5 key differences between love and lust

Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for something or someone. Lust has a reputation for being the flame we easily jump into!

According to a leading love expert Dr. Helen Fisher, lust is the essential first stage of love. Without the desire of wanting someone first, we cannot experience intimacy.

So, how do we know if we’re still stuck in the initial stage of attraction, or ready to transition into something more meaningful and long-lasting?

Below are five key differences between lust and love;

Lust is driven by physical connection, but love comes from emotional connection.

It all comes down to our brain. Which areas are being activated when you hang out with your partner?

Research shows that lust lights up the regions associated with reward and motivation, whereas love stimulates the areas that help you empathize.

Related: 3 ways to make a difficult woman fall in love with you.

Lust happens when you and your partner don’t have much to talk about, except to get intimate. This is common for two people who haven’t been dating for too long. But love on the other hand happens when you appreciate your partner for more than just their looks, and can spend meaningful time with them. This is what ultimately forms the start of a deep and serious relationship.

Overtime, love grows stronger, whereas lust becomes weaker.

Psychologist Shannon Chavez states that as attachment and bonding grow over time, so does love. But lust is more temporary and fades when the fleshy desires fades away.

5 key differences between love and lust


If a relationship is based solely on lust, there is inevitably no foundation to fall in love. Lust feels like an exciting roller coaster, but can only be sustained by physical pleasure. When the real work kicks in, the dynamic either transitions into love or the relationship begins to fall apart.

Lust is based on fantasies. Love however operates on the ground of reality.

Have you ever looked back on past relationships and wondered how on earth you two got together? I don’t know about you, but I sure do. Imagination can come in handy when life gets mundane, but more often than not it’s like a double-edged sword.

When you like the idea of someone more than who’s actually in front of you, it can cause you to miss a lot of red flags. Relationship experts state that there is only so much time before reality sets in. It makes you realize that your partner has faults just like you and that your expectations were unfair.

In lust, you are romantic partners, but in love, you’re lifelong friends.

Psychiatrist Judith Orloff discovered that people in lust are just lovers, but true love is built on the foundation of a strong friendship.

Related: 5 basic ways to know if your girlfriend loves someone else.

Two people can agree to be in a relationship, go on fun dates, and even meet each others family, but if they lack compromise, communicate poorly, and fail to understand each other, the prospect of having a future together is very low.

Lust is selfish but love comes from a selfless place.

When you love someone, you focus more on helping them reach their goals and you care about their health and well-being. Lust, on the other hand, is all about your own wants like boosting your ego when you’re next to your attractive partner, or simply fulfilling your fleshly desires.

In order to move from the initial stage of lust to love, you must determine whether you could see yourself doing favours or making sacrifices for your partner.


Remember that just because you might only be experiencing lust, doesn’t mean that your feelings can’t develop into love.


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