Dating in the 21st century has never been easier. As a 20-something who has had some experience with dating apps, I can say that they are a great way to meet new people. Will all the people you meet there be good matches? No. But if you’re lucky, you might just meet a decent person that’s not a total creep! Though dating apps are super convenient, they’ve also made dating a lot less personal. People are now waiting longer to get married, and are more open to having sex without long-term commitment. Unsurprisingly, this blurs the line between attraction that is purely based on the physical and something more meaningful that is more long-lasting.
According to experts, lust is the first stage of romantic love – we cannot experience intimacy without the desire of wanting someone first. This begs the question: Is it love or lust? I, myself, have always been curious about the age-old question of whether I’m in love or just infatuated (…or obsessed) with someone. Hence, I’ve created a list of questions that you can ask yourself whenever you’re unsure about your feelings in a relationship – they might just give you some clarity!
Can you spend time with each other without being physically intimate?
When you first get into a relationship, you might be all over each other, and that’s totally normal. However, it’s important to ask yourself whether you’re actually excited to spend time with them, or you just want jump their bones. Yes, physical intimacy is important, but emotional connection can be just as significant. This determines whether you’re just falling for their looks, or them as a person. This includes all the good parts AND the bad parts of them!
Do you feel judged by them?
If you’re like me, and you often struggle with the fear of being judged or embarrassed, this one’s quite important when you’re in a relationship. It’s okay if you’re struggling with some worries of judgement in the beginning of a relationship – you might want them to see you as the ‘perfect’ partner. However, as we all know by now, no one’s perfect. If you’re in love with them, you would feel at ease when you’re around them, instead of worrying about them judging you.
Are you comfortable with opening up about your past?
If you’re anything like me, and your walls are built with the thickest concrete, opening up is HARD. So, if you find yourself wanting to open up to your partner, that means you’re actually trying to build an emotional connection with them, not just a sexual one. Opening up can be hard, and it often feels risky. So if you find yourself sharing some secrets or experiences from your past, it might just be love!
Do you feel stable about the relationship?
It’s natural to be infatuated in the early stages of a relationship. In this stage, you may experience three things: sexual desire, being concerned with that person, and your mood being affected by what’s going on in the relationship. Later on, though, a more stable type of love emerges, marked by calmness, comfort, security, and safety. This indicates that you’ve had a long-term relationship with your partner, have enjoyed profound intimacy with them, and have a shared history with them!
Are you willing to make sacrifices for them?
One thing to know about lust is that it is selfish. If focuses on your own wants and needs, such as fulfilling your own sexual desires or boosting your ego when you’re out with them. Love, on the other hand, focuses more on helping the other person, and genuinely caring about their well-being. So, do you see yourself doing favours or making sacrifices for your partner?
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