Why Lust Is Destructive

Everyone who is currently dating needs to ask the question: Am I in love, or am I in lust? Whatever you do, don't mess up on this question or you will walk into a world of hurt.

What to Know About Lust

Reasons Lust Is Destructive

Lust means over-desire. It is when you take something good, twist it, and add cravings to it so you are consumed until you are gratified. 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 to you than his or her soul.

Love is the foundation on which our families and society are based. Lust is just a physical emotion we act upon when we get caught up in the moment. However, most of us fall in love with someone we find physically attractive. Because of this, hurt and confusion can easily be caused when you or your partner confuse love and lust with each other. Lust is an intense sexual desire or appetite that is based on self-gratification and has little to do with true feelings for the other person. As someone once said, "Lust is as different from love as night is from the day." That's because love is an act of the will, covered with a deeply passionate and tender affection for another person. Lust wants to get, love longs to give.

It's easy to think, "So what's the problem with lust?" After all, it is all around us, in songs, movies, advertisements, etc. Lust sells because it appeals to the dark side of us that only wants to get.

Here Are Two Serious Problems With Relationships Built on Lust:

1.  It Is Based on Extreme Self-Indulgence, Not Caring About the Other Person. Someone once said, "Hate is the opposite of love." That is true, but so is self-indulgence. Love can hardly wait to give. Lust can hardly wait to get. Lust turns people into liars, deceivers, and manipulators. Their actions towards others are based on the craving to get. Just as a junkie will do about anything to get his fix, someone steeped in lust will do about anything to be self-gratified.

I received an incredible, insightful comment from Sarah. She said, "I dated guy after guy who would only tell me that they loved me when we were being physical. That was when they loved me. The rest of the time I was an object of abuse and rejection." Sarah was wrong in one sense. She said, "They loved me when we were being physical." She should have said, "They loved themselves when we were being physical and I was the object of their gratification." Lust is always ugly because it is self-indulgent and self-centeredness is never a pretty thing.

2. It Abandons the Other Person When It Is No Longer Getting What It Wants. I can't tell you how many times girls have called me on my show to announce they were pregnant, their boyfriend is long gone, and they are left all alone. I call it sex-and-run. I hate hit-and-run accidents because the person who is running is showing zero responsibility towards the person they hit. Lust that causes sex-and-run is even worse. As soon as lust no longer gets what it wants and is forced to face responsibility, it runs...leaving heartbreak in its path. Sex and run is an ugly thing full of selfishness and irresponsibility.

Samantha said, "I have been in this situation a couple of times. I went out with a guy for a year and a half which ended up being a waste of time. I thought I loved him, but I just loved being with someone because I was afraid of being alone. He only wanted me for my body—that was all. I didn't give it to him, so he cheated on me for a long time." It's amazing to me how quickly people in lust scatter when they figure out that their lust will not be gratified.

Aimee Rose sent me a cool comment I had never thought of before. She said something like this: "I've heard you can never fall out of 'love', but you can always fall out of lust." You're right on the money, Aimee Rose. Lust will die in an instant if it is not being fed. In fact, lust can turn to anger when it is rejected.

Lisa M. said, "About 6 months ago, I was with this guy, and I thought it was love. I mean, he said all the right things and did all the right things. I thought I was in love, but it turned out that the relationship was nowhere near love. We had a lot of fights and arguments about sex because he was ready and I wasn't. Well, he didn't get what he wanted, so he got up and left. For a long time, I was dazed and confused, but finally, I got to thinking that if that was love, then he wouldn't have cared about sleeping with me; he would have just gotten pleasure from being around me."

Lust attacks not only guys, but females as well.  So always keep your eyes open for it so you can do all you can to protect yourself from this destructive monster. You deserve so much better. You are worth so much more. Remember, lust kills, but love brings life.

Does Lust Cause Cheating?

Lust, in its essence, is an intense desire or craving, often rooted in physical attraction. While it's a natural human emotion, its impact on relationships can become destructive if you let it get out of control. The link between lust and cheating is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship. There are a lot of factors that go into someone’s decision to cheat on their partner, but it’s true that lust can be, and often is, one of those factors.

