself. You may find that you have cognitive distortions when it comes to relationships, as well as yourself. Counseling can help you identify false beliefs, patterns of thinking, and behaviors, and reframe them into healthier practices – which can lead to healthier relationships. 

Online counseling is an excellent place to explore relationships and love. If you're interested in learning more about yourself or working on your relationship, check out the counselors at Regain, where our licensed online therapists work with individuals and couples. You and your partner can work on communication and relationship issues in online therapy. Whatever the case may be, learning about how you feel in your relationship or about a potential partner can only help you in your life.

Counselor reviews

"My experience with Priscilla has been immensely helpful in better understanding myself and providing me with the tools to see my life and relationships with more clarity and compassion."

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”


Sometimes the lines between whether you like someone for who they are (attraction) or if you are only physically drawn to them (infatuation). There’s nothing wrong with a casual relationship that is primarily physical as long as you both are on the same terms. However, if you’re looking for something more serious, then it’s important that you are attracted to what’s on their inside, not just the physical. An online Regain relationship counselor can help you work through your feelings as well as any personal concerns that may be leading you to unhealthy relationships. Contact Regain online to get started.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.