When it comes to deciphering lust versus love, things have the tendency to get very messy. Lust can exist within a loving relationship, yet all relationships based on lust don’t necessarily have love. Without love, which connects two people on a deeper level separate from pure physical attraction, we can end up feeling empty and heartbroken when things don’t work out. Lust is a short-term fix, like a drug addiction, while love is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s easy to get caught up in lusting for someone – our hormones can distract the true feelings of our hearts.
Additionally, it’s important to know the difference between the two, so that you don’t get fooled by feeling jealous of all those Instagram pictures and engagement photos of your friends in relationships. That’s because whether it's true love or lust can’t be seen from the outside. When you find real love, you’ll be content within your relationship and you won’t feel the need to boast. With lust, you’ll constantly feel like you’re in a game, unable to understand your own ups and down. Instead of getting too far into this mess, you must understand the major differences between lust and love and try to make the judgment yourself before you get hurt or hurt someone else.
15 Lust is a constant high
This is where uncovering the difference between lust and love gets tricky. Sometimes, it feels amazing to have an out of body experience. We feel like we’re constantly on Cloud 9 when we’re with someone special, making plans with them or simply talking about them. Yet, if this frenzy over someone continues and sends you on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows, you may start to wonder if you’ve lost your true sense of self. Like being on enhancers, being drunk in lust leads us to act out of character - and often not in the best way. If we’re lucky, friends and family will point this out to us. In a real loving relationship, you will feel simply happy in your own skin, and won’t have this sense of drug-induced high from someone else. Love sees more baseline happiness - think more smiling and less crying from sadness or laughter.
14 In Love You Appreciate Reality
In a true relationship, you start to love the other person’s flaws and work to understand them a bit more. You begin to form inside jokes about what makes each other tick or what geeky interest you have. Loving couples tend to make fun of each other in front of other people like they aren’t even there. In this way, love is a bit like a best friendship. You aren't afraid to offend each other with harmless jabs. Because, in reality, the flaws are part of what you love about the other person. In lust, you’re always fantasizing about the other person, never placing negative qualities on them. You see them as more perfect than they really are, instead of embracing their reality. When you see an imperfection, you try to justify it or push it down into your subconscious where you'll forget it (until perhaps he breaks your heart).
13 Lust always craves getting it on
In love, getting physical comes naturally after a while of not sleeping together. In lust, this physicalness is a natural first order of event right away when you look at each other. Since it’s the basis of your relationship, it seems bizarre not to get it on as much as you can. When you’re in love, being physical will be important and you will fantasize about it, but as a supplement to your relationship. Despite what many believe, a loving relationship doesn't require you to be intimate every time you are together, or even every other day. You’ll start to form higher standards of where you will do the deed. The desperation goes away if it was even there at all in the beginning. Especially if you two are together after a year, you'll realize that sometimes, you'll only have enough energy to cuddle and fall asleep next to one another. And that will be enough.
12 Lust Obsesses Over Physical Features
When you’re in love, you barely think about what the other person looks like. When you describe them to other people, you’re talking about their personality and how you spend time together. Sometimes, you may even have a hard time explaining what they look like. Even if the guy is gorgeous - if you've been in a loving relationship for long enough, you'll start to immediately think of some of his physical flaws that make him unique. With lust, their attractiveness is the first thing on your mind. In lust, your partner's physical body or skills in the bedroom will be the first things that come to your mind when people ask you what you like about them. This is why lust doesn’t last, once the physical goes away, you’ll lose the foundation of your relationship. In a real loving relationship, you’ll stick together through illness, old age, and injury.
11 Love has interest beyond the physical
In love, you want to know everything about the other person - childhood, best friends, ex-girlfriends, pet peeves, weird interests, and hobbies. You are constantly trying to “figure them out.” With lust, you find yourself forcing this part of the relationship because you’re not authentically interested in anything other than the physical. If you do ask them personal questions, you’ll forget the answer soon after. A great sign that a guy is only in it for the looks and the status, is noticing every time he forgets little things you tell him, childhood stories, adventures you took before you knew him, your dreams, ambitions, and accomplishments. An authentic desire to understand the whole picture of someone else cannot be forced for more than a short amount of time. This is why a lot of relationships based on lust crash and burn just after a few months - or even weeks.
10 Being together vs. being intimate
When you are apart in both a loving and lusting relationship, you will most likely miss each other. The difference between lust and love, however, is in the way we miss each other, which is easy to mix up and vital to deciphering the strength of your relationship. The type of separation you feel in a loving relationship when you are away from each other is different in the sense that you simply miss the other person’s presence. In lust, you miss the physical relationship and often this is the topic of conversation when you are away from each other. When you split up or "go on a break," pay close attention to what exactly you miss about the other person. To quote the love-struck and insightful Justin Bieber, "Cause I just need one more shot, second chances. Yeah Is it too late now to say sorry? 'Cause I'm missing more than just your body, oh."
9 In lust you don't grow
In love, the relationship is a two-way street (going to a worthwhile beautiful destination). In a healthy, loving relationship both individuals will be better off because of the other. You lift each other up. In lust, you’re constantly letting your hobbies and interests fall by the wayside because you are infatuated with the other person. In lust, you let yourself go because you’re obsessed with obtaining the other. When it doesn’t work out, you may realize you lost friends in the process. We all know that girl who forgot her group of friends while she was with the wrong guy for the wrong reasons, and when they crashed and burned all of your phones started raining again. Let's not be that girl. It’s hard to make a comeback and explain yourself after that. If you’re starting to pick up bad habits and you’re not getting inspired to continue improving, you may need to take a look at your relationship.
