Lust vs. Love

lust |ləst|


very strong sex­ual desire : he knew that his lust for her had returned.

[in sing. ] a pas­sion­ate desire for some­thing : a lust for power.

(usu. lusts) chiefly The­ol­ogy a sen­sual appetite regarded as sin­ful : lusts of the flesh.

Yes, of course, we all know the dif­fer­ence. We talk about love, sing songs, write poems and recite quotes, express it to oth­ers, cher­ish it and gen­er­ally put it on an emo­tional pedestal. We all know that “Love makes the world go round.” Or, do we some­times con­fuse that ever present and overused word “love”, with another word which is “sin­ful”, not to be men­tioned in not only polite soci­ety, but some­how regarded as weak­ness prop­a­gated for cen­turies by most reli­gions as unde­sir­able. This dreaded word is, of course you’ve guessed it, LUST.

Yet, I sug­gest that these two words, love and lust, are much more inter­change­able in our lives than we would like to admit. This some­how applies to men more often than women, which is not to say that women are immune to lust. On the con­trary, it can be just as strong a dri­ving force in a rela­tion­ship although most of the time does not lead to a long-lasting and happy partnership.

Of course, as we can see from the def­i­n­i­tion above, lust is closely con­nected with sex. Although you may lust for money or ice cream, this is not what we are talk­ing about here.

This arti­cle is about being able to dis­tin­guish between love and sex. Why, you may ask. As I men­tioned in pre­vi­ous arti­cles, being present to, and con­scious of what is real and what we imag­ine in our own minds can and will make the dif­fer­ence in your abil­ity to make sound choices and cre­ate your own hap­pi­ness. How many bro­ken rela­tion­ships and mar­riages have you known that started with a cou­ple being “madly in love.” Maybe it was one of your own. The divorce rate in the mil­i­tary is about 80–90% mostly due to young peo­ple hav­ing sex for the first time, falling in love (read: lust) and get­ting mar­ried, and the num­bers tell you what the out­come is for the most part.

How many times have you con­fused love and lust? How many times have you told a woman that you love her just to get her into bed. How many times have you actu­ally believed it if you are a woman? What were the con­se­quences? How many hearts have been bro­ken because peo­ple could not dis­tin­guish between the two?

Men and women usu­ally “fall in love” for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Real, uncon­di­tional love has noth­ing to do with this phrase. For men, qual­i­ties, which mostly have to do with sex, i.e. looks, are impor­tant. By their good looks women are sub­con­sciously flaunt­ing their fer­til­ity. And, women know very well how to do it: thus, make-up, tat­toos, boob implants, high heels and such. For a woman, what is more impor­tant is the approval of her attrac­tive­ness and man’s abil­ity to sat­isfy her other needs. For a woman lust is rarely first on the list. Be aware, if sex hap­pens to be first on your list if you are a woman, run as fast as you can if you do not want an almost cer­tain break up in the near future.

This is in a nut­shell, how we oper­ate in rela­tion­ships. Our wants and needs go hand in hand. Nature has designed our mat­ing game to per­fec­tion. Our “self­ish genes” are ful­fill­ing their self­ish agenda very well — too well some­times. (There are 6,500,000,000 peo­ple on earth mostly poor and strug­gling for survival.)

Yet, we like to think of our­selves as con­scious beings in con­trol of our actions and lives. Noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth; lust and sex are the most ancient and the strongest impulses that are hard to con­trol. Yet there is hope. The vehi­cle to knowl­edge is lan­guage. The vehi­cle to wis­dom and hap­pi­ness is the con­stant expan­sion of our aware­ness of the dis­tinc­tion between real­ity and our inter­pre­ta­tions of it. In other words, call­ing a spade a spade might help. Timely dis­tin­guish­ing between lust and love may save you from a life­time of suffering.

In the end I would like to make clear that despite what the church, your mother or soci­ety says, there is noth­ing wrong with “lust of the flash. Lust is a hormone-driven nat­ural process aimed at repro­duc­tion and it is hard to fight. As long as we do not con­fuse it with love we can put it to our ser­vice instead of being its slave.

Love and lust! Just know the difference.



For Men

Here we go again about men/women dif­fer­ences! I keep get­ting calls and e-mails from men with trou­bled rela­tion­ships and the most com­mon prob­lem that I hear stems from a man’s lack of knowl­edge, aware­ness and accep­tance of the enor­mous gen­der dif­fer­ences that are the root of most of the trou­bles in relationships.

Here we will address one of the very char­ac­ter­is­tic modus operandi under­ly­ing women’s behav­ior, which men in their sim­plic­ity can­not even fathom, let alone thor­oughly understand.

