Lust and Love at First Sight – Myth or Fact?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “love at first sight”,or as the French say, “coup de foudre” (a lightening blow). This eventheats up the glands, sends electrical charges down the spine orchakras, makes the hands flutter, the palms sweat, twists the tongue,and causes seemingly sane people to appear like morons or imbeciles, oreven worse, panicky buffoons, or tequila shot drinkers.
But does love at first sight really exist? You hearstories about some alluring enchantress or dashing gentleman catchingthe eye of an admirer who never even exchanged a word with the objectof their attraction. The gaze or glance charged the brain and heatedthe loins, but what caused these physical events to occur? Can aphysical attraction really create such a powerful emotional charge? Areour brains wired to respond to signals based on physical attraction, oris this EKG acceleration, pupil dilation, and glandular heat-wavetriggered by prior history, such as this sexy person resembling aformer love or crush or someone famous that has been the object offantasies and secret passions?
Love takes time to cultivate and nurture, therelationship experts tell us. You need to really live with a personduring the highs and lows, and to accept each other with all thefaults. If you discover that Prince Charming really loves to drinkbeers and watch his favorite team on Sunday or play poker or go fishingwith his friends on Saturday, perhaps this is OK. If Princessa becomesobsessive about keeping the house spotless and having her own “space”in the bathroom, that should be perfectly acceptable. But what happensif you learn that Prince Charming has a penchant for late-nightInternet porn or confronts any male who even glances at his girlfriendor wife? Or what to do if you realize Princessa keeps her slender shapeby consuming mega-diet pills or an eating disorder.
Love is about making compromises, the great poetOvid said. He also said Love and Hate are about the same. Why can’t weachieve the idealistic love of Romeo and Juliet, those star-crossedlovers who sacrificed everything, including their lives, for theirloves? Actually, why was Juliet such a fool? If she would have been theideal partner, she would never have played such a deadly game withlove. These were teenagers from rich society families. Why didn’t theyjust steal some loot from the family coffers and elope to some islandfor a little passion and romance? Think of all their descendants whocould be cavorting on Mykonos, Ibiza, St. Tropez, Venice , or MiamiBeach, Sardinia, or growing grapes for great wine in Valpolicellaoutside Verona, or singing arias at operas or designing monuments andbuildings. But, alas, these star-crossed lovers really screwed up.
So how can you tell if the person who is your new object of attraction has triggered the sparks of love or lust at first sight?
1) He performs CPR on an elderly woman in the street – LOVE?
2) She twists and turns in that little black dress, smiles – LUST?
3) He grins with confidence and nods at the bartender – LUST?
4) She bends down, ties a nephew’s shoes at a wedding – LOVE?
5) He volunteers for a foundation building houses – LOVE?
6) She sips her cappuccino and glances at you – LUST?
7) He makes long eye contact and greets you – LUST?
8) She extends her hand after you crashed your bicycle – LOVE?
So what’s love? And what’s lust? Do relationshipsthrive when there’s a balance of love and lust? Can even casualencounter have more passion, when there’s even the possibility of love?Philosophers and poets and scientists have studied the mysteries oflove and lust for millenniums? Something tells me they will solve themystery of the universe sooner than they discover the mysteries andsecrets and causes of lust and love.
So, do you believe in love at first sight? Or lust at first sight? Curious minds want to know. Or do you believe in both?
WHY WE LOVE BEING IN LOVE
CHEMISTRY, INFATUATION: THE NATURAL HIGH By Michael Gilbert
Yourheart’s pounding. Your palms are sweaty; your skin is flushed and warm.You’ve got butterflies in your stomach. Even though you’re havingtrouble sleeping, you’re full of energy. In fact, you’re on top of theworld, even euphoric. You feel this super powerful sense of connection.You daydream, fantasizing about an endless future. You’d be forgivenfor thinking you’re on drugs, or something, that you’re high. That’sbecause, in a way, you are. You’ve fallen in love.
Whenthat first giddy stage of romantic attraction erupts a potent cocktailof chemicals, neurotransmitters and hormones burst into action. Naturalamphetamines light up neural pleasure centers in your brain. The, uh,fun parts of your body are aroused. Some people even get addicted; wecall them “love junkies.” Why, you might wonder, does this happen tous? Why does a “hot” romantic prospect affect us in this extraordinaryway? And why do only certain people trigger this reaction?
Evolutionarythinkers believe this electric chain reaction has a lot to do with theimportance of reproduction in nature’s grand scheme where nothing ismore fundamental than the process of regeneration. All animals arealert to the opportunity to procreate. It’s often at the very center oftheir lives. Over the eons during which genetic hardwiring was fusedinto our bodies and brains, enticing rewards were to be had forfostering the next generation.
