Love, or Lust?

For the longest time I thought I loved him. I thought I loved this person who treated me as if I was some toy he could play with whenever it pleased him. I let him treat me this way for a majority of our “non-relationship.” I was aware of everything he was doing but I continued to go back to him. I am not blaming myself for how he treated me. In the moment I thought I loved him, when it is clear that it was fully lust. I will admit, that even in those moments when we “weren’t together” — if we can even call it that — and I would daydream about the good times we shared, I mostly thought about sleeping with him. As hard as it is to hear from even myself, I craved him for one reason and one reason only: sex. It took me about a full year to recognize that all my feelings I had felt towards him, were completely and utterly lust. Yes I cared about him and deep down I will always care about him because that is just who I am. But as I sit here and think about the time we spent together sophomore year, I realize that there was never any real substance to our conversations; they consisted of flirting and bantering back and forth; they consisted of me expressing my feelings and fighting with him because he clearly didn’t feel the same but pretended to. At the time, it was entertaining and fun and he was all I thought about. The lust blinded me. It is not love when you have to defend someone’s actions to your friends; it is not love when you feel guilty even seeing him — having to hide it from everyone you know; and it is not love when you have to question whether or not the connection you have with him is real. 

No one should blame themselves in a situation like this. He was a liar and a manipulator and I fell for it. He took advantage of my feelings and didn’t have a problem with it. Yes he was cruel and unfair, but I fell in lust with him and that was a huge factor in the demise of our “non-relationship.” I had never felt this type of easy going, comfortable connection with anyone else before. The way he smiled at me, the way he laughed with me, and the way he cuddled me was different. I’m sure now, that he acted this way with every girl he was with but I convinced myself that he treated me differently. He would tell me that I’m different. He would tell me that he cared about me a lot — and I am sure that was partly true. For someone to string another person along throughout a seven month period and not care for the other person at all seems inhumane to me. So I do believe he cared for me; but I just believe he did not know what to do with that. He was not in a place to accept the feelings he was having and frankly, neither was I. 


By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter in training and this year will become a full time reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

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