I can't say that I do, nor that I ever truly have. When I first met my husband, I felt an instantaneous attraction, but it was based upon the way that he carried himself. What I was feeling was somewhat unfamiliar to me, and I was totally caught up in the moment, which is what I believe some people to mistake for "love at first sight," but in hindsight, I realize that it was purely physical.
Love is something that unfolds over a period of time, and simply looking at someone isn't enough to tell you who they are, or to know what you like about them. Lust, on the other hand, is something that is felt almost immediately. So, no. I don't believe in love at first sight, but I certainly believe in lust at first sight.
So, what's the difference between the two? Well, to put it simply, there are many. Hopefully this guide will help you better understand whether what you're feeling is lust or love.
Lust is based upon physical/sexual attraction.The initial attraction is purely sexual, which is actually a primitive instinct of ours to keep our species alive. When someone is "in lust," that physical attraction will take center stage. You'll fantasize about this person on a regular basis, but you won't think much about getting to know him or her better. You're often willing to come around when you're "in the mood," but not if a favor is asked of you, for example. One way to know for sure whether the feelings you're experiencing are based on love or lust is to ask yourself a question. Would you still be interested if sex were completely out of the question? If you're answer is no, chances are you're in lust, and not in love.
Love is acceptance.Even if your significant other looks like total crap--hair a mess, wearing old, raggedy, stained clothes, possibly not even smelling very fresh--they still look beautiful to you. You accept him or her for who they are, not just what they look like. Sometimes, seeing them in this "less-than-sexy" state makes you fall in love even more, because you are able to look deeper and appreciate what's on the inside even more so than what's on the outside.
Lust takes away.If your relationship is exhausting, and you feel that you're getting little in return for your efforts, it's safe to say that the relationship is "lustful"--at least on one side of the fence. You may find yourself feeling drained by your significant other, because they're taking more energy than they're willing to give. If you're having trouble deciphering whether or not you're drained because of work and other responsibilities as opposed to your relationship, consider asking a family member or a friend what they see. Sometimes, an objective look at your relationship is what you need to better understand exactly what's going on.
Love gives.When you're in love, you revel in the idea of becoming a better person. You always give your best, and nothing less, in hopes that your relationship will last a lifetime. Making sacrifices for your significant other doesn't require tons of contemplation. Letting go of some of the things you used to do on a regular basis doesn't even phase you, as long as it allows you to put more time and effort into your relationship.
Lust is unpredictable.Chances are, if you're "in lust," you never know what your partner is going to do next--and not in a spontaneous kind of way. One night, your lover may come home to you and cuddle with you all night long, but the next night, they're out on the town with their friends, with not even so much as a phone call. This not only shows that they're taking advantage of you and your feelings, but it also shows a complete disregard for your emotional well-being. Lust has no problem hurting you without feeling guilty about it.
Love is commitment.True commitment means sticking together, no matter what. There are no circumstances that can make you think about leaving your partner--and in return, you feel secure in your relationship, knowing that your partner will stand by you no matter what. You think about the future and have no issues picturing yourself spending the rest of your life with your lover. Discussions about moving in, getting married, and having children come naturally, without any uncomfortable feelings.
Lust happens fast.Finding yourself attracted to someone is typically the result of raging hormones, which are released rather quickly and lead to all sorts of feelings--including excitement, joy, happiness, sexual tension, and so on. Everything seems to happen rather quickly, but as soon as you get your rocks off (or find out that you're not going to go as far as you'd like), those feelings dissipate. If it's lust, you'll find that spending time isn't that exciting if there is nothing for you in return.
Love takes time.Chances are, if you're in love, you've known this person for a long time. Imagining life without him or her is difficult, and in some cases, even emotionally painful. Sometimes, you may go a week or two without talking to him or her, and feel a sense of loneliness, as though you've lost a piece of yourself. Even though you know your partner like the back of your hand, you still want to know more. Spending time together, whether having sex or not, is high on your list of priorities.
Lust is impatient.You may find that lustful relationships often involve heated, violent arguments, and in many cases, no arguments at all. If lust is what you're feeling, you'll have no problem just walking out the door as soon as you're confronted with an issue within the relationship. In that moment, you don't care whether the relationship thrives or crumbles.
Love is patient.When arguing, you'll continue discussing the situation until you can find a mutually beneficial solution. You never forget that you're both on the same team, and are willing to do whatever it takes to solve the problem--even if it means stepping away from one another for a couple hours to calm down. Whether the argument is petty or totally justified, it doesn't change your feelings for one another. When you and your partner are "going through things," you think about it often, and don't feel a sense of relief until it's resolved.
Lust is selfish.Lustful relationships are often full of "one-sided behavior." You're worried about yourself and your partner is worried about himself or herself. You'd rather your partner listen to what you have to say as opposed to having to listen to what he or she has to say. There are some days where you don't even care so much as to have a simple conversation. Furthermore, you could go days without speaking to your partner without any weird feelings.
Love is respect.You care about what your partner has to say when you're in love, no matter how trivial. You listen, respond, and listen some more, even if the conversation goes on for hours. When your lover is having issues, you have an ear to lend and a shoulder to cry on. You offer true, heartfelt advice, without feeling like it could jeopardize his or her feelings for you.
You just know when you're in love.
Let's face it. If you're unsure of your feelings for your significant other, chances are, it's lust. When you're in love, the feeling is so great, so pure, and so true, that it's difficult to put any other words to it. Love is love, and trust me, when you feel it, you'll just know.