Lust vs. Love | 3 Proven Signs That You’re In A Lusting Relationship!

In today’s modern day, millennial dating world, I’ve seen so many couples dive into relationships with the belief that they are deeply in love… Only to ask, “Apollonia, what’s the difference? How can I tell if it’s lust vs. love?”

It’s a pretty hot topic because of the fact that it’s happening so much in our day and age. We either don’t know how to love or we get misinformed about lust and love and the difference between the two. I’m going to break this down and it’s gonna get pretty deep and pretty real. It comes from years and years of my experience with growing into an adult woman but also my experience dating men, and my experience coaching clients in the 10 years that I’ve been in this business.

Lust Versus Love

Now, one of the biggest things that I want to mention before we get started is lust is the ultimate desire to be loved. Lust comes in many forms when it plays into dating, toxic relationships and hopes to have love. I’m going to break this down further along in this blog.

What is lust?

3 main hints that show you may be in lust and not love are:

  1. You’re more focused on your desired outcome and the physical appearance instead of the actual person in front of you
  2. There is a strong desire to have sex but there are no emotional conversations
  3. You’re not friends; you’re just lovers

Read on below to find out more!

Lust is a powerful, physical attraction to someone. The make-believe reality of how a relationship could be. How people put others on a pedestal before they put themselves on the pedestal. I want to try to break this down as simply as possible so that you can understand because, at the end of the day, you know that I want you to have a healthy love life and be happy with yourself and in love. With this said, I reference the pedestal often because of the fact that a lot of us don’t put ourselves on a pedestal because we don’t know how to love ourselves.

We don’t know how to love ourselves sometimes because it was never taught to us when we were young, or maybe it was taught to us in our childhood but then we took on some bad habits as we grew up like drugs, addiction, empty sex, whatever it might be. Addictions to anything or perhaps something happened to you, and you were a victim at a young age to something that has happened. As a result, your idea of love has suffered and over time has morphed into lust.

Lust has a lot to do with someone seeking validation from another person in order to be or feel loved. This happens a lot in lustful relationships, and now physical attraction can be the barrier of lust where you’re like … “I’ve never felt this way before. I’ve never had this feeling before. This woman/man has never given me this feeling.”

You’re so attached to the feeling and the physical aspect of what this person is bringing to your life that you forget, intentionally and unintentionally, to pay attention to what they can offer on a deeper, emotional level. What are they offering to you and what are their behaviors towards you? When you’re in the thick of lust, it becomes easy to neglect how this person is treating you. How is this woman reciprocating with you? Are you just intentionally physically attracted to her?

Is it lust or love | 3 clues that it’s lust!

I’m gonna give you three reasons why lustful relationships hold so much power:

Lust or love | #1: You’re more focused on your desired outcome and the physical appearance instead of the actual person in front of you.

You are motivated by the feeling that this person is giving you. Now I’m not trying to say that you’re not motivated from a feeling when you’re in love because that does drive feelings but there’s a healthy balance between this, and it’s just not always about physical attraction.

Is it lust or love| #2: There is a strong desire to have sex but there are no emotional conversations.

Now I want to be clear about this because I’ve seen a lot of lustful relationships that have emotional conversations. Here’s the thing that I’ve not seen anybody say before and this is the real freaking deal! Lustful relationships usually form when there’s a lack of something in your life. So if there’s a lack of connection with another man or woman, and this person is showing up and connecting to you emotionally, because this is what she needs in her life and also needs the same emotional connection that you do, then this can turn into a lustful relationship as well.

Let me explain the difference because I know emotional connections form a lot in love as well, but when it comes to lust, with an emotional connection, you have to look into why this person makes you feel like this. The sex can be out of this world crazy and then the emotional connection comes into play, but I’m gonna be very clear about this here. When there is an emotional connection in a lust driven relationship, there is typically a reason behind it. Maybe that person is still married. Maybe that person has another partner. Maybe that person is an addict. Maybe that person … This doesn’t happen in healthy relationships, so if you have that emotional connection with somebody and let’s just say she’s a girl that’s just having fun right now and wants to have that emotional connection but doesn’t want to tie herself down, there’s a reason behind it. You’re ignoring it but you’re showing up emotionally because you’re giving that person what they need.

