Love versus lust. It’s a topic that’s been discussed time and time again. Many people find themselves trying to understand the difference between the two, because it can often seem and feel unclear.
And even if you are now in a grown relationship and are completely clear on the fact that you are in love, most of us can think back to our younger (or less wise) days where maybe we confused the two ourselves. Maybe we thought we loved someone and later realized we were way off.
So why is the distinction so important? Because if you think you are in love and you are not, all kinds of problems can ensue. You may end up hurting the person you are in a relationship with. You may wind up making commitments you won’t be able to keep. You may even end up in a loveless marriage, wondering why your settled when deep down you always knew the love wasn’t quite there.
There is nothing wrong with lust. In fact, I think when you are truly in love, having feelings of lust is a wonderful thing. The problem arises when lust is truly all you are feeling, but you are going around calling it love.
1. The outside matters to you more than the inside
Physical attraction is a key element in a successful relationship. You should be attracted to the person you are with. However, if you find that what’s on the outside matters to you a lot more than what’s on the inside, you probably aren’t in love.
2. Deep discussions about feelings are never an option
If you feel like you always want to keep things light and would rather fool around than ever have a deep discussion about anything—ever—this is probably not the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I mean, what will you two talk about decades from now
3. Quality time always involves sex
If you find that you are unable to connect without sex being involved, there is definitely a lack of emotional intimacy there. People who are in love should be able to enjoy each other’s company without feeling like they need to be physically intimate
4. You have no interest in ever meeting his or her family
When you meet someone’s family it typically means that they are allowing you to see another side of who they are (sometimes it’s the embarrassing side). If you have absolutely no interest in ever meeting your partner’s family, you probably aren’t that interested in knowing them on a deeper level. Keeping it superficial is more your thing.
5. There is no true friendship present
You know how people always say they married their best friend? Well, there is some definite truth behind the belief that marrying a friend contributes to making a marriage last. Good luck wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone you don’t even like enough to form a deep friendship with. I honestly don’t see how you can be in love with anyone you don’t consider a friend.
6. You don’t see a future together
Whenever you spend time with this person, you simply can’t imagine being with them years later. It’s not that you think they are a bad person, but maybe you just can’t see a future. When you fall in love, you can envision yourself with the person long-term. When it’s just lust, you can only focus on the pleasure of being in the moment
7. Your primary concern is yourself
Love gives us all the ability to put someone else’s needs before our own. Lust feels good, but it doesn’t make much room for that. When someone is in lust, they are mostly concerned about their own needs and how to meet them.
Rushing to the next level of a relationship isn’t the best thing if you are not clear on how you and your partner feel. Examine your feelings and pay attention to how your partner treats you. If lust is what you signed up for, that’s your choice as an adult, but if love is what you want and need at this moment in your life, don’t accept lust in its place.