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The difference between love and lust

How do you know when you love someone or when you are just attracted to them? Obviously, being physically attracted to someone is the first step to becoming emotionally attracted to them and falling in love. However, attraction does not always lead to love.

It is quite rare to develop genuine and deep feelings for another person – falling in love is a special thing that happens on a few occasions in our lives. We can be attracted to strangers on a daily basis, but establishing a deep connection will only happen with a select few. This begs the question – does love at first sight exist? 

Lust is a burning physical attraction

Lust is the physical attraction to another human being. It is often fuelled by hormones and the desire for sexual gratification. This attraction is based on the physical appearance of someone – but it does not mean that you will fall in love with them. Lust is a major determining factor in who we wish to pursue – we chase those we find attractive.

Lust can turn into love, no doubt about it. The release of oxytocin hormones can spark feelings of attachment and emotional connections. This is how long-term relationships are established. Physical attraction can fade over time, but once you fall in love, nothing else matters.

Love is an emotional and interpersonal attraction

Falling in love with someone requires a far greater willingness and commitment – it goes beyond the initial phase of desire and physical attraction. Love is that special connection where you feel totally comfortable in the presence of your significant other, no matter what. Some people describe love as obsessing about a person constantly.

It is driven by dopamine in our bodies and affects the part of our brain that deals with the reward system. Dopamine makes us feel ecstatic, exhilarated and happy – the feeling of butterflies are often the first signs of a deeper connection. The main motivator for falling in love is to find a long-term partner and companion.

It is important to understand the differences between lust and love – this will help you make the right dating choices and find the person who is most compatible with you. Although the differences between lust and love can be subtle sometimes, you need to remember which is which when searching for that special person.

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Written by Joshua Oates

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