Establishing the Difference Between Love & Sex

Posted on January 18, 2011. Filed under: Lifestyles, Psychology |

Let’s talk about the difference between love and sex. This is an issue, it seems, for women of all ages.  It may or may not be an issue for men.  It is an especially big issue for women who did not experience healthy love and affection while growing up, and for those who may not feel good about themselves.

Love to a woman is like sunlight to a plant. She basks in the warmth. Unfortunately, when a young woman begins to date, it is very difficult to experience the love and warmth from a partner without sexual feelings coming up. Such feelings are natural, but a woman can mistake the feelings of sexual attraction from her partner for feelings of love, respect and caring, which are what she really wants. He’s attracted to her, so she feels attractive. He says he loves her, so she feels loved. If she doesn’t feel attractive and lovable in her own mind, then she depends on him for these feelings, and doesn’t want to risk losing him.

So if he wants sex, she feels like she must give that, but may end up feeling sexually desirable, but not necessarily loved  the way she wants to feel loved. She may find herself wanting more with him. She wants more communication, more closeness, more intimacy. It may seem that the only way she can get close to that, is through sex. He doesn’t necessarily want those other things, but he does want sex. So for a while she’s happy to have a lover because it makes her feel really close to someone, and he’s happy with the sex.

But in time she sees that this isn’t enough for her. She tries to get him to give more, and he might try, or maybe he gets annoyed, but either way she’s still not getting what she really needs. She may even begin to feel used. This is a common cycle that repeats again and again as each new generation reaches sexual maturity.

Experience is a good teacher, but it has its price. Better to develop a relationship first, and feel that closeness, that intimacy, that deep caring that has nothing to do with sex. Better to know that he loves you for your personality, your spirit. Best to get to know him very well, and when you love everything about him, respect him, trust him and consider him your best friend, then, and only then should you seriously consider sexual involvement. And only if you feel wise, responsible and safe.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit



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