Lisa Asked “Whatâ€™s the difference between lust and â€œin loveâ€ for you?”
Quick answer is, lust is about the body, the gonads, the physical sex drive to orgasm, wanting to get it on with someone. Â On the other hand, “in love” signifies something larger, something that involves more than just the physical. Â It signifies an emotional investment I’m making in someone, an investment of my energy, my support, my time. Â Lust is a need that can be met without commitment, though it can also be met within a committed relationship.
When I’m in lust with someone, I may or may not be motivated to consummate that lust. Â I can lust from afar. Â When I’m in love with someone, I have a hard time being afar from them. Â I want the relationship to grow, I want to know more about them, I want to have a larger share of their attention and time, I want to give them a larger share of my time and attention. Â The warm glow of love starts in my chest, the heat of lust starts somewhere lower in my body. Â There’s a definite difference in intended goals. Â When I’m in love with someone, that state of being is signified by a different set of motivations and goals than when I’m in lust. Â When I’m in love with someone, I want to know more about them, I want to know about their life, their past, their families, how they’ve been shaped by their experiences. Â Lust has a different goal, not necessarily simpler but easier to define. Â Lust wants to fuck, it wants to touch, be touched, kiss and be kissed, it wants the rush we get when we feel mutual attraction. Â This is a much narrower focus than love.
Anticipating a follow on question, what’s the interface between the two? Â When does lust turn into love, if indeed that transformation happens? Â Lust can lead to love. Â We haven’t talked about crushes yet, but a crush feels like a ‘in love light’, it’s less thoughtful than love, less aware of its surroundings, so to speak. Â I have moved from crush to love, but I don’t know that I’ve ever moved directly from lust to love. Â Crush and lust tend to commingle a lot before love emerges, at least for me. Â Maybe when I’m in that situation again, I’ll be more aware of that transition into love, but right now it I’m having a hard time pinpointing it. Â When did my crushing lust for Roxy turn into being in love? Â What was the feeling that made me aware of the difference? Â That’s really hard to pinpoint. Â Going back to the beginning stages of my relationship with my wife, I have a similarly hard time nailing down that moment. Â I think it’s somewhere in how you feel if you don’t see them when you expect to, or when there’s a threat that they may leave or change the relationship. Â Speaking just for myself, if I’m lusting after someone and I find out their moving in a month, I’ll be disappointed but not heartbroken. Â When I’m crushing on someone, the news that they’re dating someone else or leaving town is going to have a bigger impact. Â I will feel the loss of potential more acutely. Â When I’m in love with someone, the merest whiff of that relationship ending feels like harpy talons tearing my chest apart. Â The world is ending, my heart is being torn apart and I can’t breathe.
On the positive side, when I’m crushing on someone and I see them, my whole body goes ZING! with adrenaline and I wonder how I can get closer to them. Â When I’m in love with them and I see them, it’s all of that plus a very powerful feeling of being home, of belonging, of knowing that I will be received with joy. Â And something else just occurred to me. Â Love is not a solo venture for me. Â In the scenarios I was just envisioning, lust and crush can exist unilaterally. Â I can lust after someone or even have a crush, and not feel compelled to tell them. Â They may never know. Â Love, however, requires reciprocation. Â Love is not something I feel I can indulge, accept, build, give to another, unless they are loving me in return. Â So Love requires trust and reciprocity and shared emotional investment, and that trust results in more vulnerability, more openness. When I’m in Lust/Crush, I am selective about my vulnerability, about what I share.
Hmmm… fun how these questions get me thinking so deeply about these questions. Â Thank you Lisa, for this one and thank you Jenna, for the original question.
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