We have for years heard about love at first site. So much so, that we hope it happens to us.
The immediately attraction and hopefully life long commitment to our prince charming or princess.
Experiencing the feeling of love is a long term process and cannot be felt immediately.
What is the difference between love and lust?
According to Judith Orloff, MD in her Huffington Post article, The Difference Between Love and Lust
Signs of lust:
- You’re totally focused on a person’s looks and body.
- You’re interested in having sex, but not in having conversations.
- You’d rather keep the relationship on a fantasy level, not discuss real feelings.
- You want to leave soon after sex rather than cuddling or breakfast the next morning.
- You are lovers, but not friends.
Signs of love:
- You want to spend quality time together other than sex.
- You get lost in conversations and forget about the hours passing.
- You want to honestly listen to each other’s feelings, make each other happy.
- He or she motivates you to be a better person.
- You want to get to meet his or her family and friends.
I consider both of her lists inclusive of the experience of lust. My reaction to her list of lust is more reflective of sexual interest and activity which eliminates the relational aspect.
Emotions and attachment are included in lust. Of course one could do without said emotions as well.
Lust is fueled by our neuro-chemicals which physiologically puts us on a dopamine high; we crave, idealize, and have obsessive thoughts about the other. This is NOT your heart talking, its your brain chemicals that have wired you to attract, mate, procreate.
Despite the neuro-chemical flood, you’re not using your brain nor your heart. You’re high.
It is one of the best feelings in the world and I believe has lead to many unwise marriages, divorces and affairs.
We all want to chase what feels good and boy does this feel good!
If our chemicals are urging us to procreate we need to have a veil of fantasy; otherwise, we’d really notice how bad their feet stink, they don’t put their laundry in the basket, belch too often after dinner, only floss once per month and they’re not that respectful when talking about their mother.
We instead focus on the fantasy that is and what our future with that person might be. If we noticed the daily bad traits of each of us right away, would we never pair up?
When we experience lust and recognize our altered mental state, we can place logic next to our thoughts of Mr./ Ms. Dreamy and allow time to guide us in the true-ness of a real relationship.
Logical statements help us reduce impulsive decisions, to place some realism in our lustful fog, remind us that everyone has faults and craving someone today and living with them day in and day out is a completely different ball game.
When do you know it is real love?
The main way love is revealed is through time.
I recommend couples not marry until two years of courtship/dating, because two years is the time frame needed for your chemical high to subside.
After two years,
Still feel sexual attraction to your partner
Have fully accepted who that person is without your ability to ever change them
Can tolerate their bad traits/habits because they are just annoying but are not unhealthy ie (addiction, abuse, manipulative)
Are interested in sharing your life with this person with shared vision for your future
Can have and work through disagreements
Have discussed your views on religion, politics, children and money and have come to an understanding and/or compromise
Enjoy sex with your partner
Want to empower them into their fullness
Feel respected and encouraged
Receive most of the attention, validation, sex and communication you find important in the long run
Feel comfortable in who you are
Lust is a biochemical flood of wonderful feelings, attraction, desire and craving which can be instantaneous.
You can have lust at first sight.