Is It Love or Just a Bit of Fun?
When a relationship is in the beginning of the limerence zone, the first question that always comes into play is when the sex games will begin. First date, one week, one month, six months? But to have a healthy relationship with the possibility of being long term, sex must usually be addressed by both partners. In a dating relationship, it is always a game of putting your best foot forward.
But what if everything adds up, you sleep together, it looks like love, feels like love and within a short period of time, they are gone? And what if this happens to you repeatedly? As a counselor and life coach, I have had clients that this is a regular scenario because they confuse the physical need for intimacy for being in love. So how can you tell the difference between just sex and love? Here are some guidelines given by the experts that can apply to brand new relationships and sometime ones that have some mileage on them.
First of all, it is a well-known fact that the male partner does not look, think or feel about sex the same as the female does. Physically, emotionally and mentally, very different. Men view sex as a form of stress relief while women tend to need stress relief BEFORE being in the mindset to make love. Men are constantly worried about their performance whereas women tend to worry about if he noticed the cellulite on their thighs. Sex is something men think about a lot being in a dating relationship where women tend to think about all the other aspects of being together.
Although things are slowly changing, the two main emotions that are most acceptable for men to display are still sexual excitement and anger. The more tender emotions including fear, sadness, love, need, and longing are still considered “unmanly” to express so sex is an outlet for all those emotions. Because of that, it’s easy to mistake the explosive chemistry of physical attraction with long-term romantic potential.
If you repeatedly find yourself in short term relationships that end abruptly, here are some guidelines to assess whether your relationship is all about sex or has the potential to turn into something special. Be honest with your perceptions and if it is a relationship you are looking for and not just a roll in the hay, be willing to make some hard observations of how you can change the pattern.
7 tips to tell the difference between a relationship based on sex and love
- Looks are important but is it all about how you or they look? Was it their kindness or sense of humor that caught your attention or because they said you were “hot?’ If after being with your partner for awhile and they open their mouth for a conversation, you are hearing things that make you uncomfortable or all they do is talk about how gorgeous you are, you are only connecting on a physical level.
- When you’ve just started dating someone new, there comes the moment when it’s clear he or she expects sex as the next step and their interest may leave if you don’t agree. Saying yes can be an easy way to avoid asking the question: “if I am not ready, will their interest go away” and so you say yes. Ask yourself honestly why would they lose interest in you if you said no?
- You are not really interested in having sex and rather go to a movie, a concert or the park but instead the both of you wind up in bed together after being convinced you want it as much as he does on more than one occasion. So you say yes to the sex to keep them around.
- You are lovers, but not really friends. The sex is really good, maybe even great but what else do you have in common? What would you talk about if one of you were physically unable to have sex? Do you know personal details about them that their most casual friends don’t also know? If you have trouble answering questions like these, chances are sex is standing in for a fear of a deeper connection.
- Your time together is all spent in bed (or getting there). Do you go out together to public places where the idea is to have fun or get to know each other better? Or do you mostly “hang out” at home where sex is instantly available? If you are not being “social” and only “sexual”, the likelihood of it going further is slim as the sex does eventually get old.
- When sex is done, there is always an excuse that takes them away from you. Lust alone is often all it takes to draw lovers together. But when the sex is over, lust by itself can produce the reverse reaction, clinging together like magnets until satisfied and then the polar opposite takes place. You start feeling repelled with who you are with or sense it from the other. If either of you can’t stick around to cuddle or spend the rest of the day or evening together, then the potential for real love is not there.
- The sex may be good, but you still feel unsatisfied and that something is missing. Researchers have recognized that the biochemistry of sex through the release of hormones like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin is meant to produce feelings of well-being and bonding with your partner. But that can’t overcome your own intuition about the relationship’s true potential. Beware if you feel empty after sex, rather than fulfilled.
Psychic Susan Z’s Verdict
If you see yourself in the guidelines mentioned above, the only way to change not getting involved with someone who just needs to sleep with you because of their need and not really interested in where it is taking you emotionally is to look within and define what your own definitions of loving self is. Start being realistic about love, set your standards high, acquire some self-worth affirmations tracks and listen to them in your car and when you go to sleep. Start exercising, don’t settle and try not to confuse loneliness for neediness. It’s ok to feel lonely because you can do something about that but neediness never goes away.
How you feel about yourself when you go into a relationship is how it always ends. As the old saying goes: “wherever you go, there you are.” You are the one key factor in every relationship and if it always ends the same, then it is you who must change how you feel about what you bring to the table in a relationship. Bringing with you, “Thank you, thank you for loving me” or “Oh yes, you’ve got something special here, mister!” Be the latter!
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