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 the word “love” is so liberally used in today’s context 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 with. You don’t LOVE him. Well… at least not yet. It can be really heard to explain the nuances of love and lust in very simplistic terms – but that’s exactly what this article is going to try to do.
In its simplest 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 want purely for yourself; something that you don’t necessarily want to share with another person. In other words, lust 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.
In fact, love is completely selfless. It’s about being able to see that there is something greater than the self; a 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. But ultimately, love is about being able to put the needs of a relationship above the needs of the self. When you’re just lusting after someone, you don’t really 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 personal 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 really 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 really need to live through something in order for you to really 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. At the end of the day, 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 important that you are able to find meaning in the proper context. And a lot of times, in order 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.