Are You Really In Love?
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Are You Really In Love?

Or is it just lust?

Are You Really In Love?

Did you know that love at first sight isn’t real?

That’s because contrary to popular belief, falling in love doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a process that takes time. You don’t love a person because of the superficial things. That’s lust at first sight, not love.

Love is a strong emotional connection with someone, which takes time to develop. Although lust is shallow and love is deep, lust may lead to love.

According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a well-known anthropologist, there are 3 stages of love.

Which stage are you at?

Stage 1: Lust

Often confused with love, lust is solely based on physical attraction. It's intense, yet short-lived. Lust is the stage where the interested person gives off certain body language. For example, girls flip their hair and expose their neck; guys smooth or mess their hair, spreading their legs while sitting opposite, and so forth.

Here are some of the signs that you're in lust:

  • You've only known them for a short period of time
  • The intense feeling of attraction you feel happens instantly.
  • You focus on the person's physical appearance more than his/her character.
  • You put that person on a pedestal, feeling that they're in some way superior to you.
  • There’s a lot of drama in the relationship: you blow up on that person, you feel insecure and easily get jealous, you talk about them negatively behind their backs. But if you’re in love, you wouldn’t do those things which will hurt them, because you care about them and want them to be happy!

Stage 2: Attraction

When you feel that you really really like someone; when you feel this extra surge of energy and excitement, you know you're in the attraction phase. You think about that amazing person a lot: first thing in the morning, and last thing at night before you fall asleep.

This is also the stage where you feel your heart racing, face blushing, and/or mood swings.

And these are all caused by the hormones called dopamine and adrenaline.

So in a relationship, when does the lust end and true romantic love start? Well, according to research, the lust and attraction stage lasts between 1.5 and 3 years.

Stage 3: Attachment and Love

By the time a couple has passed the attraction stage, they've seen the other partner's “true” self, accepting both the positive and negative traits. In the attachment stage, which is the final stage of falling in love, you crave a meaningful connection and develop a deep bond with your partner. You want to build a future together, sharing each other's hopes and dreams.

Here are some of the signs that you’re in love:

  • As cliché as it sounds, love is unconditional (It’s a cliché because it’s true!). When you love someone, you fully embrace the other person, flaws and all.
  • The relationship is stable: no playing mind games or emotional manipulation.
  • You respect each other and see yourselves as equals.
  • You truly care about the person: You want him/her to be happy, and wouldn't want to hurt them in any way.
  • He/she inspires you to be the best version of yourself.
  • Love is built on a strong foundation – you stick by each other’s side through thick and thin.

Now, you know the signs. So are you in love, in lust, or somewhere in between?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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