The Fine Line Between Love and Lust
By Kate, age 18, New Hampshire
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
Whether you're 15 and in your first relationship or 19 and looking for Mr. Right, there can be a lot going on in your mind.
As young girls, we often get lost in the excitement of a new relationship and calling someone your boyfriend. As Taylor Swift says, "When you're 15 and someone says they love you you're going to believe it."
Even years later as a much more mature adult, it can be hard not to fall head over heels for someone who says they love you. And with any relationship comes the biggest question of all: sex. Sex is shared between two people, a bond said to be between two people in love. But this isn't a perfect world. Sex has gone beyond a symbol of love to just an activity to satisfy a need. Not to say every guy that wants to have sex with you doesn't care about you, but sex is so much more now.
In a relationship, how do you know sex is the same to him as it is to you? When is it love, and when is it just lust?
Love: a true and deep feeling for someone that goes further than just another crush. Love can be defined differently for each person, but generally, love is being with someone who makes you so happy, head over heels, and it is usually a very strong feeling. Everyone chooses to show their love for a person in many different ways, one of them being sexual, marriage, and even starting a family.
Lust: also can be a strong feeling, but is more geared towards a physical attraction. Lust is wanting someone in a physical sense, or, in other words, sex without the commitment.
So, how do you know if he is in love or in lust?
Generally, guys in lust are usually pretty obvious. They are your typical players; they flirt with any girl they can, and they're good at it. They're the ones known to be with a different girl every month and can be the stereotypical player. They seem so sweet, but let's be honest - how many girls do you think he said those same exact words to?
Not all guys are as obvious though, and those are the ones you really have to look out for. If you read my article about college relationships, there is a perfect example of a guy like that. Though we never actually had sex, he was in lust, and I was in "like". We became friends very quickly and hung out all the time. He was a senior and only had one girlfriend - someone he had dated for a very long time. Nothing about him screamed player, and he seemed so sweet and really caring. Eventually, it got to be a little more, until I confronted him, and he admitted he only had a physical attraction towards me; nothing more. He wasn't concerned about a future between us and just wanted someone to do things with, and I was the attractive girl he chose.
But what if it is more than just a physical attraction? How do you know he sees you as more than a friend?
In my personal experience, guys who don't just want sex take their time with things. They're more careful because they actually care about you and don't want to hurt you. Typically, guys like this start out as your friend and gradually grow from there. Nothing feels rushed; it's the natural progress of friendship to more. This isn't something that you can just point out right away and say "this is more than just a fling." But after a while, you will know.
I had a friend who spent a lot of time with different guys, dating someone, hooking up with others, and in the end, feeling betrayed or badly about all of them. She fell hard for some and thought they felt the same. Eventually, though, the one that was right for her at the time was there the whole time. Her best guy friend; someone she told everything to, even things about the other guys she had been with. He truly cared for her and hated seeing her hurt. They became a lot closer and eventually did have sex, and now, they are in an official, committed relationship, and I don't think I've seen her happier.
So, when it does come to sex, just remember that it's not always as special and magical as they may say it is, and if that's something you want to share with someone, make sure you know who you want it with. Even if it takes time to develop, you'd rather have someone who cares about you than someone who will forget about you the next week and hook up with someone else.
And ALWAYS remember - be careful, and keep yourself protected! It may be love, but that doesn't mean you have to test the relationship with an unexpected child or disease. Sex does have its consequences if you're not careful. Don't let yourself become another teenage horror sex story.