Chemistryand the scintillating pleasures of sexual intimacy are nature’s way ofencouraging the reproductive process. Although customs, tastes andtraditions vary, nearly all modern cultures try to massage the power ofromantic love into safe and secure vessels for raising the nextgeneration. Somewhere along the way nature placed a potent brew ofpheromones, chemicals and hormones into the hands of its very own conartist—The Trickster Called Love.
Mostof us have an idealized mate in mind, a fantasy of a perfect unionburied deep in subconscious desires to recreate ourselves. We visualizea lover, a partner, the other half of our potential offspring’s geneticinheritance. In so important a task we naturally command all of oursenses. We take in appearance, measuring symmetry, proportion andyouthfulness. Our primitive sense of smell is deployed to make sure ourpartner complements our immune system. Meanwhile our powers of mind arebusy sizing up personality, character and compatibility.
Theeffort to find a partner and the exhilaration of new found love claimsextraordinary amounts of our time and energy at the stages in life whenwe’re actively seeking a partner. In our single years, of course, andwhen love stumbles later in life, sending us back again to the searchfor intimacy. As it happens, modern fingertip technologies, enablingsocial networks and online dating siteslike Youand.me, provide us with imaginative ways to connect with anamazing array of online dating people. If we’re smart about it, andlucky enough, we get to experience all of love’s promise.
THE THREE STAGES OF LOVE
Thisis chemistry at ground zero and we’ve all been there. As we fumblethrough adolescence its defining hormones propel sexual lust that canlast a lifetime. At this stage The Trickster Called Love stirs amagical brew of lusty potions: Brain cells are tickled; erotic desirefuses with intimacy. We can’t wait to see the other person. It’selectric!
Wemove from mating to bonding. Sexuality deepens into a fuller embrace ofour partner. We spend more and more time together and we project deepinto a shared future. The joyful mist of passionate love envelopes ourpartner. This is The Trickster at work again, seducing us on nature’sbehalf, nudging romance into the kind of love that may last a lifetimeas it gently blinds us to our partner’s faults.
ATTACHMENT TAKES HOLD
Thisis the love of commitment. The bond intensifies. Sexual intimacybroadens into the larger realms of relationship as we plan together forthe future, envisioning a life spent in each other’s company. Modernsocieties encourage commitment and seek sturdy families for the lengthyand demanding task of raising human offspring. Forged in the stagesthat preceded it, this enduring kind of love will be tested: After all,it will likely be called upon to survive The Trickster’s last magicact—the one where it disappears. For not even nature’s wily conjurercan keep us enthralled with love forever.
Whetherlove lasts a lifetime or just a fleeting interlude, we crave itswondrous charms. It often disappoints us yet we’re driven to seek itsjoyful embrace. Because, in the end, it’s love that brings real meaninginto our lives. It embodies our hopes for the future.
Michael Gilbert is Youand.me’s relationship consulting editor and author of the award winning bestseller, Disposable Male: Sex, Love and Money—Your World through
MEN & COMMITMENT
WHY MEN WON’T COMMIT: WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
By Michael Gilbert
Commitment-shy men. It’s an age old issue, thesource of countless personal aches and social pains, leaving an endlesstrail of wrecked relationships in its wake and a universe ofwhat-might-have-beens. Women can be skittish about making a commitment,of course, but men have raised it to an art form. Why?
Evolutionists, looking for answers in our biology andnatural history, are inclined to see males as the all-terrain vehiclesof insecurity. Women’s bodies move to lunar rhythms and experience thegender reinforcing transformations of menstruation and pregnancy.Bearing one male seed at a time, sensing the ongoing responsibilitiesof parenting, females look to a settled future.
But the ancient jungles and savannas where the modernmale’s hard-wiring was installed were dangerous places, harshlandscapes of deadly warfare, fierce male competition and banishment,and widespread infant mortality. Spared the consequences of pregnancy,mindful of their offspring’s perilous prospects, a male strategy ofplanting seeds far and wide worked its way deep into the modern man’spsyche.
Or maybe men just figured out that sexual variety was the way to some real good times.
THE SEVEN REASONS MEN WON’T ENGAGE
1. ONE SEX PARTNER…FOR ETERNITY?
You’ve got to bekidding? Forever?! Never again may I frolic with another woman? Yikes!This prospect alone is sufficient to discourage many males, even thosewho rarely, if ever, get laid. Not without a fight will young malehunters surrender to this forbidding future.
2. KISS FREEDOM GOODBYE
Seeing himself entangledin interpersonal complications the 21st century male views commitmentas mostly limits and compromises. He won’t get to do what he wants alot of the time, a burden he’ll bear as the price of sexual intimacyfor only so long—or with a grudge.
3. SPACE AND TIME ARE NO LONGER HIS OWN
Suddenlythere are strange looking garments in the dryer and the bathroomcounter has been appropriated by bazaar instruments and ointments he’snever heard of. Nothing’s where it’s supposed to be and time is nowdevoted to stuff he never did and doesn’t want to do. Somehow he’sbecome responsible for someone else’s happiness.
