Lust Can Feel Like Love — But There Are 8 Main Differences

Lust can feel like love, but it's actually so different.

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By Sylvia Smith

Do you know the difference between love and lust? Because it’s important to realize that they’re not the same thing. 

In the early stages of a romantic relationship, many people confuse lust vs. love — and that’s quite normal. As human beings, we get attached to each other pretty easily. We want to feel blissful, joyful, full of life, and happy all the time. But there’s more to love than meets the eye.


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Love and lust can feel the same, but here are the 8 main differences:

1. Love lets you dress to impress, or not

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best for someone. But you have to admit that looking great takes a lot of time.


The goal is usually to entice the one you admire the most. Many people try to grab attention for the sake of flirting; but when real feelings are involved and love kicks in, it’s easy to forget to put on your best shoes and your best clothes. And that happens because you’re too excited to see that one person that’s constantly on your mind.

Sometimes the simplest shirt and jeans are everything you need to feel like a million dollars in the eyes of a loved one.

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2. Lust is all about physical attraction

Lust and passion make us overlook flaws. We don’t care that he or she has an annoying voice, or that they don’t have a sense of humor, because there’s a physical attraction.


But when we’re in love, we want to connect on a deeper level. We want someone we can talk to, laugh with, and depend on. We involuntarily see mistakes because we care more about the person and less about the sex.

3. Lust persuades you to say what the other person wants to hear

People who are in lust want to please. They want to make themselves noticed at all costs, and even make the other person believe that they’re perfect. Sadly, you can’t fake it forever and sooner or later your true self will come out on the surface.

Love makes us want to keep things real. Just because you share different opinions and perspectives with your better half, it doesn’t mean you’re not compatible. It’s ok to have relationship problems as long as you can find a way to reach mutual ground and make it work.

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4. Lust shows you perfection; love makes you look beyond the superficial

Lust is deceiving. It makes us believe we’ve come across a Greek God or Goddess with no flaws.

However, when we’re in love, we learn to look beyond the superficial. We don’t necessarily fall in love with the physical, but with what hides underneath a person’s body — the soul, the goals, the kindness, the inner beauty. Love makes imperfect, perfect!

5. Lust doesn’t allow you to see what hides underneath a beautiful body

Lust is synonymous with physical attraction. We love what we see and what we feel on an intimate level, and we don’t care so much about that person’s inner thoughts, perceptions, or life goals.

When we’re in love, however, we want to know everything about that person. We begin focusing on the smallest details and somehow their defects become the things we care most about. Love and marriage make a true relationship, whereas love and lust lead to flings that don’t last.


6. Personal issues are out of the question when you’re in lust

You can’t share your personal issues with someone you’re in lust with. And that’s because you don’t want to showcase your vulnerabilities, and you don’t want them to change the way they see you.

Love, on the other hand, makes you trust the person sitting next to you; you feel the need to share because you know they will understand and support you.

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7. Lust triggers an awkward silence you can’t avoid

Lust is all about sex. It’s not about the conversation, and that may lead to awkward moments of silence.


Love, on the other hand, makes you see beyond the sex. It makes you want to know everything there is to know about the other person.

8. Love stirs your imagination and makes people imagine a future

Lust makes people live in the moment, enjoy the physical attraction and that’s about it. When you’re in love you want to do more. You begin imagining things — what it would be like to share a life together, benefit from love in marriage, have kids, and be genuinely happy.

The bottom line is, lust and love are two very different feelings. The first one is superficial, whereas the latter goes deeper into your soul. Love makes us want to spend the rest of our lives with the person sleeping next to us; lust only makes you want to enjoy the moment and move on with your life. 

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Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert, a former contributor to The Good Men Project, and a writer for