Lust vs. Love: The Differences of The Two L’s

‘If it look this good… I wonder how it taste?’

– Jeremih (Waiter/ The 5 Senses)

Image by: Angela D. Coleman

Lust is such a powerful thing. We can lust for money, food, material things and people. In human nature we are naturally attracted to things that give us curiosity and desire even if we know it isn’t good for us, the feeling is hard to break free from. Isn’t it crazy how we want the things that we can’t have? Put sex in the mix and that makes things even more complicated and confusing, like wow what a situation!

In Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor,  Judith (Journey Smollett-Bell and Brice (Lance Gross) have been together since high school, now they’re married and the fire between them has seemed to burn out. Judith just completed her graduate work in psychotherapy and she’s on the journey of starting her career as a marriage counselor. She decides to take an internship at a matchmaking firm. There she meets Harley (Robbie Jones) a charming and confident client who makes it clear to Judith that he’s feeling her. The sexual chemistry between the two is at an all time high as Judith and Harley start to spend more time together. Soon, Judith gives into her desires and finds herself in a web of chaos, placing her marriage in shambles.

Temptation captures the definition of lust perfectly! We often confuse lust and love because we are infatuated with the idea of this person rather than being in love with them. This fueled idealization leads us to believe that this person is for us and we’re blinded by what we hope they will become or what we need them to be, instead of seeing them for who they are. Adding sex along with that makes it even more complex and toxic because you’re addicted to how they make you feel physically and you neglect the emotional and mental aspect. Psychology Today says that studies show that your brain is in a phase similar to when your brain is on drugs. MRI scans illustrate that the same area  lights up when an addict gets a fix of cocaine as when a person is experiencing the intense lust of physical attraction. Attachments happen when your in the phase of lust, not connections.

Signs of Lust

  • You’re more attracted to their physical appearance. Every time you see them, there  needs to be sexual activity happening.
  • Most of your thoughts about this person is of a sexual nature.
  • You only connect with them on a physical level, not as on a emotional or intellectual level.
  • You want them to leave right after sex rather than cuddling or having breakfast with them the next morning.
  • You don’t see anything long-term with them, it’s just for the moment.

Love on the other hand is beautiful. It’s pure, unconditional, and patient. Love overpowers lust because it’s stronger than the sex drive, it’s something that’s stable. You can’t see yourself without the person and you’re truly invested in them. It’s way beyond sex because you accept them for who they are, even when times are hard you still want them around.

‘See I’ll love you when your hair turns gray, girl and I’ll still want you if you gain a little weight, yeah. The way I feel for you will always be the same, just as long as your love don’t change’

– Musiq Soulchild (Don’t Change)

In the movie Jason’s Lyric, two inner city youth Jason (Allen Payne) and Lyric (Jada Pinkett-Smith) find love in the rough streets of Houston. They both are dealing with personal problems. Jason having guilt with his brother’s violent behavior from a traumatic experience that they both encountered and Lyric who’s hestiant to the feeling of love, scared that it will be smothered by the violence around her. Together, they learn to let go of their doubts and fears, and leave their past behind for a better life.

The love that is shared between Jason and Lyric in this movie is the most accurate definition of unconditional love. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. When you can truly be at peace with a person and you want to know things about them and their childhood, that’s how you know it’s real. The chemistry is there! Yes, you”ll be physically attracted to them but sex won’t even cross your mind because you admire them rather than being infatuated with them. You both motivate each other to be all that they can be and you’re protective over them. You’re willing to make sacrifices for them and you take an interest into what they like. There’s more than an intimate relationship, there’s a friendship as well. Independent says that love is an equal partnership, but you’ll find someone’s happiness become really important to you when you’re falling for them.

Compassionate love can be one of the biggest signs of a healthy relationship, according to research. This involves long-term commitment, deep intimacy and one of the main things that will make or break a relationship… TRUST.

Signs of Love

  • You motivate each other to become better and you work as a team.
  • You can’t stop thinking about them.
  • You want to spend quality time with them beyond sex.
  • You both get lost in conversation that you don’t notice the time and hours pass.
  • You’re focused on each other, your phones don’t matter.
  • You listen to one another and genuinely want to make each other happy, going above and beyond!
  • You want to get closer, meeting family and friends.
  • You become possessive over each other.
  • You only want that person and no one else.
  • They bring you peace.

Now that you understand the differences between lust and love, ask yourself…

Could I spend a whole day with this person without sex? Do I want to get to know their family? Am I ready to wake up to them everyday or just every now and then? Do I really want to go out my way to help them? How do we benefit from each other? Can I work through their past traumas that they’ve had? Can I chill with them, even without other people or my phone? Do I really like them or do I like the way they make me feel? Is there a future with them? Is there even a real connection here? Am I actually ready for commitment?

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