There’s no such thing as “just infatuation” and “real love” being two different things. First of all, true love doesn’t exist or only exists in the exalted fantasies or delusions of women. “Real love” is nonsense, and of course it’s completely antiscientific, unfalsifiable, and even tautological.
Nevertheless it’s clear there is something called love that exists even in a scientific sense. But it’s on a continuum with something called like. Like is at one end and then as like gets stronger, eventually you get to full blown love at the other end.
The initial phase of love is something I call “wild love,” and it’s a wild ride indeed! The problem is it’s not really sustainable the same as a manic episode (which it resembles possibly in more ways than one) is not sustainable. It’s just too wild and crazy, and humans can’t sustain that sort of wild passion over the long term. If mania doesn’t end, the result is death.
Chronic mania used to exist as a psychiatric entity before the treatment era. It had its own set of rather unique symptomology. I have an old p psychiatric textbook from the 1950’s that talks about it. It apparently still occurs in some Bipolar patients and is notoriously resistant to treatment. There have been some recent case studies in the literature. They never really came down. Obviously, they died young. Death usually occurred in the mid-40’s and was typically a heart attack, natch.
No one knows what happens if wild love goes on forever because the nature of the human psyche is that wild love burns out after at most a couple of years. It’s hard to imagine someone dying of too much love, but if so, it wouldn’t be the first time. What else killed Romeo Juliet but “chronic wild love?”
Though wild love doesn’t last forever is perhaps a law of the human psyche if anything is, it can last a year or two. After that it transforms into what I call “mature love,” which is a calmer but in some ways deeper and more profound thing. Perhaps it’s all down to oxytocin and maybe high levels of oxytocin are only sustainable for a year or two. Who knows? At the end of the day, most things human, even the most mystical and rarefied, probably boil down to simply human biology, chemicals, transmitters, and receptors, neurons, cells, atoms, and ultimately mundane molecules.
After studying the subject for several decades, it’s clear to me that infatuation is simply the early, “wild” phase of love that indeed looks like a manic episode, except that the parties are more or less sane (though wild love can be quite volatile with a lot of wild swings between love and hate). The initial phase of love, wild love, is a beautiful thing! It’s pretty crazy but it’s also one of the peak experiences one can have a human being. Be thankful if you were lucky enough to experience it. Many never do!