I’ve been studying the romance and relationship patterns
of literally thousands of people for the past 28 years,
and one thing I have found, or one thing I know,
is that most of us have experienced that wild and out-of-control feeling
at the beginning of a new relationship.
You know what it’s like
你茶不思饭不想 夜不眠 什么也不做
where you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can’t get anything done
because you’re constantly thinking about this person.
Your heart’s racing,
you feel that adrenaline rush when you see the other person,
and basically, you just want to be with that person.
It’s almost like an obsession.
I bet if I asked you to close your eyes,
you could definitely think back
and remember that powerful and amazing feeling
that affects us physiologically.
I know I can,
and I’ve been married for 22 years.
But when we’re in that heightened arousal state
at the beginning of a new romance,
many of us step back and ask the question:
“What am I feeling?
Am I in lust or am I in love? Is it lust or is it love?”
What if I told you that you’ll never have to wonder again,
because there are four specific signs that differentiate lust from love,
and the two states, lust and love, are completely different from one another.
That would be wonderful, right?
So let’s start with lust.
When you’re drawn to someone,
based solely on physical and sexual arousal or attraction,
You’re filled with sexual desire that doesn’t stop,
and all of those sex hormones are being produced in your body
at an alarming rate; you have sex on the brain.
Also, when we’re in that heightened state of arousal
at a new relationship, or in a new relationship,
we glorify or idealize our partner.
We don’t see them for who they really are.
And in fact,
we see them for who we want them to be or need them to be.
You’ve heard the phrase “love is blind”?
是的 在一段新的浪漫故事的开始时 欲望使你盲目
Well, at the beginning of a new romance, lust makes you blind.
by everything and anything your partner does or says.
In fact, it doesn’t even matter
that she has all of her stuffed animals on the bed, plus a few pillows,
or that he has absolutely no idea what a hanger is used for.
You don’t see it. It doesn’t bother you.
But as time goes on in a relationship,
those same behaviors, those exact same behaviors,
become annoying and irritating to you,
and it’s at that point in time that you begin to see
这个人真实的一面 有缺点 会犯错 还有其它所有事
this other person for who they really are; flaws, faults, and everything.
And by the way, yes, we all have flaws or faults.
None of us is perfect.
But at this point in time, lust declines.
And I’m really sorry to disappoint you,
but my research shows that lust declines in all romantic relationships.
It’s an inevitable part of all romantic relationships.
我知道 关于这一点我很抱歉 但“不要为难报信者”
I know. Sorry about that. Don’t shoot the messenger.
But can lust be reignited in a long-term loving relationship?
My work with couples confirms that,
and we’re going to talk about how to do that in a few minutes.
But for the moment, it’s just important to understand
that lust declines in all romantic relationships,
and if you stay with that relationship, lust can turn into love.
Love is also a profound emotion, and has a physiological foundation as well.
When we’re in love, we produce the hormone oxytocin,
which triggers relaxation
and promotes emotional bonding and closeness.
But that’s actually the opposite to those wild sex hormones
that ignited all that lust in our body.
Besides the hormonal differences between lust and love,
there are also four cues that you can use to distinguish lust from love.
The first sign is what I call connection.
When you’re in love, you want your partner to connect
with all the important people in your life.
You want them to spend time with,
to like, hang out with your friends and family.
You want to show off them to your friends and family,
and you want your friends and family to be impressed by this other person.
Also, you don’t keep them to yourself,
but you bring them out and introduce them to your interests again
and the people who are important to you.
The second sign
is when you use “we” language rather than “I” language.
It turns out that when two people are in love,
their lives are intertwined,
and they begin to think of themselves not as separate individuals anymore,
but instead, as a couple.
And the more intertwined these two people’s lives are,
就会在生活中有更多的重复的地方 他们的朋友 他们的兴趣
the more overlap in their lives, their friends, their interests,
and in their circles in this diagram.
And the more overlap between their lives, the more mutuality.
Mutuality is when we refer to ourselves as a couple,
as an “us” or “we”, rather than as an “I”, or this other person.
比如说 如果我问你 你们上周末去干什么了
So, for example, if I asked you what you were doing last weekend,
如果你们正在恋爱 你会告诉我 “我们去外面吃晚饭”
if you were in love, you would tell me, “We went out to dinner”,
“We went to the movies”, or “We went up north for the weekend”,
rather than,”I took Sandy to the movies, and then I went out to dinner”,
or “I went up north”.
So, if you want to distinguish between lust or love,
look at your language,
and the degree to which you use “we” versus “I” statements.
The third sign is self-disclosure,
what you tell this other person about you.
Love motivates us
to reveal extensive information about ourselves to this other person.
When we’re in love, we want to tell this person
关于我们的梦想 我们的愿望 我们的目标 过去 将来
about our dreams, our aspirations, our goals, the past, the future.
Sometimes we tell them confidential information,
and sometimes we tell them all of our secrets
that we’ve never told anyone before.
When we think about self-disclosure in a relationship,
you want to think about an onion.
The outer layers of an onion represent
the superficial aspects to us as an individual,
and as you peel away the layers of the onion,
you get at the core of who you are.
You get deeper,
and there’s more information about you as an individual,
personal and intimate information.
So, when you’re in lust, you only peel away a few of those layers.
You tell this other person maybe about your interest,
你的爱好 喜欢的电影或者音乐 但是仅仅如此
your hobbies, movie, or music preferences, but that’s it.
You don’t go to the deep core of you.
When you’re in love, you go straight to the core.
