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Love Vs. Lust

Topic: Beliefs & Attitudes

Ava Cadell, Ph.D. (Click on authors name for bio)

Posted: Friday, October 5th 2012
Lust is often mistaken for love. In the dictionary you’ll find definitions that include "An intense longing, desire, or need," and “Unrestrained sexual craving.”

Feelings of lust trigger a flood of testosterone, the sex hormone in men and women. It stems from physical attraction and sexual chemistry, a powerful force that can induce strong sexual desire, diverting blood flow to the sexual organs. Research at Maudsley Hospital in London reports that lust causes the brain to produce the same reaction as if on cocaine or speed. “Lust really is like a drug, it leaves you wanting more,” Dr. John Marsden, director of the National Addiction Center, is quoted as saying. But, lust can easily fade when the sex becomes predictable or the person’s character flaws come to the surface.

The dictionary defines love as “A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person.” It also includes: “A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.”

Feelings of love induces a rush of dopamine, a feel-good chemical that increases pleasure and imprints memories. Love also induces oxytocin, a ‘bonding’ substance that helps to build and maintain consistently successful relationships. Physically, the emotional part of the brain is stimulated, making the heart beat faster and causing butterflies in the stomach. A couple who can combine love with lust, the blending of emotional and physical chemistry can experience compatibility and live an enriched life together. But beware because scientific research reveals that the feelings of love may only last between 3 and 7 years, hence the 7 year itch.

Dr. Ava Cadell is a love guru in private practice in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the Loveology University, On-line University of Love Coaching. She is also a Media Therapist, Author and World Class speaker on romance, relationships, love and human sexuality. drava@avacadell.com www.avacadell.com

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