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Three Quick Ways to Tell It Is Love and Not Just Lust

Knowing your value helps you to feel valued for true love.

Albert Einstein is said to have commented, "You can't blame gravity for falling in love." While this quote is open to interpretation, my take on it is he meant that love is not always logical like the laws of gravity.

Over the years, hundreds of my adult counseling clients have shared with me a sense of angst when trying to discern the difference between lasting love and temporary lust. In the spirit of Einstein's quote referenced above, the rush of serotonin and dopamine (feel good chemicals) in our brains can leave us feeling quite confused when we feel a strong attraction to another person.

In short, time plays the best role in helping us to learn the true intentions of not only our intimate partners—but also ourselves. In the meantime, to help you feel more clear on where your passionate new relationship is headed, here are three telltale signs to let you know if you are destined for a fling or the real thing:

1. He is affectionate—and does not expect it to lead to sex.

When you truly have a loving relationship, sex plays a role in feeling close but it is far from the only way to express caring and love. True love is nurtured and strengthened by both partners respecting each other's physical boundaries. And, true love lasts beyond the physical pleasure of sex. I have heard many stories of torrid sexual encounters followed up by distancing, arctic winds coming off one or both partners' shoulders. That does not sound like caring love to me.

2. He wants to introduce you to his inner circle.

When you meet his or her friends, family and acquaintances, this is a great sign that he or she potentially sees you as lovingly going the distance together.

Too many times to mention I have had clients tell me of being asked over at late hours only for a "hook-up." Or, divorced people may similarly only want to be together on the weekends he or she does not see the children. Yes, taking it slow with introductions to children makes sense. That said, if you are not introduced to at least someone in his or her circle within four months, that is not an encouraging sign and needs to be discussed sooner than later.  

3. He includes you in plans for the future.

Does she make plans for next month or next year that include you? I have had clients feel stupefied when discovering that the person they are dating does not ask them to events coming up in the future. Being part of another person's life means being included, within reason, in their plans. 

In closing, remember to know your own value. When you are truly in a healthy relationship, feeling loved, and valued, by your partner will come naturally.  

For more about Dr. Jeff, please visit