YOU’RE IN LUST AND NOT IN LOVE by AMANDA CHATEL

lust not loveI’m preparing to move to Paris for about a year or so. One of the major things this involves is getting rid of stuff that I should have tossed forever ago, but just haven’t yet. While tossing clothes and shoes is emotional enough in its own right, what’s really killing me the most is my “box of yesterday.”

True to its name, my “box of yesterday” is a nightmare collection of things from past relationships. I say nightmare, because who saves receipts from Brooklyn Bowl because it has an ex-boyfriend’s name on it? This gal. Who thinks it’s necessary to keep shreds of a ripped T-shirt from a wrestling match after too many martinis? Me, obviously.

The project of weeding through these things and deciding which is reasonable to keep and which solidifies me as a straight-up lunatic has forced me to face a fact: My last relationship, if we can even call it that, wasn’t love at all. Of course, at the time I was convinced it was love, as we all tend to think in similar situations, but in reality it was nothing but lust tangled up with infatuation, and because of it I was the most unstable, crazy, jealous, human being I’ve ever been. Looking back now, I blush at who I was, and that I was capable of such insanity because of a man.

With those days officially in my past and locked there safely so I can no longer touch them, I can see more clearly than ever what I was experiencing. I was not in love with a guy whom we’ll call “C,” but in lust.

Here’s what I learned from it all. If you recognize yourself in any of this, I suggest you run like hell. Now.

1. THERE’S MORE FIRE AND LESS STABILITY

Love, real love is about commitment and communication. These two important components lead to stability within a relationship. Of course, fire can be part of the equation, but when there’s lots of drama, chaos and more emotional gut blows than butterflies, you’re looking at a lustful situation.

2. YOU FOCUS MORE ON THE OUTSIDE THAN INSIDE

I could stare at C for hours. I was so enamored with his beauty. To me, he was gorgeous from head to toe without a single flaw to be found. I was obsessed with his beauty, and relished in the fact that I got to be seen in public with him and got to “tap that” at the end of the night.

3. YOU PREFER THE FANTASY

From the beginning, I knew C and I didn’t have a future. We were far too similar to have been able to conduct a grown-up relationship, and he was never going to want me the way I wanted him. With him, I acted younger than I was for far longer than I should have — the drinking, acting out, immaturity and irresponsibility were quadrupled when we were together. I didn’t want a “grown-up” life with him; I loved the days on end of debauchery that allowed me to escape from reality.

4. WHY AREN’T WE HAVING SEX RIGHT NOW?

Although I loved talking to C, because we did have so much in common, whenever we were together just hanging around or watching a movie, I’d always catch myself wondering, Why aren’t we having sex right now?  I’m serious. I couldn’t give a damn about the ending to whatever movie was on, if it meant we were having sex instead.

5. YOU’RE NOT FRIENDS

C and I were not friends. For a long time we called each other “best friend,” but the truth was I was in lust, and he was just waiting for something else, something, to use his words, better. Despite knowing that, the lust kept me coming back for more.

6. INTIMACY DOESN’T EXIST

Although cuddling can be really satisfying and comforting when you’re in love, when you’re in lust a body against you just feels like dead weight. You’re also likely to ask yourself again, “Why aren’t we having sex right now?”

7. YOU EXPERIENCE INTENSE NEEDINESS

If I didn’t get the attention I needed from C on a daily basis, I felt like my world was falling apart. Was he texting with someone else instead? Was he not home, as he said, but out with someone else? Having sex with someone else? Why isn’t he answering my calls? It was exhausting, to say the least.

8. THE FEELING IS CONDITIONAL

Anyone who’s been in love can attest to the fact that love is unconditional. Lust, however, is not. Lust is steeped in gratification without concern to anything else. I could easily sleep with someone other than C and not feel a twinge of regret, but if I were to do the same to the man I love, I’d never forgive myself. Lust has blurred boundaries as to what’s right; love kicks those blurred lines into place.

CHEMISTRY DOES NOT GUARANTEE COMPATIBILITY

Mixed race couple in coffee house with taking picture cell phoneHe is  hot, His jokes make you laugh and his boyish grin makes you melt. So you hook up. And so the casual, hangout-make out, fling begins.

But, while it starts  off fun, light and casual, soon you find yourself feeling anxious when he doesn’t respond to your texts right away. You try to play it cool when he has plans that don’t involve you and settle for him coming over at 3AM slightly inebriated (okay maybe a lot inebriated) for some good ol’ sloppy drunk sex. Surely he’s dating other people, but as long as you don’t ask, you won’t have to know.

So what if he’s still virtually gallivanting on multiple dating sites, and is nowhere near wanting a committed relationship? You’re an ambitious, independent woman who has needs and right now he’s meeting those needs! And even though your friends are not so silently judging and disapproving of your latest love interest, your heart just can’t help but keep whatever it is, going.

Whoa whoa whoa. Let’s stop right there. Newsflash – it’s not your heart talking to you. It’s your increased levels of oxytocin – that sneaky, feel-good, bonding hormone that is released when you have sex.  And the more you sleep with him, the more oxytocin is released, causing you to attach to him more, to the point where you are physically addicted to him. Men also secrete oxytocin during sex, however, the levels are not as high as women. Plus, the emotional bonding effects are more prevalent and potent in women than it is in masculine energy men.

