Is it Love or Lust?

by eHarmony Staff

Is it Love or Lust?

In the beginning of a relationship, everything’s intense: the passion, your feelings, your increasing level of intimacy with your new partner, etc. So how do you know if what you’ve got is the real deal or just a case of sex appeal?

The following are some important questions to ask yourself in hopes of assessing whether your budding romance has a potential future or is more likely to crash and burn as the passion fades.

How Much do you Know About the other Person’s Life?

Unsure if what you’ve got is love or lust? A great indicator is to assess how much you really know about the other person’s life. Sure, you may know what he does for a living and where she lives. You may even have each other’s digits programmed into your cell phones. But have you met the other person’s friends, spent entire weekends together, or been included in each other’s daily lives?

The best way to know if it’s love or lust is take an honest look at how interconnected the two of you are. And this doesn’t mean just the level at which you are opening up, but the level at which your partner is letting you into his or her life, too. By being honest with yourself about where the two of you are relating, you’ll get a better idea of whether or not you’ve got the real deal or just sex appeal.

Is Passion the Only Thing you have in Common?

Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between having the hots for someone and having what it takes to make a relationship work. A key deciding factor is to ask yourself what it is that the two of you have in common. Superficial commonalities such as movies, food, partying, and passionate make-out sessions are most likely not enough to make a long-term relationship work. And that’s okay.

But do yourself and the other person a favor by looking at your relationship realistically. If it’s just lust, be honest about the fact that your attraction is limited to the physical. Don’t talk yourself or your partner into thinking there’s a future for you as a couple if there isn’t. This is a conversation you’ll want to have in the early stages of your intimacy. By being honest about the scope of your feelings for each other, you’ll avoid getting hurt as well as hurting the other person.

Do you Share Common life Goals, Dreams and Ambitions?

Before things get too hot and heavy between you and your potential partner, you should discuss long-term goals, dreams, and ambitions. After all, you may not want to invest your time, energy, and intimacy with someone who doesn’t share a similar vision of your future. Things you may want to discuss before things get too hot and heavy include:

• Does the other person share your long-term relationship goals?

• Does he or she share your ideas about having children?

• Do you both have common lifestyle priorities (career, home, etc.)?

• Do you have similar ethics and morals?

While broaching this conversation can feel somewhat uncomfortable, it’s an important discussion to have early on in a budding relationship. Why? Because it forces you both to communicate in an honest and open manner, in hopes of cutting down on wasted time and hurt feelings. Plus, if you’re already engaged in physical passion, you’ll want to make sure your emotional energy is equally compatible.

 

Is the Feeling Mutual?

Here’s the real reason that having these difficult conversations is crucial to your relationship success: While you may feel that things are sailing along smoothly, your partner may have other ideas. Rather than finding yourself headed toward happily ever after only to discover you’ve arrived there all alone, it’s essential to know where the other person stands as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean having a conversation about commitment on the first date, or offering an ultimatum about exclusivity after the first kiss.

But as you find yourself getting intimately involved with someone you need to know where you stand. The only way to find out is to be brave enough to express your feelings and ask your potential partner how he or she is feeling. If the feelings are not mutual, i.e., if one of you is only interested in a casual physical relationship while the other one wants a future together, it’s better to know that before you get in too deep.

Becoming intimately involved with someone new is exciting and exhilarating—and potentially excruciating if you’re not on the same page. It’s important to assess the situation early on, identify where you’re both coming from, and determine whether or not you’re compatible for long-term relationship success. In doing so, you’ll cut down on wasted dating time, hurt feelings, and unnecessary confusion.

If you find yourself in a lust-only affair, it’s up to you to act accordingly depending on your wants and needs. If you discover that your passionate pursuit has future relationship potential, congratulations! You may be well on your way to happily ever after. Either way, it’s important to know where you stand as soon as possible so that you can proceed with caution, care, or commitment.

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