You stumble across someone new, and whether it was the first words exchanged or the initial “I’ve got my eyes on you” approach, sparks are flying. You’ve got the nervous laughing going on, a weird flutter in your stomach, and did I mention the way his eyes sparkle? Everything is going great, and conversation is coming more naturally than you anticipated. This is what you’ve been waiting for, and before you know it- you’re hooked. On lust.
Soon enough, texts are being exchanged and maybe some plans are being put into place. (And hopefully, he’s the one doing the planning!). Nerves are definitely not going unnoticed, and you’re telling your friends all the great qualities you’ve found about this guy within your short span of getting to know one another. Of course they’ve seen this before, whether it was with you or another friend along the way. And by “this”, I mean the “You’re caught up in all the good things that’ll either fade away” or the “You’ll find out you can’t stand him” era. AKA: Lust.
Now don’t get me wrong, lust is definitely an exciting, new feeling that everyone gets caught up in. It’s the adrenaline rush you get of thinking “Oh man, I think this is the one!” When the first time you kiss it’s like fireworks explode over downtown NYC and you’re standing in the middle. Or when he texts you the first “Good morning, beautiful!” text that you thought you’d never get. You’re beginning to really fall for this guy, and you’re convinced there’s nothing he can do that’ll prove otherwise.
That’s what lust is. When you think there are no faults in this person, and even if there are, they’re just small enough to overlook. But more than likely, that’s all you’ll start to see. All of a sudden those “Good morning, beautiful!” texts fade away. Or in some instances become so repetitive you wonder if he’s set an automatic text generator or something. Maybe add a little something more in there?!
His obsession with cartoons no longer is “cute” and soon becomes a little overwhelming. And those little quirks he has end up being the most frustrating of all. “Babe, you know I don’t like talking on the phone,” or “I can’t fall asleep if we’re cuddling.” At first, those things seemed okay to handle. But after time goes on, all you really want to do is fall asleep in his arms. I mean, that doesn’t seem too much to ask, right? And for the person who loves you, it’s not. Love doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. Sure, some people like to believe in “love at first sight”, but that’s just attraction that led to a relationship, that ended with happily ever after. So that’s every successful relationship, ever.
Falling in love can happen in many different ways, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about distinguishing love from lust. And as we’ve seen- lust is a temporary high, that unfortunately you come down from. You see all the good at first, and then all of the bad at once. And things can get very messy from falling out of lust. You may end up never being able to see past that weird Star Wars obsession after all, and that sparkle in his eye? You found out it was a dust particle leaving his eye a little watery.
You don’t fall “out” of love. You don’t stop seeing all of the good things you saw when you first thought to yourself, “this is the one.” Those quirks, weird habits and interests? You’ll soon take them up as a part of your lifestyle, too. Because at the end of the day- it’s not about just about those things, it’s about the people you are when you’re together.
Laughter. I mean, pure laughter. The kind that comes from your belly and sometimes tears fall from your eyes. You’re not sure if it’s because of the note he horribly missed when trying to since a Christina Aguilera song with you, or because you’re so happy he’s even listening to a Christina Aguilera song with you in the first place. More often than not, that laughter is the best shared time together.
Compromise. You know he hates going to the mall, he thinks it smells weird, there’s too many people, and why the hell are they charging $9.00 for a pair of hardly-there panties, anyway? Shopping isn’t his forte, but he knows it’s yours. Whether it’s a stop along the way to his Grandma’s and he’s (kind of) patiently waiting for you to pick up a new sweater, or you want him to see the new dress you wanted to buy for a party. He’s there. And what more can you really ask for? Besides falling asleep in his arms even when he’s not the most comfortable- and I promise, he will. Because at the end of every day he’s going to feel lucky enough to have you, and do what makes you happy so he keeps you around.
And the roles are reversed, too. Even if you have no idea what position is where in hockey, you got him tickets to the Columbus Blue Jackets game and you bet you’re going to be sitting beside him cheering every time he starts clapping his hands aggressively. (This is the best way to seem like you know what you’re doing, trust me).
Realizing it’s not like the fairytales or quotes you read on Pinterest. Yeah, those things are adorable and everyone knows it. “Oh my goodness I can’t believe he left in the middle of guys night to come bring you ice cream when you were PMSing! So cute!” …No. That’s not how this “true love” thing works. In the real world, he’ll text you when he gets the chance, and you’ll accept his guy time because that’s what he needs. Just like you need to be dependent on yourself.
Every once in a while, sure he’ll go out of his way to do something cute. A surprise here or there, maybe a sweet text message that’s more than a “Good morning beautiful!” every once in awhile. And that’s what makes you appreciate those things that much more. When you understand and celebrate independence and individuality, but come together as a couple and make the most out of the time you do spend with one another. After all, love is what’s supposed to last forever. So why push everything to move so quickly? It’s understandably exciting, when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. But it is starting.
Love isn’t lust. It doesn’t happen fast. It comes over time, as days pass and you constantly find reasons why you want to spend the rest of your life with this person. And those days will come, so don’t forget to spend some of the days with yourself and your friends. Because in the end, he’s going to be sharing your wedding day with them, too.
And as a final note: When you find this person, the one that makes you belly laugh and goes out of his way to make you smile and appreciates time with his friends and the time you spend with yours, keep him around. Work for it. Because true love is much more difficult to find than lust. It’s real, and it lasts forever.