Love and desire are two different things, according to the psychotherapist Esther Perel.
“If there is a verb, for me, that comes with love, it’s “to have.” And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is “to want.” In love, we want to have, we want to know the beloved. We want to minimize the distance. We want to contract that gap. We want to neutralize the tensions. We want closeness. But in desire, we tend to not really want to go back to the places we’ve already gone. Forgone conclusion does not keep our interest. In desire, we want an Other, somebody on the other side that we can go visit, that we can go spend some time with,that we can go see what goes on in their red-light district. You know? In desire, we want a bridge to cross. Or in other words, I sometimes say, fire needs air. Desire needs space. And when it’s said like that, it’s often quite abstract” she said in a Ted speech.
So, if you love someone, you can lose desire, because you need distance to desire someone, while you want to be close to the one you love.
Esther Perel said some couples don’t need to touch each other to feel desire. Instead, after their last meeting, they try to keep the desire alive. Sexting, for example, is a good way to keep the desire alive when we’re not together. Sexting means sending a suggestive message, or picture to our partner, or just a message saying how you long for your partner and you can’t wait to see him/her. It doesn’t mean sending a picture of your desk or a message about bitcoins or something in the news.
Some people also send items to their partner that remind him/her about the last meeting they had. It’s a promise for something hot in the next meeting.
But some people also desire their partner when they evolve in their professional or friendly circle. “Watching her talking to other men in a cocktail party just turns me on” says one of my friends. “I just enjoy watching him from afar” another one said.
It’s easy to lose desire unfortunately. Some people lose desire because their energy is eaten by stress, illness, or mental problems. And if just one partner is teasing the other, desire can also quickly fade away, as the teaser will get fed up of not having reciprocal desire.