Ideally, each relationship should be functioning on the fuel of love. Along with this fuel, other supplements like trust, care, respect, empathy, understanding, etc aid in the smooth functioning of any relationship. But what happens when the primary fuel is of substandard quality or the foundation of a relationship is set on the weak ground? Such a relationship is destined to come to a standstill or crumble sooner than later!
The faulty elements mentioned above are lust and addiction. Well, it is a no-brainer that there is a clear demarcation between all the three phenomena, but some people get confused and ultimately end up in a toxic relationship. Now addressing the two most important questions! Is it love, lust, or addiction? And what are the similarities and differences? To know the answer to these questions, read till the end of this post!
Neither of the three is wrong, but, misunderstanding your exact feeling and calling it love is wrong!
The Show Stopper ‘Love’
What is love? To be honest, there is no correct answer or precise definition to this question. Some people say that it is an abstract feeling while others answer that it is a strong affection for someone. Love is a steady and organic process, and it makes the journey of life beautiful! It is never easy to recognize true love and this gets trickier as one approaches romantic love. Some of the tell-tale signs to highlight these emotions are:
- Novelty: If you are experiencing this feeling, even the most basic things will feel new and exciting. You will be anticipating your time together. People say, “Opposites attract”. You would be alike yet different in your own ways and the difference will bring a good change in you and in your relationship. You would wish to start new traditions with them, which is an indication that you want something that is exclusive and special to both of you.
- Ease: If you have fallen for someone, it will seem just right, and things will flow with ease and fall in place eventually. You will have a certain comfort level with your partner where you can just be yourself without having to create any false image! They will find you more attractive by your qualities than your physical appearance. You will never feel forced to do something that is out of your comfort zone.
- Attention to Detail: If someone has swept you off your feet, you will wish to know them to the T and the desire to build a deeper connection would be intense. You will be well acquainted will their likes and dislikes and you would also be aware of their taste in specific things. This will prove to benefit you when you wish to cheer them up!
- A Better Person: If you have fallen head over heels for someone, you will be willing to thrive and become a better person. They will accept you with your flaws and stand by you in all your lows. But their affection towards you will push you to work on your flaws and become a better version of yourself for them.
The Pseudo Contender ‘Lust’
While love can be described as strong affection for someone, lust limits itself as a feeling of strong sexual desire for someone. Unlike the former, which is a slow and organic process, lust is almost very immediate and intense. Often, people mistake lust to be love at first sight because of the intense feelings but it fades away quickly leaving people confused. Some of the prominent signs of lust are:
- Attraction: Initially when things are new, you might find the attraction at its peak. But as things progress, the attraction wanes off and the spark is lost. The connection is only surface level, and such relationships are short-lived. Once, the flaws are recognized, this feeling reaches its point of satiety and is exhausted soon. You might feel your heart fluttering or butterflies in your stomach but don’t be fooled by these physical sensations!
- Misplaced Sense of Commitment: A person driven by this emotion might not be looking for a committed relationship. If they are in a relationship, they might break up soon once the lust vanishes and might start looking for a new venture. Consent and care are assets that are hard to discover in such a relationship. Physical closeness is the driving fuel and the person will not work hard to make the relationship work.
- The Need to Touch: A lust-fuelled person will feel the constant urge to touch their partner. They might not care for the comfort of their partner and might not even respect their privacy. This is not a bad emotion, but it is the way it is expressed that matters. If accompanied by love, it can do wonders in a relationship and keep the sex life happening! But if it is sheer lust, it might seem very wild and passionate when at its peak, but it will lead to no good in the long run.
The Wild Card ‘Addiction’
People say, “There is a thin line between love and hate.” But this is applicable to addiction as well! There is an exceptionally fine line between love and addiction too. People often feel that if they are not able to live without someone, they consider it love. But it is their grave misconception! Missing someone is natural but to the point where they have a tough time leaving them alone, it is addiction.
While love grants freedom, addiction is very suffocating, and it might label your relationship as toxic. In such cases, there is a need to draw boundaries to maintain the sanity of both partners. To know more about addiction, its signs, and how it is different from love, CLICK HERE!
Is it Love, Lust, and Addiction? The Difference
Have you ever experienced a situation where despite placing the correct point forward, your suggestion was neglected? Or despite having a quite common opinion, it was appreciated? Several times, rather than what is said, what matters is how it is said. Similarly, the question is not whether these emotions are healthy or not but what matters is how they have been expressed and in which situations!
- Jealousy: An enamored individual might experience some healthy jealousy. But if you feel that one is going overboard with this emotion, it might be a warning bell that it is not love! It most certainly is addiction. Someone who is empowered by lust might not feel very jealous, instead, they might lose interest and might hop on the idea of finding someone new.
- Stability: Love offers a chance to have a stable and peaceful relationship. If two people are experiencing this emotion, they work together to create a sense of stability. Countering this, someone in lust might not look for any stability as long as their desire is fulfilled. Lastly, someone who is addicted too might not find a lot of stability. They might feel this concept to be situational where at one point they might feel fully stable and the next moment they might feel far from it.
- Security: In love, two partners create a space where they can share their insecurities with each other. They accept each other’s flaws and accept them for who they are. This results in a sense of security. On the contrary, a lot of insecurity creeps with lust as once the attraction is drained, the parties involved are no longer together. Also, if a person is addicted to someone, they might feel anxious about their partner not loving them which might displace the sense of security in the relationship.
- Connection: Someone who has fallen hard will experience that the connection is quite deep and not just surface level. But in the case of lust, the connection is limited only to the body and there is no real bond as such. There is chemistry in lust but compatibility rules in love! Lastly, in addiction, there might be a connection, but it might be downgraded due to the addictive behavior of a partner. Also, it is possible to be addicted to someone physically.
- Attention: An individual in love might be more attentive to their partner’s needs and wants. They will also be aware of their choices and pay attention to detail. Conversely in lust, an individual will only be attentive when they are connected physically. Finally, an addicted person would be extra attentive and might pick up fights to gain the attention of their partner.
- Future: A person who has fallen hard might imagine their future with their partner and include them in the long-term plans. But this is not the case with lust and addiction. A lustful relationship is very short-lived and rules out all the considerations of the future. While someone addicted would ruin their chances of having a healthy and long-term relationship with too much interference.
- Family Involvement: An individual who has fallen head over heels will make efforts so that their partner and family and friends get along well. Opposite to this, a person fuelled by lust would just be concerned with the physical connection hence canceling out any probable family involvement. But the case is very different with addiction. An addicted person might not like a lot of family involvement if it would deter their partner’s undivided attention from them.
- Empathy and Acceptance: A love-driven relationship would be full of empathy and acceptance which would not be limited to surface level. It might not be attained immediately but with the constant efforts of both the partners, it is possible. Moving to a lustful relationship, there is neither as it is merely about the physical connection. Finally, when it comes to addiction, one has to work on their addictive behavior to bring in these qualities in their relationship.
With this last guiding light, we end our post ‘Is it Love, Lust, or Addiction?’ We hope that this post aided you in identifying and understanding these emotions better, and helped you gain clarity in case of any confusion. Put your thoughts on these in the comments below.
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