Many couples delight with stories of falling in love at first sight. They regale listeners at cocktail parties or playdates or after work drinks with tales of locking eyes from across the room and falling so deeply into the sea of love that resurfacing was impossible.
While common, however, are these tales true? What is love, really, anyway? Is it not the meeting of two similar minds, the joining of two people who share a seemingly miraculous amount in common? And, if it is, can two people really fall in love without so much as uttering a word to each other?
Perhaps, this wasn’t love that these storytellers initially felt but, instead, lust.
While logical, this reading does complicate matters a bit. After all, if it isn’t love but instead lust at first sight, how do you tell the difference? How do you actually ever know if what you are feeling is lust born from the biological urge to mate or instead the emotional connection of love? While this question is as complicated to answer as it was to arrive at in the first place, there are some signs that you can look for to assure yourself that the connection you feel is less likely lust and more likely love.
Fireworks Have Settled
There’s a reason people talk about “feeling fireworks” when they first meet their special someone. This explosive sensation is common in the early days of relationships when you are drawn more to the promise of physical pleasure associated with a person than with that person’s holistic being. While even the most deeply in love couples do still experience these sparks, they don’t have to feel them to remain connected to each other. If the vibrancy of the sparks you experience when your lips meet your lovers has diminished but your desire to spend time with him hasn’t, you are likely legit in love.
Favorites Aren’t Physical
If you ask an individual who’s in a new relationship what he or she likes best about their partner and you force them to be honest, they will likely mention something physical. It’s not a bad thing if you’re drawn to someone’s toned butt or beyond-adorable chin dimple, but as your feelings for this the individual deepen from lust to love, you will likely develop new, less observable favorites. If you suddenly find yourself more enamored with your lover’s compassion than his six-pack, you are likely truly in love.
Sex-drive Has Reduced
Many newly minted couples spend an embarrassingly large amount of time having sex, so much so, that it’s difficult to believe that they are still able to hold down a job. While you likely won’t stop appreciating the feel of you and your love rolling around in the sack, your desire to have sex every waking minute you are together will probably reduce as explosive lust gives way to sustainable love.
Attention To Dress Has Declined
When first canoodling with a new partner, many people dedicate an exceptional amount of attention to their attire. Understandably, they want to look and feel sexy and attractive. As the relationship moves on, these once fashion-focused individuals commonly trade their skirts and boots for PJ pants and flip-flops. If you were once unwilling to even talk to your partner on the phone without touching up your lip gloss but you now answer your door in your stained sweatshirt from your alma mater, you have likely moved from the lust stage in to the love one.
Honesty Replaces Sugar-coating
People who are in lust will often compromise what they think and feel to increase their likelihood of engaging in intimacy with the objects of their affection. This may mean stretching the truth a little bit, expressing more interest in a certain topic than he or she actually feels or avowing an opinion not really held. As you transition from lust to love, you often start to shift from this people-pleasing style of responding to your partner toward real, debate-inducing disagreement. If you’re no longer hesitant to voice your opinion regardless of your beau’s disagreement, you are likely to actually be in love.