There’s a method that is always best, to know if it is love or lust.
Just look at their chest, do you see their heart or the size of their bust?
A humorous and fitting poem– but of course – just a bit of fun! Knowing the difference between love and lust is much, much more complicated than this. Falling in love is not something that happens instantly, as it always seems to do in the movies. Real love happens over time, and the journey from the initial spark of attraction to deep, unrelenting love is a long and complicated one.
What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me!
On the face of it, love is an intense feeling of affection and physical attraction toward another person. But indeed, lust also provides similar feelings. In the early days of a relationship, it is often difficult to tell the difference between the two.
It is one of the reasons why relationships are lasting only one or two-years end at the time they do. Those initial feelings of lust can fade over time, not to be replaced by solid feelings of love, leaving partners confused as to whether they even loved each other in the first place.
We spoke with relationship expert Carmel Jones of The Big Fling to get a better idea of the signals to look for in both.
Signs of Being in Love
- You want to spend time together and not just for sex
- You get lost in conversations together
- You want to make each other happy
- You listen to each other’s feelings and problems
- Your partner motivates you to be a better person
- You want to meet, or you have already met, your partner’s family and friends
Signs of Nothing but Lust
- You’re completely focused on a person’s appearance
- You’re not interested in having conversations
- You do not talk about your feelings much or at all
- You want to leave your partner’s company soon after sex
- You are lovers, but you fight almost all the time
- Other people interest you both sexually and emotionally
Lust is Actually a Part of Love
As if it wasn’t confusing enough, it’s important to note that lust often plays the first part of any relationship. This is effectively the first stage of achieving love and is driven purely by desire. We can break a relationship filled-with-love down into three chronological stages. The first one starts with the lust bug!
The Lust Bug
Think about it – when you first meet someone you want to get your hands all over them before you start thinking about taking their hand in marriage! It is natural that first impressions, appearance, personality, aura, and temptation all play the first part in the laws of attraction. It’s only after several years that you might realize that the other person gets under your skin and you actually really don’t like them all that much! Therefore, stage one is most definitely the lust stage.
This is where the initial lust type of attraction turns into real deep attraction to the person as a human. You don’t just want to be inside their trousers, you want to be inside their life and their thoughts. If you spend hours dreaming of your lover, or you yearn for their company when they are gone, you are most definitely in stage two! Enjoy all those dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin based buzzes you love birds!
Deep Love and Affection
If you get to know a person for who they really are, including all their strengths and weaknesses, and you still love and accept it all – you have reached stage three, my love-struck friend! You have deep love and affection, and you are truly committed. Lust has well and truly spawned into something magical and to be cherished for years to come!
The ‘We’ or ‘Me’ Test
The ultimate examination to decide whether you love or merely lust for someone is the ‘we’ or ‘me’ test. Do you speak of yourself or do you speak of the both of you together as a collective? If love is in the air, you are just as focused on the collective goal and the desires of your partner as you are on your own initiatives. If lust is in the atmosphere, you may be more focused on your own goals, desires, and needs in life.
If you find yourself saying “me” instead of “we” in your conversations with others, it can show separation between the two of you. Love is about giving and receiving, not just the latter. To like a flower is to pick it, to love it is to let it bloom. A solid relationship is built on shared plans and a solid unit, as opposed to conflicting blueprints.