15 Signs You’re Mistaking Admiration for Love

Be An Inspirer
2 min readFeb 26, 2024

“To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.”
― Théophile Gautier

Love and admiration often dance together, their steps intertwined in the intricate choreography of human emotions. But are they truly the same?

Understanding the fine differences between admiration and love is essential as we make our way through the maze of relationships.

15 Signs You’re Mistaking Admiration for Love

Let’s take a look at 15 signs that can help you figure out if you’re truly in love or if you’re just enjoying the feeling of admiration.

1. Your Relationship: Convenience or Passion?

Sign #1: Your relationship feels like a well-worn slipper — comfortable, easy, and seamlessly fitting into your daily routine. But here’s the truth: love isn’t always convenient.

True love demands effort, compromise, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. It’s about pushing boundaries, taking risks, and making space for another person in your life.

If convenience is the cornerstone of your relationship, you might be mistaking comfort for love.

2. Parallel Play: Coexisting without Growth

Sign #2: Imagine toddlers playing side by side but not truly engaging with each other — a phenomenon psychologists call “parallel play.”

Similarly, some relationships fall into this pattern. You and your partner coexist comfortably, but growth remains elusive. You’re living parallel lives, not intertwined ones.

A loving relationship involves mutual growth, supporting each other’s dreams, and building a shared life — not mere coexistence.

3. The Art of Challenging Each Other

Sign #3: Comfort zones rarely overlap with growth zones. Love thrives when partners challenge each other intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

If your relationship lacks healthy debates, stimulating conversations, and shared aspirations, it’s time to assess whether admiration has overshadowed love.

4. Flawless Illusion: Perfection vs. Reality

Sign #4: Admiration often blinds us to imperfections. When you see someone as flawless, you’re likely infatuated.

Love, on the other hand, embraces both strengths and weaknesses. If you’re overlooking flaws, pause and reflect — is it admiration or genuine love?

5. Safety Net: Fear of Loneliness

Sign #5: Comfort can masquerade as love when we fear loneliness. We settle for companionship, even if it lacks passion.

Ask yourself: Does your relationship feel like a comforting safety net, or is it a vibrant display adorned with love’s threads?

6. Emotional Barometer: Intensity vs. Steadiness

Sign #6: Admiration often burns brightly, like a shooting star. Love, however, resembles a steady flame — a warmth that endures storms.

If your emotions fluctuate wildly, consider whether you’re confusing admiration’s intensity with love’s constancy.

7. “Me” vs. “We” Dilemma

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