Chemistry can be powerful. So powerful – in the early stages of a relationship, where we’re meant to assess how well we actually fit together in a variety of categories – that we may neglect to take our actual compatibility into account. After all, the sex is great… right?
All too common is the story of the lust-at-first-sight pair who get months into a relationship only to realize they don’t actually share much in common. So before you find yourself in this unfortunate position, where hormones and habit combine to make breaking up really hard to do, it’s time to take the blinders off! Learn how to beat biology, or at least take it into account when moving forward – knowledge, after all, is power. And if you know what your body is up to, you have a better chance of controlling your own response.
The biological basics
Researchers have shown that human beings are hard-wired for certain behaviors and feelings. The hormones that our bodies release during sex, for instance, are the ties that bind. Oxytocin in particular, brings about the instinct to bond with those we sleep with. So, sex by it’s very nature – not weakness, desperation, or any of the other things we may accuse ourselves of when we feel as if we like someone we’ve slept with more than they deserve – brings about a feeling of wanting more from our partners. Our bodies are telling us to “bond, bond, bond!” even if the partner in question isn’t the right one.
How to separate (once you’re in it)
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to take stock of your feelings and determine which emotions are physically driven and which are growing as the result of your non-sexual interactions with the person in question. During this assessment, keep in mind that for most people sexual chemistry is a requisite component of a successful partnership – so ruling out all sexual feelings would be a mistake. You’ve got to take stock of your various feelings in combination in order to see the whole of the situation.
Consider how you felt before you slept with this person. And be honest with yourself! Was there a little voice that questioned their viability as a mate for you from the start? Or did you automatically think, wow, we have so much in common and I like the way they do x, y or z. As with most things, your instincts are your friend… but in this case, you’ve got to get under your hormones to remember what they were.
More importantly, how do you feel now when you’re with this person in bed and out of it? There’s no shame in admitting someone turns you on between the sheets, but drives you crazy on the couch, in the car or any time you’re out in public. Likewise, if you can honestly say that you do feel a genuine, complex connection that may have the power to go the distance, congratulate yourself. You’re one of the lucky ones!
On one hand, biology is an argument for getting to know someone before you let lust take it’s course. It’s certainly something to consider if you’re actually looking for something more than a sexual relationship or one night stand – or if you’re someone who gets swept up in the heat of things and can’t separate biology from reality.
Still, we all have needs. If in the physical realm this relationship could be for you, then go for it! Just be aware that your brain will send signals to bond with your bed mate!
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