Am I in love or lust | # 3: You’re not friends; you’re just lovers

Even though there might be an emotional connection like I explained in tip #2, how can you be yourself around this person? In lustful relationships, you can’t be 100% yourself. So like I said, either there’s a problem, there’s a dilemma that’s holding you back because maybe this person has another relationship or another blockage, but there can be another reason why you can’t be yourself around this person. You can’t be honest, you can’t be yourself, you can’t show who you really are because you have a fear inside. Your intuition is telling you that this person really won’t like you if I show up completely 100% as yourself. When that happens, it turns into a lusting relationship because you’re both dating the idea of the other person.

What is the real difference between love and lust?

Now let’s talk about the difference between love and lust. So after this, in both lusting and loving relationships, comes attraction. Now attraction is built by thinking of that person when you’re away and getting your dopamine levels triggered. There’s still the “what if” in the relationship which causes a lot of lust because there is something that is holding you back, and as humans, we always want something more when we can’t have it.

Now let me explain what attraction does in these relationships with lust and love, and I’m gonna get into the love aspect of it as we combine everything. I just want to give you the inner-workings of attraction. Now what attraction does, both for men and women doesn’t matter. I’m gonna get a little bit more logical and factual with you. Attraction is when we spend hours of the day either daydreaming about them or are getting exciting and are happier because of them. Attraction is that feeling that you get when you really want something or when you have those butterflies.

At this stage, our hormones play a really specific role when it comes to attraction. It influences the dopamine and serotonin levels in our brain and that’s what links happiness to the attraction. Then if you’re in lust with somebody, it’s hard to distinguish the two because of the serotonin levels that are physically in your brain, and the dopamine that your brain is being fed. They make you consciously think that this is the person for you. Your happiness, your trust, and your decision making are all being sparked in your brain, and this is what influences this decision.

Now let’s go into a deep love and how it plays into the attraction. Deep love and attraction are similar, but it’s important that you understand how to disassociate lust and love and be able to diagnose your relationships. If you are someone who falls into lust with people easily, it typically happens right away and does not take time to build. When you fall in love with someone, it’s built over time, and the love continues to go deeper and deeper and deeper and then it turns into a feeling that you’ve never felt before.

I want to be clear, for those of you that have found love and are thinking, “I found my partner and I knew he was the one instantly…” I mean, I’m gonna be honest with you, it happened to me. I knew he was the one instantly, but I wasn’t lusting over him like I was in my other relationships. I didn’t feel like it was somebody that I needed. It was more than physical; it was a physical but also a mental attraction. It was something out of this world that I’ve never experienced before, and we can say lust is ‘out of this world’ but it’s more of the physical presence of the picture, the visual aspect of what we’ve implanted in our minds of what we think this relationship can be and it’s not the actual reality. Remember that.

What is the difference between love and lust | Signs You’re In Love

I want to give you signs of true romantic love so you can see the difference here. True romantic love has no pressure, right? You’re not stressing about “What I need from this person. What do I want from this person?” This is because of the fact that you take your time to get to know each other. Yeah, probably the attraction is there instantaneously the first day and you’re like, “This is the one, I know it,” because of such and such reason. I’m not disqualifying that because of the fact that it has happened, but it has to be for legitimately healthy reasons. In addition to this, we look at possessiveness as such a negative aspect of relationships, but I want to make possessiveness a little bit positive in this article.

Now I’m talking about deep love. Like you only want that one person. You only want her and the feeling is mutual. In a lust relationship, the feeling is not mutual. I’m not saying that it can’t be in the future, but it shows that there needs to be work done because one of you needs to reciprocate more.

The next sign is that you sincerely care about each other’s feelings. You’re honestly listening, and your honesty is the foundation of the relationship because you are who you desire to be in front of them. You’re your own person, you’re real with them, you 100% show up for you because that person doesn’t try to force you to be someone else. This person gives you a feeling that “I am okay with me.”

The next tip on love is that there are no barriers, there’s nothing that you have to do to be together. I say this because there are so many relationships out there in which people end up falling for someone else when they’re unavailable (married, for example).

When something like this happens, it is because there is a barrier – someone’s trying to find themselves, there can be another barrier if they have an addiction problem, or it can be that they don’t love themselves.

The one similar thing that comes to my mind when it comes to these barriers is the person that you’re dealing with never became skilled at being alone, loving themselves, dating themselves, and falling in love with who they really are. I say this because this is the true meaning behind why love has been so toxic in our day and age. People don’t know how to truly show up for themselves and love themselves without another person. When they try to cultivate a healthy relationship, they don’t find love, and when they do find the desire, the actual non-reality of love, they think that that’s enough and that’s efficient. But then as the relationship continues, problems arise because they never healed themselves and never learned how to be alone. That’s why there are so many broken marriages, and that’s why the divorce rate is so high in our day and age.