You share information that has more breadth, more topics,
but each topic also is deeper, more personal in nature.
You go straight to the core.
So, if you want to distinguish between lust and love,
look at what you’re talking about
and how many topics with this other person.
The last and fourth sign is that you influence one another.
When two people are in love,
what one person does or wants to do, influences the other person
in meaningful and strong ways.
For example, if you were thinking
about moving to a different state because of a new job,
or you were considering any big change in your life,
you would want to go to your partner before you make a decision.
Likewise, if you had something happened to you –
a medical scare, you actually lost your job,
or the death of a family member –
you would want to go to this person to get social support, assistance.
You would want help from this person.
Or, if you had something good happened to you –
you won the lottery, or you got an award at work –
you again would go to this person
because you would want them to share the good news.
And they actually would celebrate with you.
So, lust and love are completely different from one another,
and couples have a very difficult time
maintaining that urgent longing we call lust over the long-term.
Can you recreate that lust?
My research shows
that if you add three behaviors to your loving long-term relationship,
you can reignite or rekindle that lustful desire.
And those three behaviors turn out to be the same behaviors
that ignited the lust when you first met that person.
So, if you mirror the beginnings of your relationship,
you can add lust, rekindle that passion in your relationship.
The first strategy to rekindle or recreate the lust
is to do new and novel activities with your partner,
because newness creates excitement.
Think about it.
At the beginning of your relationship,
everything was a new experience for the two of you.
Everything was new and novel.
Every date you went on, every restaurant you ate at
was a new experience for the two of you,
and that created the excitement, and created all of that arousal.
但是之后 随着时光飞逝 这种新鲜会逐渐褪去
But then, as time went on, the newness wears off.
So if you want to recreate that lust,
you need to find new and exciting things to do with your partner.
That can be as simple as going to a new restaurant
in a different part of the city that you’ve never been to.
You can try skating, skiing, or snowboarding
for the first time with your partner.
伙计 我对冬天念念不忘 不是吗？
Boy, I have winter on the brain, don’t I?
Or, you can, like my husband and I did, sign up for a cooking class.
Neither of us had done it separately, and we did it together,
which fueled the lust.
Anything new will recreate that beginning feeling.
The second strategy that you want to do is to use the element of surprise,
and add a little bit of mystery to your relationship,
because mystery and surprise enhances lust.
The idea is you want that “oh, wow!” factor, right?
You want that to be recreated in your loving long-term relationship.
Again, think back.
At the beginning,
everything was different and interesting that you were learning about your partner.
Yes, she told you that she had a pet snake when she was growing up,
and you went, “What? Wow! Now that’s interesting!”,
or that he was closest to his grandmother growing up,
and you asked a lot of questions, because that was fascinating to you.
Any new or different, interesting, mysterious, surprising information
refuels that passion and lust.
But then, as time goes on in a relationship,
you begin to really know your partner, almost too well.
You know what they like to do on Sundays, you know that she snores when she sleeps,
and he chews with his mouth open, and he doesn’t like the color pink.
You really get to know your partner.
And while that’s wonderful,
because that intimate knowledge builds love, it extinguishes lust.
So you again need to add the element of surprise and mystery.
And yes, all of what you’re thinking about there
regarding lingerie and roleplaying is adding mystery to your relationship.
But, you can also do other things.
You can go to your partner’s place of work
and whisk them away for lunch, or after work for dinner,
or you can send him a flirty text message in the middle of the afternoon.
One of the wives in my long-term study on marriage and divorce
said that she took her husband on a treasure hunt,
and he went all around the city without her,
but she left these little notes in each spot,
and he found the experience surprising and full of adventure,
and she said it added a little spice to their relationship afterwards.
The third and final way to rekindle that lust
is to do what I call arousal producing activities.
This is my favorite suggestion, but it’s not what you think –
I see you all smiling and smirking out there –
it’s actually clean.
What relationship scientists have learned is that
if you do an arousal producing activity with your partner,
that that arousal or that adrenaline rush that’s produced through this other activity,
the arousal can actually get transferred to your partner and your relationship.
It’s almost like you’re tricking your brain
to attributing or associating that arousal due to another activity
to your partner or to your relationship.
所以 当我说“唤起激情的活动” 我真正想说的是
So, what am I really talking about then when I say “arousal producing activities”?
There are lots of things you can do.
You can exercise with one another side by side.
You can watch a comedy show, a scary movie.
You can even ride a roller-coaster ride at an amusement park.
In fact, if you go on any scary ride at an amusement park,
you can rekindle that passion by having the arousal due to the ride
transferred to your partner or your relationship.
Now, just make sure, though, that you go with your partner,
because if you do it with someone else,
the arousal might get transferred to that other person,
and not your relationship.
So, in the end, lust and love are very different,
but moments of passion
are the highlights of our lives and of our relationships.
In fact, ask anyone about the experience,
and they’ll definitely remember,
and they have a little smile on their face.
And don’t get me wrong,
I think lust is fun and wonderful,
but lust is not the glue
that keeps long-term relationships together and happy.
The glue that keeps people bonded over time is actually love.
And love is also a profound experience,
but it is characterized by interconnectedness, by mutuality,
by interdependence, and lots of self-disclosure.
You do not have to have lust without love,
and you don’t have to have love without lust.
They don’t have to be mutually exclusive in your relationship.
You can recreate that lustful desire –
是的 我爱说这个字 性欲望
and I love saying that word, lustful desire –
in your loving long-term relationship.
这很简单 轻松 令人感到美妙
It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s amazing.
What are you waiting for? Go do it!