Love and lust - are they re­lated?

ALL WE NEED IS LOVE

The Star (St. Lucia) - - THE LIGHT SIDE -

A col­umn about love, re­la­tion­ships, dat­ing and every­thing in be­tween by Sadie Love.

Ihave never re­ally made any kind of con­certed ef­fort to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween love and lust. My friend Car­rie, now in her third re­la­tion­ship in less than a month, brought me to the re­al­iza­tion that not only was re­search nec­es­sary in that de­part­ment, so was an in­ter­ven­tion. I must ad­mit Car­rie’s de­ci­sion to speed-date is partly my fault. Not that I re­gret it. Re­cently I’d been spend­ing quite a lot of time try­ing to con­vince her that life is about more than just eat­ing, work­ing, and sleep­ing, with a few min­utes here and there for other more per­sonal obli­ga­tions, or in­cli­na­tions. Ex­actly one month ago she turned 26. We were sit­ting in the liv­ing room of her one-bed­room condo on a Fri­day evening, and I’d had just about enough. We were go­ing out, and there was noth­ing she could say or do about it.

Sulk­ing, she’d re­luc­tantly put away her lap­top. She re­minded me that the last time she’d gone out she’d met the man who’d bro­ken her heart. I waved her off, and rum­maged through her closet. I pulled out a shim­mery black jump­suit that was buried some­where in the back, and handed it to her. She pulled it on and straight­away I no­ticed how per­fectly it ac­cen­tu­ated the curves she al­ways kept un­der wraps. Even she seemed sur­prised when she glanced in the mir­ror! We headed out, and be­fore long there were the wolf whis­tles and cat calls. She ca­su­ally strolled along on her six-inch suede pumps, as usual un­aware of the may­hem in her wake. Even men with girl­friends leaned dan­ger­ously out of their cars to peek at her.

Need­less to say, she picked up more than her fair share of num­bers that night. I felt tri­umphant, un­til she started talk­ing about pos­si­bly al­ready be­ing in love with two guys she had only just en­coun­tered. I had known be­fore­hand Car­rie was the sort of girl who fell in love quickly, but since it was a mess partly of my own cre­ation, I had to find a way to show her the dif­fer­ence be­tween love and lust. Nat­u­rally I headed to Youtube. There I found a TedTalks video by Terri Or­buch, the in­tro­duc­tion of which told how to love and lust. I shared it with Car­rie.

Lust:

Sex: You’re drawn to the other per­son based solely on physical and sex­ual arousal or at­trac­tion. You’re filled with sex­ual de­sire that does not stop. Terri pointed out that lust de­clin­ing was an in­evitable part of all ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships, hence I think it’s safe to say if you’re at­tracted to some­one on solely that ba­sis, ex­pect things to fiz­zle when the nov­elty fades.

Shal­low in­ter­ac­tions: It’s all about show­ing off what you con­sider your best traits, and in­ter­ac­tions with you or your part­ner haven’t suc­cess­fully man­aged to get past su­per­fi­cial stages. Love con­cerns it­self more about know­ing and ac­cept­ing your part­ner, and

your­self.

Glori­fi­ca­tion: You don’t see the other per­son for who they are, you see them for who you want or need them to be. (So in fact, it’s not love that makes you blind, it’s lust!) In that state of mind, you’re im­pressed by any­thing and every­thing your part­ner does or says. In Terri’s words: “You don’t see cer­tain things, or they don’t bother you, but as time goes on, those same be­hav­iours be­come ir­ri­tat­ing and an­noy­ing to you. Flaws and faults be­come ap­par­ent.” At this point, lust de­clines.

Love:

Con­nec­tion: When you’re in love you want your part­ner to con­nect with all the im­por­tant peo­ple in your life. You care whether the peo­ple in your life like them, and you want to show them off to the world. You in­tro­duce them to your in­ter­ests, and those close to you, and they do the same. “Us” and “we”: Use of “we” lan­guage, rather than “I” lan­guage. Terri di­vulged: “When two peo­ple are in love, they be­gin to think of them­selves not as in­di­vid­u­als any­more, but in­stead as a cou­ple.”

Self dis­clo­sure: Things like how much you share with that per­son, and how much they share with you mat­ter, par­tic­u­larly the in­ti­mate de­tails of your lives. Terri: “You go straight to the core.” Con­sider what you talk about.

In­flu­ence: One per­son in­flu­ences the other in mean­ing­ful and sig­nif­i­cant ways. Whether that has to do with ca­reer and other life de­ci­sions, sup­port and ad­vice, the other per­son’s in­put mat­ters to you. You think also about how your de­ci­sions will im­pact them, and they pay you the same con­sid­er­a­tion. Cud­dle Bug Syn­drome: When we’re in love we pro­duce the hor­mone oxy­tocin, which trig­gers re­lax­ation, and pro­motes emo­tional bond­ing and close­ness. It’s also known as the “cud­dle hor­mone”!

The most im­por­tant thing I wanted to share with Car­rie, and with you, is that some­times lust can turn to love, but there are sev­eral de­ter­min­ing fac­tors that need to be part of the equa­tion, in­clud­ing a sense of au­then­tic­ity. Thank­fully, I saved my friend from go­ing down the deep end, and when she emerges again on the dat­ing scene she will be more equipped to take things one step at a time. Hope­fully!

Past the trap­pings of lust, real love awaits!

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