Dr. Michele Lastella, a sleep researcher at Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science at CQ University, has been investigating the link between sex and sleep. Based…
I Lust You
With February being the month of romance, is your focus firmly on your partner, or do you wish you were spending romantic moments with someone else? If your romantic fantasies involve someone who isn’t your partner, you are not alone. Incredibly, one-fifth of adults claim that they are in love with someone who isn’t their partner. Furthermore, one in 25 people says that they have been in love with someone other than their partner for more than five years. But, is this real love or is it lust?
The science of lust
Many people mistake lust for physical attraction. People may say they ‘lust after’ someone with no intention of wanting to take it further. However, lust is so much more than fancying someone. While physical attraction and sexual desire play a large part, lust is a primal instinct within us that urges us to procreate. Lust is actually the driving force that ensures that our DNA survives.
Studies have shown that lust is such a powerful force in the body that it even changes our brains, giving an altered state of consciousness. In fact, MRI scans show that the power of lust alters the brain in the same way that the next fix of cocaine does to addicts.
Furthermore, MRI scans can show the stimulation of neural networks, which demonstrates the difference between lust and love. However, without the use of an MRI scan, how can you tell if what you are feeling is love or lust?
Is it lust or love?
Relationships can blossom from lust. However, lust doesn’t necessarily lead to love. Due to its effect on the mind, lust can make you imagine that life is better with someone else. In the same study that found that one in five people love someone who isn’t their partner, researchers also found that 29% of men and 19% of women plan to leave their partner. So can these people differentiate between the heady heights of lust or deep, meaningful love?
Signs you are in lust, not love
You think they are perfect
Lust can shield us from the flaws of the person. When you are in lust, you may believe the other person can do no wrong and idealise what life would be like with them. With lust, it is like you are wearing rose-tinted glasses. However, with love, you can see the real person, their positives and negatives. You love and accept the person for who they are.
You are not friends
Dating should be fun and exciting, but it should be a chance to get to know the other person and to become friends. If you feel you have skipped the friendship stage, then it is likely it is the primal lust that is ruling your heart, rather than love. If you don’t feel that you are able to open up and expose your vulnerabilities to someone, then it is likely to be a lustful relationship, rather than a loving one.
You are dissatisfied with your current partner
If you believe you ‘deserve better’, feel dissatisfied, or see that others have an ‘idyllic’ relationship, then it may not be love that you are experiencing with someone else, but lust. If your current relationship isn’t working, and you look outside the relationship to find happiness, it becomes easier to get caught up in a whirlwind of lust.
Instead, it is important to stop searching outside of yourself for happiness. It is easy to believe that someone else will provide you with the satisfaction, contentment and happiness you are currently lacking. This can lead to a constant search of lustful relationships that never turn into love.
To stop this, it is important to take time away to find happiness in yourself and love yourself. Once you have internal happiness, it becomes easier to enjoy the stages of lust and love for what they are. Hypnotherapy can help to reassess your relationship with lust and love and give you the self-acceptance and self-happiness that you need before turning your attention to relationships with others.
If you want to break the cycle of lust and find love, then get in touch with me by calling 0207 971 7677 for your free 15-minute consultation to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you.
Don’t be afraid of lust
Lust is a perfectly natural reaction and is something to enjoy. However, if you are planning to make life-changing decisions based on love, it is a good idea to stop and take the time to assess whether it is real love or lust that is driving your decisions. If you are in the stages of lust, then give yourself the time you need to see if it fizzles out or evolves into long-lasting love to save you from potential heartbreak.
Blair, L. (2019). Mistaking lust for love. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/14/mistaking-lust-for-love [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
Cacioppo S, e. (2019). The common neural bases between sexual desire and love: a multilevel kernel density fMRI analysis. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22353205 [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
Psychology Today. (2019). Lust vs Love: Do You Know the Difference?. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-freedom/201108/lust-vs-love-do-you-know-the-difference [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].