Love and Lust: What’s the Difference?


Love and lust are both powerful emotions, but what’s the difference between them? Love tends to be deeper and longer lasting, whereas lust can be short lived or even fade in the presence of another lust object.

Both love and lust can inspire attraction to someone else, but there are significant differences between the two that should not be ignored if you want to make your love last.

What Is Love?

Many people have experienced it but can’t really define what love is. Some say it’s when you meet your true soul mate, others claim that it’s when two minds connect as one. But what does science have to say about all of these theories of romance? A recent study shows that although we often use love as a synonym for intense attraction, humans use different parts of their brains to process feelings of romantic love and feelings of sexual arousal.

What Is Lust?

Lust is a strong sexual desire for another person. The term comes from an Old English word that means to lust after, or to have an intense craving. Lust often leads to infidelity—either physical or emotional—and jealousy. It can also lead to obsession, which in turn can cause feelings of resentment, inadequacy and insecurity in both you and your partner. But lust isn’t all bad; without lust there wouldn’t be any babies!

Is Love The Same As Lust?

Love is much more than an emotion, it’s a choice. Passion can ignite feelings of love, but it doesn’t always translate into something that is sustainable over time. Let me give you an example.

Think about your favorite ice cream flavor. It might be something you’ve had since childhood, or perhaps something that you haven’t tasted in years but still long for. It may evoke memories of summer vacations, birthday parties, or other special occasions.

4 Differences Between Love and Lust

1. Love is an action; lust is a feeling. This seems simple enough, but it can get confusing. A lot of people confuse love with a feeling (lust). When you’re in love, you act in love-like ways towards that person or thing. You might tell him or her that you love them, buy them presents, call often, stay in contact by e-mail or send thoughtful messages on Facebook even when your relationship isn’t going well.

When you lust for someone, on the other hand, all your focus goes to your desire for them – how good they look in a particular outfit, or how sensual their voice sounds over Skype – without taking into account any other factors like whether they’re nice to their dog or good at keeping promises.

2. Love involves commitment; lust is temporary. When you love someone, you’ve made a long-term commitment to him or her – perhaps even planned a future together. That means that whether your relationship is good or bad at any given time, in good times or bad, you are committed to it and want it to last as long as possible.

3. On the other hand, if you lust for someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re interested in a long-term relationship. You may think about him or her at work or during your commute on a daily basis, but you don’t want to commit yourself to a serious relationship. At most, it would probably mean that you want a physical relationship – nothing more than casual sex – with him or her. 3. Love can be unconditional; lust is conditional.

4. Love isn’t about manipulating someone or expecting them to fit your expectations. If you love someone, you accept them for who they are – flaws and all. But lust is very conditional. You can only lust after someone if he or she meets your ideal standards (tall, rich, funny). The moment that person doesn’t live up to your impossible demands, you start looking for somebody else to lust after. 4. Love is long-term; lust is short-term.

3 Ways to Tell if it’s Love or Lust

Love and lust can often be confusing. In some ways, they’re quite similar. However, there are three tell-tale signs that help you differentiate between love and lust.

#1. It will give you a deeper sense of satisfaction than lust ever will. A purely sexual relationship can feel great, but ultimately it leaves you feeling empty inside. When you’re in love, however, your partner will make you feel whole—happy both inside and out.

#2. It will make you want to take care of your partner, both physically and emotionally. The thought of your partner being ill or upset is enough to bring you to tears—and when they smile at you, it can bring a smile to your face that lasts for hours. You go out of your way for them, because doing so brings you pleasure as well.

#3. It will turn you into a better person—one who sees things from another’s perspective. When you love someone, it drives you to become a better version of yourself. You make an effort to understand what your partner wants and needs, even if that means occasionally putting aside your own desires in order to do so. You also become more empathetic—more aware of how others feel and more concerned with treating them well. In short, love makes you kinder to both yourself and others!

2 Questions to Ask Yourself

The two questions we should ask ourselves are: What’s in it for me? (WIIFM) and what do I have to give? (WWTIF). These two questions will allow you to determine whether someone you’re with is a love or lust interest. If they can answer these two questions clearly, then chances are you’re dealing with someone who is genuinely interested in building a relationship with you. If not, then it may be time to move on.

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1 The Science Behind Love Vs Lust

As lovers cuddle, stroke one another’s skin, or gaze into each other’s eyes, they can deepen their bond by secreting key hormones that facilitate trust. Trust is a cornerstone of love—as is oxytocin (aka the love hormone), which creates feelings of calm and relaxation by reducing stress levels. But lust doesn’t rely on such pheromones; it relies on adrenaline to heighten desire.

As blood pressure rises when we see someone we find sexy, our brain signals our spinal cord to release dopamine (aka the pleasure chemical). This cascade of chemicals produces intensely euphoric sensations—and triggers a strong motivation to act upon them.


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Love and Lust: What's the Difference?
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Love and Lust: What's the Difference?
Love and lust are both powerful emotions, but what’s the difference between them? Love tends to be deeper and longer lasting, whereas lust can be short lived or even fade in the presence of another lust object.
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