21 Signs It’s Lust, Not Love

Is it love or lust? Let’s talk about the difference between love and lust. Certainly, they ignite the fire within you and you cannot breathe for the passion that keeps you up at night, but is that what it is? Passion? Love? Or instead, just one of the baser emotions? Could it possibly be lust? I suppose, for me, the first clue should have been during our time together when he said, “You don’t have to like the other person to want them.” Or perhaps later when he indicated that he is looking for something better, and someone more ‘marriageable’ in his eyes.

Difference Between Love And Lust:

Difference between love and lust

It is a little alarming that so many modern-day human beings don’t seem to care about the many distinctions between what it means to love someone and what it means to lust after someone. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in such a fast-paced world we live in today, instant gratification is the number one priority on peoples’ minds. The obsessive need to find an “instant love” can often lead some people to confuse their feelings of lust with feelings of love. And that’s where a lot of the problem lies. And it doesn’t help that we use the word “love” so liberally in today’s world that it’s starting to lose its real meaning.

Just because you have taken an intense liking in someone or something doesn’t automatically mean that you’re in love. You LIKE the flavor of that ice cream you ate last night; you don’t love it. You LIKE that random song you heard on the radio; you don’t love it. You LIKE the girl that you met in the club last night; you don’t love her. You LIKE the guy you went out on a blind date. You don’t LOVE him. Well, at least not yet. It can be tough to explain the nuances of love and lust in very simplistic terms – but that’s precisely what this article is going to try to do.

What Is Lust?

So what does lust mean? In its purest form, lust is purely fueled by mere physical attraction and stimulation. For instance, a guy might see a girl with a very toned buttock, and he immediately feels immense feelings of attraction towards her. Or maybe a girl could be looking deep into a handsome man’s blue eyes and feel completely enamored by him. That’s what lust is in a nutshell – but it’s not the whole story. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that lust is all about wanting to have sex with someone. But that isn’t the case. You can lust for people and things without even having to think about sex as a predetermined outcome of that lust.

For example, you can lust after a person’s money. You can lust after a particular lifestyle. You can lust after someone’s social status. Lust isn’t necessarily something that makes you sexual. So in a deeper sense, lust is about wanting something that you wish to purely for yourself; something that you don’t necessarily want to share with another person. In other words, passion is always going to be selfish; it’s about fulfilling your selfish desires. But here comes the loaded question: what is love exactly? Well, it’s the complete opposite of lust in the sense that it’s not selfish at all.

What Is Love?

Love is completely selfless. It’s about being able to see that there is something more significant than the self; shared experience and bond between two very flawed people. Love is the immense connection that is formed when you feel a certain kind of chemistry with another person. Yes, you can still have all of those feelings that come attached with lust as well: physical attraction, desire, and whatnot. When you’re just lusting after someone, you don’t care much about wanting to meet that person’s needs and expectations.

But when you’re in love about someone, you’re going to end up putting that person’s needs over your own. And you’re always thinking about how you can make this shared experience better for the person that you’re sharing it with. You lose all track of your desires because you’re too caught up trying to meet the needs of the person you’re in love with. Love in itself is a very selfless act even though it’s a feeling that you have within the self. And while all of that can sound corny and cheesy to you, it’s the truth. And you might still have difficulty grasping the difference between the two concepts, and that’s fine.

Sometimes, you need to live through something for you to understand and appreciate it. And that’s especially true with love. Even those who have experienced love in the past will have difficulty articulating that experience in the form of words. It’s all about self-discovery. You have to be able to define what love and lust mean to you as an individual, and it’s essential that you can find meaning in the proper context. And a lot of times, for you to discover the true meaning of love; you’re going to have to go through that journey with another human being. And hopefully, that’s a journey that’s going to last you for a lifetime.

How To Know If He Or She Loves You Or Lust You?

The lines between lust and love can get incredibly blurred, and it’s important that you are able to make the delineation clearly and honestly. If you are going to be really vague and ambiguous about it, then both of you are at risk of having certain expectations and needs being unmet. You always need to make it a point to know exactly what the state of your relationship is and what it might entail. Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for some serious disappointment and potential heartache.

This is a very big issue these days wherein a lot of people are becoming more and more comfortable with casual setups and unemotional flings. More and more individuals are getting more comfortable with their sexuality, and that could potentially lead to a lot of purely sexual connections. So, a lot of people find themselves in some really dangerous grey areas in relationships that only end up in a lot of potential dysfunction.