Too often, people find themselves in situations where they are with the wrong fit, and even though they know the dynamic is unhealthy and they are not getting what they want and need, they just can’t seem to stop the attachment and addiction to the person. Unfortunately, once you become physically intimate, it becomes harder and harder to detach.

Lynn Toler, the judge on the series “Divorce Court”, shares that in her eight years of watching where couples fail, is that they do not understand the chemical reactions that occur that can trick you into thinking you’ve found “the one”. She advises, “You have to ride that out and really let it pass… I think women do this a lot: Well, he doesn’t want to have kids and he isn’t interested in the same things I am, but I am really in love. It will work out once we get married … and it doesn’t.”

If a committed relationship is what you want, I encourage you to access the compatibility of your next prospect before your chemicals take over your mind and body. Chemistry does not guarantee compatibility. Remember that chemistry/attraction is just one element of what makes the foundation of a healthy relationship that has long term potential. The other elements of compatibility which are equally (if not more important) are:  timing, shared values and a shared life vision. Here is an exercise that will help you evaluate your next love interest:

Create a list of key values

These are the values/attributes that are important for your next partner. These are needs, not just wants. For example, loyalty and honesty may be key values for you. If you know you want children, perhaps “openness to have a family” is one of the things you put on this list. Perhaps this is what the 4% of people who get married from meeting on values/interests-based matchmaking sites such aseHarmony know better than the rest: they look for an alignment of key values as a primary filter on selecting a mate.

Create a list of ‘bonuses’

This is a list of bonuses – but if your potential mate doesn’t have this, it’s not a deal breaker. These are wants, not needs. For example, physical attributes, loves yoga and romantic may be on this list – they are nice to have, but don’t make or break the right partner for you. Whatever your list is, it will be specific to you.

Identify your non-negotiables

These are the things that cross your personal boundaries. These are the deal breakers. For example, drug use may be on that list.

Note, this is not a list to be unrealistically picky. There’s a significant difference between being picky over superficial things versus having standards for yourself. This exercise will help you create clarity in what you need and want. The next time you meet someone who you’re romantically interested in, see how he/she measures up in regards to this list. If the person scores more points on the “non-negotiables” area than on the compatibility of key values, you may want to think twice before hooking up. Or else, before you know it, you’ll be overdosing on an oxytocin high. And, as I’m sure you’ve already experienced in your past, that chemistry-fuelled kryptonite is hard to kick.

In conclusion, compatibility, timing and similar values are important in a healthy relationship, chemistry is also a key factor. However, don’t be blind sighted and miss out on an opportunity with someone who could be a great potential fit because you didn’t feel earth shattering fireworks right from the beginning. It’s definitely possible for chemistry to grow in time, but this isn’t necessarily the case for compatibly.

Appreciate Yourself

Originally posted on Stories without Border:

Have you ever come to a point where no one seems to appreciate your sincere efforts or kind gestures such that you begin to doubt your self worth?

You are not alone.

In as much as you shouldn’t do things or offer help and expect peoples approval or appreciation in return, morales are boosted when you get ‘ a thank you’ from someone whom you have helped. It’s a lot of encouragement when you see that people take notice of what you have done for them, it inspires you to do more.

What should be your attitude when no one (especially those you care for)seems to notice your actions. Should you give up entirely or succumb to self doubt?

flowers

By no means!

As long as you put in your very best into something or someone, be assured that you have done no wrong; move on with your life and keep doing…

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THE WORTHY LAMB

The worthy lamb, bruised and broken the worthy lamb

Strong and honourable, filled with peace

Author of salvation, guardian of the saints

Revelations reveal your power, thousands see the great works

Imagination has filled the reader of revelations

Graceful are you who is worthy to take the stars

Worthy are you who the twenty four kings bow to

Worthy, Worthy, Worthy is the breaker of yokes and burdens

Taking away the condemnation of sinners, you made them saints

The guardian of the tribes of Israel

The protector of the world

Worthy, worthy is the slayed lamb

                                      AnastasiaRuth

 

5 Reasons Print Books Are Better Than eBooks

Originally posted on Out Of My Head:

wpid-wp-1408796983921.jpegIf you know me, you’ll know that books are one of the great loves of my life. I’ll read a book in any form I find it and I really don’t care whether it’s print or electronic or audio. As long as I’m reading a book. This post is just a few of the reasons why I think print books are better than ebooks.

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BEFORE WE MET

Before I knew you, I wrote our story, Shy love
I wrote it on a tablet in my heart,
I sealed it with faith and prayed for our soul
I saw your face like I saw everyone
I said yes to your proposal
I spoke to you more than I spoke to anyone
I had your palm in my hands
And made myself available for your ups and down
I prayed for you like I did myself
And asked for your wellbeing like your mother would
We had long talks and had long silences while speaking,
We had disagreements like people in love
And made up like we never disagreed
You thought of me like you did yourself
And prayed for me like my mother did
I heard you speak of another but smiled like I cared
We spoke like children in love but grew up like adults would
I told you of my partners and you had a dislike for something about them
The blind and deaf knew that only lovers acted like us
You often sighed like you wanted more
And yes you wanted more
You wanted more wages and wanted more days ahead
Wanted to say more but always left a sigh
Running from the truth, running from fears we never met
But all this happened before we met.
Because we connected beyond the body heat