The feeling of lust is fun. You get caught up in anticipating some form of physical intimacy, so much so that just thinking about someone can flood your brain with feel-good chemicals that can make it hard to make good choices. That’s when you’re in dangerous territory—your brain starts caring more about getting to the source of those delicious brain chemicals than it does about your values, and if you don’t step in to put a stop to it…. Lust can convince you that whatever it wants will be worth the fallout.

The influence of lust on cheating can manifest in various ways:

  • Emotional Disconnect
  • Excessive focus on lust or physical desire may lead you to feel emotionally distant from your partner. You’ve traded the rush you get from lust for the true intimacy you could be developing with them. That creates a void that lust might convince you to fill outside of your relationship.
  • Impulse Control
  • Lust can lead to impulsive decision-making, where the immediate satisfaction of your desires overshadows your consideration of long-term consequences.
  • External Temptations
  • Your environment can have a significant impact on how you manage lust or desire. If you’re surrounded by friends who talk about their amazing sex lives, play games or watch shows where the characters have frequent or graphic sex, or have a friend who’s been cheating on their partner…. All of that information goes into your brain. Some of that input may trigger lust for you or make you feel like cheating is normal or okay. Learn how to recognize when something like that comes up so that you can navigate your feelings instead of being ruled by them.
  • Communication Breakdown
  • If you’re not talking to your partner about what you both want out of your relationship, that’s a recipe for unmet needs. When there are misunderstandings or mismatched desires for intimacy, lust can creep in and convince you that you’re missing out when all you really need to do is talk. Instead of building a wall between you and your partner and looking for what you want by cheating, try communication.

Ultimately, the decision to cheat is nobody’s fault but yours. Sure, lust may have played a factor, but lust isn’t the boss of you. You’re responsible for your actions. That said, understanding how lust can tempt you to cheat is an essential step toward being an emotionally healthy partner.

We all want that long-lasting meaningful relationship, but we tend to rush into things. Read my blog to find out how to find that relationship.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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14 comments on “Why Lust Is Destructive”

  1. This artilce does a nice job of describing the characteristic of lust, but fails miserably regarding love.
    You CANNOT have anger without love; and is the righteous reaction when love has been offended or trespassed.
    The problem lies not completely with lust, that is an oversimplification. Yes, lust is terrible when it becomes the end goal, but most often, physical affection is a need, a type of love language that a person requires from their partner to nurture and maintain the relationship.
    Also, where men are easily blinded by the dysfunction of lust as an end goal instead of a nurturing love, women are blinded by the entitlement created by charity and security; comfort and ease become the goal instead of a love within the context of equal investment and pursuit of individual character growth. If I had a dollar for everytime equality didnt apply within the confines of a relationship...

  2. i think this article is not completry right , i do sex alot ! and after sex i do'nt wanna walk away from the girl i've been with , i love every body and at the same time i want to have sex with them , i the writer have been hurt before or look at other command ! most of people who has writen here are some people who have been hurt and most of them as complain to the other side of the relation ,,,,
    instead i would say , sex is a bounce of realtion who ever hurts is a some one low exprinced and the more we grow the more we understand how to use from anything even from people or body or love ... think of it !

  3. So I'm not sure if I'm actually dealing with lust and I really need someone's help figuring out if this is lust. I have been in a relationship for a bit over 8 months right now with a very loving boyfriend, and both of us want to wait until marriage for sex but I keep having thoughts about sexually pleasuring him. And when we're kissing, I try to take note of the different things that turns him on, but when I'm by myself I think about doing that stuff and going even further, and I guess I like the idea of giving him what he wants sexually and that turns me on. And I think about this a lot but everywhere I look, everyone says that lust is self-gratifying and it's selfish, so is it actually lust that I'm dealing with? I have these thoughts more than I'd like to, and I guess it does stuff to me to think about that so is it in turn selfish to think about that and lust? I'm trying to figure out if this is natural or lust and if I should be worried. And this is kind of a separate matter but when we're together and making out, I do those things and one time I realized that I was doing the things he liked so he'd keep doing what he was doing that was giving me pleasure, and when he moaned it turned me on, so am I just thinking of these things and doing these things because in turn he keeps making out me for it?

