Love vs. Lust

love-lust

Ah…the four-letter L words; LOVE and LUST.  While we’re at it, let’s discuss LIKE, being that it’s many times a liaison between the two. Often, these words are used interchangeably, become intertwined, overused and underestimated.  The definition of each will be different for every person depending on what examples they have been exposed to and experiences they have encountered.  However, the basics are quite simple:

LUST is the initial attraction to a person that you may feel instantly.  You may deem them good-looking or find their confidence and how they carry themselves sexy.  Either way, you lose yourself undressing them with your eyes as they roll back into your head sending you into a dream that plays over and over in your mind when you see them.  Once you get to know someone and begin sharing your interests, hobbies, and background, LIKE can be added to the equation.

On the contrary, the fire and desire can fizzle down and die out once you realize they can’t hold a conversation while using SAT words in the correct context simultaneously, or that they have the attention span of a 3 year old.

Meeting people and dating is a gamble.  It’s a process of trial and error, yielding life lessons which reveal what we want and don’t want in a mate; what we are willing to deal with and what we will not tolerate.  Chances are, you have felt exactly the way you are feeling right now, about someone in your past, yet there they are…waving in your rearview mirror.  You can LUST and LIKE dozens, however, you will only LOVE a few.  Why?  Because LOVE is what you have when the LUST is gone.  LOVE manifests when LIKE has developed over time.  Through the tiny disagreements over who gets the last chicken wing, to the moments where completely opposite viewpoints erupt into debate, it doesn’t fade. LOVE is sacred.  It’s sharing everything in the world that is special to you with someone who will embrace your flaws, your dreams, and your beliefs.  LOVE is respect, trust, honesty, and the courage to give your whole self to another, without the fear that your actions won’t be reciprocated. It means learning to swallow your pride, agreeing to compromise, admitting your wrongs and being selfless.  LOVE is so many things but you must be able to see and feel those things when the physical attraction loses its luster and the novelty of the sex wears away…because it will happen.

I used to believe in “love at first sight” and not putting a time limit on love, but through experience I have learned what each of these four-letter L words mean to me.  You can LUST someone and grow to LIKE them and vice-versa but true LOVE takes time, and often the time that we are not willing to invest.  We crave instant gratification and gravitate towards comfortable companionship.  Sometimes we take compatibility and chemistry, and then run with it, swiftly.  You may love your time together, and love the way they dress, smell and love your intimate moments but, after four months I would say that you are still in the lust stage.  I am willing to bet that those “deep” feelings you are experiencing are your sexual ties.  It only makes sense that when we do something that feels good and is enjoyable consistently, we grow fond feelings, even slightly addicted to the high, similar to that which we get from chocolate.  But stop and think to yourself.  If you removed the sex from the union what would happen? Could you continue the relationship without the connection you two have built, time after time of releasing the hormones that cause you to bond after sex?  (I won’t get too scientific on you, but Google Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone”)

In LOVE, you must listen to more than just your body; you must be moved by your heart but still utilize your mind, which can pose a grueling, classic battle at times.  Tune into yourself, and get your feelings in check.  If you really care about this person and you see a potential future, set your LUST to the side and focus on LIKE.  Be friends first.  Take it slow.  You can have all the perfect ingredients but if you rush the baking of the cake, it may not come out as beautiful and tasty as you had hoped.  You may even realize in the end that an important ingredient was missing, but you overlooked it because you were too busy licking the spoon. ~ Jannah B

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