Transparency can be difficult to achieve in a relationship when the people in it aren’t really sure about the situations that they are in themselves. That’s why it’s essential that people maintain a sense of self-awareness in the relationship. You always need to make it a point to know and understand what kind of setup you have with another person. And more importantly, it’s important that you know what kind of feelings that you might have with regards to connecting to someone else. You might be duping yourself into thinking that you are in a romantic relationship with someone even when you’re just feeling lustful. On the flip side of the coin, you might be deceiving yourself into thinking that you’re in a purely sexual relationship even though you or your partner might already be developing feelings for one another. Either way, this can really be problematic.

A relationship based on lust is great if you know what you are getting yourself into and do it with your eyes wide open, for a good romp in the hay. No one is going to blame you for having certain sexual needs and desires. No one is going to fault you for that. It’s all a part of being human after all. But what’s important is that you don’t delude yourself. Here are 21 signs that what you share is lust, and not love.

1. You’re dressed to impress

You are always looking at your best with them. Your eyebrows are waxed, you are invariably dressed to advantage, and your Brazilian is immaculate. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the point is that you take particular care in your appearance each time you meet them. In a relationship that is based on more than just the superficial, you and your partner wouldn’t care if your hair wasn’t perfect someday because your relationship is much more than all that lies outside.

2. A dearth of meaningful conversations

“Love is the friendship that has caught on fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

-Ann Landers

When you’re in love, and I mean well and truly in love, you are comfortable with your partner and all that they are. Which means you are also comfortable talking about most things with them. Your partner is your friend, unlike lust, in which case friendship and the meaningful conversations that come with it are lacking. Conversations making up your problems, your hopes, your dreams, and your life, in general, are missing from your interactions.

3. They look like sin


In a relationship based on lust alone, your partner most likely appears to be a version of Adonis/Aphrodite. And you’re oft left thinking that nature has bestowed an inordinate amount of beauty on this individual. You cannot stop thinking of their looks and believe them to be perfect when the reality is that they are far from it. In love, you see past a person’s imperfections to the beauty and kindness within. There is a passion, but it isn’t based solely on their looks, rather it is derived from the love you two share.


4. Your time is spent tumbling

This, I draw purely from experience. Although I do not lay claim to it being unique to me and my former situation. Feel free to relate to it. So, you decide to watch a movie together. But instead of opting for one that is playing at your nearest cinemas, you choose to watch an oldie at his/her place. Sounds cute and somewhat romantic right? Sure, if you do end up watching the entire movie. And that is because, in reality, you could care less about the movie and spend the greater portion of the time hitting the home run. And that is just what happens when your relationship is based on lust, and not love.

You spend virtually all your time with each other having sex. Indeed, sex is a wonderful way to express your feelings for one another, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

5. You don’t connect on an emotional level

Your communication is stunted. You don’t identify your feelings or discuss them, and neither does he/she. You don’t lead to discussions pertaining to how he/she makes you feel or vice versa. Frankly, feelings don’t come into it, unless they are about sex.

When you connect with someone on an emotional level, you draw comfort from silence. You aren’t bothered by lying on your sides and gazing into each other’s eyes till 4 in the morning (oh, trust me, it’s quite the novelty at the outset of love). But the fact that silences are awkward, and your communication is based solely on sex and which bit you enjoyed most should be a neon sign screaming it’s pure lust.

6. Your memories are associated with the bedroom alone

Each time you think of the moments you’ve spent with him/her, you don’t think of the movie you watched or the meal you shared, or the walks you took. Instead, your thoughts are instantly routed towards all the titillating moments you spent in each other’s company…only. And those memories alone stand out in your mind each time you think of him/her.


7. No plans for the future

You speak of how good it is. How much you want each other. Of your desire for the other one. What you want out of your next ‘date’. But one thing you haven’t imagined doing is spending a lifetime with them. If the thought of marriage, children, join accounts, shared sleepless nights changing diapers, vacations taken together amongst several others of a similar nature come to your mind over time when you think of them, then you can be assured that this is perhaps more than just pure lust. But if the future never comes into it, ever, then the nature of your relationship need not be spelled out for you.

8. You rarely ever go out on real dates

One very clear indication that the two of you are just lust buddies and not love buddies is that you don’t really go out on real dates at all. Dates are important in a real romantic relationship because they are able to bring two people closer together in a very intimate capacity. It allows for two individuals to really connect and bond with one another on an emotional level that transcends just a mere physical attraction. The fact that you don’t go on dates might be indicative of the lack of attachment between the two of you.

