If you’re the type of person who scours the internet for articles like this, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve got love and not lust on your mind. You always want love for yourself and those who are closest to you. Of course, not everyone is going to prioritize love; not all people are going to place love so high up on their list of priorities. Not all people are going to consider love as an integral aspect of finding happiness and a sense of self-fulfillment.
According to leading experts in the field of love and relationships, love isn’t necessarily something that you can manifest out of nothing. It’s something that requires a lot of real effort and conscious thought. Lust is more uncontrollable. It’s something that can either be there or not. And here’s where the big difference lies: love has many depths and layers to it while lust doesn’t. But how does that help you in determining whether your relationship is built on love or lust? Check out a few signs you can be on the lookout for:
1. THEY WENT FROM ZERO TO 60 SUPER FAST
Maybe you’ve been at this whole dating thing for a while now, and you’re sick of feeling alone. Someone’s intense affection will likely make your heart explode with joy. Surely, if they’re totally fawning over you, this must be the real deal, right? Not so fast. Like most good things, love takes time. “Love understands that true intimacy is developed over a long time and through many seasons of life,” dating and relationship coach Monica Parikh, of the School of Love NYC, said.
2. YOU’RE GETTING SORE… LIKE, REALLY SORE
We obviously want sexual intimacy when we’re in love, but lustful partners will lead with sex constantly. (Like that guy on the dating app you gave your number to who keeps sending you dick pics. Dude Someone in love, though? Yeah, they probably won’t have sex on their mind that much.
“When a man starts to fall in love, his testosterone levels drop,” Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify and creator of Love + Co, said.
“They may feel fatigued, moody, and you may witness a reduced sex drive, weight gain, or muscle loss.”
So if you find your person wanting to start (and end) every date in the bedroom, you probably want to rethink their commitment to your relationship.
3. THEY NEVER TEXT YOU BACK
If someone is ghosting or breadcrumbing you, well, that’s a whole other topic completely, but what if they always take way too much time to get back to you. You’re not buying that “I’m busy” line every time, are you?
When people are in love, they want to connect with each other. That’s not to say you have to or should, be in communication 24/7, just that there is a certain level of attachment involved when it comes to love.
Helen E. Fisher at Rutgers University pointed to three primary emotional categories for mating: “lust, attraction, and attachment.
“ According to her, on the lust side of the spectrum, sxxual gratification is what a person seeks, while the attachment side (which is where love falls) is “characterized by the maintenance of close social contact in mammals, accompanied in humans by feelings of calm, comfort, and emotional union with a mate.”
So if this person isn’t in sync with you enough to hit send, what they are feeling is probably not coming from the heart.
4. MYSTERIOUS IS THEIR MIDDLE NAME
“Infatuation is mired in surface-level attraction — looks, money, power. Love grows out of an appreciation of the other person’s character,” Parikh said. “Infatuation grows out of desire.”
It’s kind of easy to tell if someone only wants sxx from you, but it might be more challenging to determine that they’re after you for other shallow reasons that aren’t linked to love. If the object of your affection doesn’t take the time to get to know you or doesn’t share themselves with you, your connection may not be all that deep or lasting.
5. THEY SEEK CONTROL
“Infatuation seeks to control. Love is when you cede control,” Parikh said.
“Love understands that we are all autonomous beings seeking our individual fulfillment, which may not perfectly align to your vision.”
A controlling partner does not have your best interests at heart, nor so they even care what those best interests may be. If it is love, your partner will want you for you.
6. FIGHTING ENDS WITHOUT RESOLUTION
Butting heads occasionally in a relationship likely means that you are growing and evolving as a unit. However, the alarms should actually go off when you never fight, because either one or both of you are not expressing yourselves, likely out of fear. The one caveat? You have to make up at the end.
“In infatuation, when one partner hurts the other, the trauma pulls apart the relationship. In love, each partner sees the trauma as the catalyst for deeper intimacy and understanding”.
Parikh explained. If your partner is constantly on your case, too cavalier to get involved in a healthy debate, or not interested in working with you to resolve a fight, they’re probably not interested in anything past the bedpost.
Lust might be what you’re after, and there’s nothing wrong with that. By no means am I knocking the one-night stand or FWB situation, because those can leave you feeling great? But if you start to fall for someone, make sure they’re showing you that they want to move past the bedroom, too.