Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Lust versus Love

There is nothing like that feeling of meeting someone new. The butterflies, the rush. It's intoxicating. When a relationship first starts there is no one else you'd rather be with, no other place you're rather be than in your lover's arms. Your usual routine doesn't matter and who cares if you're tired for work the next day? When you are in lust, none of that matters. It's almost as if that person is your whole life, and you've only just met them.

That feeling is amazing; I wish it could last forever. But in new romance, the butterflies eventually fade, and are replaced by a deep feeling of love and comfort. Maybe not as sexy as those first few months or years, but it's important to realize the differences between a new relationship and one that's stood the test of time. Why? So you remember that the love you have for your husband or wife is actually more amazing than any initial romance can ever be. This is crucial because after awhile, we tend to forget that. Our partners become less intriguing because we get used to them. It's not that they change (except possibly physically over time), it's our perception that shifts. We don't appreciate what we have. That's dangerous because we stop trying to keep the romance alive. Others will tempt us with the allure of newness, but it never lasts. Not with anyone! No romance can sustain the intensity of new lust.

Having more realistic expectations helps normalize every relationship stage. New love is exhilarating and all-consuming. After the initial rush fades there's usually a transition period in relationships when you let your guard down and really commit to your person. It can be difficult and many run from this level of commitment. Others embrace it and move on to the last phase which is lasting love or a long-term relationship. Those who end up in a committed relationship with someone also go through their own stages depending on how long they are together. There are bound to be moments of sadness, fighting, boredom and loneliness. What makes lasting love amazing is that no matter what, you don't just walk away as you would with a relative stranger in a much-newer relationship. When you commit, you give up the freedom to walk away. In doing so you gain safety and an indescribable feeling of being loved for who you truly are. I am talking about your spirit, nothing superficial such as money, makeup or muscles.

The point is, every relationship stage has it's benefits and its drawbacks. Enjoy wherever you are in your relationship and stop comparing it to other ones that may seem more thrilling. You can have love and lust in a long-term relationship, it just takes more work because on both a chemical and emotional level, you aren't experiencing the same feelings as a new relationship. For those in lust, enjoy the tingling feeling and remember that if it's the right person, you have years to build trust and comfort. One day, week, month and year at a time.