We all know that relationships start with a honeymoon. You remember – that period after you first got together. You know, you might have known each other forever but there is that one point in time at which you really connected – when you really got together. Maybe it was just a smile; maybe it was just a warm hug; or maybe it was just a simple but enduring kiss.

The point is, there is a period after you first really get together that is just wonderful and you can find yourself saying ‘I love you’ without thinking about what it actually means–do you love them, or are you in love with them, or is it just pure lust?

At first the relationships is full of anticipation, excitement, passion and, yeah, to be honest, pure lust. Come on, you remember – say, the first 3 months when you just can’t keep your hands (and other body parts!) off each other.
In a word, it’s the period when you are convinced of the fact that “love is a feeling not a decision”.

We have all been there at some time or other – maybe even lots of times.

How do we deal with it?

As a general rule there is no set time when it’s OK to say ‘I love you’ however, to be in love with someone it should be understood this is a decision not just an emotion and it normally happens when you let the relationship ride and it moves on from the passion zone to the comfort zone which is around 3 months, sometimes more.

First, you need to accept that this is a time of discovery – specifically, to discover whether the relationship is based on love or lust.

Dating someone and not feeling the hot passion you experienced the first time you were together doesn’t mean it’s over. It just means the relationship has moved to the next phase – generally a more realistic phase and you should allow this to happen before making the decision if you are actually ‘In love’ with someone.

So how do you know if it’s love or lust

Whether there is a future after the honeymoon period is over will often depend on the basis of the relationship. That is, is the relationship based on love or lust?

Here are some tips to help you discern which of the two your relationship is based on.

Is it all about sex? If it’s lust, everything – and I mean everything – will revolve around sex. You know the scene after the honeymoon – meet for dinner then have sex; meet for a drink then have sex; meet for coffee then have sex – oh, let’s just drop the dinners, drinks and coffees and move straight to sex!
Now I’m not saying for a moment that sex is a bad thing. No way. However, you may have fallen in love at the thought of being in love with this person. A relationship is not just built on lust or desire.

If it’s love – sure, there’s sex – and it can be great – in fact, I think it’s important for there to be great sex in a loving relationship.

But I am saying it doesn’t have to be always about sex.

So give some thought to this question – is there any other aspect to your relationship beyond sex that makes you want to spend time with her or him? If so, stick around to find out and grow.

Are you both comfortable with each other? Love is when you feel really comfortable with each other. If you can’t be yourself, ask yourself why not- it takes to whole people to fall in love, and you have to be in love with the whole person.

How well do you really know each other? If you don’t know each other’s personal life then it’s lust again- so take your time.

If it’s love, they can’t wait to introduce you to everyone and they want you to be part of their life. When you reach this stage it s perfect for you to be able to say ‘ I am in love with you’.

Conclusion–understand when you say a simple- I love you–it could mean any part of them. When you say I am in love with you that’s a whole differnt matter and this a decision built on a combination of emotions and decisions and normally takes around 3 months. Falling in love is an investment of the mind, heart and soul and this takes time.

Read my advice today in the Metro.