Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship with someone they just couldn’t keep their hands off can probably agree on two things: it’s an absolutely intoxicating feeling, and it almost never works out. This isn’t to say that sexual chemistry isn’t essential in a relationship (it most certainly is), but it’s important to understand that like love, lust can be blinding, or at least cause you to view your relationship from a skewed perspective.
Believe it or not, it is possible to find someone who is a compatible mental, emotional AND physical match all in one, and because lust doesn’t last, it’s worth the time and effort to find him. The first step is to learn how to discern when someone actually possesses those qualities, or if you’re just projecting them onto him in the heat of the moment. Read on for a list of Dating Dignity questions to help you determine if it is love or lust.
1. How much do you know about him?
Gradually learning about a person’s hobbies, interests, past relationships, friends, family and childhood is an important process when embarking on a new relationship – a person’s background shapes them down to the most hidden facets of their personality. It’s hard to get more serious than if they haven’t let you into their life beyond the basics.
2. What do you two talk about?
If you haven’t gotten around to chatting about your interests or personal lives, I’m guessing you’re not doing much talking. Pay attention to what comes up during the times you’re together and not getting busy. Some guys take a little encouraging to open up, so try bringing up something that interests you or throw out an observation and see what comes back. There’s lots of time for chatting between now and when death do you part, so if you can’t lose yourselves in conversation now, your future’s not looking so hot.
3. How do you think about him when you’re not together?
There’s nothing wrong with letting your mind wander to X-rated fantasies about your man whenever it pleases, but is that the ONLY way you think about him? Catching a funny commercial that reminds you of a joke he made over brunch or ruminating over something sweetly significant he said in a text earlier are all thoughts of the long-term relationship ilk. Pining, lusting and impatiently awaiting the next time you can see him naked – and nothing else – are not.
4. Do you share similar goals or visions for the future?
Perhaps the most important yet simple question of them all – if you’re hoping for a future together, you better make sure your plans are at least similar. It might feel unnatural or intense to start asking questions about his thoughts on a long-term relationship or kids, but these are all important topics to cover before diving headfirst into a serious relationship. Broaching these subjects will take guts no matter what. But if you’re really struggling to pull the trigger, take a beat and ponder why. Your fear about his answers are probably the answer you were looking for in the first place.
5. How does he feel?
Remember that whole caution to the wind thing? While you’re busy getting lost in making grand plans for the future with your foxy new fella, he might have one foot out the door without you even realizing it. Once you take a second to slow down, you might realize the signs are already there – do you do anything else together other than have sex? When he stays over or vice versa, does he stay or encourage you to stay for breakfast? Does he make an excuse any time you try to initiate plans that don’t involve sex? Does he usually invite you over after midnight? If you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to ask – hearing that he’s not on the same page may feel like a crushing blow to the ego and heart at first, but you’re better off in the long run.