We’ve all felt that rush of euphoria and contentment whenever we’ve fallen in love. It’s a great feeling, yes. But did that feeling endure? Or did it fizzle out several months later? Sometimes, we think we’ve found the one…our soul mate, but in actuality we’ve actually only found someone that’s made us feel sexually charged. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you do need to make sure you’re not confusing lust for love.
Both lust and love activate neurotransmitters in our brains called oxytocin. This neurotransmitter is what makes us feel loving and happy. Whenever we encounter a person show excites us and lights a fire in our desires, that means oxytocin is being released. Because this chemical often times makes us feel so great, we can confuse that great feeling as love when it is actually lust. That’s not to say, however, that lust cannot turn into love eventually.
So, what is love exactly? Well, it typically starts out with feeling an attraction and sense of desire for a person. It means we usually feel that “spark” long before we actually feel connected by love. Love comes along when there is an ongoing emotional reinforcement within the relationship that make both partners feel connected and wanted. Love is something that requires action. It is a verb, Afterall. So that means that a lot of work is involved for a relationship to evolve into love. Love requires many things coming together like respect, active listening, open communication, honesty, patience, affection, and commitment.
It’s also important to remember that love doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t mean you’re in love after a successful date or a night of passionate sex. It also doesn’t mean love is happening because you feel that the person you’re seeing is right for you or the person you’re meant to be with. Love means mutually connection through time and patience and will only strengthen through that time and patience. Also, another key thing to remember is that the love you feel has to be mutual. Just because you feel you love someone, doesn’t mean that person should feel obligated to love you back. Love should come naturally.
Love needs time to flourish a grow, whereas lust is something that typically happens instantly and then disappears either pretty quickly or eventually over time. Love endures. And through growing together in patience, kindness, and a respect of boundaries, your love is sure to grow.