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The Four Subtle Differences Between Love & Lust


Ever seen someone and thought, "He is probably great in bed" or instantaneously wanted to be touched by someone who has just redefined your idea of "HOT?" Let's face it. Some people are just hot. They have sex appeal in everything that they do. They make you think about doing things that can't be described in words. Plain and simple, this is lust.

Love, on the other hand, is a deep emotion that includes accepting someone where s/he is. Sam Keen said it best, ""We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” Love requires a deep understanding of someone's spirit.

Understanding Our Different Emotions

Lust and love can be very confusing emotions, and they are quite similar. Both love and lust are verbs and actions. You can demonstrate love and lust for someone through your words, facial expressions, body language, and behaviors.

For those who may be more business-oriented, think of love as a top-down processing system. In this type of business orientation, directives come from the head of the company and trickle down through departments. Similarly, when you are in love, your direction starts in your heart and works its way down to other body parts. Of course, your erogenous zones are involved in this process, but they aren't running the show.

In a bottom-up processing system, direction comes from the bottom and makes its way to the top. As such, with lust your direction starts in those over-excited and ready-to-shoot zones and works up.

Consider these four subtle differences as you think about whether you are in love or in lust.

1. Prepositions Are Important

You know you are in love when your mind can't stop thinking of all of the things that you can do with your romantic interest.

You know you are in lust when your mind can't stop thinking of all of the things that you can do to your romantic interest.


2. The Clothes Don't Make the Person

When you are in love, if your romantic interest isn't wearing a smile, then you aren't happy.

When you are in lust, if your romantic interest is wearing more than a smile, then you aren't happy.

3. Seeing People for Who They Are

When you are in love, you look past your partner's flaws.

When you are in lust, you look past your partner's clothes.

4. Try It... You’ll Like It

Love makes you try crazy things.


Lust makes you try crazy things...in bed.

Where Do You Stand?

If you notice, in each of the instances above, the difference was only a few words. When the stars align, you are in lust and in love with the same person. However, it doesn't always work this way. The things that set love apart from lust are subtle, but important.


It's worthy of note that there is nothing technically wrong with being in lust. Lust is an emotion that is innate to all human beings. It is important psychologically and emotionally to know where you stand, however. Confusing lust for love makes a mess of things.

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© 2023 Dr. La Keita D. Carter