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How do you know If it's Love or Lust

Updated on February 24, 2015

Relationships 101

Love, Lust, Love, Lust... Let me be very clear. This article is not intended for children. But if you're a young person and are contemplating having sex with someone because you feel like you're In Love , think very carefully and put your partner to the test - or tests. Why? Because once you have sex, chances are, hormones in your body will trick you into feeling quite in love , even if you're not yet sure if you're even compatible. This applies to adults, too.

So how do you know it's love, even modern love? You've started dating and you have strong feelings and you're ready to take it to the next step or maybe you have. How do you know if that overwhelming tingle you're feeling all over is love or lust? How do you know if this is The One? Sorry to say, often you don't until you experience some form of loss, like misunderstanding each other and pulling away, only to work it out from the heart and stay together. If you're really lucky, you'll know it's love because you've spent so much time together doing things that have nothing to do with sex, and it's just so darn good. You know it's love when you can spend hours and hours talking to each other or hours feeling good not talking. You especially know it's love when you're willing to sacrifice something for that person. (Note: Read the story of Abraham and Issac but don't take it literally.) I don't mean not going away to college, though if you're really and trully in love, you probably will do everything in your power to stay close by. But you might be willing to stay home from a party because the object of your affection needs to study for a midterm exam. That's true intimacy!

One way to really distinguish love from lust is to be able to be with the person without having sex and still have a wonderful time. Easier said than done? Does it seem bleak and boring to just hang out together? Then it's probably not love. For those of you who think that to feel love, you need to have sex first, you just don't know what love is.

As Aside: Obviously there are people out there for whom love is irrelevant. It's lust they're feeling and it's satisfying lust they're after. I feel sorry for them and even sorrier for their partners. Because chances are the object of their conquest is in love - or thinks so, anyway. I think this is especially true for women, although I feel any man reading this is on the right track.

He's Just Not That Into You?

I luv the episode of "Sex and the City" in which Miranda reads the book "He's Just Not That Into You" and gets it, that when a guy doesn't call, doesn't make plans, it's not that he's busy, or has things on his mind, it's simply that he's just not that into you. When asked if that made her feel sad, Miranda responded, that no, it made her feel free ("Sex and the City" fans, please write in if I didn't state that accurately). She then became a veritable missionary of the he's just not that into you revelation and accosted strangers (women) eating lunch on the steps of the library, ruminating about why Charlie hasn't called, and Miranda chimes in out of nowhere, "He's just not that into you, dear," then walks away, leaving the stunned woman with "bitch" on her lips. Girls, guess what? If he hasn't called, won't make plans, talks about other women, sees you sometimes and sometimes not, he's just not that into you. If you don't believe me, read the book that says it's so.

Are You In Love? - Quiz Yourself

True or False:

1. You get a warm, happy feeling thinking about that person __

2. You feel you would do anything for that person __

3. You are willing to use protection __

4. You are willing to take an HIV Test before starting a sexual relationship __

If you answered True to all of these, it just might really be Love!

If you answered True to three what's holding you back?

If you answered True to two or only one, it's time to analyze your feelings.

If you answered True to none, you know it's not love...

Offline Responses

From a dear friend of mine: Re: The "L" Words ...I love your article on the "L words". What if it starts with Lust and goes into Love? Usually not- you're right. But we like to make ourselves believe it.

What if you know it's LOVE (in Capital letters) and just hope for all goodness sakes that Lust will be there too? Oh you know... Such a long time ago and now three kids later... I guess i they count as proof. :D

My response: I know what you mean about lust not always following Love... You really do need both for a relationship to work. But a lot of people ask themselves if they are in love or just in lust and the same about their partners. They might not know the twinge and the ache and the tingle of Love (or is that lust?). And it's true that when it's meant to be, it happens!!!


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