From butterflies in the stomach to wide-eyed joy, there are very few feelings like love. Since the dawn of civilization, love has been a pedestal of perfect harmony.
Everyone wants love but does everyone know love? Today we begin a deep dive into the big question: is your relationship love or lust?
For this article, we will be diving into heavy topics and discussions. While we always encourage everyone to learn and understand, we are dealing with big emotions here. Still interested? Read on below.
Uncertainty Between Love or Lust
Love and lust have always had confusing media relationships. Hollywood movies have often painted all romance as quick flings, sparking in a moment and burning with an intensity to drive the plot.
Given that most of these movies end in the first few days of knowing each other and never show a long term relationship gives away what they are talking about. Media love is often lust in disguise.
How do you recognize what is lust and what is love? Let's dig deeper.
The Psychology of Love
Your brain is a complex organ, one that many scientists still don't understand to its fullest. Your brain produces all sorts of chemicals based on various stimulus in the world. These chemicals create emotions.
Love and lust are two similar but different emotions. They spawn from a very similar stimulus. The main difference is one, love, builds stronger and stronger as time goes on while lust does not.
Lust often resides in the physical while love resides with the mental and emotional. Lust is a drive to reproduce, love is a drive to settle down and find comfort.
The Simple Test
While it is far from an absolute, love and lust can take a simple test to see the signs. Emotions remain complex, though, and there will never be a black and white answer.
Despite this, these signs can help guide you.
Lust, in simple terms, is the blinding effect of physical attraction. The biggest sign of a lust-fueled relationship over a loving one is that it is all physical.
This will often come up with frequent sex. While this is not a bad thing at all, again, this may be a sign. If the sex ends and the only thing you can think about doing is more sex, lust may the culprit.
To get a grip on whether lust is to blame, imagine the relationship at its worst. Your partner is not dressed up or looking their best. They are moody and upset. They are not interested in sex.
If any of those things start to dim how you feel about them, chances are lust is a bigger motivator behind those feelings than you may have realized.
Love can be a good deal more open and harder to pinpoint. The biggest note on love is that it is often based on more than sex or the physical.
A love-fueled relationship is often one where the sheer presence of your partner brings comfort. Sex and lustful thoughts can still happen, of course, and for short periods it can feel like a lust-fueled relationship, but it always resets.
The reset form comes from a desire to learn and experience more ideas with your partner. Ideas like taking up hobbies together, enjoying non-sexual evenings together, and eagerness to learn about the smaller details of your partner's life.
If you find yourself fine with intermittent sex and have feelings of comfort, joy, and contentment with only the thought or presence of your partner, love may be the more dominant emotion.
The main sign between love or lust focuses on what goes on beyond sex. Sex is an important factor in all relationships, whether in its abundance or absence.
A relationship builds from all the interactions that people have with each other. When you create more and more connections, a relationship can grow.
Explore your partner beyond the physical and you may find stronger bonds than the lust that began your relationship.
Telling Through Intensity
The biggest issue from determining love from lust is that they both hinge on a similar idea: intensity. That is why many people fear "falling out of love" with a loss of intensity.
Intensity is a trap when it comes to determining whether love is strong or not. Consistency is a much stronger indicator of a solid love for one another. With consistency, love can always rekindle because it never goes away.
The Good and The Bad
That consistency that comes from love comes under pressure when things go from good to bad. When a relationship hits the rocks, the strength of your connections with your partner will determine how well you can navigate major issues.
Whether you are dealing with potential STDs, other family issues, or stress from an unrelated factor, love often has a higher chance of guiding a couple through these issues.
Is Lust Bad?
If your relationship finds little to do beyond sex, do not panic. Lust is not an inherent flaw and a lust-fueled relationship is not doomed to forever be one. A lot of relationships start with a decent deal of lust.
Lust can also help us discover many things about ourselves. Sex is a natural thing and there are many aspects of pleasure that can come from lustful interactions.
A relationship built only on lust may not last long, but it can teach you about your desires, motivations, and pleasures. These all help you to communicate your wants and needs to future partners.
This can build, one by one, towards a loving relationship. It may also have even more impactful effects.
Love, Lust, and Good Health
Discovering the differences between love or lust is a great step towards maturity in how you perceive, desire, and build your own relationships.
There is no shame in realizing where you stand on the scale of love or lust. It is healthy to understand how your relationship stands and where it can go from here. Nothing is set in stone and emotions are not black and white.
Sex has been a major theme in this entire discussion. Sex is a complicated subject by itself! To learn more on that particular detail, follow some of our articles here.