The reason why I say this is because it’s so important that you start a love with clear barriers. When I say clear barriers, let me explain further. There should be no barriers at all, and you should know that your intentions are good. If there are barriers in the relationship and you feel like this person can be someone that you can love in the future, then have them cross their own barriers first and then come back to you. Whether it’s lust or love, if someone loves you, they’re going to try to challenge you and come back to you. Have faith in that. We’re so used to making things happen for ourselves, but you have to understand that when you start showing up for life and being okay with not knowing what the future brings, it is the best thing that you can do for yourself. But let’s be honest, it’s the hardest too, right?

One last thing I want to give you before we end this article on love and lust. The last tip when it comes to love is this person will motivate you to become a better person. In real love, not only are you honest with yourself and who you truly are, but this person motivates you to become a better person. In addition to that, they don’t play off your shortcomings. They want you to be a better person even if it means spending two weeks away from each other so you can go pursue your dream. They motivate you to do those things because there are no barriers, there are no lacks in the relationship and this is what the true meaning of love is. Also, this can be applied to family and friends. They take the time to really get to know your family, your friends, and this is really, really important when it comes to love.

I hope you understand the difference between lust and I always enjoy your comments. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.

Your coach,

Apollonia Ponti

Apollonia Ponti, an international certified coach and founder of She works with men to attract the woman they desire, build confidence, master their attraction skills and helps rebuild relationships.

You can find her expert advice on “is she using me”, plus a couple other of your core professional services, through her YouTube Channel, and Attract a Woman E-Book.

To get real results with women NOW! Change your life and master your attraction. Book a coaching session here.

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  1. Wow, this really hit home with me. The woman of my dreams is unfortunately married. So I’m going to have to re read this entire article a few times to figure out where I’m at.

  2. Hi, Yeah your right, I am a little bit more wise to the differences between lust and love now , thank you for your helpful words. Problem is I know I really love a certain person and going by what you described love as being, then I am head over heels in real love, but I’m not sure the feeling is mutual, I am too afraid to blurt out my feelings and lose all contact with this person, we are thousands of miles away from each other, which makes things all the more difficult.

    1. Hi Martin,
      Is this a best friend? Is that why you are talking to her and she lives far away? I believe if it’s one-sided and it’s been like this for a while it might not be love on the receiving in and that does not complete love.
      Thank you for reading my blog about lust vs love.

  3. Apollonia,

    Just read your latest email. Interesting, In deed! I like to believe love should always prevail over lust. Taking a break in a relationship, can be helpful when two people need to reassess what is real, true and correct.

    Can not speak for any other man, but you have motivated me to be a better me in the love attraction world. It’s good for a person to know the “Value of Self Love” … So, when connecting with your partner of the opposite sex you can better relate.

    No response necessary, beautiful!

  4. Speaking of barriers, what do you do if you like a married women? Do you pursue her or do you move on with your life, dreaming, hoping she becomes single one day!

    1. No John, you can’t go after someone who’s married or otherwise in a firmly committed relationship. That is the absolute, sure fire way to get yourself shot!!! DON’T DO IT MAN!!! The life you save will be your own.

  5. Good day, the article is great. I have an issue, there is this lady we meet and became friends for over 10yrs now, then I did not propose love to her because I was with another person, she got married to someone else who later died and its been 2yrs after his death. Am in love with her, I have told her that I will also want to marry her, but she said no that she is not ready. Over this years we have developed some level of friendship that we can discuss anything. But of recent we have been having some issues which is my fault, I have been calling too much and she has been complaining about it, of recent she told me that we are no longer friends and has refuse to settle the issue with me, this is more than 2 weeks I last called her I still love her what do I do

  6. Thanks so much for this it explained a lot and gave me better understanding of a short relationship i just dealt with. I just know i try my best to be there for her, show up, be dependable, supportive, giving, help her even when going completely out of my way and i dont mind i enjoy doing those things for her. My issue i realize is when i see a problem particularly a red flag i panic and dont know what to do then pull away or confront the issue to see her reaction. I just dont like feeling used and that keeps happening. I had a childhood friend tell me when youre in love you will sacrifice for the one another and if its one sided you have a problem. Its tough makes me want to give up but i wont do that.

