Firstly we want to look into what love is all about.
Love is involuntary. Brain science tells us it’s a drive like thirst. It’s a craving for a specific person. It’s normal, natural to “lose control” in the early stage of romance. Love, like thirst, will make you do strange things, But knowledge is power. It’s a natural addiction and treating it like an addiction can help you. We were built to fall in love and if I may ask: Are YOU in love?
The ancient Greeks called love “the madness of the gods.” Modern psychologists define it as it the strong desire for emotional union with another person. But what, actually, is love. It means so many different things to different people. Songwriters have described it, “Whenever you’re near, I hear a symphony.” Shakespeare said, “Love is blind and lovers cannot see.” Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
THE OVERALL HYPOTHESIS
But we think that romance is one of three basic brain systems that evolved for mating and reproduction:
The sex drive or lust—the craving for sexual gratification–evolved to enable you to seek a range of potential mating partners. After all, you can have sex with someone you aren’t in love with. You can even feel the sex drive when you are driving in your car, reading a magazine or watching a movie. Lust is not necessarily focused on a particular individual.
Romantic love, or attraction—the obsessive thinking about and craving for a particular person–evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one individual at a time. As Kabir, the Indian poet put it: “The lane of love is narrow; there is room for only one.”
Attachment—the feeling of deep union with a long-term partner–evolved to enable you to remain with a mate at least long enough to rear a single child through infancy together as a team—although many of us remain together much longer, and enjoy the benefits of life with a partner even when there is no goal to have children.
These three brain systems–and feelings–interact in many ways to create our myriad forms of loving.
We began our studies with attraction. Whether it’s called romantic love, obsessive love, passionate love, or infatuation, men and women of every era and every culture have been affected by this irresistible power.
The intensity of romantic love tends to last somewhere from six months to two years before turning into attachment in most relationships. Romance is where love begins, and it seems to have the most extreme effect on human behavior.
Behavioral traits of early stage romantic love:
- Special meaning: the romantic partner is the center of the world, and you like anything they like
- Intense energy and it’s hard to sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Separation anxiety
- Intense motivation for emotional union
- Intrusive thinking
Having looked at what love is; We want to look at what lust is all about.
Lust is a craving, it can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, lust for money or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food.
Lust holds a critical position in the philosophical underpinnings of Buddhist reality. It is named in the second of the Four Noble Truths, which are that
- Suffering (dukkha) is inherent in all life.
- Suffering is caused by lust.
- There is a natural way to eliminate all suffering from one’s life.
- The Noble Eightfold Path is that way.
Lust is the, attachment to, identification with, and passionate desire for certain things in existence, all of which relate to the form, sensation, perception, mentality, and consciousness that certain combinations of these things engender within us. Lust is thus the ultimate cause of general imperfection and the most immediate rootcause of a certain suffering.
The passionate desire for either non-existence or for freedom from lust is a common misunderstanding. For example, the headlong pursuit of lust (or other “deadly sin“) in order to fulfill a desire for death is followed by a reincarnation accompanied by a self-fulfilling karma, resulting in an endless wheel of life, until the right way to live, the right worldview, is somehow discovered and practiced. Beholding an endless knot puts one, symbolically, in the position of the one with the right worldview, representing that person who attains freedom from lust.
In existence are four kinds of things that engender the clinging: rituals, worldviews, pleasures, and the self. The way to eliminate lust is to learn of its unintended effects and to pursue righteousness as concerns a worldview, intention, speech, behavior, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration, in the place where lust formerly sat.
Signs To Differentiate Lust And Not Love.
If you’re currently dating someone but just can’t figure out whether you’re actually compatible or if it’s just butt loads of sexual chemistry, it can be a bloody confusing time. Matchmaker and heartbreak coach Sarah Louise Ryan explains there are six very obvious signs that’s it’s lust and not love. Here’s how to tell it’s not the real deal and save yourself a whole world of wasted time.
1. You want to know everything and all at once
If the person you’re seeing is really meant to be your next significant other – then what’s the rush? After all, all good things come to those who wait. If it’s lust, you’ll try to be all in – and fast – because you won’t be able to wait to get your next fix of those neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin (they’re what make you feel really good). If it’s love, then you’ll be far more interested in a slow-burning romance rather than blowing off some steam together.
2. You struggle to find commonality
The chemistry may seem to be bang on and will feel like friction, like it’s electric and you just can’t get enough of being in the throws of passion or talking about it. You’ll be addicted to the highs and focus any convo outside of the bedroom on how great your sex is. Yet you can’t find any other commonality, so the conversation just leads down the path to talking about your physical passion (and not much else).
3. You’ve got different outlooks on the world, but you think that’s ok
You like this person – they’re attractive, you feel comfortable in their company, and you want to hang out all the time. But the fact you both have different outlooks on the world and your lifestyles aren’t quite the same doesn’t matter, right? Nope, not a chance. For example, one of you might prefer a winter getaway to a stint in the sunshine, or maybe you both support different football teams – this is fine. What I’m talking about is getting down to the nitty-gritty of values, family orientation, your goals, ambitions, health, fitness and inevitably what you both do to make the world a better place. If you find that there isn’t any alignment and you’re not on the same page about a lot of things, then quite frankly, you’re looking at a whole lot of lust and not much else.
4. It’s not a seamless connection, but it’s exciting
Sometimes ‘getting’ each other feels a tad like swimming against a micro tide but you’re ok with that. The chemistry is there so you think that the compatibility might come in time. Well, it won’t. When you connect with someone that’s right for you, you’ll go through the stages of falling in love which of course include lust. But you will want more as you become attracted to their personality and want to attach to them and only them. Make sure you’re falling hook, line and sinker – not just sinking in lust.
5. You don’t communicate the same way
If you both seem to be constantly seeking the attention of the other, not feeling satisfied or safe in the knowledge that this is it, that it’s something set to last then it’s just lust. If it feels like clutching at straws for one or both of you, then you’re not in it to win it for love. Perhaps you find yourself feeling unsure where this is going, how the other person feels or what on earth is going on? The right person for you wants you to feel at ease because they want to feel at ease too.
6. Everything else falls by the wayside
If you’re attracted to someone and feel completely comfortable with dropping everything of significance around you, then I’m afraid to say that it’s lust and not set to be love. Things of significance can be anything from friends and family, to your hobbies, interests and work. Love comes from compatibility, and that’s based on a deep understanding between the two of you of what’s important, what keeps you ticking and the knowledge that you’re both in for a marathon, not a sex-induced sprint.
It’s tough in the early days to see what on earth is what between chemistry and compatibility, and what it is exactly that sets lust aside from love. As long as you trust your gut, stay true to your values and really know what you want in a relationship, you’ll find that only the people on the same page as you will stick around. In short, lust is for right now, and we all know that when it comes to love everything should just feel right.