We tend to think of lust as an intense sexual desire for a specific person, but could similar feelings extend to romance, without being true love?
In my and many others experiences, the dating “process,” begins with physical appearance, and then sometimes extends into appreciating somebody for who they are as a person. This is simply because time is limited and there are many options. Sometimes the feeling that drives somebody to interact with a potential date (or hookup) is quite intense, in a fun way. As those conversations, in person, on social media, etc, continue, the lust further intensifies, as the odds of having a sexual experience with said person are shooting upwards. Once we have the first sexual experience with them, it either intensifies further, or feels anticlimactic (even if there is a climax). The feeling of lust can last months, or even years, and sometimes this gives the opportunity to get to know the person a little or quite well.
But could that added appreciation for somebody as a person still be just lust, in the sense that there is yearning and passion without being truly loving? Perhaps this happens when we think highly of somebody, and feel lucky to be graced by their presence, but don’t feel that we are gaining an understanding of who they are. Perhaps they don’t open up in terms of being themselves around us, or being emotionally vulnerable around us. Worst yet, maybe I begin to find that I really don’t like this person or simply aren’t a good match, but I really enjoy our time together. (I for one certainly love to argue with people).
But more often than not, I think (almost definitionly), love takes the active participation of both people, whereas lust often only needs to be felt by one person. It is certainly possible to love somebody without being loved in return. It is really hard to get to a point where we have a deep appreciation for who somebody is as a person, if they have not opened up to us.
Of course nothing is always this simple. Sometimes even if my crush has opened up to me and shown emotional vulnerability, the feeling of love really doesn’t develop. Perhaps I have had this happen before, where I appreciated somebody as a crush and also for their accompaniments; but the times spent together on balance didn’t feel so good. Having a sapiosexual thought pattern, it might have even been more difficult for me to understand this; because the conversations and process of getting to know somebody is a turn on in itself. As the months went by, I still felt I was with a top rate person and loved to give them gifts and cards. When it came to making compromises and sacrifices, I really didn’t feel inspired to do so. (Also because the things they damned were outside of my control). I am generally not good at compromises, but enjoy helping someone I care about. Thus, I realized, my “love” wasn’t actually growing.
So can romance still be just a type of lust? I think so, in that lust is a strong desire to want (to be with) somebody, while love is a desire to be supportive.