Ah, there’s nothing like having a great connection with someone, except maybe getting it on with that person. But there are times, in the midst of all those chemicals and feelings, that we might confuse amazing sex with actual love and jump into a relationship with someone sooner than we should. Orgasm blinders are real, guys.
There are lots of researchers who believe this inclination to think we’re falling in love whenever we’re experiencing intense chemistry with another person is due to the “love hormone” oxytocin. Scientists at the University of Rutgers mapped women’s brains and found that during sex, about 30 parts of their brains were activated, including centers for joy, memory, pain, and of course, emotion.
So it’s not just you — it could be the “love hormone” that’s confusing you.
There could be a real, scientific reason that a woman is feeling super close to her partner after sex — especially amazing sex. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you feel like you can’t trust your feelings after great sex with someone.
1Are things off and on?
The sex might always be great, but your actual relationship with the person might be hot and cold. Sometimes things line up perfectly; other times you’re fighting or bickering about something. If your relationship is more about making up until you get to the good sex part, it might not exactly be love.
2Can you picture them anywhere else?
As in, can you envision them fitting naturally into your life somewhere besides under your covers? Sometimes when you’re in lust with someone, you’ll find yourself out at dinner with them, and they do something that kind of well, grosses you out or puts you off. Maybe you love the sex but don’t want to introduce them to your friends or broadcast your relationship to the world. If you don’t really like them unless they’re going down on you, it could just be sex (and hey, nothing wrong with that as long as you’re both down with it).
3Do you want to talk to them?
Maybe they don’t turn you off exactly, but are you guys even friends? Romantic love definitely includes a friendship element. So if you don’t have a good dynamic unless you’re reading each others’ minds mid-sex about the next position you’re going into, you’re likely not in love, which is perfectly fine. Just protect your heart.
4Are you comfortable being intimate with each other?
When you find someone new, it can be hard to find the right vibe when it comes to cuddling or being close to each other. Snuggling and making out can be way more intimate than having sex with someone, and it’s totally possible to be having hot sex that doesn’t feel hella intimate. If you think the lack of real closeness is just because it’s still a new thing, wait it out. But it’s also possible that things will stay like that, in which case, you’re likely looking at something that’s more sex than love.
5Is sex the only thing you want to do with them?
Listen, even when you are in love, when you’re having great sex with someone it can feel like you are both being forced to go through the motions of actual dates before you get to the fun stuff. That’s just how things are in the beginning when you have stellar chemistry. But after a while, you can use this feeling to figure out whether it’s lust or love. If you find yourself mentally checked out during every activity except naked ones, you might have just answered your own question about where this person fits into your life.
6How do you describe them?
When you tell your friends about them, do you find yourself focusing on just how fine they are? If you really can’t think of any other redeeming qualities — or just qualities that mesh with your personality — you’re definitely in lust.
7You like fantasizing about them more than actually hanging with them.
Do you prefer the fantasy rather than an actual reality with them? Maybe you’re doing things you don’t normally do with them, like partying extra hard or calling out of work just to bone. Or maybe you love to daydream about how beautiful they are and how good they make you feel, but once you’re actually around them, you find them kinda tediously mortal until the sex gets going again. Ain’t no shame — you just probably aren’t in love with them. That said, you might be in love with the sex you’re having with them, and honestly, we would never say that’s a bad thing.