If you have butterflies in your stomach, feel giddy when you see them and daydream about your life together, you might be in love.
Yes, there’s a difference between love and lust — but it varies
Or is it lust? At the beginning of a relationship, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. Lust and love are often thought of as two distinct feelings, but anthropologists theorize they exist on a spectrum that can be broken down into three :. While the can overlap, different hormones and brain chemicals are implicated in each stage.
Here's how you can recognize the s of lust vs. Love can be divided into two spheres — passionate and companionate.
8. friends and family became a part of your relation when in love
Passionate lovealso referred to as attraction or infatuation, is defined as a state of intense desire to be with another person. Emotional arousal and sexual passion are prominent features of passionate love, and people experiencing this type of love are usually distressed when their relationship goes awry. When a love feels attraction towards another person or thing, the lust produces "feel good" chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine that affect the same pathways associated with drug consumption and real behavior.
This phenomenon explains the obsessive, euphoric behavior often seen in the early stages of romantic relationships. Companionate love is characterized by strong feelings of intimacy, affection, and commitment to another person.
It's often slow to develop and can be seen in close friendships and long-term romantic partners. Companionate love involves the brain chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin which are associated with pair-bonding, like in the relationship between mother and .
In addition, Stockwell says both types of love can result in physical symptoms like sweaty palms, genital swelling or secretions, and the feeling of butterflies in your stomach — but lust can also cause these physical symptoms.
Lust is not always something we act on, it is a sense of sexual interest.
Lust is an intense feeling that dominates our thoughts and can drive us to do things against our better judgment in order to satisfy longing, Stockwell says. Feelings of lust are controlled by the brain's hypothalamus, which stimulates the production of sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.
Relationship experts agree lust can turn into love — but warn that feeling lust does not guarantee an eventual loving relationship. However, the presence of lust speaks to absolutely nothing about partners compatibility long-term," Neidich says.
Love vs lust: 5 ways to tell the difference
The blinding nature of lust means partners can miss potential "red flags" like dishonesty or selfishness, and have trouble determining if a sexual partner is a good fit for a serious relationship, according to Neidich. Recognizing the difference between hormone-driven lust and real love can help you determine if there's more to your relationship than just sex. According to Stockwell, your relationship might be limited to lust if:.
Love and lust are exhilarating emotions, but it's important to be able to distinguish between the two when navigating relationships.
The literal differences
However, long term love that continues to feel "addicting" is actually quite concerning. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
Primary Care. Mental Health.
More Button Icon Circle with three vertical dots. Lia Tabackman. Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness.
How to tell the difference between lust and love, according to relationship experts
For more information, visit our medical review board. The main difference between lust and love is that lust is purely sexual attraction while love is both passionate and compassionate. s of lust include spending most of your time with a partner being physically intimate, having little interest in their life outside the bedroom, and having different values. s of love include being emotionally vulnerable, looking forward to meeting their friends and family, and feeling secure in the relationship.
Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice. Lia Tabackman is a freelance journalist covering health and science topics for Insider. She can be found on Twitter LiaTabackman.
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