"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."
- Henry Van Dyke

"For those who love, time is eternity." The end of this magnificent statement by poet Henry Van Dyke epitomizes the philosophical ideas that are parallel to contextualizing what 'love' is and how 'falling in love' varies from its common misperceptions and what people mistake it to be.

There is a strong distinction between infatuation and love. Often times, people convince themselves they found the loves of their lives and believe they are head over heels for the person they, in reality, only found a temporary liking to. Infatuation is defined as "an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something."

There are two factors that often contribute to an infatuated mindset:

First, a physical attraction. A person is often so warped up in a physical liking to another person that they don't take the time to take into account the other person's personality. It is a hindrance of a connection between two souls. The attraction is rooted in sexual desire with a complete lack of emotional bond.

Second, the idea of being with someone, rather than actually loving that person for who they are. I am a victim of this personally. There was a person who came into my life VERY briefly, and there was a fast and scary attachment on his end. When I ended things with him, he disparaged me and threatened me. His behavior not only shows his own psychological issues but also the fact that he never cared about me, to begin with. He was only interested in the IDEA of a perfect relationship and the IDEA of loving someone else, rather than take his time and fall for me as I am.

That is why I don't believe in love at first sight because it is always infatuation. It is a facade. A lie. None of it is real love.

Although I oppose this ideology of love at first sight, I don't think that means there is a time frame that is pertinent to when falling in love may occur. There is no way of determining how long it takes to fall in love with the right person. Depending on the two souls and how much time you spend with one another each day, it could be days, months, or even years. Love is hard. It is an abstract principle that cannot be explained with a straightforward answer.

Only you can really tell yourself if you're in love or not. Only you can determine the intensity of your feelings and if these feelings elicit comfort, stability, and pride. Don't let people invalidate your love if it happens more quickly than usual. Sometimes, it just happens. People get lucky and find their person instantaneously. Nobody REALLY knows the emotional connection you share with anyone or the ins-and-outs of your relationship EXCEPT YOU. They aren't in a relationship with you. Only you and your partner are in the relationship. Even if it's the other way around, sometimes the intensity doesn't happen right away. Some people love faster than others. We all have on our own clocks and schedules. It will all be OK. You are OK.

The clock does not tick to time you on how fast you take to fall in love. The clock only ticks for the people that love genuinely... and eternally.