Are you mistaking lust for love?

In terms of mature relationships and love, most of the times, people fail to distinguish between the true meaning of love and lust.

Every Cinderella longs to find her Prince Charming and live happily ever after. We all want to fall in love. Why? Because that experience makes us feel completely alive. Our emotions get magnified, senses get heightened, and we are flying in seventh heaven. It may only last a moment, an hour, a day, but that doesn’t diminish its value….

But are you sure it’s love that we are talking about?

Why do independent, smart women become emotional wrecks after a romantic break-up? Why do older men gravitate towards younger women? Could it be estrogen and testosterone hormones that addict us to our lovers? In terms of mature relationships and love, most of the times, people fail to distinguish between the true meaning of love and lust.

Have you ever been swept off your feet by a man/woman standing next to you in a queue? Is it merely infatuation, a strong shot of chemistry, or budding love – the real thing? Is Cupid playing a prank or bringing you true love forever?

Love at first sight is not believable. Love takes time. Lust at first sight sounds much more accurate. A study done by testing the blood samples of twenty couples, who claimed to be madly in love for less than six months, revealed that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder patients.

It’s hard to tell if you are in love because there’re no set defining characteristics of love. The dictionary says it’s “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection” or “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” What exactly is this feeling or attraction?

The question evoked the thought process of Paramita Roy, a fashion designer; she was surprised that she had never thought of this aspect of her relationship before. After much silence she concluded, “Emotions are not sufficient to suggest whether a relationship is that of love, no matter how strong the attraction may be.” Sadly, there is not much awareness to distinguish between lust and love and that is why we have so many emotional and social problems.

Since time immemorial we are hearing that love is blind. But that’s a mistake; real love is not blind. Quite the opposite, it is a relationship in full awareness. Over time, through good communication and wisdom, you can start knowing your partner. Gradually, you become aware of his/her flaws and try to work your differences in a healthy way.

Lust, on the other hand, could be perceived as being “blind” as it usually distorts reality, especially when you’re so involved that you don’t care to find out the real persona of your partner. According to Shruti Bhatia, a psychologist, we often idolize our partners, magnify their virtues and find a way to explain their flaws. This basically happens because many movies, books and songs paint an unrealistic portrait of love, which further builds a false perception of love in our minds.

When Sameer Nagpal, a commercial pilot by profession, was asked whether his six-year-old relationship was based on love or lust, he was quick to reply, “Love is full of sacrifices, trust and respect whereas lust is built on physical attraction, fun and thrills. Real love is commitment. I cannot categorize my relationship as a short sensational affair of love is in the air.”

Do some real soul searching today and identify your relationship. If you’re in a relationship which does not have fondness, respect, affection, devotion along with passion, it would be wise to back off. Or else, one day those wonderful romantic feelings will be gone and you will wonder what happened to your perfect romance. Accept the fact that you or your partner is not ready for commitment. After all, commitment is a choice which is backed up with actions and maturity.

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