We all know that feeling of butterflies in our stomachs when we meet someone that blows us away in attraction. The overwhelming wave of infatuation hits us and we never saw it coming. The chemistry is insatiable and we can’t stop thinking about this person. We know that something is going to progress with this person but we don’t know exactly what it is. So, we may wonder to ourselves, is it lust or love?


Lust is the first sensation we experience when we are first starting to fall for someone. Intense sexual attraction is our primal urge that we experience because our evolutionary consciousness is telling us that we have to procreate. Many psychological studies suggest the brain in this phase of physical attraction is like a brain on drugs (cocaine to be exact). MRI scans illustrate that the same area lights up when an addict gets their fix of cocaine as when a person is experiencing lust.

Love needs to build over time. When the honeymoon phase of the new relationship wanes and the “real person” comes to the surface, only then will you realize that you are in love. Love is the long-term attachment and sense of companionship you feel with that person. In other words, that person is no longer your lover, but also your best friend. Being in love doesn’t exclude lust. In fact, lust is the predecessor that leads to love. Sometimes, we don’t get over the initial hurdle transitioning from lust to love.

Signs your relationship is based on LUST:

  • You are focuses on the person’s looks and body rather than their personality
  • Sex is the primary focus and your relationship lacks conversations of substance
  • You never discuss your authentic feelings with that other person
  • Either you or the other person leaves after sex. No cuddling or ordering in.
  • You don’t see yourself as having enough in common to be friends

Signs your relationship has led to LOVE:

  • You spend quality time and learn each other’s interests and hobbies
  • You have long conversations that last for hours and time just seems to pass
  • You genuinely care about that other person’s day and want to make them happy
  • They motivate you to be a better person and vice versa
  • You want to meet their family and friends

It is always best to listen to your gut feeling in relationships. If something seems off, it is probably because something is off or out of balance. When the chemistry and attraction is at its peak and your hormones are surging, it is easy to get clouded judgement and mistake lust for love. The line will become blurred but just always remember to follow your instincts because it usually tells you the truth.

Your soul mate is not just your lover, they are your best friend. Remember that every successful relationship needs to have a friendship that encompasses the physical aspect. Lust will be the passion and attraction that ignites the spark, but love is the anchor that carries you through the ups and downs for the long-term.

Feature photo:

Jared Sluyter

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