9. You don’t really have personal investments in one another

Neither of you really have any real personal investments in one another. You don’t try to get to know one another in a deep and intimate way. You don’t ask each other questions, and you don’t try to do any investigative work. It’s mostly just casual interactions and shallow connections between the two of you. A failure to get deep with one another on an emotional level is a real sign of a lack of love in a relationship.

10. You don’t merge your social circles

You haven’t really made any efforts to merge your social circles. In an ideal relationship situation, you would always be doing whatever it takes to merge you worlds together. And that includes merging your social circles as well. You want the most important people in your life to get along with all of the important people in your partner’s life if the two of you are ever going to have a future. The fact that you’re not really making an effort for that to be the case is a big issue.


11. You don’t say the “L” word to one another

You avoid it like the plague. Saying the “L” word to each other is practically a big no-no for both of you at this point. You know that it would just mess everything up, and even though it really looks like love on the outside, and even though you really wish you could say it, you don’t. You know that it wouldn’t be real or that things won’t work out. If something is holding you back from saying the word “love,” then you know that means something is amiss between the two of you.

12. You only think about one another in a dirty fashion

Whenever the two of you ever think about one another, it’s always done in a rather dirty or sensual fashion. You never just stop to think about how smart, funny, caring, or witty they might be. You just immediately jump to sexual thoughts like how great they are in bed or how chiseled their abs might be. You focus merely on all of the physical aspects of your partner, but never on the person or the emotional side.

13. You don’t feel pressured to get to know one another


You don’t really feel compelled to get to know one another better. It’s almost as if you’re just completely content with maintaining a kind of emotional distance between the two of you. You don’t try to ask questions. You don’t really try to open up. There is no freedom to express. And there’s no willingness to listen either. Most importantly, this doesn’t really bother or concern either of you at all.

14. You act overly forgiving and lenient with one another

Usually, in a relationship, it’s typical for couples to become upset at one another. You might get upset at the fact that they don’t show up when they say they would. You might get upset whenever they fail to make an effort with you. However, when there is no real emotional investment or attachment, it can be very easy to just forgive and forget about a person’s shortcomings. When you don’t really love someone in an intimate capacity, you don’t hold that person to a higher standard.


15. Neither of you stays conscious about how you act around each other

Ideally, when you are around the person you love most in this world, you would always make it a point to be on your best behavior. You always want to make sure that you are acting your best whenever you are around them. You always want them to be able to see the best facets of your personality. If you don’t want them to see you in the best light, it’s probably because you don’t care much for how they might think about you.

16. Not talking isn’t really an issue

It’s always going to be trouble in a romantic relationship when there is a lack of communication. However, between the two of you, things might be fine. In fact, the two of you might even find it better that the two of you just never talk and communicate. That is indicative of the nature of the relationship and just how little you value personal connection with one another.

17. Intimacy is only limited to bedroom antics

Intimacy is something that you would be able to find in all sorts of relationships. However, it’s not something that just comes in a physical form. When you think of two people being intimate, it’s not them just merely kissing, hugging, or having fun in the bedroom. Intimacy is also having deep conversations and spending lots of private time together. If your idea of intimacy is purely limited to sexual activities, then it’s a problem.


18. You don’t care about each other’s problems

You aren’t really concerned about one another. You don’t act like genuine partners because you don’t concern yourselves with each other’s worries or problems. You are always just practically doing your own thing and being your own person outside of whatever relationship setup you might have. The only time you really do connect is in the bedroom.

19. You don’t really rely on one another for anything

You have both learned how to be very independent and self-sustaining souls. You don’t really count on one another to be there because you know that you don’t expect the other to deliver or to show up at all. There is no real intention of committing yourselves to one another in a serious manner at all. It’s really more of a casual set up between the two of you,

20. You are okay with keeping lots of secrets from one another


You are essentially okay with just hiding things from one another in the relationship. You don’t really feel the need to communicate everything to each other. You are okay with keeping the other in the dark because neither of you feels entitled to the other person’s news or information. It’s just a real emotional gap between the two of you.

21. You don’t feel any jealousy whatsoever

You don’t really feel any kind of jealousy with one another. That means that there is a lack of emotional attachment whenever you don’t feel territorial with another person. It just goes to show how expendable this person might be in your life.



By Relationship Rules

Relationship Rules is my ideology of love. It's a concept of emotion and oneness. Check out my book - "50 Rules of a Relationship" here.

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