I get emails from iVillage with links to posts about love, sex, relationships, style, etc. Sometimes, they're helpful, and sometimes, they just don't make any sense. I found this one, Is He in Love or Lust with You? Find Out!, to be particularly annoying.
The title suggests to me that the article will dig deep into the man's psyche and reveal the hidden mystery about how he feels. I thought maybe I'd get some clue as to how to really know what a guy is thinking or feeling.
I know - I'm at a website called iVillage, and should set my expectations accordingly. A girl can hope.
There are two problems with that information. First - I knew the part about lust. I mean, if a guy only calls me when he wants sex, and then doesn't speak to me again until he wants sex again - that's pretty obviously only lust. Not exactly breaking news.
The second problem is, the article seems to suggest that there are only two degrees of emotion for a guy - love, or lust. This train of thought gets women into trouble. Big, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking trouble.
If a guy is calling you all the time, or spends time with you without the promise of sex or introduces you to his friends, he definitely has feelings. But is it really love? I don't think it's that cut and dry. I think there are many degrees of like before you get to love - and some of those degrees involve this sort of behavior. I also think there are many kinds of love, some of which also involve these actions.
The question is, what do we do? Do we put up a wall, and not trust those actions, in case they might not mean he's in love? Or do we run with the good stuff, and accept it, and hope for the best, while enjoying the time we have with him?
If we don't do that - how will we ever know if it really is love?
Maybe the trick is to concentrate less on trying to categorize his feelings, and more on learning how he feels. Maybe we need to ask questions, and listen, and learn when he's serious, and laugh when he's not.
Maybe not everything is either this or that. Maybe there's a whole lot of just-might-be in between - and we're missing it all.