Why do men so often find them­selves bewil­dered by their wife/girlfriend’s behav­ior when she wants to leave? Men usu­ally ask them­selves: “What did I do? Noth­ing changed.” When men find them­selves in this sit­u­a­tion they usu­ally start doing every­thing wrong and the oppo­site to what they are expected, yes, expected to do. Women have expec­ta­tions, all the time. The most com­mon expec­ta­tion is a mind-reading abil­ity. Yes, men are sup­posed to exactly know what their women are think­ing at any moment even though she exhibits behav­ior that is com­pletely oppo­site to what she wants. For exam­ple: she will push her man away expect­ing him to pur­sue her so that she can be assured that he loves he. Never mind if you have been mar­ried for years. There is never enough proof of love and a feel­ing of secu­rity. What she wants is a MAN by her side with whom she can feel secure. And most men do just the oppo­site, they either get angry, or start grov­el­ing and ful­fill­ing any whim that she may have. If you get angry she’ll be afraid of you. If you grovel she will despise you. Women will end­lessly test you, although this may be done on a com­pletely uncon­scious level; nev­er­the­less, you are being con­stantly observed and tested for your love, pro­tec­tion, loy­alty and man­li­ness in general.

Secu­rity is the pri­mary moti­va­tion for a woman to seek a rela­tion­ship, while a man usu­ally only has sex on his mind. In order for a woman to feel secure she most of all needs to feel loved. Their basic secu­rity need is emo­tional secu­rity. Women usu­ally do not want the respon­si­bil­i­ties and chal­lenges that men seek either. They do not want to make sur­vival deci­sions, com­pete to suc­ceed, have to make money, or think how to buy a house. But, this kind of secu­rity — mate­r­ial secu­rity — is not nearly as impor­tant as the secu­rity in the knowl­edge – that needs to be con­stantly rein­forced — that her man loves her.

There is a prover­bial say­ing that when a women says “no”, she means, “yes”. This is not to be taken lit­er­ally, but there is more truth in it than you may think. When she is push­ing you away she most likely wants you to pur­sue her. If you are not giv­ing her enough atten­tion to assure her that you love her, she may even seek the com­pany of another man who will “adore” her, but we usu­ally know what he really wants, don’t we? A woman needs attention.

The worst thing a man can do is to ignore her, blame her or be angry with her. While a man can be angry and still love his woman, a woman can­not do that. Her only real­ity is her inter­nal, emo­tional real­ity of the moment. When she is angry with you, you may just as well be dead at that moment. Women are allowed to express their emo­tions and that seems to be their inalien­able right. On the other hand, men are not sup­posed to do that, as it is per­ceived as “irre­spon­si­ble”. Women often com­plain that men do not express their feel­ings, but when they do, women per­ceive men as weak and not manly enough, there­fore not so desir­able. It’s a Catch 22, lose/lose situation.

A woman always keeps a close watch on her man. Often her actions will seem to a man as unrea­son­able and con­tra­dic­tory, but you must know that very often she will test you, albeit uncon­sciously, to see how much you love her and how much of a ”man” you are. This behav­ior is most obvi­ous at the point of break-up, and this is where most men fail by behav­ing the oppo­site of what women want to see. Men start beg­ging, plead­ing and grov­el­ing, or being angry and resent­ful. Noth­ing can be more dis­gust­ing or fright­en­ing to a woman. Either way this just con­tin­ues the down­ward spi­ral towards the final break-up. Such behav­ior by a man is not sur­pris­ing and it comes nat­u­rally to men, because — sur­prise ! — men have feel­ings as well. Nev­er­the­less, in such a sit­u­a­tion a man must hold his ground and be what is expected of him, a MAN.

In con­clu­sion, men need to learn to walk the edge all the time. Women have to walk their own, but that is their con­cern. We men need to learn about women’s needs but per­sist in being manly in order to attract and keep a woman. Oppo­sites attract, remember?

What is your expe­ri­ence? I’d love to hear from you.



How impor­tant sex is in a rela­tion­ship? It is as impor­tant as it is for each indi­vid­ual in a rela­tion­ship. Gen­er­ally speak­ing it is more impor­tant for a man than for a woman and it is more impor­tant when one is young then when one gets older. Of course, these are just gen­er­al­iza­tions. It depends on the cir­cum­stances and on one’s state of being.

