Dear Harlan, Having gotten out of one relationship and into another, I sometimes find myself reflecting on what happened in the first relationship as to what made me leave, perhaps as a future checklist so I don’t make stupid mistakes another time. One of my realizations ended up being that my first relationship was, from my side, very lustful. I pushed the sex on too early in the relationship with a silly idea that falling out of love was impossible. It was only later that I realized I created a fake idea of love to make right what we did. A concern I have now is making sure I don’t fall down the same path again. I don’t believe my current relationship is as lust-based as the last one, but how do I know the lust I hold is at a safe amount, and how will I know if, when I do feel that I must be in love, that it really is love that I feel and not something that I’m creating to protect what I imagine I have? – Lusting Love
Dear Lusting Love: Lust gets you into bed. Love sweeps you off your feet. But LIKE keeps you together forever. LIKE takes spending months together. It takes doing things together (besides having sex). It takes going through big and small life moments together. It takes seeing if you still like that person after the life moments. Lust is fire hot and all-consuming, but when the fire cools, it’s all about LIKE. I love my wife, but I like her even more. If you genuinely LIKE spending time with this man more than you love having sex with him you are on the right path.