Love, Sex

8 Fundamental Differences Between Love And Lust (So That When You Say 'I Love You' You Know You Really Mean It)

Photo: Jared Sluyter on Unsplash
8 fundamental differences between love and lust

The start of a new relationship is all about the connection you make with the other person. It’s really important to let yourself be open and remain honest with your partner. As you get to know each other, you take more risks and show some of your most raw traits to them. Judging their response, you decide to either move deeper into the connection.

Feeling wanted and appreciated is a fundamental desire that we can all relate to. When someone reciprocates those feelings, you can easily get wrapped up in the excitement of something new that makes you feel good. You are likely feeling a lot of different emotions. You can’t get them off of your mind. You want to share so much of yourself. You might even be thinking about the L-word.

RELATED: If You're Not Sure If It's Love Or Lust, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

But your closest girlfriends pull you back down to earth. They question some of the things you may have subconsciously overlooked. They may be asking you, “How much do you really know about this guy?” or “How long have you and this girl even been together?” This can leave you even more confused about your feelings and their intentions.

There is no need to panic. We are here to help you sort it all out.

Love and lust are so closely related. But there is a fundamental difference.

Love is a deep, almost spiritual, connection with someone. Regardless of any flaws or habits, you come back to that person with the same admiration. You want to be near them, but there are no expectations as to what that time looks like.

Lust, on the other hand, can disguise itself as love. It is more closely related to infatuation. Your connection with that person is deeply rooted in physical and expression. You find your attraction to be less concerned with their personality and more with their ability to please you at the moment.

So, if you are entering the uncharted territory of saying those three big words, take a moment to reflect on your feelings and make sure it is love before you label it as such.

RELATED: The 8 MAJOR Differences Between Being 'In Lust' and 'In Love'

It’s definitely love if:

  • You aren’t concerned with the way you look around them. You see past the exterior and know that your personality is just as attractive to them as your looks. You feel no anxiety in waking up with messy hair and smudged mascara. You don’t expect anything from them. And they reciprocate the feeling.
  • You know that your new boo has flaws, but you’re attracted to them. You think they are part of their charm and charisma. You find yourself drawn to every aspect of their life: both their personality and their physicality.
  • Your time together extends beyond passionate and into deeply emotionally rooted conversations. You want to know about where they came from and how they got to where they are. You want to meet their family and become a part of their life outside of your nighttime dates.
  • You feel completely comfortable talking about any feelings you may toward the other person. You are honest because you are confident in what you feel. You find yourself able to open up in ways you weren’t able to before. Your feelings are validated and your partner reciprocates them with the same intensity.

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It’s definitely lust if:

  • You send yourself into full-blown panic at the thought of running into them when you aren’t looking your absolute best. You spend hours prepping your body before you are planning on seeing them. Spontaneous, surprise visits sound like the end of the world. You need to know when you’ll be seeing them, so you can plan accordingly.
  • You think your partner is completely perfect in every way. You ignore anything negative that others may observe and only focus on the ways they can please you and fulfill some missing part in your life.
  • Most of the time you spend together is charged. Even if you go out on a dinner date before hooking up later that night, everything is hinted to the . The flirting stops after physical compliments. And you’re okay with that. It feels good and right.
  • Your relationship is more appealing in your head than actually dictated out loud. Once the talk of feelings for each other come up, you start to panic. You aren’t sure that you want to say the things you’re feeling out loud because you aren’t 100% sure they are true.

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Being honest with yourself and your partner is the most important aspect of any relationship. If after assessing yourself, you think your relationship may be leaning toward the lust side of the spectrum, don’t freak out. Lust can turn into love. The sooner you become honest with yourself, the sooner you can achieve long-term happiness.

Take a look at your fundamental needs and think about how this person fulfills them. If you get excited at the thought of digging deeper with this person, but you just aren’t quite ready for the commitment, take a step back and communicate that. You’ll protect your feelings and your partner’s feelings by being truthful and expressive.

RELATED: Falling In Like Is Far More Important Than Falling In Love

Madison Kerth is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality and astrology.