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Lust Vs Love: 5 Ways to Spot the Difference


HomeDatingLust Vs Love: 5 Ways to Spot the Difference


A popular subject, especially among young people, is lust vs love. It is common to find people refer to one as the other or dismiss both as just semantics. However, love and lust are thrilling feelings, and it is crucial to know the difference between the two concepts when managing relationships. It is also vital to understand that both concepts have subtle differences and do not mean the same thing.

This article explores the differences between love vs lust and helps the reader understand and identify each concept separately.

What is Lust?

Explaining love vs lust may be overwhelming for most people. Most definitions of “Lust” have “a strong sexual desire” as a core concept. This core concept provides a basis and easy-to-understand approach for anyone.

However, the concept of lust transcends the sexual approach. People can also lust after material possessions, resources, power, status, etc.

Thus, a more inclusive and general definition of lust would be; a strong desire for someone or something, especially when already possessing the said object in a sufficient or significant measure.

Lust, in the context of this article, would refer to the sexual approach —a strong sexual desire for someone.

What is Love?

Love, on the other hand, refers to a feeling of deep affection. Just like the concept of lust, love also transcends having a deep affection for just a person. Animals, personal items, and other inanimate objects can also be an object of this deep affection.

If you are still confused about the difference between lust vs love, in the context of this article, love refers to the feeling of deep affection for another person.

The nature of one’s deep affection for another person can vary depending on the relationship between both parties, i.e. mother to child, husband to wife, etc. As a result, there are multiple types of love, unlike lust, which is explained further in this article.

Lust vs Love: How to Identify Between Both

Lust, when contrasted with love, most likely refers to the sexual desire of someone. This definition, however, does not differentiate lust from love in a very lucid manner.

Love vs lust: it is easier to differentiate both concepts this way; Lust is a focused or specific desire for sexual gratification, while love is a broader concept that entails a deep affection for another person that can have different interpretations other ways than sexually. The deep affections that portray love can be divided into eight different types.

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Lust Vs Love: What Are the Different Types of Love?


This type of love is also known as affectionate love. It is unromantic and happens between friends or members of the same family. It’s also referred to as “brotherly love” and occurs when two people respect and hold the same principles. This type of love can be fostered or expressed through reliability, honesty, having thoughtful discussions with a friend, and being encouraging and supportive in difficult times.


This type of love is also known as enduring love, often in couples committed to staying in love or marriage together. This type of love requires a lot of conscious effort and dedication. Both parties develop these over years of mutual committed efforts and perseverance. As a result, enduring love is a rare form of love that exists when mutual efforts dedicated to coexistence are put together.


The basis of this type of love is on shared moments and memories. When considering lust vs love, common between siblings, parent/child, and best friends. This type of love is also known as familial love. Long-lasting bonds created by this type of love are built upon acceptance and deep emotional connections. For storge-driven relationships to thrive, individuals must be willing to selflessly make sacrifices for each other, be forgiving and share memorable moments.


Also known as romantic love, this type of love is primal and often comes as an instinct for people. This type of love features physical affection, kissing, cuddling, and intimate desires for each other’s bodies. Guided by hormones, the human physical body is usually the object of affection with Eros. This type of love also involves sexual relations and is directly misconceived as lust.


Also known as child-like or playful love, this type of love is often associated with new relationships and friendships. Characterized by flirting, laughter, playful motives, and teasing, emotions play a significant role in this type of love.


This type of love is an obsessive one towards one’s partner. Characterized by possessiveness and jealousy, this type of love is generally unhealthy and is developed from romantic relationships with imbalanced Eros and Ludus. With this type of love, a person seeks self-worth, self-value, and validation from their partner. Trust, romance, fun, and activity at healthy levels in a relationship can correct this negative type of love.

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As you consider love vs lust, remember that this type of love is also known as self-love. It entails appreciating and recognizing one’s efforts and self-worth and not neglecting one’s personal needs.

Individuals capable of expressing other healthy forms of love usually experience this form of love first. A famous quote; “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” so people first need to feel love within and towards themselves before expressing other types of love to anyone. This type of love is characterized by a healthy environment or personal space, making physically and mentally healthy choices, etc.


This is a selfless form of love, dedicated to others without seeking anything in return. Christians usually refer to God’s love as Agape love. This type of love expresses itself through acts of service and kindness towards others, dedication to helping other people’s lives, and consciousness of one’s efforts in a way that affects others only positively.

In practice, a pretty straightforward way to identify lust vs love is as follows: the majority of a relationship is spent in sexual intimacy, holding opposing moral standards, and showing little interest in a partner’s life outside the bedroom are indications of a lust-driven relationship. At the same time, emotional openness, a sense of security in the relationship, and excitement about seeing friends and family are all indications of a love-based relationship.

Lust vs Love: The Differences Between Both

As already explained in the previous sections of this article, love refers to an intense or strong feeling of deep affection for a person, while lust refers to a strong (sexual) desire for someone that seeks gratification.

Notable attributes of confidence, loyalty, selflessness, faithfulness, support, agreeableness, or the ability to make compromises that accommodate one’s significant other often characterize love-based relationships. These attributes foster mutual coexistence and understanding between both people involved. Individuals consumed by lust naturally exhibit traits that express desire, acquisitiveness, passion, and intense emotions.

Usually, lusting individuals seek momentary, short-term enjoyment or a mutually pleasurable relationship, while individuals consumed by love express genuine intentions, show commitment to each other, and consider the other person’s feelings or opinions before acting.

Individuals in love feel a deep affection for each other. Both parties communicate regularly and work out favorable, consensual, or mutual expectations, and this causes feelings of contentment and confidence. These types of relationships are also characterized by polite assertiveness and require many selflessnesses. As a result, a loving relationship can feel euphoric, and a loving partner can feel like a best friend. With lust, an individual experiences joyousness, passion, and feelings of need which can be intense or even difficult in most cases.

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Relationship partners who love each other have peace and security. A stable, loving relationship also provides an ideal atmosphere for child-raising. Insatiable lust can cause emotional rigidity, sexual frustration, an increase in superstition, and heightened religiosity if it is not satiated. However, when satisfied in a way advantageous to both parties, it results in feelings of joy, passion, creativity, and zest for life.

Other effects of a loving relationship include stability and contentment, while effects of lustful relationships or desires include activeness, fire, and drive.

Individuals or partners in love tend to exhibit interdependence traits such as a partnership. Without adequate self-awareness, these types of relationships can lead to codependency. However, individuals lusting after each other can develop solid friendship bonds, especially after the first few weeks. These relationships can prove toxic with emotionally damaging behavior, especially when empathy or compassion is absent.

Generally, relationships or bonds are created based on love vs lust. And it intensifies as time goes on and could continue throughout one’s lifetime, but, with lust-driven relationships, this is uncertain as its commitments are usually short-lived, barely outlasting individual desires. Its bonds could either intensify or deteriorate with time.

People believe that lust is often one part of being in love. However, the bottom line is that the primary distinction between love vs lust is that one is a passionate, compassionate feeling, typically genuine and unconditional, while the other is a sexual attraction. Until it develops into love, lust is merely interested in what a person may do to make themselves feel good.

Partners in love can express lust for one another as part of being in love. Lust, on its own, however, is usually devoid of love.

Now that you know the difference between lust vs love, these tips could help you keep your relationship stronger and healthier.


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