I think at some point and time in a relationship we have all had to examine our true feelings and ask ourselves if we were in lust or in love. There is a definite difference, right? Yes, no, even… maybe so? Well the problem is by time we find out, we are in deep, emotions are involved and sometimes we find ourselves with the wrong person. And that is where it gets complicated. Allow me to provide just a little background information.
The experts say lust is craving sexual gratification where love is life’s greatest prize.1) Lust (the craving for sexual gratification), driven by androgens and estrogens; 2) Attraction (or romantic or passionate love, characterized by euphoria when things are going well, terrible mood swings when they’re not, focused attention, obsessive thinking, and intense craving for the individual), driven by high dopamine and norepinephrine levels and low serotonin; and 3) Attachment (the sense of calm, peace, and stability one feels with a long-term partner) driven by the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin (Fisher, 2002).
Okay so given that what the experts say is true, we are wired to lust first to develop an initial attraction to someone. So that is what puts us in the game in the first place, our wiring and the physiological make up, right? So, that being true we then enter into attraction depending on taste, vibe, and availability right? And later comes attachment, which can be or can not be so good depending on the extent of it, and I suppose this depends on a persons’ modus operandi. Which after reading Fisher’s report, I thought about the cases where people claimed “Instant Fury” in love affairs gone bad as portrayed by Richard Gere in the movie Unfaithful. Hence there will be no warning should someone choose to flip the hell out on you and bust you in the head with a snow globe, thus ending your beautiful life.
So, I am willing to give the experts one up for their research, but this says to me to get to love, you still have to lust first. Therein lies the confusion in my soul. I’ve had a friend ask me, “Well are you in love or in lust?” Why can’t I have both? Can’t both exist at the same time? It’s my world and everyone else is just passing through. Why do I have to choose?
Surely one can feel lust and love toward one’s partner, but I think one also has to examine the levels of love. Do you love the person enough to co-habitate with them? Do you love the person enough to marry them? Do you want to procreate with them? Do you love them so much you are obsessed with them, in which case you need help and they need to run really, really fast. Or are you looking for the love we know doesn’t exist that is simulated in movies? And to that I say, “get real people.” Read the rags i.e. tabloids. Yep, they can act out the scenes that seem so perfect in the movies, but they just can’t live them out in real life. Exactly.
If all your looking for is quick sex, chances are you better not make the person a regular partner. Face it, some level of attachment is going to eventually occur and you may end up in something you don’t want to be in. Now if you are doing a “hit and run,” I suppose that’s a different story.
Are our expectations of love unrealistic? Am I suggesting one have aimless, unattached sex and head for the hills? No, I am as confused as the next person. And to really complicate things, there is lust versus love, and love versus being in love, not to mention love at first sight. Can I just tell you I’m quitting here before I get in over my head.