4. HE HAS NO SOLID ROLE MODELS
He saw his fatherstruggling with these limitations—that is, if his father was around atall. There’s a good chance today’s maturing male grew up in a brokenhome and/or witnessed his father struggling with fidelity and theresponsibilities of providing for a wife and family.
5. HE SEES WOMEN AS COMPETITORS
A product oftoday’s politically-correct culture and educational system, young menoften see women as being the same as they are, except for some amusingdifferences in their plumbing system. In our “liberated” culture themodern man may not even have to pay for dinner, let alone commit toserious responsibility. And if he’s been through divorce and custodybattles the scars may take forever to heal.
6. HE GETS WHAT HE WANTS WITHOUT A COMMITMENT
You’ve heard this one before—it’s the old “why buy the cow if you get the milk for free” thing. Enough said.
7. HE’S NOT READY (THIS IS THE BIGGIE).
Therecomes a time when the modern man tires of the chase, sees friendsgetting married and senses time is passing. He begins to long for alife partner and a family. Men don’t commit when they find a compatiblepartner: they find a compatible partner when they’re ready to commit.This is what marriage-minded women need to look out for.
HE SAYS HE’S READY. DOES HE MEAN IT?
Maybe. Does it look like he’s tired of the dating ratrace? Will he accept something less than perfection? Or is he lookingfor Wonder Woman in a swimsuit model? Is there a sense he’s ready towork on problems? Are his assumptions about living together reasonable?Is he settled in a job or career, confident about meeting yourexpectations?
If you like the answers to most of thesequestions—and it will take some time to find out—the man in your lifeis marriage-minded. In that case, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.(If he’s not ready, you’re on your own.)
1. GIVE HIM SOME ROPE
It’s no big deal if his eyeswander once in a while. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t prize you or thinkyou’re hot; it means he’s a male. Encourage him go out with his malepals (you can head out with your girlfriends). Show him it’s not aprison he’s entering but a fulfilling adventure.
2. PICK “SERIOUS TALK” TIMES CAREFULLY
Men do notenjoy a lot of relationship processing. Do not sweat the small stuff,and resist the need to exhume past history. Instead talk only about thebig stuff, the issues that are really important to you. And bring thisup when he seems relaxed and open.
3. ULTIMATUMS ARE YOUR LAST RESORT
Except inrelatively rare circumstances, ultimatums and deadlines are useless,even destructive. Which doesn’t mean you have to live with currentcircumstances if they’re not to your taste. What it means is thatultimatums should be reasonable and—most important—you have to mean it.If your deadlines come and go, and you’re still there, you’ve announcedthat ultimatums aren’t really important. Not good.
On our progressive culture’s way to sexualequality young males have been relieved of many traditionalresponsibilities. At the same time, they’ve gained easier access to thesexual intimacy they crave. We are living in a time when little isasked of men. Which often means little is offered. Yet, as always, thewomb cries out in youthful women who long for a partner to share theburdens and joys of an enduring relationship, marriage and family. Toget there, women need to surmount both new social expectations andancient male instincts. If they succeed, both men and women will reapthe rewards.
Michael Gilbert is Youand.me’s consultingeditor and author of The Disposable Male: Sex, Love and Money—YourWorld through Darwin’s Eyes. (www.thedisposablemale.com) He explores gender and relationship issues at the University of Southern California.
Everybody enjoys romantic surprises. They are a good way to show someone that you love them and are thinking about them. There are several types of surprises that a person can choose from – a gift, a creative surprise, or a romantic getaway.
Purchasing a gift is one of the most popular romantic surprises. However, not every gift can be called “romantic,” which makes picking the right one tricky. A common way to express love is with chocolates, wine, and flowers. Fashion accessories are a great way to surprise both men and women. Jewelry and perfumes are well-liked by everyone. Some people are very picky about their accessories. It will not be any less romantic if you take your partner to a luxury boutique, and let them pick out something that they will end up using and enjoying.
Creative surprises can also be romantic. For example, a person can write on a piece of paper all the reason why he or she loves their partner. Cut up the paper, and put each piece in a balloon. The more balloons you fill, the more impressed he or she will be.
Romantic getaways are usually the most appreciated surprises of all. They require a lot of planning, though. They may take time because it is important that everything goes smoothly, and your partner has nothing to worry about. One thing that many forget when planning a romantic getaway outdoors is to look at the weather forecast. A rainy week could ruin a great surprise.
Surprising your loved one with something special is the perfect way to show your love. Gifts make people feel appreciated. Choosing the right gift is important. Doing something unique for your partner can also be considered a romantic surprise. It proves that you are willing to go the extra mile. Romantic getaways require a lot of work and planning. But they will be well worth it in the end.