Finding Love: Telling Lust from Love

by eHarmony Staff

Finding Love: Telling Lust from Love

Poets, songwriters and even scientists have pondered the question: what is love and what is lust? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you are in lust or love, both are hard to define and the division of the two can get blurry. Love is one of life’s most intense emotions, and when you are in lust it’s easy to think you are feeling love but the two are different. If you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow, read on to learn if what you’ve found is love or lust.

Are you in lust or love?
Love commonly starts out as lust and the two might even have an overlapping stage at some point in the relationship — or lust may never turn into love. Lust is what first brings people together. It’s that initial desire to be with the person, while love is the desire to stay with him or her. They are both experiences felt by a person for another person but when you feel lust for someone, generally you’re just attracted to him or her; you don’t have that deep emotional connection that you feel when you love a person.

Is it physical or emotional?
There are different emotional elements involved with love and with lust. When you are in love, you will find yourself connecting with the other person and feeling an emotional engagement with him or her. Lust sets you out looking for romance, which helps narrow down a potential mate from the world’s dating pool. Lust generally takes the form of a deep physical attraction for the other person that may never turn into a mental connection.

Are you in it for the long term?
Lust and love are intertwined. Lust is what brings you in and love is what keeps you there. When you are in love with someone, you see a future with the other person and your partner is included in your life plans. Lust is usually for the short term and love is for the long term. Lust is a romantic infatuation, while love keeps people together long after the infatuation has faded.

What are you hoping to find?
Love is an extraordinary experience. If you’re truly hoping to find love, remember that love has to be nurtured. Lust is an emotion you can rely on coming on strong and right away, whereas, love and romance are connected to trust, loyalty and an emotional attachment.

If you’re hoping to transform your relationship from lust to love, the most straightforward thing to do is to pay attention to your partner’s needs and be responsive to supporting them. If you think you’ve found love, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Let your partner know how you’re feeling. You have to be willing to trust your partner, which will promote the relationship and keep it going long after that first linger of lust has disappeared.

Read on for 7 simple ways to express your love! Tell us: How do you know when it’s love?

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