“In our minds, love and lust are really separated. It's hard to find someone that can be kind and you can trust enough to leave your kids with, and isn't afraid to throw her man up against the wall and lick him from head to toe.”
How do we know we’ve fallen in love with someone and it's not just the crazy crush stage? Yes, I have chosen to use crazy, not in any intended disrespect to anyone, but because there are few words that can describe it. You’ve just met someone, maybe talked a bit with them; then you start stalking their social media, asking people you share in common about them, fantasizing about the next interaction, and basically getting way ahead of yourself.
It’s during this time when you believe everything they say. You don’t question statements. You hate your friends who try to play a bit of devil’s advocate. You don’t want to hear them. Everything is unicorns, butterflies, emojis, and little heart doodles. Every text points out that it’s destiny.
Now you see why I say in this is a situation we’re not thinking clearly?
But we all go through it; we're humans after all. It’s only with familiarity and getting to know someone that we can see things through a new perspective. That's when we stop idealizing our significant other and start seeing them as a human being who might not be perfec but we still want to be with. On the other hand, it’s just as possible for the opposite to happen. We might look to the person next to us and wonder, what was I thinking?
The problem is when we’re in the transition stage. When feelings and emotions are still quite confusing, so we don’t know if we’re still in lust or if we have truly fallen for the person.
Psychology has long been fascinated with love. There’s the interest in the processes that occur in the brain when someone is falling or has fallen out of love. How can you classify the different types of love? Can a feeling be quantified?
In the seventies Zick Rubin attempted to create a test to measure and possibly identify love from mere infatuation. Through a study where he began with 80 questions, he finally reduced them to a 13-point questionnaire that could provide a way of knowing if someone was in love with the other person or just liked them.
This is the first one to appear, because it’s close to a crush. It's when you're being drawn to this person for some inexplicable reason. You want to spend time with them, while also expect them to show interest in you. You want your friends to meet them because you’re looking for approval from those in your environment. There is a very physical aspect to this stage because it’s all related to getting close, not necessarily emotionally, but literally next to each other.
This one comes with being a little more level-headed. You start to see the person you’re attracted to as someone who has feelings you need to watch. You start worrying about their wellbeing and their state of mind. You don’t want them to feel left out or ignored. You start to consider them before making plans, thinking about what they might be interested in doing, instead of just thinking about what you want to do with them.
Here is where it all starts getting like really personal. While we usually relate the word intimacy with sex, it’s very possible to have a sexual relationship that is devoid of feelings, or at least romantic feelings. You can have sex with someone you have a crush on and then discover you’re not really interested in them beyond that. You can also have a sexual encounter with a person you never considered as a romantic partner, only to then realize you actually want to get to know them better. Intimacy is talking about subjects you wouldn’t tell to anyone; maybe it’s something you’ve never shared before. It’s finding that trust to express self-doubt and questions, knowing that the one next to you won’t make fun of you or not understand at all. It also comes with knowing that you want to be with them regardless of their own issues and baggage.
The test can be found on several psychology sites. You can choose to take it and see for yourself if it applies to your life or not. However, consider one thing: despite what Rubin’s study found, love continues to be a huge debate in the field of psychology. The test can help, but in truth, the only one who'll know if you’re in love, is you. Use these three traits to think about your relationship. Use the questionnaire as an open-ended question rather than an absolute answer. After answering each point, go deep. Think about why you believe or feel that.
Psychology aside, love is a feeling. Consider about how you have grown to care for the person you’re with and how your perception of them has changed. Use the test as a guideline. You’re the only one who knows what’s in your heart, so don’t be afraid to search within it for the answer.
If you liked this article you might be interested in the following: