difference between love and lust

Love vs. Lust: Know the Differences

It’s surprising how many people don’t find any difference between love and lust. Maybe it’s because they both stir intense feelings in us, or maybe because the word “love” is terribly overused these days.

Whatever the reason behind this confusion, knowing how to tell when you love someone and when you lust over them can make life a lot easier. Let’s analyze both concepts in more detail to see what they’re all about.



love or lust

Love is characterized as an intense feeling of deep affection towards someone or something. It is difficult to define especially when it comes to human relationships, as there are so many types of love and so many different feelings and emotions involved.

You love your mother, your friends, and your spouse differently, but you do love them all. Love involves caring for someone else’s needs and doing your best to ensure they are met, accepting others for who they are, listening to them, sharing thoughts, and wanting to spend quality time with them.

Put it simply, it involves caring, attachment and intimacy. Love is a long-term social and cognitive phenomenon and, when it comes to romantic relationships, it also includes passion or lust. But love certainly is not just lust.

How Love and Infatuation Differs from Each Other


is it love or lust

Lust is a feeling of intense craving or desire for someone or something – for gratification. In human relationships, lust is usually associated with sexual desire.

It may feel as much more intense than love, it can be sudden, it affects your brain in the same way drugs do, and it is mostly based solely on physical attraction, projection, idealization, and fantasy.  Lust often fades away quickly, but can also grow into actual love.


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The Differences between Love and Lust

We’ve explained the two terms a bit, but we need to dig even deeper to get a better picture of them. The table below provides a straightforward description of whether is it love or lust.



Love is about attachment, intimacy and caring. Lust is craving, desire or sexual attraction.
Love takes time to develop. Lust is usually instant. There’s no such thing as “love at first sight” – that’s actually lust.
Love is stable, secure, slow-burning, and peaceful. Lust is intense, passionate, and exhilarating.
You feel love for persons you know well and accept as they are, flaws and all. In lust, it is rare that you truly know the other. You usually see an idealized version of them, how you’d like them to be and not who they actually are.
Love is selfless – it is about wanting to be with someone for better and for worse and doing your best to meet their needs and make them happy. Lust is selfish. It is about wanting something or someone for how they make you feel. It is about self-pleasure, not the happiness of the other – or at least not until it develops into love.
Love grows usually stronger over time. Lust usually fades over time or develops into love.
In religion, love is seen as a pure, uplifting feeling. In religion, especially Christianity, lust is seen as immoral, a sin.


Hopefully, now you know the difference between love and lust and can more easily pinpoint your own feelings. Subscribe to get more useful explanations, solutions to dilemmas and the latest news straight to your inbox.

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