What is the difference between lust and love?

Can lust and love be two concepts to unite? This is what we are going to deal with in this article. Do not miss it.

Last update: 02 March, 2022

Lust and love are two concepts that are linked to relationships, especially couples. It is rarely possible to differentiate them well and that is why in this article we will try to shed some light on it.

But before delving into lust and love, let’s review how the Royal Spanish Academy defines these terms. If we go to it, love is a feeling of affection and attraction towards someone, while lust is more related to sexual desire and pleasure.

What is lust?

Let’s start with lust. The definition provided by the RAE does not surprise us.

in a couple relationship desire is a very important part to enjoy full and satisfying sexual relations. However, this concept is used on several occasions from a negative perspective.

We usually talk about lust when a person is only looking to have relationships without commitment. Currently, we can see this in the links of Friends with benefits.

Therefore, lust does not have to be linked to love. They are two concepts that can be independent of each other. But can there be lust in love?



What is love?

Lust and love can be related, although it doesn’t always have to be that way. Love implies many more things, such as commitment, the desire to build something with another person (family, children, future plans) and wanting to live multiple experiences with them.

Although many couples desire each other and we could talk about lust from a positive aspect, there are people who are asexual. This means that they do not feel desire, but they do feel love for another. Therefore, lust and love may or may not be linked.

Love implies a longer-term project, since it considers that there are common interests to promote.


Differences between lust and love

Despite everything already mentioned about lust and love, it is necessary to condense some of the most important differences to shed more light on these two concepts. Find the most relevant in the following list.

With lust only the physical matters

The physical is something very important when you feel lust. This is why the term is sometimes used in a derogatory way.

A person who just wants to stay one night or have a good time between the sheets, but nothing more, it moves by lust. The desire you feel is based on physical appearance and the simplest attraction.

In love there are feelings

When we talk about love we cannot ignore the feelings. Although there are moments of lust (desire), what you feel for the other person is always there.

love, respect and admiration are some of the words that can best help us define this. However, a lustful person may not have feelings for others.

Lust seeks sexual satisfaction

Something that differentiates lust within a love relationship or lust alone is sexual satisfaction. Enjoying intimate relationships without reaching orgasm does not have to be frustrating. There are many signs of affection, conversation, pampering and enjoyment of the process, even if it does not end. But when there is only lust, all this is absent and the goal is the obtaining of pleasure.

love is lasting

Lust is something momentary, so relationships that are only based on this (without commitment) do not hold. There is nothing else.

On the other hand, in love there is another series of components, such as commitment, loyalty, having a common goal, sharing moments beyond the bed… It is a generous feeling.

Lust pursues only the goal of pleasure. There is no room for commitment when it is not accompanied by love.

Lust and love: friends or enemies?

As we have been able to analyse, lust and love can be present, together, in a love relationship. When lust is taken as those moments of desire and passion that every couple experiences, it does not have to be seen as something negative.

However, there are asexual couples who can do without that desire. And also people who put love aside to focus on lust.

When the latter happens, relationships become liquid, fragile and selfish. Only the satisfaction of their own needs matters and little attention is paid to the feelings of the other.

Love does not find its meaning in the desire for things already done, complete and finished, but in the impulse to participate in the construction of those things.

~Zygmunt Bauman~

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