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Just Sex or Love Relationship?

If you’re dating, this is the very first question to answer. Unfortunately, assumptions can be made on very little information. The most common assumption derived from hope is: he or she is here for a relationship. Sorry, that might not be the case. If you are dating for sex, this article will be of little interest to you, unless you’re curious about how people looking for a love relationship can be instructed to weed out the pretenders, or people who are not.

When you’ve reached the point in life when you realize you need a love relationship, and it varies for individuals just when this happens, how and why you date will be transformed. You might become a bit more serious minded, less focused on your own pleasures, more interested in adding a meaningful companionship to your life. Of course, you’ll want to do this, hopefully, with someone you find attractive.

The problem is, not everyone out there in the dating “marketplace” is emotionally available for a love relationship. Most people that aren’t know it and are probably keeping that a secret for the obvious reasons. Then of course, you have your wannabes. People who aren’t ready for a love relationship but believe wholeheartedly that they should be.

As a relationship-minded person, looking for that love chemistry AND the relationship that will nurture and grow the spark of love you feel, you’ve got to determine who is and is not emotionally available for a love relationship among the prospects that come before you. Notice I said, “emotionally available for a love relationship” not just “emotionally available for love.” We are all emotionally available for love. Love or spark or chemistry, whatever you want to call it, is the easy part. The fact that you’re human guarantees that you’ll have little control over that. What is controllable is the kind of love relationship you’ll form when love strikes.

Basically, a person looking for a “love relationship” will not only be attracted to someone, but at the same time be recognizably interested in who that person is. Think about it, most of us know when someone is interested in who you are. And I don’t mean just what’s in your wallet, or your status, or your family crest, I mean who you are as a person, your interests, you passions, your talents, your hangups, you devotions, your quirks, etc. What defines you as the unique person you are. When this is happening, you’ll know it.

The opposing experience, of course, is some form of self-centeredness along with very little patience for listening to or learning about someone else, and doing the work of getting to know intimately who you have fallen in love with. One of the most effective “tools” in determining the presence of emotional availability and a sincere interest in “relationship” as opposed to fun, a temporary fling, the attention a person can get on the fly, or the old stand-by, self-centered orgasmic pleasure, is time.

If you are looking for a love relationship, remember interest sustained over time is your best and most reliable way of confirming the presence of emotional availability. If you meet someone who is visually attractive, but possesses a very short attention span for sustained interest over time, expect that he or she will be “moving on” at the first available opportunity. There is just too much attractiveness in the world to stay in one place when a love relationship is not on your mind.

Comments welcome, Dr. Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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