Love vs. Lust - What's the Difference Between?

I find so many people who call my radio show confused between lust and love. Love is the most abused word in the human language often being used instead of what it really is lust. Lust can cause deep confusion and destruction. So often I will hear a caller say, "I am in love." When in reality, it is not love at all. Sometimes it's infatuation. Other times it's nothing more than raw lust. There are times I want to yell into the microphone at my studio and say to the caller, "Don't call it love because it's not!"

Don't Confuse Love and Lust

As you read this blog, I want you to really think with me about what I'm about to say. It may challenge your thinking and feelings, but in the end, it could clear up a lot of confusion and save you from a lot of pain.

So, what is lust? Lust literally means to over desire. It is when you take something that is good, twist it, and add cravings to it until you are consumed with what you want to have. When we speak of lust as it relates to relationships with the opposite sex, it can be defined this way - "when a person's body is far more important than their soul."
I received some awesome definitions of lust from some in my radio audience:

  • Lust is selfishly dwelling on and fantasizing about sexual activities or entertaining sexually arousing thoughts with no thoughts of the other person's feelings. Love doesn't lust. (Jonathan)
  • Lust is when you look at someone with passion for their body. And don't really see who they truly are or who they want to be other than your trophy and toy. (Megan)
  • Love lasts forever, but lust only lasts for a while. (Deanna)

As I researched this topic of lust, I have found many definitions. I have listed some below.


  • Causes the brain to produce the same reaction as if on cocaine or speed. Lust really is like a drug; it leaves you wanting more. (Dr. Jon Marsden - Director of the National Addiction Center)
  • Comes quickly and leaves quickly.
  • Only wants to get into bed with you.
  • Is a craving for self-gratification, usually sexual?
  • Focuses only on outward appearance.
  • Is impatient.
  • Is rude and manipulates.
  • Seeks to get and never give.
  • Self-centered.
  • Doesn't care about others.
  • Is jealous and insecure.
  • Seeks revenge and doesn't forgive.
  • Covers up and lies about wrongdoings.
  • Will do whatever it wants to get its way.
  • Leaves when it's no longer getting.

Every person who has ever dated or lived has struggled with lust. If you haven't yet, you will.  But you can resist entering into a relationship built on lust. With an understanding of what lust is and its selfish motivations, you can say no to a lust-driven relationship and choose love instead. You deserve love.

Have you ever liked someone a lot and found out they only wanted you for your body? Have you ever thought you loved someone but realized it was only lust? Share your thoughts below. I want to hear from you.

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10 comments on “Love vs. Lust - What's the Difference Between?”

  1. Yes I loved a guy for 2 long years but in the end it was only lust for my ex bf. Infact he had a best friend (a girl) who was loving him since 15 years but whenever I used to confront him asking his relationship with her he used to say that its just one-sided from her side and he does not feel anything for her. Now I have doubts that he might have lied to me about evrything. He just manipulated me into believing him till the end.😢

    1. He probably didn't care about her because usually people like that don't care about anyone but themselves. They have a problem and need to get help, but not from us, they need to seek it on their own. We can pray for them though

  2. Wow. Almost every description of Lust sounded like a description of the last man I was entangled with. I'm floored. Because it's so clear now. The whole time I dated him or can I even call it that, as he reduced our relationship to manipulating me for his sexual desires, I knew it wasn't right and it wasn't love but my Love addiction had me attached to him and the fantasy of us growing into what I dreamed of, as he was Kind and more respectful when we met. I only even became more familiar with the concept of lust a few weeks ago when I attended a 12 step meeting for LA. It had just been a vague word and concept. I'm seeing it so clearly now. And I find insight and relief reading this. By seeing my experience basically describes the the list of what Lust is I feel empowered and like my denial is behind me. This helps me a great deal. Ty.

  3. hi im cess.. i have a boyfriend and we are 3years in relationship he is my first boyfriend by the way . he worked abroad .. every 9mos or almost a year he comes back for only 3mos vacation.. my problem is he wants us to make love ... and he asks me about it.. and i said no.. because i do believe that once i gave it to him.. im afraid that he will changed because he get what he want. and i told him if i would make love i want it at the right time. with the right person and that is after i get married. im confused with his way of thinking and im afraid if he could make me say yes. because he said that he loves me and i love him. theres nothing wrong with it. and he said that he would be responsible if i get pregnant... or whatever happened.
    but i want to confess also that he had me many times like after he kissed me he was able to touch me inappropriately . and that is my question :'( i wanna yell my self and always ask myself why did i let it happened but i always answered that because i love him so much... please help me .. realized and advised me with this thank u so much... i would really appreciate u for reading my problem thank u and god bless!

  4. Hi... I started reading your blogs, they are quite helpful by the way. I've been trying to figure out why things in my life are the way they are. I don't believe I have many people to talk to, who will even understand how I feel so I Google it instead. Maybe you're right... everything happens for a reason. and if I didn't find this blog I don't know what I would do. A lot of guys like me... It's nice but sometimes it's too much. I know deep down that I'm pretty, and gorgeous (not to sound conceited, but that's what I get so), so I've been dealing with this guy... and I just got out of a really really bad breakup 6 months ok. I still haven't coped. I don't know if I ever will. I hope so because I cared about him so much. But anyway, he texted me recently, and I was confused why he wanted to even talk to me because we were really close friends that ended really bad because I hurt him so bad. We both hurt each other really bad. Ok, so he texts me, we talk and talk and apologize to one another with terrible sorrow... One night we were talking and it got sexual. Very intense. But then we realize we were doing the same thing as last year, that broke us up, so we say no. We say let's take things slow. And mind you, HE was the one to say that first so I knew it was real, I was scared to say anything and disappoint him, but I knew I wasn't ready either. Ok so now I'm happy we're taking things slow. But now hes saying I'm not ready for a relationship... I'm confused? and then I get upset, but then soon realize I'm not ready either considering we both got out of terrible relationships. So what now? I've never consulted a person on the Internet about this, I'm just so sick of getting hurt, and I know if I don't just ask, I don't think I'll be able to be ok... Please consider me, and my main question is: Should I go with the flow like he says?..., Ask the status of our relationship (even though I pretty much know we're just friends that like each other, and just waiting to get close again), or cut off all ties, and lose him again for good? Thank you for all your help through your blogs, they are keeping me here minute by minute.

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