Most Americans are similarly confused.
Statistics show that most people are involved in premarital and/or extramarital affairs at some time during their lives.* But physical relationships minus love are nothing new. King David lusted after Bathsheba and paid a hefty price in his personal and political life (2 Samuel 11-12).
- Genuine love involves friendship and respect. David and Bathsheba were strangers.
- Genuine love involves honesty. David and Bathsheba’s relationship was built on deception which grew as time went on and ended in murder.
- Genuine love involves marriage. David and Bathsheba were not committed to each other when they committed adultery.
It was lust.
In contrast, God's commands about sexual behavior come from His heart of perfect love, honesty and commitment to His children. That's what Love has to do with it.
*God calls both of these things sin. Their Biblical names are fornication (sex with anyone who is not your spouse--1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse when you are married--Hebrews 13:4). Our culture considers fornication (premarital sex) acceptable, but God's loving laws warn against it.