  7. I’ve been dating this girl for almost 5 months now. Initially she was upfront and showed great desire to know me, introduced me to her friends and family. When I proposed her 3 months after our meeting, she’s kind of hold herself back. Keeps on saying she wants to feel things naturally.
    fyi: she has mentioned in the past that attraction was killed. So I’ve decided to go on for a travel trip alone with cut off from any social media and will try to avoid any contact

    1. Hi RK,
      Thanks for your comment and reading my blog about lust vs. love. It seems as though you cam off too strong and this is what killed the attraction. 3 months into a relationship is what scared you and probably your 100% focus on her. If you lost sight of your purpose and goals this can kill attraction as well. I encourage you to look into that a bit more and find out why you wanted to jump in right away and then rebuild attraction. I’m here if you need any help!

  8. An interesting article. I agree that the #1 sign that one is in lust is when it’s purely physical. There’s no substance to the relationship at all; it’s instant gratification. While I think people not learning how to love and accept themselves first is a factor, I don’t think that’s the major reason why we have high divorce rates, but my assessment of the other factor(s) are irrelevant to this particular subject.

    Last, along with having respect for that person, one accepting you for who you are (i.e. allowing you to be yourself, and not trying to make you act like someone else) is imperative, it ties into the respect factor.

  9. As a man, I would be lying if I said I don’t feel lust even though it is considered a sin of some sort but a man lusting after a woman is understandable or okay in my opinion. I see your videos whenever I get time but the latest one I watched the short men vs tall men video it got me thinking. I am a short man 5’7 but I am strong built for my height so I am not short on confidence. Few years ago, I was very insecure because I was overweight and approaching or even talking to ladies was a struggle. I am a picky person so I don’t go after every hot woman I find because for me its quality of heart and soul over just beauty but again lust kicks in sometimes because I am a man and it would be abnormal to say that I’ve never felt lust when looking at a hot woman. Its strange but true. Happy Weekend Apollonia Ponti

  10. Oh wow, it really helps, i always loved my ex partner and i wanted him to chase his dreams etc but in return he crushed mine, i hope many women read this whole article and learn more about loving themselves and dont want men for what the think might happen but for what actual man is in front of them thanks for this article so much omg,,, im woke

  11. I understand the lusting relationship, but mine lasted for 6 years. If I had lustful feeling’s I could never have stayed with someone that long knowingly. This break up is very difficult because I just couldn’t see that it was lust the whole time. Thank you Apollonia, this blog really spoke out to me and it has truly open up my eyes.

    1. Hi Robert. So glad you gained something from reading my blog! Thank you for reading Lust vs. Love. Everything is a learning experience and helps you in the future.
      Wishing you the best,

  12. My husband of 10 years had just told me he’s been having an affair he said he’s here but not here he also said he’s in love with the other women he said they like the same things agree about the same things he said he needs space I asked him to try marriage counseling he doesn’t think it will work he said he needs space I don’t want want are marriage to end how do now if he’s really in love with her or if he’s lusting

  13. I am constantly finding someone to complete me. It sounds crazy but I feel there is one perfect person for us out there who is our perfect match.
    But reading your article I have come to realize that I was fooling myself. I dont need someone to complete me at all. I have to love myself and when I am already whole as a person, then I could possibly love someone the way I loved myself. Now instead of finding someone to love and fulfill me, I’d rather find myself first and enjoy this life alone.

  14. All of the signs of love are there. He does everything for me spends a lot of time with me. But shows a lot of physical affection. Expresses it vocally. How do you know someone isn’t there and doing these things To continue the physical attraction? Or are they in love and the physical attraction is a result of their deep love for you?

  15. hi apollonia,my relationship has gone through many break ups and patch ups.Now we are better than before but somehow I feel like these days due to quarantine we are not able to meet each other and are involving too much in online sexting and I feel like we are leaning on lust too.We just turned adults and have known each other well and committed too.But the lust side bothers me because if I don’t agree to what he wants he gets a little irritated and angry and I don’t know how to not let this happen. I want to true loving ,friendly and happy relationship. Can you please help me?

  16. Very educative…I have an issue….Am in a relationship but I can’t really differenciate if it lust / love….This guy gives me attention, he tells me how much he love me everyday….he always pay me a visit at my place….and he assist me when am in need, but my problem is when ever he hears my voice on phone or chat me online…he always tell me that is penis has rise…

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