How long does it take for love to develop?

Hubby and I on our wedding day just after we said “I do”!

Last week I wrote a post about how long women (in search of a long-term partner) should wait before giving up the hooch. It created quite a stir in the comments section which, as Tomi (one of the commentors) pointed out, gave me the opportunity to clarify and communicate my position, which rocked! All in all, I found it challenging and exhilarating.

As part of those comments, Tomi asked me (or maybe he was asking hubby, wasn’t sure), how long, in my opinion, does it takes before love develops in a relationship.

An excellent question I found myself pondering last night as I watched the finale of the Bachelorette. In about 8 weeks, Emily weeded through 25 men on wild and worldly dates to narrow it down to just one (I won’t say who just in case you’ve PVRed it). At the finale, she professed her love and said “yes” when he proposed.

But is 8 weeks and a couple of one-on-one dates enough to truly develop “love”?

I don’t know. I definitely think it’s plenty of time to develop a solid case of lust and excitement knowing that the chemistry and potential for more exists.

I believe there is a big difference between lust and love. To me, lust is what we usually feel at the beginning of a relationship. The first few months where we have the rush of emotions, the wanting to be together all the time, the excitement, heart pounding, belly butterflies. Lust fires up your chemistry and gets your juices flowing. It fills you with hope and a sense of endless possibility. It’s the inkling that love…could happen! Unfortunately, it can also cloud our judgement and have us doing things we never thought we’d do.

Lust is like the much older, semi-slutty sister of love! She gives great advice and loves you to death but watch out because before you know it, she’ll have you shooting Tequila at some sleazy bar pushing you towards the douchebag with the amazing bedroom eyes and the great ass! You’ll wake up in the morning in a haze, very hungover having had a great time but with plenty of regrets.

For me, love is what can be born out of lust. It’s the strong silent type. Where lust is a raging fire that can sometimes burn you…or burn out too quickly, love is the long, slow-burning flame that will keep you warm, safe and toasty for years to come.

Love is when your relationship moves from the fire and sparks of lust into something deeper, more profound and lasting; built on qualities that go beyond chemistry but into deep mutual respect, shared values and dreams, a commitment to each other’s happiness, and a profound sense of “home”.

How long it takes to move from lust to love varies for each and every person but I believe it usually takes a couple of months (3 to 4) to develop.

That being said, I know people who’ve gone from meeting to lust to love much faster and some much slower. I think there are a zillion factors that come into play; how open we are to it, how trusting, how self knowing etc…

For hubby and I we each had a different experience. For him, he knew he loved me probably after 3 months where I took a little longer to come into my feelings. I was more hesitant. To be honest, I wasn’t sure he was the real deal. But he was and he was patient and trusting knowing what I felt long before I did. We were together around 4 months when I finally said those magic words “I love you”.

His response…”I know…”

How long do you think it takes for love to develop? What are some of your love stories? Do you remember the first time either you or your partner said ‘I love you’? Come on…share the wealth…

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