Love and Lust: Why both are Important in a Romantic Relationship by Michelle Alva, PT
Have you ever wondered if you were truly in love, or truly in lust? Did you know that falling in love actually forms over time, and it has a predictable course dependent on many different factors, of which personality and temperament have much to do with, along with how much you have in common with your partner?
Love is an intense feeling or affection and care towards another person. It is a profound attraction that forms an emotional attachment over time. On the flip side, lust is a strong desire of a sexual nature that is based on physical attraction and happens rather quickly.
Lust can transform into love, but usually it takes time. Two individuals will transform their lust into love when they get to actually see the whole individual and get past the “fantasy level.”
Dr. Helen Fisher, a well known researcher on the topic of romantic love, has identified three stages to falling in love.
Flushed cheeks, clammy hands and a racing heart are just some signs that Cupid has fired his arrow.
WHICH STAGE ARE YOU AT WITH YOUR MATE?
Stage 1: Lust
Lust is the first stage of falling in love. It is driven by desire, the sex hormones play an important role in this stage which makes sense because if there is no desire, then how can there eventually be love? According to experts, this stage may range from 6 months to two years.
SIGNS That You Are “In Lust”
-You’re focused on the physical appearance of the object of your desire.
-There is a strong desire to have sex, but not deep emotional conversations.
-You’d rather keep the relationship on a fantasy level, not discuss real feelings.
-You are lovers, but not necessarily friends.
Stage 2: Attraction
This is the “love-struck” phase. When you spend hours daydreaming about your lover, lose sleep or your appetite, you know you are in this phase.
The neurohormones that play an important role in the attraction or infatuation phase are Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin. These are the hormones that send our heart racing, and might actually make us feel like we are going insane. Pedro Calderón de la Barca was not far off when he said “Love that is not madness is not love.”
Stage 3: Deep Love and Attachment
When a couple has gotten to know themselves beyond the courting phase, and they get to see their “whole” personality and their strengths and weakness, and still love and accept that person as they are, there is a neurohormone of love called Oxytocin that takes over. This is the commitment hormone, it is released during orgasm and it is believed that it promotes bonding when adults are intimate. The theory goes on that the more sex a couple has, the deeper the bond becomes. Romantic love and addiction share similar brain chemistry. We tend to fall in love with people that have the same degree of intelligence, common interests and good looks.
Timing also plays a significant role, both people have to be ready and willing to fall in love. When you have great sexual chemistry and are also best friends you have a great recipe for long term romantic love. If you are not interested in a committed relationship, it is advised not to casually sleep with someone, because we are releasing bonding hormone when we orgasm. We are basically kidding ourselves when we say we are going to be casual with someone. Our brain chemistry does not function that way over time.
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE IN TRUE ROMANTIC LOVE
-This type of love is not just an emotion, it is also a craving. There is a strong emotional craving, the love drive is even stronger than the sex drive.
Possessiveness. When you desire only that one person you know you are in deep romantic love.
You want to spend quality time together and go on dates with your mate, other than just have sex.
You get lost in conversations and forget about the hours passing.
You want to honestly listen to each other’s feelings and 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.
You can’t stop thinking about that person.
At this stage, instead of a split between love and lust, your new path lies in the balancing of the two- committed love and red hot sex, security and excitement, continuity and novelty, safety and adventure, comfort and passion. The happiest couples are the ones that can maintain a balance between lust and love. Both lust and love are equally important to maintain in a relationship so that both parties feel energized, uplifted and thrive in their romantic partnership. Too often though, people place the need to nurture the romance part of their relationship on the back burner, yet this aspect is so important for a couple to stay bonded to one another. Making time to make love, go on dates and spend quality together time is very healthy and important.
Cupid Dates is an event planning company created specifically for existing couples. This is a refreshing twist to how a dating company typically would handle things because they want you to “Date your Mate”. The unique experiences they design have all the romantic details covered, and each date is personalized for every couple. The mission of your Personal Date-Planner is to spark more chemistry (Dopamine, Norepinephrine & Serotonin) between you and your significant other by intentionally combining elements of surprise throughout your experience on every custom date.
Making an effort to hire a company like Cupid Dates will help couples to stay connected and learn how to re-ignite the spark of passion in their daily lives, while helping you to make wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Sometimes we have been hurt or develop resentment in a long term relationship which kills the romance. Another tip for you to reconnect to the love and passion inside, is to listen to my guided meditation linked here for your convenience: “Let Go and Love,” or schedule a one-on-one integrative healing session to release of old wounds, emotional baggage and re-ignite your romantic spark.
Feel grateful and enjoy discovering yourself through relating with someone you lust. As time goes by, you will know more about yourself and that person and decide whether you want to continue to the next stage. Remember to keep honesty and respectful communication a priority between you and your partner to ensure that no one gets hurt. The energy and experience of romantic love is one of the most powerful and fulfilling experiences.
Enjoy the journey. Don’t rush it; allow it to unfold beautifully and naturally like a fragrant rose. We are magnets and therefore, the more you bring love, passion and romance into your own self-relationship, the easier it will be to attract someone that reflects that same love and passion within you.
If you have a thought that you’d like to share with me, or a burning question regarding this topic and the three stages of falling in love, please send me a tweet @MichelleAlvaPT (and hash-tag #CupidDates). Your tweet may be re-tweeted and I’ll do my best to respond to every tweet that comes my way.