What Is Eros Love & Can It Lead To A Lasting Relationship?

When you meet someone that makes your heart rate go wild and fills your head with saucy thoughts, then you're likely experiencing eros love. A type of attraction that's all about lust, romance, and new relationship energy, it's the kind that tends to charm us in movies and delight us in novels. While these fictional stories often lead to a happily-ever-after, in real life, eros is not necessarily a reliable indicator of true companionship and lasting love — although it could be. Instead, marriage therapist Jason B. Whiting, Ph.D., LMFT, told MindBodyGreen, "Relationships often begin with passion, including infatuation and attraction. As exciting as this is, it is mostly a fusion element, designed to draw people together."

Although the intense attraction may make it seem like you've found the person of your dreams, this feeling can actually wear off as the passion and romance also fizzle out. When it comes to the potential of a fling or sudden spark actually turning into the kind of connection that lasts for months, years, or even the rest of your life, clinical psychologist Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., explained to MBG, "Sexual interest, lust, or passion don't necessarily evolve into lasting compassionate love."

Granted, that doesn't mean that it can't become more than just a temporary and casual situationship. In fact, eros can lead to a lasting relationship that continues to grow deeper as you move through various stages. You simply have to figure out what your circumstance happens to be.

It takes time to figure out if eros will turn into lasting love

If you find yourself frustrated by the fact that you can't tell whether you're dealing with a temporary crush or have found the love of your life, don't be hard on yourself because you're definitely not alone. That's understandable when you find out that research from the University of California, Davis found that there tends to be no difference between how a short-term relationship begins and one that's going to become long-term. Paul Eastwick, an associate professor of psychology at UC Davis, shared via the university, "In the beginning, there is no strong evidence that people can tell whether a given relationship will be long-term and serious or short-term and casual."

On top of that, it may take a while to figure out what the potential is in your relationship due to the fact that not all differences or issues emerge early on. That's why Eastwick added, "Long-term and short-term trajectories typically pull apart after you've known someone for weeks or months."

"[Passionate love is] a state of intense longing for union with another," psychologist Elaine Hatfield explained to Verywell Mind. This passion can be the first step in a relationship that turns into what Hatfield defined as a compassionate kind of love that is long-lasting. On the other hand, if the spark in your eros-fueled relationship starts to fade, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a wonderful thing.

You can enjoy eros as long as it lasts

Your short-term romance that's filled with eros love may end up surprising you by turning into a long-term situation. However, if it doesn't last, you can still enjoy every moment of the experience if you choose. Dr. Gary Brown, a couples therapist in Los Angeles, told Elite Daily, "It's important to not view the end of a relationship as a failure. Relationships are pretty much like everything else in life, they are experiments. Some relationship experiments only last for a short while. Others last a lifetime. Some experiments don't give us the results we want. Others bring us more happiness and joy than we could have ever imagined."

Beyond that, just because a relationship was on the shorter side doesn't mean it wasn't meaningful or worthwhile. For instance, it may have been a whirlwind romance that leaves you with only happy memories. Or, it might have taught you something about yourself, how you love, how you want to be loved, and what you might want in a future or long-term partner. That's not to mention, as Brown noted, "A short-lived relationship can also help you to feel more self-confident and maybe even restore your faith in the fact that you could feel love again, despite one or more past hurts."

That's why — whether it lasts a few hours or forevermore — you can think of eros love as a wonderful experience that you're fortunate to have had.