The main difference between lust and love is this…
Lust is the initial surge of sexual desire you feel for a woman (and her for you), and love is the emotional desire to stay with her over the long-term.
Lust is what attracts you, and love is what keeps you there.
According to the dictionary, lust and love are defined as follows:
Lust (verb): To have intense sexual desire; desire, be consumed with desire for, find sexually attractive, find sexy, crave, covet, want, wish for, long for, yearn for, hunger for, thirst for, ache for, burn for, pant for.
Love (verb): To have love or affection for; to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person), to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in.
However, both lust and love are more complex than that.
To fully explain the difference between lust and love, you first have to understand how each one works.
Before I do that, you might be interested in watching my video about the 5 stages of a relationship (Unfortunately, most couples don’t get to stage 5)…
What is Lust?
Imagine that you’re in a bar…
You notice a beautiful woman across the room.
Suddenly you are completely focused on her, you feel aroused and you know that you have to have her.
Everything about her is attractive to you, and the only goal on your mind is to get her into your bed as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t matter to you whether she is interesting to talk to, has a sense of humor, or is confident or shy. The only thing that matters is that you feel sexually attracted to her (i.e. you feel lust), and you want to kiss her and have sex with her.
That’s how lust works for men.
On the other hand, she might notice you too and feel attracted to you in some way, but as yet, she’s not feeling the same intense lust that you are. Why?
Women are not attracted to men for the same reasons that men are attracted to women.
In other words, although a man will feel attracted to a woman based simply on her appearance, most women need to experience a man’s personality as well, before she will feel fully attracted to him.
For example: A guy might be very good looking and from a distance a woman might feel sexually attracted to him.
However, if he approaches her and behaves in a nervous, insecure way, or if he puts on a fake persona and pretends to be nicer than he really is, the woman’s initial attraction for him will fade, because he is turning her off with his behavior.
On the other hand, a woman might notice a guy and not feel much attraction for him (e.g. she might think he’s too short for her, has a big nose), yet, when he approaches her and behaves in ways that are naturally attractive to women, (e.g. confident, masculine, charismatic), he will be triggering her feelings of lust for him.
The Science of Lust
On a scientific level, lust is simply explained as a bunch of hormones surging in the body and ensuring that the fittest of the species, i.e. the most beautiful woman and the strongest (not physically but emotionally) male, will hook up and have babies together, therefore ensuring the optimal survival of the human race.
Basically, that initial feeling of lust that you feel when you first interact with a beautiful woman is when the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen kick in.
Then, your stress response is activated and adrenalin and cortisol are pumped into the body making your palms sweat, your heart race and your mouth go dry; and it doesn’t stop there.
As the connection between you and her grows (by interacting, kissing and possibly even having sex), the hormone dopamine, which stimulates desire and reward, is released by triggering an intense rush of excitement and pleasure.
The final hormone associated with lust is serotonin, which scientists say makes a person behave like they are temporarily insane.
This helps explain why when a couple in the beginning stages of lust (anywhere from 2 months to 2 years), they behave like they are star struck, where everything about the other person is perfect, and they both can barely keep their hands off each other.
What is Love?
So, let’s go back to the woman you first felt lust for in the bar.
After the initial stages of lust and passion, between you and her, something strange starts to happen.
The more you get to know each other on an emotional level, the more you begin to like each other as people.
You realize that not only do you both feel physically attracted to each other, you also begin to care about the happiness and life experience of the other person.
The Science of Love
Again, it seems that hormones are responsible for those loving feelings.
Apparently, love begins to blossom when the hormone oxytocin (which is also the hormone that bonds a mother and her new born baby) is released in the brain by both men and women during orgasm.
Oxytocin is believed to promote bonding and closeness between couples when they are intimate.
So, basically, the more sex you and your woman have, the more in love with each other you begin to feel.
Finally, vasopressin (a hormone that is related to the kidneys, but research has found that it also plays a big role in pair bonding in long-term relationships) is released, and a couple will find themselves wanting to commit to being with each other in the long-term.
However, something that science does not take into account, is that when the respect and attraction between you and your woman becomes deeper over time, and your relationship simply gets better and better – that’s truly what love is.
Are You in Lust or in Love?
If you’re in a relationship right now, you might be feeling a bit confused about whether you’re in lust or in love.
So, here’s how you can determine in which category you’re in at the moment.
9 Signs that you’re in lust:
- You’re totally focused on your woman’s appearance and body.
- Your relationship revolves around having lots of wild sex any chance you get.
- Your dreams and long term plans for the future aren’t really the same.
- You never talk about being together in the long-term.
- You haven’t introduced her to your friends and family.
- You don’t talk things through with her if there’s something bothering you in your day-to-day life.
- You don’t feel bad if she cancels a date with you.
- You don’t ask her for her opinion when you have to make an important decision in your life.
- You’re both free to hang out and have sex with other people if you want to.
9 Signs that you’re in love:
- You love her looks and appearance but you also enjoy her intelligence, sense of humor, personality, etc.
- You enjoy hanging out with each other even if you’re not having sex.
- You talk about the future together.
- You have common long term goals, dreams and interests.
- You’re excited about introducing her to your family and friends.
- You bring out the best in each other and you motivate each other to reach for your true potential in life.
- You’re not dependent on each other but it’s better when you’re together.
- You trust her views and opinions.
- You’re dating each other exclusively.
Turning Lust into Love
It’s not difficult for lust to turn into love.
Once a couple moves past the initial thrill of the fantasy stage of the relationship, love can take root and blossom.
Rather than just feel the thrill of passionate sex, a friendship and deeper love begins to develop based on mutual respect and attraction.
At this stage of the relationship it is the man’s responsibility to maintain and grow the respect, attraction and love that him and his woman feel for each other over time.
So, if you’re still wondering, “What’s the difference between lust and love?” as you can see, they are both an important part of a relationship.
Sometimes lust is just an intense sexual desire for a woman, and sometimes that lust can lead to a long-lasting, loving and happy relationship that stands the test of time.
Whether you’re in lust or in love right now; just relax and enjoy each stage and allow things to evolve naturally.