Can you make out the difference between love and lust when you are in a relationship? Is it love or lust – doesn’t this question confuse you?
Sometimes you might think you are in love without really realizing that it’s not love but just lust.
Everything is SO intense in the beginning of a relationship – your feelings, emotions, desires, the passion, intimacy, and romance.
So how do you know whether it’s just sex appeal or true love you feel for the person?
It’s been a while since I wrote about love and the topic on love and lust is something I wanted to share with you because I know many singles and married lots would benefit from it.
I’ve heard of couples, singles and married, who often mistake lust to be love. How do you make out whether it is love or lust? Isn’t it a question that puzzles many people?
They aren’t able to make out until it’s very late, while others who are already in a marital relationship often wonder whether love and lust still remains in their marriage.
Many married couples end up in divorce because what they thought to be love turns out to be mere lust.
Generally, you don’t really fall in love at first sight, contrary to what most people believe. It’s mostly ‘lust at first sight’. Lust is what brings two people together initially. Am I right?
Love usually starts out as lust and the two might even overlap somewhere in the relationship, or lust might never turn into love at all.
Haven’t you experienced those butterflies in the stomach kind of feelings – the intense attraction you feel for someone, especially when you meet eye to eye. And doesn’t your heart skip a beat?
It might just be lust and not really love.
You might like to read a little more on love in my post – Are You A Love Teacher – no, I am not one! 🙂
I wouldn’t say lusting this way is bad as love sometimes starts with lust. Such desires blossom and grow into love and could end into a beautiful relationship too, though it all takes time.
However, it might not always end up in the way mentioned above.
But what is it that you are feeling, is it love or lust?
Love and Lust
In the early stages of a relationship, especially when the sex hormones are at their peak, there is more of lust than love present.
You see the other person as what you need them to be, instead of seeing the real person, along with all the flaws.
You become blind in love as they say, because there is more of lust than love in that stage.
Pure lust is just based on fantasy and physical attraction you feel for the other person, which tends to disappear as soon as the reality of the person shows up.
You see your partner as someone who can do no wrong. Lust can lead to love. However, you need time to get to know each other when you are in true love.
Your mind can really confuse you at times, and what you might think to be love, might just be lust you feel for someone.
Love and lust are intertwined. Lust is what brings you both together and love is what keeps you there.
You cannot have an enjoyable and happy relationship when you are only physically attracted to someone. That just works to keep the chemistry alive between two people.
Lust is the initial desire to be with someone, while love is longing to stay with him or her forever.
When there is lust and not love, you don’t really care about the happiness of the other person – all you want is momentary satisfaction.
For understanding whether it is love or lust, you need to know more about both these terms in detail.
“Some people get lust, and love mixed up. Lust is when someone guesses at first there in love but really there not they just assume. Love is when someone knows for certain there in love they don’t second guess.” ~ Bryan Burden
What is Love
I’ve written many posts defining love and one of them is – Understanding True Love Between Two People, which you’d love to go through.
So, without going into the details of what love is because you can never really entirely define it, let me share with you briefly here a little more of it.
Love is an intense feeling. It’s the affection and care that you feel towards another person. It is mainly a caring and profound attraction you have for another person.
When you are in love, you commit yourself to the other person. You make the effort to resolve the conflicts instead of giving up.
Feelings of love and romantic attraction for someone can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels. These results in loss of appetite and you feel elated.
With a longer passage of time, as you feel attached to someone, your body generates oxytocin, popularly known as the “hormone of love”. 🙂
“The more we are filled with thoughts of lust the less we find true romantic love.” ~ Douglas Horton
What is Lust
Coming to lust – it is a strong desire or shall I call it a passion of a sexual nature you have for the other person.
Lust is mainly a reaction to someone’s physical appearance. It’s a physical emotion that tends to be short-lived and occurs when you are sexually attracted to someone and want him or her for sex.
It is more about immediate gratification, where you have sex and feel physically fulfilled. It all happens for a split second or heat of the moment and then it’s all over.
When the “hormone of love” is generated, it increases the testosterone levels in both genders, which often leads to lust and an appetite for sex.
Lust is mainly a craving for gratification – or sexual desire.
“Lust is temporary, romance can be nice, but love is the most important thing of all. Because without love, lust and romance will always be short-lived.” ~ Danielle Steel
Difference Between Love and Lust
Let me try and point out the main differences between love and lust here:
1- Emotions and Feelings
When you are in love, there is affection, commitment, intimacy, and security in your relationship. There is a desire to help and please your partner. You feel happy when you see your partner.
