True Love vs Lust: 10 Differences You Should Know

true love vs lust
Photo by Greg Rakozy

Most relationships today are short-lived because people tend to mistake lust for love. It’s true that it’s hard to draw the distinction since some of the signs of lust are carefully concealed in the guise of good intentions. Others are even too subtle to be noticed until it’s too late. Your shield, as a way to protect yourself and avoid falling prey to these desire-centric, urge-driven relationships, is awareness. This article will help you uncover the things, habits, and behaviors that you should recognize and avoid.

When it’s about comparing true love vs. lust, here are the differences that you should know.


1. Lust is stagnant; true love inspires growth.

There’s something about Lust that prevents true love from flourishing. Perhaps it’s its toxic nature of focusing on temporary pleasure and volatile relationships. Remember that nothing can grow in an unhealthy soil.

Love, on the other hand, promotes a stable and healthy relationship. It nurtures and inspires a bud to bloom into something beautiful. A person who is in love and who truly loves will focus on helping their partner grow and succeed.

Also read: 16 Wise Ways to be a Better Person in a Relationship


2. Lust drains you; true love inspires you.

In relation to the previous section, lust has this way of draining a person. Because of its greedy and selfish nature, lust does not provide relationships a space to breathe. It constantly wants to be fed and be satisfied without considering if the other cup is almost empty.

True love is focused on pouring into each other’s cup while making sure that they don’t run out. It’s about nurturing and finding the balance between giving and taking, loving and being loved. It’s about checking on each other and making sure that the relationship does not revolve around one person alone.


3. Lust is fixated on the present; true love is excited about the future.

Lust has a hyper fixation on the present. This makes people take reckless and emotionally fueled decisions. Because they only care about the rewards of what’s there, at the moment, even if it means suffering consequences in the future.

Love is different because it is capable of looking at both the present and the future. This ability to look at this from different perspectives helps couples understand the beauty of sacrificing present wants to achieve future needs.


4. Lust is predatory; true love makes you feel safe.

Lust is all about dominating and controlling the other person. It’s about the need to feel powerful to the point of being predatory. It doesn’t care if other people get hurt in the process as long as it gets the thrill of owning and possessing. It dismisses the need for consent and forces the other person to submit.

Love always chooses kindness and makes the other person feel safe. It cares more about the well-being of the other person and their safety. Couples in love understand that a relationship should be a sanctuary where one can feel loved and protected.


5. Lust is taking; true love is giving.

Lust is all about sucking the happiness out of another person. It focuses on consuming the energy, emotional and physical, without caring about how this draining relationship will affect the person. All it does is take and take until nothing is left. Then it will move on to its next victim.

Love is about giving and making sure that the other person gets what they want and need. It focuses on providing someone with the care and attention that they deserve. It’s about unconditionally expressing affection and committing to making someone happy.

Also read: True Love vs. Fake Love: 15 Differences You Should Know


6. Lust is addictive; love leads to contentment.

Lust is addictive and it will always make you want more. Satisfaction is short-lived and you’d always feel empty once the high is over. Many relationships based on lust exhibit the characteristic of empty pleasure and pointlessness.

No matter how hard you try, it will always feel like it lacks something that only true love can give: a sense of permanence and contentment. These two qualities are nurturing and can serve as a good foundation for a long-lasting relationship.


7. Lust is visceral; true love is emotional.

Lust puts emphasis on physical and superficial relationships. These can be exciting at first and may even feel like real, passionate love until all the red flags start showing up. Because of its unsustainable nature, lust will remain visceral and skin deep. It won’t give you what true love can.

True love is more emotional where the feelings are balanced and healthy. It regulates passion and turns it into gentleness. It scratches the surface and reveals a deep understanding of the other person. Relationships ruled by gentle and deep love are happier and more content.


8. Lust fuels anger; true love calms you down.

Lust has this intense energy that can be damaging when not regulated. This can surface during arguments and fights, which are often the case in relationships centered around lust. It has a way of fueling anger because it does not know how to stop and think of how to fix things. It is too focused on craving satisfaction that it does not know how to maintain a relationship, only to drain and destroy it. It’s like being thrown to a battlefield where you have to be on guard all the time.

True love is more like a sanctuary, a refuge that can calm you down during the worst of days. It gives you a place where you can let your guard down. Its peaceful, quiet, and forgiving nature gives you the assurance that everything will be okay.

Also read: How to Overcome Anger in a Relationship: 13 Ways


9. Lust is controlling and manipulative; true love is freedom.

Lust and its deep wanting to possess and own a person make relationships centered on it more controlling. Its nature of manipulation can be so subtle that a person can’t notice until it’s too late. Aside from preventing the other from being happy outside of the relationship, lust makes sure that they will never be happy without them.

True love is liberating and gives people the feeling that they can do anything. Relationships free from control and manipulation have a bigger network and friendship circle because it understands the importance of connection. Someone who truly loves you will allow you to spread your wings without the fear of losing you.


10. Lust is selfish, love is shared.

In relation to the previous concept, lust is all about “I, me, mine” and less about “we, us, ours.” Its selfishness extends to making the person feel that their role in the relationship is to serve the other person without question. Lust, with all its endless need for satisfaction and contentment, will forever demand servitude and sacrifice. It will never ask if the other person is okay, if they need help, too.

True love, on the other hand, talks about sharing responsibilities and looking after each other. It’s about switching power dynamics and balancing roles. It’s about being the other person’s strength when they need it and admitting weaknesses when you’re at your worst. It’s about trusting the other person to take care of you when you feel like you’re not at your best, and vice versa.


Final thoughts

Hopefully, this article helped open your eyes and realize the right kind of love that you deserve. While lust can be appealing at first, always remember that love can give you more than what the other can offer. You should know that you are worth more than something short-lived, selfish, controlling, and addictive. You deserve something real, something genuine, and long-term. You deserve true love and true happiness.

Also read: True Love vs. Infatuation: 12 Differences You Should Know

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