Love or lust?
It's what we desire most from the people, it’s what we get into relationships for. And a lack of it is a big reason why relationships end.
The purity of that emotion, even the state of love and/or being in love, is why it is so highly valued and sought after. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud.
It has explanations in almost every holy book, every romance novel, and every social media page with inspiring quotes. It really is what makes the world go round.
Love is many things, but it is not lust.
Lust is the polar opposite of love, and yet so many people think they are in love when really they are 'in lust'.
Lust is self-serving, self-gratifying. Lust has no regard for the other person and is often the reason why we end up hurting this other person.
Lust is short on patience, short on temper, demands to be sated regardless of repercussions to others. Or indeed the self.
If love is the delicately built sand castle on the beach, lust is the petulant child waiting to stomp it down to the ground.
Why do they two get confused so often then, if indeed they are so different?
They have the same initial origins: attraction to another person. The feeling that another person is important to have in your life; necessary even.
They both come with the knowledge that you would do anything within reason, sometimes beyond reason, for this person.
From there though, lust takes a hard left. Lust will have you disregarding obvious warning signs. Lust will have you on the defensive, anyone who questions your 'love' is jealous or attacking you. It's a furious battle to stay afloat when everyone around you says it doesn’t have to be so hard. It is making decisions against your better judgment. It's the slow erosion of who you are until you can’t tell up from down.
Lust is the deceit of people, the stringing along until you have your fill and discard them broken and abused.
It is the constant quest for your own gratification, not even considering compromise for the other party because YOU must always be the happy one.
Love grows, lust dies
A lot of people confuse the two because they don’t really know what love is. There is the feeling of love, but true love is something deeper.
Love doesn’t disappear because you’re at odds with someone; if it did parents would be the most hated people in history.
Love is measured, love makes you feel safe, and love will never have you off balance.
You’ll never find yourself having difficulty explaining why you love someone.
Yes, that initial fawning over someone and giddy state are addictive, and it makes sense why people would want it to last forever…
But life is not a fairy tale. Human beings falter. Love is something you learn over time. It's what the initial attraction gives way to. It perseveres despite mistakes.
So take a pause, think about the other person in your life. Do you love them? Do they love you? Or is it a baser, more feral emotion?
Chances are you already know the answer to that; just that accepting it is the latter is such a difficult, heartbreaking task.
What do love and lust mean to you? Share your thoughts below or join the discussion on Facebook.