Partners talk and resolve relationship problems. You become selfless and you learn to love your best friend – your partner.
While in lust, there is just physical attraction or sexual desire in mind. There is an intense feeling of need and passion. There might never be any mental connection with people when they are lusting.
2- Physical Chemistry and Time
In love, the physical chemistry carries on for a very long period. True love only deepens with the passage of time, and where there is permanent commitment, it stays throughout life.
But in lust – it’s short lived or just a temporary phase. It comes on strong and right away. It may dissipate or deepen with the passage of time – depends. Mostly, it lasts only to fulfill desires.
Lust can be called a romantic infatuation, while love binds people and keeps them together even after the infatuation fades.
3- Personal Front and Issues
At the personal front, love is a commitment you make to each other with genuine intention in mind. You think about the other person’s feelings before taking any action.
Their issues and problems are of concern to you because you care.
In lust, you only have a mutually pleasurable relationship, which is like having fun for a short time period and moving your different ways. You don’t really bother about each other’s lives and what your partner undergoes.
4- Indicators and Signs
When you are in love, there is confidence, faithfulness and loyalty in you. You make efforts to resolve difference. You are willing to make sacrifices for each other, and you listen to each other’s opinions.
Lust on the other hand is full of intense emotions of desire, passion, and acquisitiveness.
You don’t expect anything when you are in love, it’s unconditional. While lust is conditional and survives only if it gets what it wants.
5- Overall Results
Love results in, or shall I say it gives you peace, security and a solid partnership. This in turn leads to an ideal atmosphere to raise a happy family with confident kids.
Lust often leads to sexual frustration, emotional rigidity, and unhappiness. However, if there’s lust from both sides, it results in pleasure, passion, and zest for life too.
Although lust is the first stage of love and can often lead to lasting friendships and romantic relationships, it can even result in a person having an emotionally damaging behavior.
Remember, that love is the real deal – it is unconditional. Whereas, in lust you are only interested in what can be done for self-pleasure.
Lust may develop into love, but it stays lust until that time, isn’t it?
If you want to transform your relationship from lust to love, then pay attention to your partner’s need, love, respond, and support him or her.
If you feel you’ve found love, then express and share your feelings with your partner. You need to trust your partner, and that might develop your relationship and take it from lust to love.
So, is it love or lust that you are in? How can you make out? Mentioned below are a few signs that can help you decide between the two.
Signs That Show It Is Lust
Here are some signs of lust that show the difference between love and lust.
• You are not friends, only lovers.
• You are obsessed about the person you love – possessive feelings come up.
• Your talks are mostly flirtatious and unreal.
• You might be jealous and suspicious of your partner and want to only control and manipulate him or her.
• You are only focused on the person’s body and looks.
• You can’t wait to ‘get it’ – you demand like someone saying, “I want it now!”
• You prefer leaving soon after sex, instead of cuddling, kissing, or being together for a while.
• You are more drawn to what or who the person is in life, rather than the heart of the person.
• You’d rather not discuss your feelings and want to keep the relationship on a fantasy level.
• You become insensitive to others around you and care only about what you can get from that person or relationship, which is called being selfish and self-centered.
• You are just interested to have sex with the person, but not talking.
“Lust is what keeps you wanting to do it even when you have no desire to be with each other. Love is what makes you want to be with each other even when you have no desire to do it.” ~ Judith Viorst
You would love this short, sweet, and effective video by a relationship expert explaining love vs lust. Check it out!
Patti German ~ How to Tell the Difference Between Love and Lust ~ YouTube video
Signs That Show You Are In Love
When you are in love, there is a deep emotional craving within you, and this drive is much stronger than lust – the sex drive. You can make out you are in love if you have the following signs –
• You get lost in talks with your partner that you forget the number of hours that have passed.
• You have intense feelings for your partner and are connected to him or her through the levels of body, mind, and soul.
• You feel good about yourself when you are with and without your partner.
• You want to be with the person you love.
• You are patient and can wait – true love waits.
• Your partner motivates you to become a better person, and you listen to him or her.
• You want to spend time being with each other, other than having sex.
• You learn to trust you partner and give each other freedom.
• You tend to choose ‘we’ over ‘me’ when you are in love.
• You want to make each other happy, listen to each other, and respect each other’s feelings.
• You are always there to support your partner, through thick or thin.
• You make an effort to resolve conflicts or issues, and don’t leave them or ignore them.
• You want to meet each other’s family and friends.
• You feel happy, content, and fulfilled in your relationship.
