If you’ve ever found yourself thinking about someone all the time, constantly checking your phone in hopes their name will pop up, craving them, then you’ve probably wondered what this feeling is, is it love? Is it lust?
When first beginning a relationship, we often convince ourselves it’s something more than what it really is. And that’s because sex and sexual attraction are notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in even the most sensible people.
Love is an intense feeling. It’s that feeling that hits you so hard you feel it in the pit of your stomach. Love is a deep emotional attachment to that person on a physical and mental level.
Lust is a purely physical and sexual attraction. During the lust phase of a relationship, sex hormones are raging, and these hormones are exactly what causes us to idealize and project, seeing what we hope or need our partner to be, rather than seeing them for what they truly are, flaws and all.
“Lust is like wearing rose-colored glasses; your partner can do no wrong.”
Pure lust is based solely on fantasy; it often dissipates when you start to see the person for who they truly are. Sex releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, leading to a craving for the other person; confusing sexual cravings for love is something.
Lust is an altered state of consciousness programmed by an urge to engage in sexual encounters. Studies have shown that when your brain is in the lust phase, it’s similar to a brain on drugs. MRI scans show that the same area lights up when an addict gets a fix of cocaine as when someone is in the lust phase.
Here are some signs that you may be in lust with someone:
You’re completely and utterly focused on how the person looks. You often keep the relationship purely sexual and aren’t interested in discussing raw feelings with one another. You tend to fantasize about the person you wish they were. You create a fake persona and tune in on this idealized version of them.
“Lust can lead to love, but not without nurturement.”
Lust can often lead to love, but not always. Being in love doesn’t exclude lust. Both love and lust can fade without proper care of one another. Love is unconditional; it takes work; it doesn’t solely rely on the good days, but gets you through the bad days.
Here are some signs that you’re in love with your partner:
Your emotions are intertwined. You put in work to understand each other and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with one another. You feel safe and secure when you’re with them. Love is a choice you make every day. It’s a choice to love someone on their good and bad days.
So if you’ve ever found yourself being “in love at first sight,” the truth is, it’s most likely lust, and that’s not to say it can’t lead to love, but love requires time, time to know your partner, to know their flaws and love them through it all.