Love, Sex

Exactly How To Know If You're Falling Love — Or If It's Lust Playing Tricks On You

Photo: Unsplash: Matheus Lira
How Do You Know When You're In Falling In Love Vs. Lust? Signs That What You Feel Is Real

Love and lust are two very different concepts that involve different things.

What is lust and what is love in relationships?

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of lust is, "Usually intense or unbridled sexual desire, "while the definition of love is, "Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties."

But attraction and chemistry in relationships are more complex than simple definitions, so understanding more about the signs and differences between lust vs. love is extremely helpful when you're wondering if you're really falling in true love with someone, as opposed to simply feeling infatuated with them.

RELATED: Your Answers To These 20 Questions Reveal If You're Really In Love (Or Just In Lust)

Lust involves a strong sexual desire, intense physical attraction, and the desire to be touched by another person. The focus of lust is usually based on physical desires and needs rather than being emotionally involved with a person.

Lust is also related to the chemistry and sexual desire one feels for another.

When you’re falling in love, it’s a totally different level of attraction. It’s no longer based solely on physical attraction.

Being in love involves an emotional connection that is felt by both partners.

Sex means more than just feeling good and involves more passion and desire on an emotional level between partners and is not purely physical.

Many of us mistake lust for love and it’s easy to do when you’re involved with someone. It’s easy to overlook the major differences between love and lust that would help you sort out how you feel and what you feel.

You may now be asking yourself, "Do I love him? Am I in love or in lust?"

Here are the differences between falling in love and simply being in lust so you can recognize when you love someone for real (... or not so much).

When you’re in lust…

  • You both focus more on each other's body and physical characteristics.
  • You fantasize about being touched by another or having sexual experiences with another who is not your partner.
  • There is no intimacy or feelings involved or discussed.
  • There is no friendship or emotional bond.
  • You say what they want to hear and not what they need to hear.
  • You have minimal eye contact.
  • You both rarely bring each other around your respective friends and family.

RELATED: 10 Signs You're In Love With Someone (& They Love You Right Back)

When you’re in love…

  • Your partner's mood directly affects you.
  • While you’re out and about, things you see or hear start reminding you of your partner.
  • Time spent together never feels like a waste.
  • You would rather spend a night on the couch binge watching Netflix with the person than go out.
  • They make you motivated to be a better person.
  • You show interest and care about things they are passionate about.
  • You compromise with one another.
  • You are trying new things because of that person.

So, what does love feel like? And, how do you know if you love someone or are just in lust with them?

Make sure you really think about both sides of the relationship. When you two are together, is it usually about sex? If so, do you cuddle after or leave shortly after?

If you leave shortly after, chances are you are in lust. If you cuddle after or stay to hang out and talk, it’s more likely you’re in love. If you’re interested about his passions in life and vice-versa, this is one of the biggest signs you're in love.

There are extreme differences between love and lust that may seem so little or subtle, but really make a difference.

Love involves an emotional bond between two people. It isn't just surface level or small talk when you two are together.

There are deep and meaningful conversations between the two of you if you are in love. The biggest difference is the emotional component in the relationship for you to be in love as opposed to lust which is more desire and physical.

Still wondering how to know if you're in love? Consider if you'd still spend time with the person if sex wasn't involved.

RELATED: How To Tell If You're In Love (Or If You're Just Emotionally Dependent)

Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.