If the chemistry is right between two people, lust can transform into real love. If you have more of love, passion, romance, and honesty, it becomes easier to attract someone with similar qualities.
How To Make Out the Difference Between Love and Lust
You need to ask yourself certain questions that might help you decide whether it is love or lust. Let me make two sections here for you, one for the singles and the other for the married lots to make it easier.
For the Singles
Don’t just jump into a relationship without giving it a thought – wait for the euphoria to cool down.
Most singles land up brokenhearted when they just enter into a relationship for physical satisfaction.
Remember, if your partner is serious about you, he or she will be willing to wait for marriage, so honor and respect each other’s feelings and emotions till that time comes.
Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to know is it love or lust you are after.
• How much do you know the person’s life? Do you know each other’s family, friends, or what they like or dislike? How interconnected are both of you? Are you able to relate to each other?
• Know your feelings for each other; whether it’s just passion, or do you have strong feelings beyond that. Do you have anything in common, besides the usual movies, dating, and partying sessions?
• Be realistic about your relationship and decide – is it love or lust you feel for the person. If it’s lust, then be honest to admit that your attraction is just limited to the physical level and not beyond.
• You need to know the other persons ambitions and goals, which should be similar to your vision of the future. Do you have similar morals, ethics, and priorities about home and career? Do you both have the same or different ideas about getting married and having kids?
Such talks might seem funny when you are in your initial phase of relationship, but they are essential as they help you talk honestly and openly about your future together.
• Are the feelings mutual? While you might have different ideas, your partner might be on a different wavelength. Be open and ask your partner, so that you know both your feelings are mutual or not.
If one is keen in a casual physical relationship and the other wants to settle down in marriage, it’s better you get to know about it all before you proceed deeper with your relationship.
When you know things beforehand, you avoid unnecessary confusion, don’t waste time, and avoid getting hurt later.
For the Married
Studies indicate that there are more divorces taking place nowadays. Perhaps a lot of expectations lead to such situations.
Recommended reading – Coping With Divorce Made Easy.
You expect your partner to give you stability, sense of belonging, passion, and respect your individuality.
Maybe you bring it all too much on your partner. Perhaps couples crumble under such expectations.
Just as fire needs air, many couples nowadays have a tough time mating in captivity, so they start seeking another, which of course is not the right thing to do.
Instead of seeking happiness outside your marriage, you need to do everything in your power to work on your marriage to make it a happy one.
Rekindle the love in your marriage if need be – make all the efforts if you want to save your marriage.
Remember, anything outside your marriage isn’t love, but lust.
You don’t remain who you are, and change – when you enter into another relationship outside your marriage, which results in a bad marriage that could even lead to a breakup.
Many married couples, especially women face domestic violence and abuse in their marriage because they had taken lust to be love.
In such cases, you need to listen to your inner voice or the gut feeling that tells you to be aware, if you feel you are caught in a relationship that’s only physical based or has no love in it.
You might feel a sense of discomfort, malaise, or drained off feeling about being together. Or you don’t feel good to be with such a person who just needs your body, instead of you.
You feel uncomfortable at the way your partner treats you, but you feel scared that if you mention it, you might push him or her away.
But you need to remember that it makes no sense to be in such a relationship when things aren’t working for you. If you are in an abusive relationship – move out NOW!
DO read this important post – 9 Early Signs of An Abusive Relationship – it will help you I’m sure.
Most women tend to ignore listening to their gut feeling or inner voice, which warns them about their partner.
This happens because they fear that they’d lose their man, if they deny him the pleasures.
I feel that the happiest couples are those that can maintain a good balance between love and lust. In a relationship, especially marriage, there should be committed love, care, sex, excitement, and security.
You need to have continuity in your relationship, along with novelty, passion, some adventure, and spice in your love life.
So now tell me, what keeps your relationship alive – love or lust? Or is it both, love and lust?
Remember, lusting for a partner might be alright, but if there is no love and only lust in the air – you need to rethink on a lot of things.
Go ahead and make things happen for you and your partner – make a difference and change your life. Falling in love is a beautiful feeling that you need to experience 🙂
“True love never dies for it is lust that fades away. Love bonds for a lifetime but lust just pushes away.” ~ Alicia Barnhart
Over to you –
Having gone through the post, now tell me – love vs lust, what would you choose? Do you feel there is a difference between love and lust? Do you think lust is as important as love? Do you think your relationship is based on love or lust? Share in the comments.
Photo Credit: Freedigitalphoto
Posted on: April 15th, 2014
Last Updated on: September 10th, 2015