Is it Lust or Love -- How to Tell the Difference
By Deborah Willis
Far too many people, both men and women alike, confuse lust for love. Physical attraction alone will not withstand the test of time in relationships. Physical attraction is an important factor but must never be the only factor you rely upon when choosing a mate. Many make the mistake of confusing lust and love and end up broken-hearted when the relationship doesn't last.
Perhaps you're wildly attracted to someone and thoughts of that person dominate your mind a good portion of the day and night. Perhaps you can't wait until the next time the two of you will be together again. When you are together you can't keep your hands off one another and when you're apart, you fantasize about the next time you can see one another. True love and lust are easily confused because they are so much alike.
As a rule of thumb, if you share few other interests and have nothing in common other than an overwhelming physical desire for one another...it may be lust. If you have nothing of real value to say to one another and have difficulty relating to one another outside the sexual arena...it may be lust. If you don't particularly enjoy one another's company unless you're having sex...it may be lust.
On the other hand, if your relationship is based on factors other than physical attraction and sex is not necessarily the number one priority...it may be love. Most long-term relationships are built on a strong friendship which turns into love over time. Having sex is not the driving force behind the relationship, but is a nice sideline to it.
There really is such a thing as "love at first sight". It happens to many people and the relationship may last for the rest of their lives. A budding relationship based on lust feels much the same as one which is truly "love at first sight". So how do you tell the difference?
Ask yourself the following questions. Read each question carefully and really think about it before answering. When answering, try to be as truthful as possible. If you can honestly and sincerely answer "yes" to all or nearly all of the questions, it may be safe to assume what you feel for the other person is actually love and not merely lust.
Keep in mind, these questions are quite general and are in no way a total and complete checklist.
1. Do you share similar ethics, values, and morals?
2. Do you find it easy to talk to one another and can you talk freely about almost anything?
3. Do you enjoy the time you spend with one another, regardless of the activity?
4. Do you enjoy even the most mundane activities when you are together, simply because you ARE together?
5. Do you have a genuine concern for the happiness, safety, and well-being of the other person?
6. Are you able to work out any differences you may have with this person to the satisfaction of both of you?
7. When disagreements arise, are you able to discuss them openly and frankly without losing your temper?
8. Do you find yourself longing for this person's presence in your life in terms other than a sexual relationship? In other words, do you feel a need simply to be with that person and spend time with them even without having sex?
9. Can you laugh together and at one another, share jokes, and generally have fun together?
10. Does spending time with this person make you feel good about yourself?
11. Does this person give you a heightened sense of self-confidence and vitality?
12. Can you look at this person even when they are at their worst in their physical appearance (such as when they are sick) and not feel repulsed?
13. Do you share a strong mutual respect for one another?
14. Are you willing and able to share both good times and bad with this person and work through life's ups and downs together as a team?
There is a very fine line between lust and love because the two of them are closely related. Being able to tell the difference can save you from wasting your time pursuing an unhealthy relationship which is doomed to eventual failure.
If your long-term goal is to seek out a partner with whom you can build a solid, lifetime commitment, knowing the difference between lust and love is an essential and vital skill you'll want to master. Learning to accept a relationship for what it really is can mean the difference between a broken heart and a happy, fulfilling, lifetime of bliss with your partner.
Copyright 2005 Deborah Willis All Rights Reserved
About the author:
Deborah Willis is the author of ATTRACT WOMEN -- The Average Man's Guide to Attracting, Dating, Loving, and Maintaining Relationships with Women. For more down-to-earth dating advice visit ATTRACT WOMEN