It goes without saying that sexual attraction is a part of what draws two people together in romantic relationships, but sometimes the lust that you feel for someone is too much. Put simply, sometimes the lust you feel for someone is unhealthy and will lead you to heartbreak if you’re not careful. Lusting after someone to an extreme degree is often a sign that the relationship will burn out fast or end terribly. Take a look at the signs below and ask yourself if you have ever dealt with any of these feelings, or if you are dealing with this situation now.
1. Most of your thoughts about the person you are dating are physical or sexual in nature.
Of course, it is normal to daydream or fantasize about the new flame in your life. It’s normal, too, if many of those thoughts are sexual. But for those men and women who develop unhealthy lust, they know exactly what I mean when I say that, sometimes, the lust is too much and indicates that the relationship won’t last. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
2. You need physical or sexual activity every single date.
When you start dating someone, there are times when it is feasible to spend intimate time together at one of your homes. Other times, however, there simply isn’t space for it. Perhaps you meet for a movie and a drink, but then one of you has something else to do which makes it impossible to spend time together later in a private space. For men and women who develop unhealthy lust, a date without physical or sexual activity is not good enough. They need it and get extremely frustrated or disappointed if they don’t get that physical time. This is unhealthy and suggests that the relationship may not last because there is too much of an emphasis on the physical component.
3. You don’t connect as much emotionally or intellectually as you do physically.
It’s a-okay if the person you met provokes sexual desire in you, as long as you also feel that you have a real emotional connection. In other words, you also like simply sitting and talking with them. It’s easy to be with them and you like the things they have to say; you like (most of) the things they talk about. But too often in dating, you can meet someone who ignites a “Damn, that’s intense!” sexual spark and the bond you feel is far more sexual or physical than emotional. When that happens, you know what else happens down the road…yet another breakup.
4. You worry that the person you’re dating isn’t as sexually attracted to you as you are to them.
I’ve heard some people say – therapists and everyday folks, alike – that two people in a relationship will never be exactly equally sexually attracted to each other. Perhaps there’s truth to that with many couples, but there will always be exceptions. If you are extremely attracted to someone and you worry – or feel convinced – that they’re not as attracted to you as you are to them, that is a sign that you feel unhealthy lust. In relationships that are relatively happy and last many years, there are two possible dynamics: they feel a similar level of attraction for the other, or in cases where one is more sexually attracted to each other, each member of the couple is aware of that difference and is okay with it because sex isn’t a major priority. But if you start a relationship and you are the one who feels insecure about your new partner feeling less attracted to you, the level of lust you feel or the importance that you place on that difference is a problem. Again, you can have a relationship that is successful and lasts many years if you feel extreme lust for that person but don’t feel that the lust is returned – as long as you accept it and don’t take it personally. A friend of mine, for example, who has been married to her husband for 15 years recently told me without the slightest shred of anxiety, “I am probably more into him than he is into me.” You know what? That relationship works and those two love each other like peanut butter loves jelly.
The big picture (and the way to find a relationship that works).
Simply put, don’t keep score. Don’t take just one part of your relationship dynamic, such as sexual attraction or lust, and overthink it. You need to look at a relationship dynamic in the big picture. Each member of couple is needed for different things. Hopefully, you find someone similar enough to you in shared values, and the two of you are able to accept the differences that exist with the understanding that no relationship on earth will ever be perfect or meet every single one of your various needs. My wish for you: Go out there and find someone who fits you and your needs well enough to last!
About the Author:
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.