    1. I believe what you are experiencing is love. Love is selfless act. By you wanting to pleasure him and figure out the things that will turn him on, you are thinking in terms of his sexual interests not yours initially. Love is all about giving in the moment while lust is all about taking the moment over. There is nothing wrong about being turned on when you are alone, all that seems to be is excitement and anticipation. I think you are on the right path as far as distinguishing love and lust apart from each other. Ultimately, if what you are feeling is mutual and maybe even reciprocated then that is an ideal relationship.

  4. Lust is destructive. I kept seeing this guy because the sex made me feel alive. Other than the times in bed I rejected him, over and over. I felt like I could use him, that he would let me use him and I took advantage of that. He stayed because he believed in the good of people, I stayed because I knew I could use him.
    I couldn't go away, lust had me as its prisoner. It took a couple months for me to realize how extremely unhealthy the situation was and how much (self)rejection and disrespect was part of it. Yet, I kept in touch with him for 2,5 month after the last time I saw him (and he let me). I was driven by lust and ego, I had no intentions of getting together or loving him, to me it was a "game" to see if I could "win" him back, he would be "weak" enough to come and see me again. And I was driven by the thoughts of sex with him. Seeing him again never happened, even when I had the chance, deep in my heart I knew it would be so destructive, but I was able to stay in touch with him.
    I needed a release when my need for sex with him kept coming back and decided to sleep with someone I had met before his time.
    This release made me realize how caught up in lust I was. And yes, the sex had been good but without a real connection it's really nothing actually. Or not that special anyways.
    It was him who made the decision to broke off contact. I found out that he was seeing someone for that last month and a half, all that time he and I were still in touch. It was good to find out, as it offered me a way out in a sense. When I confronted him with the fact that he stayed in touch with me so much still, all those messages we kept sending over and over, all that time he was still busy proving himself to me, while seeing her, it was reason for him to cut me out.
    I felt so relieved when he told me that he would not respond to messages ever, again. Finally, I thought. And I felt I could let go for the first time. Something I had wished for many of times already.
    I wasn't able to break off contact myself.
    Soon after that I realized I had issues needed to resolve on my own. My bad behaviour during those months is because I have some stuff to work out myself (with help from a therapist).
    Lust is selfdestructive, it's a really strong force and hard to resist. I've been in it. I felt like a little devil sometimes.
    But I know there's also the sight of love. And being able to feel the feeling of (self)love again and even and also for him -but always from a distance-, made me realize there's also the force of love. And that's the direction I choose to go in now.
    Lust is a little devil, love is where the light is.

    1. Im in a similar situation. Me and him have been friends for years 10 years before we ever got physical. I got married to someone else and 6 years into my marriage we separated and during that time I slept with my long time friend. It was the best sex that I'd ever had in my life. We both were drunk over each other lusting bad. About a 6 months later my husband and I got back together because I still loved him. I tried cutting it off with my friend for about 8 months. I was miserable. I felt like a junky and I was so disappointed in myself I tried everything to shake the thought and feeling of him. But I could not stop lusting over my friend. I'm still struggling bad and it's been about 2 yrs now all together. I did slip up late last year and went to see him when my husband and I got into a bad argument. It was just an excuse to be with my friend. I love my husband but he doesn't satisfy me in a sexual way. He's my best friend. This makes me very sad and I don't know what to do.

      1. I feel like you’re in a trap with the situation with your best friend and you need to get to away from that as soon as possible. Maybe you need to get away from him for sometime, block him, move away from him, that sort of thing and try to turn to your husband instead of going to someone else.
        The relationship dynamics between you and your best friend has changed and become unhealthy and this is another reason why I advise this.
        I recommend spending time with your husband maybe on holiday or something like that for a period of time and try to remember what made you fall in love and get married to your husband in the first place.
        About you and your husband’s sexual relationship, I suggest you discussing this with him and communicate both of your desires and what you would want from him and don’t be shy to open up to him.
        If you are religious I recommend praying and don’t give up on praying. Try to keep positive and keep the desire to be better and want a positive change to your life.

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