Lust and love are often linked to the world of the most intimate interpersonal relationships, but not in the same dimension. One involves intimacy in the sexual aspect, almost exclusively a physical and carnal interest, while the other involves a much deeper, emotional and personal intimacy.
There are many differences between lust and love, two feelings that while they can show up in all relationships at once, the truth is that there is always more than one.
Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at the definitions of these two feelings, along with each of the main keys to distinguishing between lust and love.
Learn to distinguish lust and love
Lust and love are two feelings that often come together. Not that they are considered synonymous, since in collective ideology, lust is understood as that related to pure sex while love implies a much deeper and personal relationship. But even though they’re known to be two different things, sometimes it’s hard to establish where a lustful relationship ends and a romantic relationship begins.
There can be lust in love and there can be love in lust, it all depends on how you look at it. However, we can completely separate the two concepts, clearly delineating what lust is and what love is, pointing out the differences as we will next, not without first seeing the definitions of these two words. .
What is lust?
Lust is generally understood as the feeling strongly related to the desire to have sex, without committing to the person you are having sex with.
In the purest lust, the only thing sought after is carnal pleasure, and relationships with sexual partners are not meant to be long term.. The only desire you want to satisfy is the physiological desire for sex, nothing more.
This does not mean, however, that in the long run a certain esteem cannot be developed for those who have sex, and the spark of love begins to emerge. In this case, we would not be talking about pure and simple lust but we would be talking about a period of transition between staying with a sexual partner and becoming a couple in love. Otherwise, just have sex without any love interest or concern for the other person, we would be talking about outright lust.
In this feeling, the only interest there is in the other person is their physical appearance.. You could say that the two involved in sex see each other only as a mere tool to achieve their most immediate pleasure, a sex object, although this is not necessarily bad if both have agreed that it is. is that of sex. have them.
The signs of lust are desire, passion, and intense physical sensations. It is a feeling based on pleasure that only needs the satisfaction of its own needs.
What is love?
Love is a strong feeling that usually involves affection and care. Culturally, it is understood that in a romantic relationship there is a high degree of commitment between two people, who share desires and have genuine intentions to make the other feel good.
When you are in love, he wants with all his might that the relationship be lasting, that there is an expectation of being together for the long term, and that the two lovers’ emotions increase over time.
When someone loves another person, it gives them respect and desires in all aspects of their being and even he is able to sacrifice his own desires in order to satisfy and bring happiness to the other person.
Thus, we can see that in love there is fidelity, loyalty, commitment, trust and sacrifice for each other, basing their relationship on the need to be in the company of the other and to feel happy. Love is that feeling that inspires you to give your best.
A healthy romantic relationship provides peace, security and trust. He demands nothing more than the benefit of the other. He is more interested in the emotional and psychological than in physical appearance.
Main differences between these two feelings
Now that we have seen the definitions of lust and love, let’s proceed to the comparison of their main differences:
1. Fundamental difference: sentimental implication
Love is a strong feeling, which is linked with emotions such as affection and caring for the other person. Lust is, almost exclusively, the desire to have sex with another person outside of their emotions and well-being.
Love involves a commitment between two people with real intentions, while in lust, no one commits to anything.
Love is a feeling that should last a long timeor even become present throughout life. In contrast, lust involves a short and simply temporary interaction between two people, a relationship that will last as long as sexual desire lasts.
4. Intensity over time
True love tends to increase over time while lust decreases as sexual pleasure is satisfied or, also, it ends up becoming love.
5. Signs of these emotions
As we have seen, signs of love are fidelity, commitment, trust, loyalty and sacrifices of both members of the couple. In contrast, lust is more related to carnal desire, passion, and intense emotions when it comes to satisfying a sexual urge.
Love is based on the feeling that the person wants the best for the other person. In the case of lust, on the other hand, it is based on the pleasure of satisfying one’s own gratification, which is sexual desire.
7. Personal satisfaction
In a romantic relationship, you get the peace, security, and feeling that can be offered and enjoy the perfect environment to build trust. The only effect of lust is sexual satisfaction, although if this need is not satisfied, this can lead to feelings of frustration and tension.
8. Value of physical appearance
In love, the couple’s physical appearance is more secondary, emphasizing mental health, emotional well-being and internal needs. However, in lust, only one deals with physical appearance, leaving aside the emotions and worries of the other.
9. Feelings towards each other
When one person is loved, the other is seen as a person who deserves respect and the best is desired for them.. In the relationship of lust, while it does not mean wanting to hurt the other, the other person is seen simply as a tool with which to achieve sexual satisfaction.
- Fromm, E. (2014). The art of loving (8th ed.). Planet Group.
- Mandiotra, M. (June 30, 2021). What is lust? https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-lust-5189688#signs-of-lust
- Villegas, M. (2018). Psychology of the Seven Deadly Sins. Editorial Herder.