What Is Superficial Love?

Your superficial love may mean that you aren't always honest with your partner.
... Bruce Grenville Matthews/Photodisc/Getty Images

Distinguishing between a superficial type of puppy love or infatuation and the meaningful kind is key to having a healthy relationship. While you might feel your heart flutter, butterflies floating in your stomach and a blush run across your cheeks every time that your guy or girl is near, that doesn't always mean that the two of you are meant to be. Understanding what superficial love is can help you to better build a solid, long-lasting relationship.

1 Not Too Close

A superficial infatuation, or a crush, is typically the product of attraction without any true closeness, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. When you only have a physical attraction to someone -- because of how he looks or a quality that you see in him -- you don't have true love. Without the closeness that comes from sharing feelings, fears, proud moments, likes and goals, an attraction keeps the relationship on the surface.

2 Ideal Idol

When you're crushing on someone, it's easy to idolize them instead of understanding who they really are. If you put your "love" up on a pedestal, acting like she's an idol, it's likely that you only have a superficial knowledge of who she is. For example, if you tell your best bud that you're 100 percent in love with your crush because she's the nicest, sweetest girl ever, take a look at why you have that opinion of her. If it's because she was nice to you one time, you don't have enough information to form an opinion.

3 Looks Department

Along with pumping up the qualities of a crush, superficial love often means "falling" for someone based on their looks. For example, if you've never talked to the guy in your bio class but think -- because of his sea blue eyes, chiseled cheekbones and bulging biceps -- that he's the one for you, your feelings are superficial. Although basing a relationship on looks alone doesn't typically go deep enough to provide lasting love, a physical attraction may kick things off before it gets serious.

4 Putting Blinders On

When your relationship is built on looks or a perceived quality, it's easy to put blinders on and disregard real relationship issues. Seeing only the pros of your love, and pushing aside the cons, won't get you to know the real person underneath all of those quality attributes that you've built up in your mind. While picking out your partner's flaws isn't necessary, recognizing that she isn't perfect can help you to build a real relationship.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.