Love or Lust? 5 Ways to Tell the Difference

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love or lust

Do you feel love or lust? In this video, you’ll discover 5 ways to tell the difference so you can have healthier relationships.

Are you falling in love or lust? How can you tell the difference? There are several scientifically-backed ways to figure this out early on. In this video, I share five of the top ways to discover if it’s love or lust.

What is Lust?

Lust is an intense attraction to someone. It can help us forge a deep physical and sexual connection, which is essential in a romantic relationship. It can also be emotionally dangerous, especially when we’re projecting what we want to see in someone and put them on a pedestal instead of seeing who they really are – and potentially missing big red flags.

What is Love?

Love is a core human need that keeps us bonded to the people who matter most in our lives. When we’re securely attached to a partner, love involves deep affection, trust and wholehearted acceptance of the entire person – the good and the not-so-good.  

Why is it Hard to Tell the Difference Between Love and Lust?

Both can feel the same in our bodies and brains at first. But they are fundamentally different, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference, because a relationship only based on lust will likely crash and burn, while a relationship that has a combination of chemistry and compatibility will likely last.

5 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Love and Lust

1. Are you willing to work on the relationship?

When you love someone, you’re willing to have difficult and vulnerable conversations. You want to work on the relationship to help it thrive. Lust is about idealizing the relationship and walking away when the going gets tough.

2. Do you accept your partner’s flaws?

Lust loses interest when flaws are revealed. Love accepts the whole person, flaws and all.

3. Does your relationship improve over time?

Love is about growing together, developing trust and commitment over time. Lust is about immediate gratification.

4. Do you feel secure in the relationship?

Love develops slowly and steadily over time and leads to a feeling of security that you have each other’s backs. Lust is impulsive, hot, and often burns out quickly. You’re often left feeling insecure and anxious.

5. Are there extreme highs and lows in your relationship?

Lust is about extremes – you’re on a high when you’re together, and when you’re apart, you’re low. Love is more steady and balanced.

Can Love and Lust Co-Exist?

Yes! In fact, according to Dr. Helen Fisher, a well-known biological anthropologist who researches, writes, and speaks about love, lust is the first stage of romantic love.

Dr. Fisher’s 3 Stages of Falling in Love

1. Lust

2. Attraction

3. Attachment

Next time you’re in a relationship, instead of analyzing whether it’s love or lust, check in with how you’re feeling with this person. Is there trust? Can you be your authentic self? Are your values and goals aligned? Your answers will help you know whether this relationship is healthy for you, and whether you should stay or go when you’re dating someone.

NOTE: This video was influenced by this article.


If you’re curious about how coaching can help you work through issues like trust, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, shyness, repeated dysfunctional patterns in dating and more, let’s talk! I offer a complimentary 45-minute breakthrough session to anyone who’s seriously interested in working with me. Apply here: https://lastfirstdate.com/application

Join the Woman of Value Club, where we have a monthly masterclass on topics like this one. Learn more and join here: https://lastfirstdate.com/the-woman-of-value-club/

Join my free Facebook group for women 40+ https://facebook.com/groups/yourlastfirstdate

Check out my books, Becoming a Woman of Value; How to Thrive in Life and Love and Choice Points in Dating: Empowering Women to Make Healthier Decisions in Love.

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