All young people will at a point ponder on this question- Is what I am feeling love or lust?Having one crush after another comes with confusing feelings. Research has shown that most people get confused between love and lust. The majority don’t know the difference. This is why you find a lot of people engaging in unhealthy relationships thinking they are in love yet they are in lust.
The truth is there is a big difference between the two. One survives long term and the other, short term.In defining the two, we would be able to establish the real difference.Love is an intense feeling of affection toward another. It’s a profound and caring attraction that forms an emotional attachment. On the flip side, Lust is a strong desire of a sexual nature that is based on a sexual nature and is based on physical attraction.
We can also say that Lust is solely based on physical attraction and fantasy—it often dissipates when the “real person” surfaces. Lust is fueled by idealization and projection. You see what you hope someone will be or need to be rather than seeing the real person, flaws and all—which is love.Here are some signs to watch for to differentiate
SIGNS OF LUST…
1. You’re totally focused on a person’s looks and bodies.
2. You’re interested in having sex, but not good conversations.
3. You want to leave soon after sex.
4. You are lovers, but not friends.
5. You’d rather keep the relationship on a fantasy level, not discuss real feelings.
6. You’re often in love with a guy/lady, then with another, and then with another and you get enticed by each of them.
SIGNS OF LOVE….
1. You want to spend quality time together other than having sex.
2. He or She motivates you to be a better person.
3. You get lost in conversations and forget about the hours passing.
4. You want to get to meet his or her family and friends.
We can’t say you really love someone until you have actually met the whole person “real person”.
As we grow, we begin to have different perceptions regarding what we need and want. This also influences our decision when it comes to being in a relationship. Between the age of 15-19yrs we are normally attracted by the physical, thus you will want to be in a relationship based on looks and that can be categorized as lust.
From the ages of 20-30yrs it’s a battle between the two—lust and love. You desire someone with good character but at the same time you want someone who looks attractive and irresistible. And its very rare you find both is one person. Most of the times you settle for what suits you best. From the age of 32 and above, reality sets in and you are keener on character, attitudes as compared to looks. This is the period where you choose to love the real person and not just lust after them.
That being said we can never avoid lustful feelings because it’s a desire created in us but we can avoid acting towards them. These are the ways we can work through this stage in our lives.
1. Allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to help you through. Read Romans 8:1-5
2. Avoid people who exert bad influence on your living with God. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5
3. Flee from things that stimulate youthful lust. Read 2 Timothy 2:22
Please note that nobody is perfect. We all have things we are dealing with but we have to accept that we have the problem and seek God for help because by strength shall no man prevail.
Written by: Consolata Akinyi. Consolata is a mentor with studentshubgh. If you need counseling or mentoring in the area of relationships, contact us HERE