The line between love and lust can be extremely confusing. Many of the symptoms of these two completely different states of being are the same, so it’s easy to mistake one for the other. Although both love and lust bring about strong feelings of longing for someone else and a desire to be with them, the two are very different. Being in love involves trusting someone, being committed to them, and prioritizing their happiness. Lust, by comparison, involves feelings of desire without a long-lasting emotional connection. So if you’re wondering where your relationship stands, ask yourself these 10 questions.
1. Do you genuinely enjoy their company?
One of the hallmark differences between love and lust is actually getting along at a friendship level. This is an important question to ask because if you don’t genuinely enjoy hanging out with your partner when you’re not being intimate, there’s a chance that what you’re experiencing is only lust. Love pertains to a feeling that goes deeper than just physical attraction. People in love respect each other and enjoy spending time together.
2. Do you want the best for them, no matter what?
Two people in love want the best for each other, no matter what. Even though sometimes what’s best for the other person leaves you in a tricky position, ultimately their happiness matters a lot to you. Two people in lust, on the other hand, aren’t so concerned with each other’s happiness.
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4. What do you love the most about them?
Think about what you love the most about your partner. Is it the way they make you laugh? The way you feel totally safe around them? The fact that they look like a Greek god? Realizing what you really value about them, even if it’s more than one thing, can help you to work out whether it’s love or lust. If the only thing you love about them is the way they look or the fact that they’re good in bed, it’s probably the latter.
5. What would you do to make this relationship work?
Love isn’t easy. Healthy relationships based on love take a lot of work, effort, and energy to maintain. Lust can be inconvenient at times as well, but it’s a much more temporary and much more shallow feeling. If you are just in lust, you probably won’t do anything it takes to make the relationship work. But when you’re in love, you’d do whatever you have to.
6. How long have you felt so strongly about them?
It doesn’t necessarily take a certain amount of time to fall in love, but the idea of love at first sight is questionable (to say the least). Love is related to a whole bunch of ideas, including trust, commitment, loyalty, and happiness, and those things take time to form. So if you think you’re experiencing love after two dates, you might really be experiencing strong feelings of lust.
7. How would you feel about them if they looked different?
Not always, but often, lust is related to appearances. The feeling is based on nothing more than a physical attraction. So it’s worth asking yourself how you would feel about your partner if they looked different. Would it affect the way you felt or not at all? It’s a sign that you’re just in lust if them looking different would be a deal-breaker for you.
8. How do you feel about their flaws?
Everybody has flaws, even the people that we love. Being in love doesn’t mean you’re blind to those flaws or you’ve found a perfect person. It just means that what you love about them overshadows those flaws. You feel strongly enough about them that their flaws don’t matter. On the other hand, lust is often based on idealistic feelings. When you’re just in lust, you’re likely to ignore the other person’s flaws altogether or resist getting to know them so well that you have to embrace their flaws.
9. Do you share the important parts of your life with them?
One of the greatest signs of love is sharing things with each other. The other person will be so important to you and such a big part of your life that you’ll feel the need to share most things with them. When something good happens, you’ll want to tell them first. And when something bad happens, you’ll feel comfortable enough to turn to them for comfort. But when you’re just in lust, you won’t necessarily have the same connection.
10. Are there layers to your relationship?
There are several layers to a relationship that’s based on love. You’ll be connected to your partner on an emotional level as well as a physical one. It’s a good idea to ask yourself whether the connection between you goes any deeper than the skin. Are there emotional elements to your relationship or is it all about the physical?
11. Can you trust them?
In a healthy, loving relationship, two people should be able to trust each other. So this is a super important question to ask to help you determine whether it’s love or lust. Also, ask whether they can trust you too. Is your relationship at that deep level where you can rely on each other and are loyal to each other? Trust is one of the signs of being in love, while you can easily be in lust with someone without trusting them.