I recently heard "an expert" on the radio discussing love and lust and how it affects our relationships. He also discussed how we should choose our mate for marriage based on these emotions. The expert told of studies they have done to measure brain patterns of people who are in love - and also of people who are in lust.
According to studies, brain patterns of people who are in love exhibit the same behavior as when they are shopping and find exactly what they want. Let's use a pair of jeans for this example.
You've been in search of the most perfect pair of jeans ever - and you find them! Hurray! Wearing these jeans make you feel amazing. Over the next few months they truly are your favorite. Friends and even strangers have complimented you on them. But over the next year or two, your affinity for the jeans starts waining. There is nothing wrong with them, they are simply just not all that anymore. You find that they stay in the dresser drawer more frequently. You wonder,'Could there be another pair of jeans out there that will make me feel like these used to?' Maybe you start shopping and look around; you know, just to see what's on the market these days. Or maybe you resign yourself to the fact that you will never find a pair of jeans like the ones you have; they are forever. You might even decide, 'Forget those old jeans! They aren't so fresh and new anymore and they are starting to get some wrinkles that I don't really like.' and so you kick them to the curb.
This is not love. Totally different parts of your brain react to lust than love. Lust is physical attraction. All you have to do is look at him/her and your heart races, naughty thoughts enter your head, you really want to touch him/her. Strong lust can cause you to literally feel the horomones rushing through your blood stream.
Lust is short lived. Once you have satisfied the lust, it's done. Gone. (But don't get me wrong! Lust is amazingly wonderful and a very powerful human force. It feels great!)
Let's look at our pair of jeans again. If lust was the motivating factor when you saw them, you probably purchased the pair. You proudly paraded through the mall with your bag. You smiled all the way home while thinking about them. You took the first opportunity possible to wear them out in public. You felt like a million bucks! But...then...it was over. The next time you wear them out, it's not the same - not even close. What happened?? How did I end up with these jeans?? How did I end up with this pair of jeans that do not feel good anymore?? You take them off, open the pants drawer in your dresser and it hits you. Lying there in the drawer are 6 other pair of jeans that are just like these ones. How many resources have you spent lusting after jeans that don't cut it long term?
Marriage and Compatibility
Should we pick our mate based on Love? How about Lust? What about a little bit of each? Or, what if there is another option?
Lust is hot and fun. (Go ahead, say it isn't...liars!) Love is traditional, deep and seems to feel right. But with a >50% divorce rate (some say much higher) it seem that love fades and lust is, well, lust. Consider COMPATIBILITY. You know yourself better than anyone else (or at least you should by now). You know what you want from life. You know what you do not want from life. (hehe been there done that, right?) You know what qualities you expect from the person you are planning to spend the rest of your life with.
Is he/she on the same page with you? Do some or most of your life goals match up? Are you both financially in sync? If not, this is love and only love. If not, this is lust and only lust. Compatibility can have love and lust, but mostly it is found in your brain. Emotions are there for a reason! They make you human. Emotions do not take the place of your brain though.
So, do those jeans fit you really well, in all the right places AND for all the right reasons? This is compatibility. And if it's a compatible relationship, go for it with all your might!
For some reason, unknown to me, I have it in my head that I will be moving to Texas in the next couple of years. I don't know anything about Texas! I've never been there; I don't know anyone there; I have no idea what it's like.
Using the power of the internet, it seems that the cost of living is quite a bit lower than Portland, Oregon in/around most of the metro areas (Dallas, Austin, etc). Salaries for what I do seem to be significantly higher. And, after checking out a number of dating sites, there seem to be more than enough attractive women! hehe
Tell me about Texas!!
I'm leaning towards Austin area (or suburbs), but not stuck on it by any means. I know this is an enormous state and would like to stick to the parts that are somewhat green and have some trees. Not too far from some mountains maybe?
One interesting thing about online dating sites is the lengths that people go to in order to express what they are looking for. Having read many profiles on multiple sites, I think it's safe to say that we as men are looking for:
Not just a booty call
Some sort of connection
No drama: I am 37 years old, lived thru a long-term marriage and a divorce, seen my daughter nearly grown and on her own. I think that by the time you get to be my age (or older), there is no more patience for drama. Agreed? My career and my own interests are established. I'm probably not going to be changing who I am, bar some unforseen tragic event in my life. However for some reason, we all feel the need to call it out - "Please do not bring drama into my life."
Not just a booty call: Ok seriously now. I will just say it. No man will have this on his profile. Almost every woman will have it on hers though, even if she is fat and ugly. Men like to sleep with women. Men like to pursue women. Men like the satisfaction of the chase. It's how we are wired. As men age and mature however, I'm no exception, it becomes much more fulfilling to have that one special woman at your side. The satisfaction of the chase moves on to satisfaction in other areas. (There are those that never move on though. Ladies, beware of those men!)
Some sort of connection: I think this is different for every man. Some are after the woman that looks good on his arm. Some are looking for the woman with the whole package. Some are after thier best friend. Whatever it is,it's important to him. Arm candy is never about status among his buddies (unless he is a total flake). I would be willing to bargain that all sucessful men realize that his mate/partner/wife is a VERY powerful tool in his life. She can compliment him in ways that will further career and aspirations and goals. An even more sucessful man will know that a woman who is "the whole package", (i.e. intelligent, beautiful, conversational...) is very nearly unstoppable in and for his life. The most sucessful man not only has found his arm candy, his whole package, but also his best friend. For her, a man will do literally anything.
Honesty: Online dating poses an interesting issue. If the woman you are interested in was not completely honest in her profile, will she be if you end up in a relationship? I personally do not give this any slack whatsoever. I am interested in the woman who was described in the profile; not the one who showed up for coffee and I wonder if I'm on the wrong date!
Physical attraction: For both men and women - your looks get you in the door. Beyond that, you best bring more to the table than a pretty face and hot body!
Yesterday I was at the store (Target actually) and noticed two women walking toward the cosmetics area. Both seemed to be around middle 30's in age. I noticed these two because they both carried the same Coach purse. The two women did not know each other.
The first woman was dressed quite smartly in a calf-length skirt, semi-revealing blouse (though very appropriate), matching shoes/purse/accessories. Her hair was nicely done and her body was fit. She was slightly above average on looks and carried herself quite confidently.
The second woman was not like the first. She wore flipflops, an ill-fitting t-shirt and some sort of polyester looking pants. Her hair was groomed though not taken care of and her make up was average I would say. This woman's body was what I would call "soft". She was not much overweight, but could very well be on her way there. She carried herself as if labored by her own existence.
Intrigued, I took a few minutes to watch the women as they went about selecting various makeup. The nicely dressed one selected a couple of items (obviously knowing what she was after) and left. The other grabbed more makeup than you would expect, sampled even more and put most of it in her basket.
Admittedly, I know nothing about these two women other than what I observed. However, in my experience, I think most of us could all write each woman's life story and be mostly accurate.
knows what she wants, is happy with herself and feels successful.
all over the board, expects others to make her happy, thinks the next thing in her life is going to make all the difference.
Let me know what you think. Pretty sure most successful men are looking for woman #1.