It’s without question that distinguishing differences between lust and love can be hard. We’ve grown up digesting a variety of romantic fairy tales portrayed in books and movies, but how are we supposed to tell when we are genuinely experiencing true, authentic love?
Each time you fall in love, powerful emotions consume you, showing you a side to life that is entirely inexplicable. You develop a sense of selflessness and know that you would give anything to protect and always care for that person. However, when it comes to lust, physical attraction and a playful wanting can sometimes be confused with the deep, gripping bind of a timeless love affair.
If you’re stuck deciding whether it’s time to tell that special person you love them or if you’re simply under a lustful spell, these 10 tips should help you determine the differences between lust and love.
You can unapologetically be yourself at all times
Let’s be honest, it’s too exhausting to pretend to be someone you’re not, especially when it comes to the person you share a relationship with. If your partner can’t accept your weird, quirky or sometimes even crazy self then it’s time to ditch them. When you find the right person, they will care for every inch of your being: the good, the bad and everything in between. It doesn’t have to be hard to determine the key differences between lust and love.
They’re your partner in crime
When it comes to love, you need a person that’s not only dependable, but also wants to be with you through every victory and hardship that life brings. Having someone to stand by your side at all times is the purest form of connection and unity that love embodies. If your partner is always there for you no matter what scheme you’re up to, then I’d say you’ve found someone pretty special.
The feeling is mutual
As hard as it can be to accept, the greatest of the differences between lust and love is whether or not your partner shares the same feelings. When it comes to lust, don’t waste your time trying to change or convince your partner that it’s love: they aren’t worth it. The right person will care for you just as much and as deeply as you do.
You’ve experienced hardship
It’s no secret that Instagram and other social media outlets glorify love, while masking the difficulty behind relationships. The picturesque photo of a beautiful couple sunbathing on a glittering beach isn’t the exact reality of love. The truth is, committing yourself loyally and selflessly to another person is incredibly hard and has its challenging moments. But it’s during those times of adversity that the love between two people is proven most.
You share the same interests and motivations
Although people say ‘opposites attract,’ I’m not sure if I agree with that entirely. While it’s important to be completely authentic and unique, having a partner that shares the same goals and passions as you definitely makes the relationship easier, if not stronger. Love can be complicated, but having someone to share the same, exciting journey with is all that matters.
They’re your escape
In a lustful encounter, you can’t always bank on that person being there, especially when times are hard. Real love provides a platform of protection and comfort when you need someone there for you the most. If you have that special person to call at any hour of the day or to hold you during life’s most stressful moments, it’s obvious they care for you or they wouldn’t pick up the phone.
That person is utterly intoxicating
I stand by the notion of love sharing the similar effects of a potent drug: it’s strong and entirely addictive. One more kiss or conversation with that person isn’t enough and you crave them with an intensity you’ve never known before. You would give anything to be close to them, whether that’s flying across the world for a kiss or finding peace within the sound of their voice.
You have not only a best friend, but a confidant
I find people often saying ‘they’re my best friend’ when describing relationships; they define a ‘best friend’ as someone they spend a lot of time with, but there’s so much more to it. While finding time for a quality hangout is important, you also need someone you can trust and be entirely open with. Love is not superficial, nor does it judge you for your past experiences. Be with someone that celebrates and accepts you, as opposed to hiding parts of yourself from them.
Life with them is adventurous and fun
The most essential aspect of love is that it uplifts and fulfills you. Life is too short to be with someone toxic, such as a person that does not further your individual growth or pursuit of happiness. Being adventurous and fun isn’t defined as doing something utterly daring or exciting; it simply means sharing moments with a person that makes you consistently smile. So whether that’s snuggling up to the newest Netflix series or skinny-dipping in Italy—just remember to enjoy it all.
The thought of losing them is unimaginable
While I know it sounds cliché, to be without the person you love truly is unfathomable. One of the sentiment’s greatest beauties is the ability to have someone to cherish and fight for always. Life is unpredictable, especially in your 20s when you are still discovering who you are, but if you have a person to be by your side through it all, that’s when you know to never let go.