You feel an irresistible attraction toward someone. You feel a rush of euphoria whenever you’re around them. You can’t wait for the next time you’ll be seeing them. You just can’t get them out of your head.
Final verdict: You’re in love. But wait, is it really the case?
We had the pleasure of talking with relationship coach Asia Dawn to help you tell apart whether it’s love or actually lust that you’re having about your partner so you’ll know what it takes to having a successful, long-term relationship.
Lust vs. Love: Which is which?
“Lust is a strong sexual attraction and desire towards someone,” Asia said. “Love is when you connect with someone on a much deeper level mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”
While love and lust can coexist at the same time, she noted, the feeling of lust doesn’t necessarily mean love is involved.
And so, it’s important to distinguish between the two so you know whether your relationship is built only on lust or rooted in a stronger bond of love.
Some feelings of lust are: intense, impatient, impulsive, and obsessive whereas feelings of love would look more like: steady, patient, caring, and secure.
To help you decide which one is it that you’re experiencing, she said to think about these: Do you want to get to know the person on a deeper level? Or, is all you can think about is when you’ll feel their touch or get them into bed again?
If it’s the former that you’re agreeing, you’re building love. If it’s the latter, then you might be consumed by lust.
One major difference to tell the two apart, she said, is that when you’re experiencing love toward someone, you aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with them. Instead, you feel safe enough to lay everything on the table because you want to build something with them.
But when it’s lust that you’re feeling, you might find yourself having trouble getting your mind off anything else. That’s because “lust is focused on instant gratification, whereas love is more future focused,” she explained.
Is it ‘Lust’ or ‘Love’ that I’m feeling about my partner?
If you’re struggling to identify if it’s lust or love that you’re feeling about your partner, Asia said to look within yourself first.
“If you can find a deep love for yourself first, it will be easier to understand what it means to truly love another person,” she said. That’s because love is about caring for someone on an emotional level, and if you learn to connect with yourself, then you’re more likely to be open to giving and receiving love from another person.
At the end of the day, she said, “what matters most is how your partner makes you feel.” If you notice your needs aren’t being met or questioning everything, she recommended you reevaluate how you want to feel in the relationship. In the meanwhile, remember to give the same kind of love to yourself as you’re expecting from your partner.
Does ‘Lust’ last in a relationship?
While love takes time to build and lust seems to exist on a more superficial, sexual level, Asia said that it’s important a romantic relationship has both love and a sexual connection.
“Lust or not, having a sexual connection with your partner will greatly serve the relationship in the long run,” she said.
And so, having healthy communication about your needs and your partner’s, as well as open conversation about both your sexual and love languages, are keys to having a healthy, long-term relationship.
“It’s true that lust can fade, but love can too. A relationship needs to be nourished. Never stop dating your partner!”