Love is a tricky emotion. There are some things that feel like love but they are much too superficial to be the real thing. Real love takes time and doesn't happen over night. Here are three things that people often confuse for love.
Lust is the feeling that is often mistaken for love at first sight. Lust is an intense and sudden attraction to somebody you hardly know. It is mistaken for love because the attraction is so strong.
Lust can feel like love because the feelings of attraction are strong and all-consuming. The emotions stirred up by lust can feel very real but they are based on a fantasy. To love somebody you must know them well but many people fall in lust while they are still strangers. What people in lust fall for is a fantasy of what might be and reality can get lost in the excitement.
Overwhelmed by physical attraction people in lust can't keep their hands off of each other. They think about each other constantly and talk about one another all the time. Lust is a happy feeling brought on by passionate attraction. If you are inexperienced in matters of the heart it is very easy to mistake all that passion for love.
Lust differs from love like night differs from day. Lust happens in the early phase of a relationship when people don’t yet know each other. Lust is based on a fantasy, and the fantasy and reality don’t always mesh up. This is where lust runs out of steam.
Although physical attraction is definitely a key ingredient in any romantic relationship, love is more than just a physical longing. If a relationship is all about physical attraction it is based on lust. Really loving another person takes time and it can't be based on physical attraction alone.
Obsessions are often mistaken for love because people rationalize the crazy feelings they are having. They assume that it must be love if the other person is always on their mind. Obsession is similar to lust but it is much more misleading and destructive. While lust is often fleeting, fading as two people come to know each other better, obsession sticks around.
The more time and effort invested in an unhealthy obsession the more intense the obsession can become. People in an obsessed state have a one track mind where the other person is concerned and they often lose touch with who they are as an individual. This loss of individuality creates a vicious circle of behavior where the obsessed person grows more and more dependant on the other person to bolster their sense of self.
Even unrequited love, love that is not returned, can become an overwhelming obsession. When one person believes they are in a relationship that doesn't really exist, or when one person is more invested in an existing relationship than the other, the foundation for an obsession has been laid.
Real love is nurturing and helps people grow but obsession is debilitating. If you feel like you have lost yourself, if you are always striving to please your partner without them doing the same for you, and if you find yourself making all decisions in your life based on the feelings and needs of the other person you could be dealing with obsession.
A rebound is a relationship that starts up very quickly after another relationship has ended. Rebounds are rarely based on love but are really a way of alleviating the loneliness people feel when a relationship ends.
Rebounding can feel like love for the simple reason that the people involved want to be in love. They are used to the security of being in love and more than anything else they want to feel that security again. They convince themselves that they are in love when they are actually missing the safety and comfort of the relationship they left behind.
If an old relationship keeps interfering with the progress of a new relationship it could mean that the relationship is a rebound. When somebody is on the rebound they are not entirely over their previous relationship. They may still be trying to work out unresolved issues from that relationship. Rebound relationships may feel like love but they are still impacted by unsettled feelings from the past.