Love or Lust? 3 Tips to Tell the Difference

One of the biggest mistakes people make when dating is interpreting lust… as love. This will undoubtedly end in heartache.

Lust by definition is an emotion or feeling of intense desire in the body. Love by definition is an intense feeling of deep affection.

Bruh, even the dictionary doesn’t really know how to differentiate the two, so I don’t blame any person for not being able to clearly see the difference. The million dollar question is: what is love? What does love look like? If you thought I had the answer to that, then obviously you thought wrong. I can’t define love because it’s not a science I’ve managed to break down yet but I can give you a few tips on how to identify if it may be lust.

  1. Lust can be sexual, but it can also be situational –you can lust after people with power, material things, food; I once knew a girl who used to lust after men with degrees. Not the deodorant, he had to have a certain set of letters behind his name. To date, this girl is still single but I digress. A lot of us make the mistake of thinking that just because it’s not purely sexual desires towards a person that we aren’t lusting. I know another girl who lusts after intellectual guys, a sapiosexual she calls it. At the end of the day, said person can have all types of PhDs and still treat you like trash, but if you have him/her on that pedestal… you are blinded by lust. Lust can be whatever gravitational pull or appeal that’s attracting you to a person who you don’t really know. A lot of wimmenz lust after potential… but I digress.
  2. Lust happens quick –it’s not something you have to think about. You just feel it. I honestly feel like if it’s been under 3 months that you and that person have been dealing with each other, that it’s more likely lust than love. It takes awhile to really get to know someone, hell there are couples that have been together years who are still learning each other. In order to really love someone, I think you have to experience them. Maybe you never knew you didn’t like roller coasters until the first time ya rode one. You could’ve been that same person who was like “Oh yeah I’m not afraid of anything, I like roller coasters”. Till ya stomach drops and you get vertigo after 2 rides. Experience is often the best teacher. You’ve got to see them when they’re mad, happy, sad, dolled up, dressed down, sick, etc. because love ain’t always gone be pretty and polished. And if you’re gonna run off the first time you see bae in her Celie twists, no make up and period bloat — we don’t need you big fella. When you spend enough time with a person, you peel back the face of the representative and figure out what you’ve really got to work with.
  3. Lust only sees pros –A person in lust can tell you every last thing that they “love” about bae but that’s about it. There is no depth to their knowledge about that person and he/she can do no wrong. They probably can’t even explain why they “love” that person either, they just do. I’ll never forget, one time I had this guy ask me what did he do to make me love him. Honestly, I had no answer, I just knew that I loved him; I felt it. No rhyme or reason. What it really was — blind lust and a little bit of fuckboy magic. At that point in time that guy had shown me far more reasons why I shouldn’t love him, than why I should — he knew that and that’s why he asked. Lust is biased as hell. Lust made me contradict my damn self. I used to have a strict “no-smoking” deal breaker, but possibae that I was in lust with smoked blacks like a chimney. I’d curse my ex-boyfriend out seven ways to Sunday every time I smelled a hint of nicotine — yet here I was kissing ash breath in the mouth. It’s amazing what you can see in hind sight.

Lust is a dangerous emotion because it can be just as addicting as love but without the mutual give and take (that love should have). More times than not one person ends up in “love” and the other may just end up in deep like. When you’re dating you need and deserve someone who you can pour into, but also someone who can and will pour back into you so that you don’t wind up empty.

When you become that empty person because you have given up so much of yourself without replenishment you lose balance. And a good relationship has balance between lovers and also balance within each person individually. Yes, my single ass is giving relationship advice.

Be better than me fam. Lust is often a one-way street. Don’t confuse lust for love and if you’re still trying to discern which is which, give it time. Lust will fade as the desire is satisfied or something more appealing comes along, but if it’s really love <insert long winded explanation of what will happen if it’s really love here>. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of stepping out of the puzzle to see the larger picture. Sometimes a little distance can help your vision substantially. Take the time and the space kid.

Cuz if isn’t love, why do I feel this way…

*New Edition spins away*

-A.

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