Am I in love or is it lust?

A letter writer likes kissing his girlfriend — but is he in love?

Take a chance, says our elder, but keep some balance in your life too.

Dear EWC

Hi, I’ve started dating a girl about a month ago. At the start of our relationship I really loved her. I would be so scared to lose her already after we had a little fight. It’s not that I don’t love her anymore but I’ve got a weird feeling. I’m not sure if I’m really in love or if I’m just in this for lust. I mean, every test I’ve done online tells me I’m in love but it just doesn’t feel right for some reason. I really want to spend a lot of my time with this girl, but for some reason since the last three days I’ve been asking myself: Do I really love her? I always try to make her happy, always try to cheer her up. When she’s crying I’m actually worried if she’s okay and I’ll see what I can do for her. I spend lots of time with her, so much that I barely spend any time with my friends anymore. When she talks with other dudes I get jealous, sometimes just a little bit and sometimes I get really jealous. But here’s the thing, when I’m with her I can only think about when’s the right time to kiss her. And I constantly call her cute, beautiful, sweet and such things. And when I gave her the first kiss that day, I’d kiss her several times because I like kissing. When she hugs me (and she gives me loads of hugs) I almost every time get a boner. I don’t know if that’s normal or that’s because I’m sexually attracted to her. Sometimes when I’m in a bad mood I also get annoyed by her sometimes. I don’t know if that’s normal. What should I do?

Grace replies

It sounds as though you have strong feelings for this girl, but you mistrust those feelings. This is partly a good thing. Have you ever heard the saying: Let your heart lead the way but take your brain with you? Your feelings are pretty clear. There is an attraction. You enjoy being with her. You want her to be yours. You want to get physical. You feel for her when she is sad. And yes, annoyance is a part of any relationship. There is no relationship where it does not exist.

Yet, for some reason, you are questioning whether this is “right” for you. As with all things, there are pros and cons. Love is great, but what do you have to give up? The not so nice parts of love are that you give over some power of your happiness to someone you cannot control. You accept that if she goes out with someone else, it’s going to hurt badly and there is nothing you can do to make her stop. By wanting to be with her all the time, you may be giving up friends and activities you once enjoyed. This could make you resentful. It is quite normal to resent the ties that bind us to someone. We want the good feelings, but we don’t want to have our fate in the hands of another, we don’t want to be hurt, we don’t want to be worried about losing the thing that makes us happy.

For example, if someone gave you $100,000 in cash you might be very happy, but then you’d have to decide whether to go out tonight or to stay home and guard it. You might initially want to tell your friends about it, but then you might think they would not be so happy for you, and who might they tell,and maybe a thief would come over and steal your money. So you once were a happy go lucky guy who just went out and had fun for the night, and now you are sitting home peering out of the window looking for thieves. Was the gift a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is, it depends.

With a relationship, the answer is the same. A relationship can be a wonderful thing, and the feelings you can experience are said to be more wonderful than any other and having someone you connect with, who gratifies you mentally, spiritually, physically, is wonderful… but do you really want to lose yourself in the bargain? So the answer is how do you arrange a life where you have the wonderful person in it, yet you still have yourself and your activities and your friends and you are not beset by worry and insecurity. This is the challenge we all face day by day in relationships.

No, I don’t think it’s just lust. Your desire to kiss her and touch her is normal. Your physical response is normal. I’m happy for you.

My suggestion is to keep balance in your life. Make sure you are maintaining your friendships and activities as well as being with her. If you feel insecure, deal with the insecurity. Is she trustworthy? I found that setting intervals for seeing someone was a good indicator for me. I would ask myself at what point I would begin to lose myself when seeing “X”. I found I needed to be away for three days and that seeing someone twice a week worked for me initially. More than that and they began to monopolize my thoughts. After a long period and track record, you can see that the person is trustworthy and won’t disappear, and then maybe you can up to three times a week or more. You are beginning a journey.

Everyone is different. You have to decide what is good for you and how to adjust to being with her and being without her while getting to know her and seeing where the relationship goes. Right now you have a new relationship. Will it become a long term relationship? You don’t know. Take a chance. Good luck to you.

Letter #: 413903
Category: Dating/Relationship

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