There are some people we can’t help but have an instant physical attraction to. Sometimes — when this attraction is mutual — a relationship blossoms and new love begins. Other times, we might think we’re falling in love when really it’s that tricky feeling known as lust. In the beginning stages of a relationship, it can often be difficult to tell the difference.
I know this from experience. In college, I had this guy friend who slowly morphed into a bit more than a guy friend. Once we started sleeping together, we couldn’t stop. At the two-month mark, I convinced myself it was love, for sure. It had to be, right? All I could think about was him, how great the sex was, and basically… when we were going to have sex next. I didn’t want to spend one minute away from him.
Truth is, I didn’t really know anything personal about him. I knew he took the term “binge-drinking” to a whole new level (something I was totally against, but never fought him on), but I knew absolutely nothing about his family history with alcoholism until well after we’d ended things. I knew he had a tendency to get angry quickly, but never had any idea he had prescribed medication for this that he refused to take. I didn’t think to ask the big questions. All I cared about was the superficial stuff. It wasn’t love, as I’d imagined. It was lust.
According to studies discussed by Daily Mail, there is a scientific difference between lust and love. While you’re not going to scientifically analyze your brain to see whether you’re actually in love, there are some simple and obvious signs you can examine on your own to determine where you stand. Here are seven signs that might guide you in the right direction as to whether you’re lusting for someone, or whether you’re genuinely in love.
1. You Completely Overlook Your Conflicting Values
Are you someone who truly values the importance of family, yet your new beau doesn’t seem to think being close with one’s family is important at all? Are you Catholic and devoutly connected to your faith, but they don’t believe in the existence of God? These are really important pieces of a relationship. While many are fond of the notion that opposites attract, when it comes to fundamental values, it’s helpful to any lasting love that these values align, according to MedicalDaily.com. Not seeing or caring about these core differences may be a sure sign you’re not thinking long term, and rather are in it for the lust, rather than love.
2. You Don’t See One Single Flaw With This Person
Everything he or she says or does seems wonderful, and perfect, and you simply could never imagine them doing something you don’t like. Maybe your friends keep prying into what you see in this person who has a serious criminal record, no job, no car, and takes money from you regularly. Not only do you not notice these things on your own, once they’re put on your radar you still don’t notice them. When you’re in love, these things are apparent, as they really matter to the success or failure of your relationship. According to Psychology Today, while you don’t want to fundamentally change the person you love, you’ll want to be open about certain things and work on them together — rather than ignoring their existence all together.
3. You Might Not Really Know Much About Them At All
Yes, you’re very aware of how great the sex is, and how attractive this person looks without his or her clothes on. Maybe you even know what kind of thing they’d order at dinner. However, do you know the reason why they refuse to eat dairy, or why they can’t stand the thought of rare meat? Also, not only might you not know these answers, it’s more than likely you don’t even care to know them. All you care about is getting out of the restaurant and subsequently getting out of your clothes. When you’re in love, you care to know all the details about someone as a means of feeling fully invested in them — you what to know what makes them tick.
4. You Rarely Disclose Personal Things About Yourself
Not only do you not know much about this person, but you don’t care to disclose too many things to them about yourself, either. For one, you’d prefer for them to think of you as a perfect and desirable specimen at all times. Secondly, you don’t feel even the slightest urge to tell them about how much you wish you’d chosen a different career path, or have issues with your parents. You feel fine holding back these big issues from them. According to Psychology Today, when you’re falling in love you’ll want to share things and invest yourself in the other person.
5. You Never, Ever Talk About The Future
What future? All you need is the here and now! After all, since you’re not sharing intimate feelings and personal anecdotes, why would you even really consider what a future would look like together? However, when you’re in love, you’re bound to find yourself considering what the future could look like with this person.
6. You Agree With Any And Everything They Say
With lust, you might not care to challenge your guy or girl on certain things, as to not ruffle their feathers. It’s possible you’ll find yourself agreeing with any and everything, just to keep the other person happy, and to ensure a trip to the bedroom is in the very near future. When it’s love, you feel comfortable disagreeing on certain things, as you know it’ll ultimately make your relationship stronger.
7. It’s All About The Sex
When you’re not being completely yourself, or talking about serious topics, or bringing up any sort of personal things at all, what else is there really left to do? (Hopefully I don’t just have a one-track mind here!) When you’re experiencing pure lust, there’s no true interest in spending quality time together, or experiencing intimacy. Of course, if you’re in love you likely want to have sex regularly, as well, but at the same time you have a genuine desire to hear how the person’s day was. If you’re finding you only care about the sex aspect and nothing else, consider this lust.
Hopefully these seven little signs will help you to determine whether you’re in “lust” versus “love.” Ultimately, realize that if you're fairly uninterested in getting to know him or her outside of the bedroom, and don't mind that you might not be a good long term match, it's more than likely you're dealing with a case of lust.