It's not hard to confuse love and lust. They even sound similar, but the differences are enormous. Save your love life from any complications by learning how to recognize which feeling is driving you in your relationship.
As if love isn't complicated enough, lust found its way to mess with our heads and our hearts. In the beginning, these two feelings are easily confused. They are both all-consuming, and both can cloud our judgments. When our friends are in love, we know when they are crushing on someone because of all that desire. But, we never know what's going on in their minds.
Love is a deep feeling of affection, while lust is passion, desire, something that runs through you like a hurricane. Real, genuine love is lasting, honest, and profound. But both emotions start with butterflies, and we need clearer signs before we get emotionally attached to the object of our lust because that can only further complicate things.
Cuddling and all it includes
When you are in love, you need that person to be with you the next morning. You can't wait to wake up just to see them again. But, with lust, things are a bit more straightforward.
Lust is an explosion of passion, and cuddling isn't what you crave. It's more like fantasy than breakfast for two. Of course, you have sexual desire when you're in love as well, but you know that you need more from that person.
Love's not selfish
When you love someone, you want to meet the family, their friends. You feel like you should honor people who made them that awesome. But, in lust, you're more selfish. You don't want to share your partner with anyone. And you also don't genuinely care about the people around him.
Lust is similar to obsession, it's selfish, often not entirely healthy, and it's not as kind as love. Naturally, you can love a person and dislike their family/friends, but you take the time to meet them before judging them.
When you're in lust, everything a person does seem like pure magic. You see them as the perfect human beings, and that's the reason it can't last. You are pushing yourself to love an illusion.
True love is choosing someone for what they are and what they aren't. It's pure, sympathetic, and makes you want to be a better partner. You see your companion as someone you should keep, while in return, you feel safe and cared for.
Love takes time
Falling in love or crushing on someone takes moments. But learning to love a person is a process. Lust is only one of the many "symptoms" of love, just like passion and everything that's going on behind closed doors. The thing about love is that it is patient, and it's slow. If you rush it, it will burn out.
With lust, things end quickly. And so it should be, since all that tension, obsession, cannot last. There's no foundation, but people do manage to go from lust to become actual lovers in rare cases. And that takes time because that's what love does.
Love, lust, and science
If you think that's all individual, you're only partly right. Our brains know the differences between sexual desire and love. It's kind of ironic that your brain knows something, but it's not ready to share. Anyhow, these emotions activate different areas of a part of the brain known as the striatum.
The area linked to desire is lit up by things we gain instant pleasure from, like food and sex. Love is connected to another site involved in a conditioning process through which we begin to attach importance to the things that we link to pleasure or reward. As we go through the process of going from lust to love, our emotions move from one area of the striatum to another.
Though different, we need both lust and love in various stages of our lives. Understanding that these feelings are easy to mix up will do wonders for your next relationship.
Love's a considerable investment, maybe the biggest one you'll ever make. While lust is a temporary pleasure, life without it would be too serious, even a bit boring.