Infatuation: an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.
Obsession: the state of being obsessed with someone or something
I wrote a scene the other day and at one point I found myself saying, “call the police,” in response to something that the hero did shortly after meeting the heroine. I laughed out loud because in the real world that is totally what I would do. That, or get the attention of the nearest group of people for help.
Our natural responses to things can make for great writing material as well as making the reader say, “yes, that could happen,” or “I’d do the same thing.”
I had never really thought too much about infatuation vs. obsession until I was in a critique group and was forced to not only speak to the work of others related to this, but also evaluate my own work. Two questions kept coming up which seem pretty common-sensical when thinking about a situation and the characters’ reactions to it. “Could this really happen?” and “Would I do that?”
I think romance lies somewhere in the middle in order for it to become a long-lasting love. The challenge for me is to write with an intensity of feeling without it coming across stalker-ish or something out of an episode of a Criminal Minds, especially when put into a real world environment.
Infatuation can be healthy because though it is potent it’s short-lived, but being in a state of obsession can be hard get out of and may feel super scary when you think, this could be my life. As a romance novelist, there are many times where I am walking that fine line between the two.