Wonder whether you’re in love or in lust? Whether your obsession about someone is a sign of love or addiction? Whether you’re staying in a troubled relationship because you’re addicted or in love? It’s complicated, and lust and love and addiction don’t always exclude one another. Endless analysis doesn’t help or change our feelings because we’re often driven by forces outside of our conscious awareness.
Initial attraction stirs up neurotransmitters and hormones that create the excitement of infatuation and a strong desire to be close and sexual with the person. These chemicals, and our emotional and psychological make-up, can cause us to obfuscate reality and idealize the object of our attraction. Time spent in fantasy fuels our craving to be with him or her. This is normal when it doesn’t take over our lives.
When it’s purely lust, we’re not too interested in spending time together without sex or the expectation of it. We don’t want to discuss real life problems and may not even want to spend the night. Fantasies are mostly sexual or about the person’s appearance and body, and we aren’t interested in meeting the person’s needs outside the bedroom – or maybe even inside!