Most people in the world (those who haven’t yet settled down) are out there in the dating world or dating game. Perhaps “game” is a more appropriate word. We play the game, and hopefully, by the time it’s over, our goal of finding true love will have been achieved. Yes, there are stages in our lives when we look for fun flings, but after that stage is over, we all end up in the same basket – the love basket.
Now, telling the difference between simple lust and a bit more complex love is difficult, especially due to the fact that passion and love are inextricably linked – every true love is also filled with passion. This is why, when we find ourselves insanely drawn to someone, our mind is clouded and we start confusing one feeling with the other. Unfortunately, this is how lust works – it’s sneaky, deceptive and very crafty when playing tricks on our minds. Therefore, it’s vital to do your homework, sit down and learn the difference once and for all so you never again have to find yourself derailed from the path to true love.
First and foremost
More often than not, instant attraction and lust are the first steps towards love. The sex hormones play a major role in this very beginning, so you are most certainly in lust if you have an immense desire to be with the person sexually, but there are other signs as well. They include being more focused on their appearance and obsessing about their attractiveness more than anything else. Admiring the person’s physique and being able to stare at them for hours on end, undressing them with your eyes – this is all lust. Now that we have that covered, let’s explore the things that need to accompany lust in order for it to become love.
The common ground
People often underestimate the role shared values play in the sustainability of a relationship. You may neglect your differences in upbringing, your political views, even your goals for the future in the beginning – due to the sex haze, but when you have conflicting values, the relationship is doomed. An even more evident sign that what the two of you share is passion and nothing else is the fact that you haven’t even opened the ‘hopes, dreams and fears’ file.
The meeting of minds
By now, we all know that pure chemistry and ‘heart’ have much less to do with love than what we call the meeting of minds. When your mind in the midst of the lust vs love battle, the first thing that you should ask yourself is – do I care about what this person has to say? Are your conversations as stimulating, exciting and never-ending as your sexual encounters? If the answer is yes and you are bursting with desire to talk to this person, you are on a good path. If, on the other hand, the conversation area leaves plenty to be desired and this person is not tickling and challenging you intellectually, chances are it’s plain lust.
Where’s the friendship?
Is this the person with whom you can have honest conversations and the first person you want to tell everything that happens to you? If you’re dying to spend time with this person and tell them all about your day, and would rather be with them than with any of your friends because they seem to ‘get you’ more than anyone else in the world, good for you. Friendship is one of the most solid foundations on which love is built, so if you’ve got someone like this, hold on to them. If, on the other hand, you’re running to your friends and going to this person only when you’re in need of physical love, abandon ship.
The importance of friendship and the fact how much it matters in a relationship becomes even more obvious if you’re facing a long distance relationship. When it’s all talking and no sex, you discover whether you’re truly solid, and if you can survive the lack of physical constant for extended periods of time, perhaps it might just be love. If you have that much to say to each other on FaceTime, messenger, regular phone talks (without it all being arguments) this thing you have just might be worth the trouble as you have a friend, not only a lover.
True intimacy isn’t expressing all your sexual desires and fantasies to someone, at least not an important part. When in lust, you seek physical gratification, so it’s only natural that you’ll tell the person candidly what your preferences in bed are. However, true intimacy is being able to cuddle with someone and ‘feel like home’, when you’re in their arms. You feel safe and relaxed, and the touch of this person brings you a sense of calm instead of pure sexual excitement. Do you wish to stay in bed with this person even after the honeymoon phase is over? Can you handle whatever life throws at you as a united front? If so, you’re on your way, if not, cut your losses and walk away.
Now that you are ‘in the know’, go into the world and make good choices. Don’t let insane attraction cloud your judgment. In this day and age, we have enough obstacles on our path to true love, you don’t need to be your own obstacle on top of it.