Was the “Star Crossed Lovers” Love or Infatuation?


This picture represents the unrequited love between Romeo and Juliet. Credit: Romeo and Juliet by Keita Selina Pinterest

Megan Wang, photojournalist

Romeo and Juliet has one of the most unforgettable romances of all time. Known for their tragic love story between the children of rivaling families, their love story was notable for its intense, passionate, and quick-lived romance. Their one-week romance went through the course of events from meeting each other through a ball held by lord Capulet, to instantly falling in love, which then led to their secret marriage and their tragic death. 

So, was their love infatuation or true love? Regarding the information presented, Romeo and Juliet’s love was thought to be infatuation. This is due to the fact that their romance quickly developed almost instantly.  Their love story relates to this because Romeo and Juliet had such an extreme relationship that developed within a week, even though they had only interacted with each other once before their relationship developed, which is known as love at first site. Aiyanna Reed (9) comments on the romance, saying “I think that Romeo and Juliet’s love was actually infatuation and not true love because they had only known each other for a day before getting married. Both characters are young and impulsive and didn’t have enough time to properly get to know each other.”

Society may think that young teenagers’ romance is true love. So, what is love? As defined by Harvard.edu, love can be that when you see someone you feel attracted to, your palms feel sweaty, your stomach has fluttering butterflies, and your heart races. Many people believe that these symptoms come from your heart; however, these symptoms come from the hormones in your brain. According to a study by Dr. Helen Fisher at Rutgers, romantic love can be organized into lust, affection, and attachment.

“I think that Romeo and Juliet’s love was actually infatuation and not true love because they had only known each other for a day before getting married. Both characters are young and impulsive and didn’t have enough time to properly get to know each other”

— Aiyanna Reed (9)

What is infatuation? Infatuation is an intense and extreme romance but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something. Love and infatuation are often mixed up based on their common similarities, but when completely analyzed, their differences outweigh their similarities. One difference between the two is that love is gradual and develops. Meanwhile, infatuation happens instantly. During love, it is gradual because, over the time you are in a relationship with your spouse, you learn the characteristics, traits, downfalls, and interests that make up their personality. However, infatuation is almost automatic and primarily based on the feeling of being attracted to someone’s background or physical traits, according to Social Intelligence. Infatuation can be observed by Romeo being only attracted to Juliet and Rosaline because of their physical characteristics. “Oh, she is rich in beauty, only poor. When she dies, beauty dies in her store.” Page 24 of No Fear Shakespeare of Romeo and Juliet.


Another difference between “love at first sight” and True love is genuine; infatuation is shallow, as mentioned in Social Intelligence.While Romeo’s love for Rosaline is intense, it quickly subsides the minute he meets Juliet, leading him to completely forget about Rosaline. Aat the beginning of the book, Romeo is extremely distraught about Rosaline’s choice of becoming a nun, saying her beauty will be lost. He is saying this even though he has never personally interacted with her but has only admired her striking beauty. Her choice then sends him into a downward spiral of depression until he glances at the beautiful young Juliet, who he meets almost a day later. “Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows as yonder lady 0′ er her fellows show. . . Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’ er saw true beauty till this night,” as stated on page 64 of No Fear Shakespeare of Romeo and Juliet.


The final difference between infatuation and love is that love will grow stronger with time and problem-solving of obstacles. Meanwhile, infatuation fades quickly, and the chemistry dims, as stated in Social Intelligence. 


Even though this love story is known to be one of the “greatest of all times,” in reality, it was not based on true love but on infatuation and immaturity.  This eventually went from an instant spark to the fact that they were willing to go to extreme measures for each other, resulting in their deaths.