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Is it Love or Lust?

Dear Philippa,

This time of the year I tend to look back at my life and this year I want to kick myself for some hot relationships that I got into with guys I was crazy about that ended up with me getting hurt. I never seem to get it right. What can I do to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again?

�Sasha, Windsor, Ontario


Dear Sasha,

I'm not sure if you're asking me how you can enjoy more hot relationships without getting hurt or how to have one healthy and wonderful loving relationship?

Whatever your intent, stop beating yourself up for being human and start being kind to yourself. It's normal and healthy to feel very attracted to certain guys and to enjoy the sexual side of a relationship.

We get hurt for many reasons. Often it is because we mistake fantasy for reality. We choose not to see the person and the situation as they really are. This is because we experience what I call, Romantic Fantasia or Lust Blindness�spinning dreams about a future together while being totally oblivious to the fact that you have no real grounds for compatibility or companionship beyond the bedroom. The guy may even have told you he isn't ready for a relationship, but that doesn't slow down your fantasies.

It helps to be clear about what you really want in a relationship before you get caught up in all things that cloud your thinking. Now is a good time to answer these questions: If you could have any relationship you wanted what would it be like? How would you and this guy relate? How would you spend your time together? How would you feel when you are together and when you're apart? This is a good time for your imagination to run wild.

Now, compare the feelings from this ideal scenario with those from your recent experiences. Notice what you want, not what you didn't have. Do you believe you could have this kind of great relationship? You should, because you can!

That's not to say that you can't enjoy the heart thumping, hormone pumping experiences while seeking Mr. Right. Just see these times for what they are, pleasurable diversions. Don't make them into more than they are.

But if you are like me, and it just takes a little taste of chocolate to make you want the whole bar, you may choose to be wary of relationships that start out too hot. Instead, look for the steady build�someone with whom attraction builds over time, someone you can like as a friend as well as a lover.

Take the sign off your bum that says: "kick here." Instead, keep the image of that ideal relationship clearly in your mind and heart and know you deserve nothing less and that you will have it.




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