Hav­ing said that, I would like to bring forth the impor­tance of sex and its over­whelm­ing influ­ence in our lives. The sex­ual impulse is one of the most over­whelm­ing forces we can expe­ri­ence. (Just think of an orgasm. We often say that some­thing is almost as good as orgasm, imply­ing that there is noth­ing bet­ter that can hap­pen to us.) The drive to pro­cre­ate seems to be a phys­i­cal expres­sion of the evo­lu­tion­ary impulse behind this entire uni­verse. What could be more pow­er­ful than that?  Humans are con­scious beings, prob­a­bly the only ones on this planet. Con­scious­ness is the universe’s way of becom­ing aware of itself and it is man­i­fested in humans.  A pow­er­ful sex­ual drive is a guar­an­tee that con­scious­ness will live on and evolve. There­fore, it had bet­ter be THE most pow­er­ful force at least among humans.  Andrew Cohen the edi­tor of Enlighten­Next mag­a­zine said: “When any of us feels the stir­ring of the sex­ual impulse within our own body and mind, we are feel­ing, at a bio­log­i­cal level some cre­ative surge that pro­pelled some­thing from noth­ing four­teen bil­lion years ago. But, of course, in our lack of humil­ity, too many of us under­es­ti­mate the power of what we’re actu­ally deal­ing with, and it’s easy to see why we often lose our bal­ance in this arena.” In other words, the force of a sex­ual impulse is so strong that an attempt to con­trol it is almost always futile, or it takes such a rig­or­ous train­ing to con­trol it that only a few ever take it on, mostly encour­aged and moti­vated by pos­si­ble achieve­ment of higher stages of con­scious­ness or even enlight­en­ment; the most com­monly known prac­ti­tion­ers being celi­bate priests, nuns and tantric yogis.

Real­iza­tion and acknowl­edg­ment of the enor­mous power of sex­ual impulse over our lives is the first and prob­a­bly the most impor­tant step towards under­stand­ing how and why our rela­tion­ships func­tion. Since sex­ual drive of such enor­mous power is pro­grammed into our genetic code we are mostly unaware of it and so our behav­iors that stem from those impulses are not under our con­trol at all. We oper­ate like robots, on auto­matic. Not that there is any­thing wrong with that; I am not propos­ing that you attempt to get rid of sex­ual desires. On the con­trary, I would encour­age the full expres­sion of them. The prob­lem arises when MOST of our behav­ior in a rela­tion­ship stems from our sex­ual drive unbe­knownst to us, which leaves us in total con­fu­sion when things go wrong.

Some exam­ples of obvi­ous sex­ual influ­ences in our lives are behav­iors stem­ming from courtship, flirt­ing and jeal­ousy. Being fash­ion­able and the desire to “look good” are some behav­iors that are not so obvi­ously sex­u­ally related. Some peo­ple will ratio­nal­ize their desire to be fash­ion­able by say­ing that they feel more com­fort­able or “good” by wear­ing the attrac­tive clothes when the real inten­tion is to be attrac­tive to the oppo­site sex. For men, to be rich and pow­er­ful has its basis in sex­ual attrac­tion.  For women, it means being attrac­tive. I do not want to sound Freudian but almost all our dri­ves and rea­sons for doing things can be traced to sex or rather to recre­ational instincts deeply seated in our genetic struc­ture. All this may sound very dis­cour­ag­ing and demean­ing. You may think that there is much more to life than sex, and I would agree with you. All I want you to do is to embrace the pos­si­bil­ity that sex­ual and pro­cre­ational power is almost omnipo­tent and that it per­vades the major­ity of our day-to-day actions. To the extent that you notice how much you are dri­ven by rea­sons of sex even if not so obvi­ous or direct, you can have fun with it, have more con­trol and power over your actions, develop more com­pas­sion towards oth­ers and start accept­ing peo­ple for what they are and for what they are not. In other words you will live and expe­ri­ence love more often.  Now “Go forth and  mul­ti­ply”, or just enjoy it.


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To Be Or Not To Be … Attractive?

Am I attrac­tive? The bot­tom line truth is: you are and you are not. It depends on to whom you are talk­ing and what you mean by attrac­tive. Why do we play this “attrac­tive” game when we don’t know what we want to achieve by try­ing so hard to be attrac­tive? When you make your­self attrac­tive do you want to attract every­one or most peo­ple, or just one par­tic­u­lar per­son? Many would say some­thing like: “I am doing it for myself. I don’t care what oth­ers think. It makes me feel good.” Fair enough, it makes you feel good. But the rest of it is a lie and you know it. Thus, mil­lions of dol­lars and other cur­ren­cies are spent on mak­ing our­selves more and more attrac­tive in order to attract our soul mates, to boost our ego when oth­ers give us com­pli­ments, etc. So, by attrac­tive, we usu­ally mean sex­u­ally attrac­tive, or some­thing to do with looks any­way. Being attrac­tive to peo­ple we have never met is impor­tant for the first con­tact and with­out the first con­tact we can­not have the rest. This ratio­nale is a sound one. Unfor­tu­nately being attrac­tive in such a way is often false adver­tis­ing and although it may lead to an inter­est­ing sex­ual encounter, it more often than not results in unsuc­cess­ful long-term relationships.

