1. You’re in the pub with your new man. What’s your attention focused on?
a. The skin of his neck, the sexy curve of his mouth and what you’d like to do to him when you’re alone.
b. Nothing in particular – the conversation is flowing and the hours are flying by.
c. You’re listening, but he could be reciting the alphabet and you’d still be nodding like an entranced puppet.
2. When you’re alone with him, how do you feel?
a. Restless. You just want to jump his bones.
b. Relaxed and carefree. Work worries just don’t matter any more.
c. Attentive. You want to make sure he’s entertained and happy.
3. You have a big row at the end of a romantic evening, and storm home separately. What happens next?
a. It’s over.
b. You lie awake all night and call him at 7am to say you’re sorry. He says he’s sorry, and you say you’re sorry, and he says he’s sorry…
c. You turn up on his doorstep the next evening and have the best sex of your life.
4. His new haircut is hideous. You…
a. Are turned off completely.
b. Giggle and buy him a cool hat.
c. Don’t really notice.
5. Your dad nips round to your place while your new man’s there. This is the first time they’ve met. How do you feel?
a. Weirded out, and terrified that your dad will do something embarrassing, like open his mouth.
b. Delighted but slightly nervous about what they’ll make of each other.
c. Nervous, but glad of the opportunity to ask your dad whether you and your bloke can use the family holiday cottage next weekend.
6. Your man mentions out of the blue that he’s thinking of doing six months’ voluntary work, building a school in Nepal. How do you feel?
a. Turned on.
b. Excited. Doing this together will cement your relationship.
c. Gutted. Is he trying to get away from you?
7. How’s his behaviour towards you when you’re in a social situation together?
a. Indifferent and aloof.
b. Attentive and affectionate.
8. When you daydream about him, what do you focus on?
a. Sexual fantasies.
b. Your future together.
c. The sexy weekend break you’re planning for his birthday.
What your answers mean…
Mostly A: It’s lust
Lust gets a bad rap. It’s one of the “seven deadly sins”, and it’s dismissed as some poor cousin of “the real thing”. But lust is one seriously exhilarating feeling – and without it none of us would be here! What’s more, it’s the glue that binds new couples together and gives love the chance to develop.
The idea that men feel lust and women feel love is nonsense, but it’s peddled by many so-called experts. Women are just as vulnerable to the blinding, raging power of lust as men are. We can be sexually besotted with a man without being in love with him, or even liking or knowing him.
When you’re in lust, your brain goes on hold and red-hot chemical surges run the show. Lust is blind, fooling you into thinking your new man is The One, when in fact you have nothing in common and those feelings will fizzle out when you least expect it. To avoid getting hurt, try not to invest too much emotion and self-worth into a new relationship until you’re on a steadier footing. Meanwhile, enjoy the ride!
Mostly B: It’s love
You’ve enjoyed the lust stage, dealt with your insecurities and finally reached a level of togetherness that makes you feel comfortable, optimistic and glad to be alive. You still feel lust for your man, but you’re not distracted by desire every time you’re together. You get lost in your conversations, and rather than just wanting to touch him, you actually hear what he’s saying! You think he’s gorgeous, even when he’s padding around in a dressing gown and his best Hangover Face. All you want to do is to be with him, whether you’re having sex or not, and you see a future together – in fact, life without him would be empty, and you just want him to be happy.
Mostly C: It’s infatuation… and it could turn into love
You’re still at the lust stage, but it’s grown into an infatuation that could go either way – end in tears, or lead to love. You feel insecure because you’re not sure of his feelings for you, and you desperately want it to work out. Whether it does will depend on factors such as whether you share similar hopes for the future. If you lack compatibility, this is the stage at which your lust will start to fade and you’ll be left with someone may not even fancy any more. Consider whether your relationship has the solid grounding it needs. At least if you know it’s lust rather than in love, you’re better equipped to cope with rejection and move onto a more rewarding relationship.