8 Love makes you better
A tell-tale sign of a loving relationship is one in which both people feel like improved versions of themselves as a direct result of their partner. In love, you may notice that you develop interests you never knew you had. When you're in love with someone truly worth your while, they will open up your eyes to new things. You may start to enjoy traveling, learning a new language (perks if he's bilingual) and spending more time improving yourself. You may have hated wearing certain clothes, meeting new people, or anything else that kept you outside of your comfort zone. Often, a relationship will give you the support you need to thrive in your weak areas. In lust, you're not confident in the same way about the relationship, and whether consciously or subconsciously, you're afraid the other person will leave you for someone better. Ironically, this fear works in the opposite way, distracting you and restraining you from freeing up your time to work on some self-improvement.
7 Lust pretends to be someone else
In love, there’s no effort in trying to be somebody you aren’t. The attempt to establish yourself as a certain type of person washes away. When you love someone and they love you back, you’re embracing yourself as you are and appreciating all that the other person sees in you. In lust, you’re self-conscious over whether or not you are as appealing as the other person. You may try to impress each other in unhealthy ways such as trying to make the other jealous, or over-exaggerating achievements. In a sense, you are living a lie when you are in lust. Even if you aren't lying straight out - you're more likely to be loud about your accomplishments and quiet about your imperfections. To another degree, this type of deceit is just as bad for the long-term relationship. Better to be honest off the bat, reduce stress and increase the likelihood of a true, loving relationship.
6 Love embraces flaws
In love, you laugh at each other’s blemishes and quirks, knowing that it is what makes the other person unique. In lust, there’s no recognition of one another’s setbacks because you are so blinded by infatuation. You completely disregard the quirks and instead focus on what’s driving your lust. You don’t playfully make fun of each other the way you do in a loving relationship. At the bitter end of a lustful relationship, you'll develop a strong aversion towards the other's flaws. Ultimately, it's the little things that break a lustful relationship. On the flip side, it's those same flaws that keep loving relationships intact. You won’t really hate the fact that he wears the same shirt all too often, sings obnoxiously loud in the shower and when he gets a few too many drinks in his system, he adds a funny accent and looks at you with semi-crossed eyes.
5 Love survives long distance
If your relationship crumbles to the ground when one of you moves away or needs to leave for an extended period of time, you can rest assured that it wasn't love. In love, other people become less attractive and the thought of separating due to geographical space does not cross your mind. In love, you are emotionally prepared to stay with your significant other for a long period of time, perhaps your entire lives, and so a few months or even a few years apart doesn't change anything. Feelings transcend physical boundaries, so don't be fooled by someone who says that they love you but blames the break up on long distance. If long distance is a game changer, you'd better get out of the situation and make room for someone else willing to make a sacrifice. Remember, it’s always a cop out to end a relationship with someone due to distance.
4 Lust feeds envy and guilt
A certain degree of jealousy is arguably healthy in any relationship. Yet, in love, both realize the power in focusing on self-love and trust, rather than blind superstition and aggression. Jealousy can be oddly fun sometimes, but it’s not worth it in the end. In the long-term, a possessive partner won't make you feel special, happy or free. When you're grounded in love, you can't imagine yourself cheating on your significant other, and you'll trust that he feels the same way. On the other hand, if you're in a lustful relationship, you're more likely to not only find other guys attractive, but you may slip up and hook up with another guy. Somewhere deep down you will know that you're lacking something, and will seek that out in another person, even if you're in a relationship. Whether you tell your lust partner or not, there's a great chance you'll be feeling heavy in guilt more often than not.
3 Love leans for support in harm times
When you love someone, they are the first person you call when you need support, feel depressed, or just heard bad news at work, in the family, or with your friends. Not because we need just any shoulder to lean on, but because we deeply trust the other person with our truest emotions and often darkest of times. That’s because, in love, you’re with each other through the good and the bad. In lust, when you limit the relationship to all the good times, you can’t imagine calling them and burdening them with your problems. When sh*t hits the fan, who's the first person that you call for that essential and necessary support? More importantly, who's the guy that answers the phone almost immediately, hanging up only to stop whatever he's doing and come meet you to comfort you in person wherever you are? It’s who’s around you when everything else falls apart, that deserves you at your best.
2 Love is full and content
In love, the peacefulness you experience will be unprecedented. You won’t need all of the external things to keep you going because you’ll be so content with yourself. Simply sitting talking with your partner, reading a book next to each other, or strolling down the beach will be all you need. No more crazy nights of booze and expensive parties are necessary to catch your attention and fill a void in your life, although you can still enjoy that kind of fun now and again. In lust, you feel like you’re chasing an unobtainable happiness, yet it’s only because you’ve misunderstood what you’re chasing. In lust, there's an obsession with what's coming next, and you're unable to fully stay in the present. In love, although you fantasize a decent amount about your future with your boyfriend, there's times when the world will seem to stop spinning around you. Moments where you don't need to add anything extra, and time seems to slow down for the two of you, are what make people strive and search lifetimes for love.
1 Love doesn't question itself
Chances are, if you're reading this article, you may have some doubts about a relationship - maybe your own. But the hard truth is, that if you are in a truly loving relationship, all of your apprehension (or at least most of it) will fade away because you are grounded in an inexplicable trust. The bonds of love transcend the title of boyfriend, partner, husband, or childhood sweetheart. In love, you won't second guess yourself, and you won't need constant validation from the other person. Cheesy as it may sound, the nonverbal signs such as his kiss and his gaze will speak for itself. If you don't feel this stability, you shouldn't feel discouraged. Not all lustful relationships are doomed, they can blossom into love. The funny thing is, when we stop trying so hard to be someone for Mr. Right, we build the confidence that attracts someone who makes us better, loving us with our imperfections and all.