Men like to look and women like to be looked at. Deep inside, instinc­tively and uncon­sciously, men look for fer­til­ity signs in women. Men can­not have chil­dren; only women can, so it is of the utmost impor­tance for a man to find a woman who will bear him many healthy chil­dren. Although these fer­til­ity signs may vary from cul­ture to cul­ture and change with time, men nev­er­the­less always look for sex­ual attrac­tion in a woman. Of course, women are always aware of it so they do their best to com­ply and be “attrac­tive” by being slim­mer, hav­ing par­tic­u­lar hair­dos, make-up and clothes; all in tune with the fash­ion of the day. Some of you may not quite agree with this, but that’s how we are pro­grammed and tens of thou­sands of years of pro­gram­ming do not go away so quickly. Think of the time when you were a teenager, when you stepped into adult­hood, when you actu­ally became fer­tile, able to have chil­dren. What were you mostly pre­oc­cu­pied with? Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture? Maybe. But you were mostly inter­ested in things of a roman­tic nature.

On the other hand, what women want from men is mostly secu­rity and pro­tec­tion. For women, attrac­tive men are the ones who are well off, in good health, strong and able to com­mit to long-term rela­tion­ships. So, men drive fancy and expen­sive cars to show their wealth, are suc­cess­ful in busi­ness to show their sta­tus and abil­ity to pro­vide secu­rity and for the same rea­son, go to a gym so that they can be phys­i­cally “attrac­tive” to women.

In a nut­shell, this is the attrac­tion game we play. Does it make sense in the 21st cen­tury, in the west­ern world where there are no saber-tooth tigers to prey on our women and chil­dren and the mor­tal­ity rate is min­i­mal? Of course it doesn’t when you stop and think about it. So what do we do? It depends on what we want. Do we let our­selves act from fear and the out­dated instinct for sur­vival, or are we will­ing to move up the evo­lu­tion­ary lad­der and act from the knowl­edge that all is well? When our instincts were impor­tant we lived in caves or in tribal soci­eties and with­out the appro­pri­ate resources to meet our basic needs so, often we were dri­ven to the brink of extinc­tion. Not so today, despite what the media are telling you. The media want you to be afraid because it serves this con­sumer soci­ety very well … but that is a dif­fer­ent topic. The fact is that there are no saber-tooth tigers any more, but we still behave as if they are around every cor­ner. The divorce rate in this coun­try is more than 50% which means that one in two mar­ried cou­ples even­tu­ally break up. What about all those other rela­tion­ships? How many of them are happy ones? Maybe we should look a lit­tle closer at the way we attract our part­ners and what it is that we are attracted to. Is it falling in love, or hav­ing great sex, or being cool or hot that will bring you a long last­ing rela­tion­ship? What hap­pens when you fall out of love, or are not cool any more because you’ve grown heav­ier? What if he loses his pres­ti­gious posi­tion or his car gets stolen and can­not be replaced? “For bet­ter or worse, for richer or poorer.” Yes, sure. The first thought is often: “I am out of here!”

Ulti­mately, it’s good to know that you can nei­ther BE attrac­tive, nor unat­trac­tive. Attrac­tive­ness is in the eye of the beholder. Some­one may or may not be attracted to you and that deci­sion lies in the mind of that per­son. It is not in the intrin­sic you. So, first you need to decide what it is that you want to adver­tise and who your tar­get mar­ket is. Then, what it is that you are sell­ing, and who you want to attract. All this may sound a lit­tle crude, but that is exactly how it works. Do you want to have sex, or do you want to sell your per­son­al­ity, or your real and authen­tic self? You know what they say about how you look or behave “in the morn­ing when you wake up”? If he loves you then he’ll always love you. If she still loves you when you lose your Porsche, or become poor, there is a big chance she will stay with you.

So, on the one hand you can never be attrac­tive enough for some and you will always be very attrac­tive for some­one else. Am I attract­ing the right peo­ple for the right rea­sons is prob­a­bly the ques­tion you may want to ask before you go to a party.

See you there.


The Rela­tion­ship Saver

The Game­less Relationship



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