3 Things You Can Do To Determine If It's REALLY Love (Or Just Lust)

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3 Things You Can Do To Determine If it's REALLY Love (Or Just Lust)

Moving from "like" to "love" is one of the most important transitions a couple can make. Unfortunately, it's also a process that's all too often misunderstood.

Many couples think that love is the same as lust, which equates love with the ooey-gooey excitement and breathless anticipation that usually occurs at the beginning of a relationship. Defining love this way categorizes it solely as a feeling, and the downside is that feelings come and go. If you don't want your love to wax and wane with your emotions, you probably don't want to define love merely as something you feel.

Our culture doesn't give us a lot of other options in terms of shaping the definition of true love, though. If it's not just a feeling, then what else is it?

Love Is More Than A Feeling

Fortunately, you don't have to lose the concept of love as a feeling altogether. This is an important perspective, though it should be seen from various angles. Most of the time, when you are experiencing true love, you will feel positive about your significant other. You may not feel head-over-heels in love with them, but you will think well of them, want to be with them, and generally feel good about being with them.

The difference between true love and defining love as only a feeling is that true love continues even when you don't have positive feelings about your partner. In fact, you can experience true love even when you're furious at your partner, or when they have just hurt you deeply.

This difference is characterized by the act of commitment, by knowing that problems will arise, but that you will stay because ultimately life is better with them than without them. And this isn't something that you change your mind about from one day to the next, or because of one little setback. 

When you're truly in love with another person, you commit to staying with them even when things are hard. You decide that the person you're with is a person you want to continue to be with, and you choose to stay.

Note that there are usually some caveats to this decision. For instance, you should not choose to stay with someone who is abusive. Some people choose not to stay with a partner who cheats on them. Whatever your caveats, you can build them into your original decision.

How To Decide

Since committing to love someone is a big decision that will affect all aspects of your life, it's not one you want to make quickly. You don't want to make a decision to stick around without some knowledge that the other person will return the sentiment and is someone you want to be with.

Luckily, there are some things you can do that will help you decide whether or not to commit to a partner you're in a casual relationship with. These same things will help build your commitment once you've made it:

  1. Build trust. After all, you don't want to commit to someone who isn't worthy of that decision.
  2. Get to know your partner well and let them get to know you. It will be easier to commit to someone who knows your quirks and loves you anyway.
  3. Build a strong friendship with your partner. This friendship will help you hold to your commitment even when you're not sure you want to.