Well let me take you back to 2002 - at what is now called UJ, first semester of Psychology 202. My Professor goes into great depth explaining the different kinds of love that exist (and there are about 8 kinds)...but the most notable of them is called "Infactuation"...
Infactuation is a prominent feature in most relationships and it is often mistaken for love. So when a girl or guy says "I love you" 6 days after you've met, he/she's probably just infactuated.
The construct of infactuation is based on the premise that individuals are awe-struck or become enamoured with objects or other people. This fascination with these objects or people is rooted in the lack of knowledge of / or the mystery that exudes from that person or object.
I've never been inlove...even when I thought I was, I wasn't. But I've been infactuated literally 100's of times. It started at the age of four, when Michael Jackson was still kwaai...then it progressed to that guy from the syndicated show - Air Wolfe. Then my infactuation blossomed into a flower called obsession, at the mere age of 10, with a certain member of the opposite sex. At the time, I thought it was my first "love". And judging from the way he antagonised me, from stealing my stationary to pulling my hair, I'm guessing that the feeling was mutual.
This was the mother of all infactuations...it went on for 4 years. I would wonder what he ate in the morning, how long he took to shower, if he preferred cereal or toast in the morning, if his mother ironed his clothes, if he liked curry and rice, what he smelt like, what he looked like when he was asleep, what he did when he was at home or on the weekends, how he ate his food...I really mean EVERYTHING...and not for any reason other than pure fascination. Its like the more I knew about him, the more I wanted to know about him. I was mesmerised that this guy needed to sleep and eat and go to the crapper too...every detail of his life occupied my thoughts and captivated me. And even though it had passed by my mid teens, it still lingers like the remnants of a flu long after the season has passed. But there is no hope...it was after all, just an infactuation. But we see each other, I feel slightly awkward, ignore the feeling, and go about my business.
Most of my mid to late teens and early 20's included numerous infactuations, namely NKOTB, Nsync, The Backstreet Boys, Jesse Metcalfe, Josh Holloway, Wentworth Miller...I could literally go on and on...
Of course, knowing what I know now at the age of 26, I can recognise all the signs. I can recognise my infatuations for what they are and I'm open to it or accept it for what it is. I have no expectations and just take it as it comes.
The thing is, I agree and do believe that real love can't exist without marriage. But its not always lust we're feeling. Lust is a biological reaction to the attraction you may feel to someone. Infactuation is the emotional reaction to that attraction. Its something very similar to love....its awe and captivation. Its the wonderment of someone elses existence. And most of the time, it doesn't last. Its like getting a new toy or game and once you've mastered it, you lose interest.