The Difference between Love and Lust

Love is wise and therefore should be treated with respect. If the one you love respects love and respects you and you in turn respect it, then real love is there.

by Glory Lennon

The differences between love and lust may be confusing to younger people, especially teenagers, but actually they remain the same regardless of age. Whether you are only fifteen years old or a heck of a lot closer to fifty, it behooves us all to go over these differences if only to keep our wits about us. This advice may be directed at teens, but it surely wouldn’t hurt those a tad older to better understand and know how to tell the difference between love and lust.

Just because it may be the first love, a young love, doesn’t mean the elements of it are dissimilar whatever the age of the persons involved. The first love, of course, will be more intense if only because it is the first time you feel this wonderfully frightening feeling towards someone outside your immediate kinship. But how can you tell if it is in fact love or simply lust?

The idea of love at first sight is unerringly romantic, but when you are so young and inexperienced it is unlikely to be such. This is merely attraction at first sight and this too happens at all ages, not just to the young. Seeing that perfect person across the room you may instantly assume that perfection will be all the way through. You most likely will be quite disappointed once you get close enough to talk to that person.

Only with in-depth conversations can you know a person or at least some things about him/her. You may find out about their likes and dislikes and what sets him/her apart from every other person out there. In essence, you will discover what type of person he/she is and if that type meshes well with your personality. This takes time, most times a great deal of time. You need to see a person in many situations before you truly know their character and at times they may still be able to hide their true selves from you. 

Love is patient while lust is impetuous, rushed and almost frantic. If your lover makes you feel alive, makes you want to be with him/her all the time, makes you think of nothing else it may be love indeed. If you are thinking mainly of ripping clothes off, that, however, is lust calling.

If the one you love seems entirely consumed with the idea of taking things to the outer reaches, meaning sex, they may only be pretending to be in love to get to the physical aspect. This is definitely lust. And going physical does not bring on feelings of love, lest you think otherwise. The exact opposite actually occurs mainly because respect is lost. Some don’t think much of respect, but love does, a great deal. Without it, you don’t have love at all.

Love is wise and therefore should be treated with respect. If the one you love respects love and respects you and you in turn respect it, then real love is there. Lust is stupid and therefore does stupid things. When in doubt, step back and think. Thinking is free and should be done often. Thinking can eliminate a load of pain.

That is not to say sexual feelings won’t come with real love, but it takes time to get there and shouldn’t be rushed. It you are being pushed to do something you are not certain you want to do, you may not be ready for or you simply don’t want to take the risks inherent in sexual activities, for example pregnancy, STD’s and lack of self-worth, the person doing the pushing doesn’t truly love you.

Young love is, for lack of a better word, sweet. It is kind and trusting, solemn and soft, easy-going and free. Lust is rough, pushy, jealous and deceitful. That is not to say that jealousy doesn’t raise its ugly head when you are rightfully in love. It can, but if it does without reason and with a note of desperation it is not true love. That would be infatuation, another aspect of lust. Love is reasonable, after all. Lust is very much lacking in logic.

We must also keep in mind that love cannot be forced. That is to say, if you love someone it doesn’t necessarily follow that your intended will love you as much or perhaps at all. This is the hardest part of love and the understanding of it. It has no rhyme or reason, but the intelligent person will make certain to keep his/her mind clear, if only to keep from breaking the heart.

While it is rightfully said that love is in the heart, the brain also needs to be engaged in something as vitally important as love. Using the brain, thinking clearly and taking the time to see how things really are and not just how you want them to be will determine whether it is love or lust. So, use the brain when you first engage your heart and then you’ll be more able to see the startling differences between love and lust.

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©2011, 2012 All Rights Reserved Teresa DePoy