Lust is often considered taboo, viewed as something controversial, and yet it is the cardinal passage to cross on our journey to understanding love. It has often been described as a raw emotion without any discipline, but love is refined. Do these two emotions co-exist in a healthy relationship?
An important observation is that lust and love can exist individually, i.e, in the absence of the other. In a purely sexual relationship, there’s lust. In a romantic and asexual relationship, there’s love. Love without lust is just as pure as it is with it. For the relationships that involve both, a sexual and a romantic connection, understanding lust, as well as love, thus becomes important.
Can you really tell how your partner shows their love toward you if you don’t know how they show their lust? The things they do when they’re in bed with you can speak volumes about them. Let’s try and understand the importance of lust in a relationship and why we need to be able to tell one apart from the other.
What Is Lust And Love?
Lust and love, while they go hand in hand, do not signify the same thing. In their most fundamental forms, pure lust can be a lot more animalistic and selfish, while love is almost always empathetic and selfless. Since comparing love and lust isn’t really a common theme, confusing one for the other is a common phenomenon.
When lust leads up to sex, the passionate exchange of emotions can lead to partners thinking they’ve started to experience intense emotions of love for each other. In actuality, it may just be the libido that’s clouding their judgment. Though the definitions of each depend greatly from person to person, most of us can agree that love entails a deeper emotional connection, while sexual desire focuses purely on the physical.
Can you lust for someone you love? Sure. But do you need to? The revelation that love can exist without physical intimacy and that a heightened sense of libido for a person doesn’t equate to love can often end up changing the way you approach relationships. Let’s talk a bit more about what does lust mean in a relationship, and how my relationship made me realize the difference between the two.
Related Reading: 10 Ways To Know Lust From Love
How Love And Lust Are Related?
Most of us, especially the ones who got married early, find it hard to distinguish between love and lust. We don’t even consider it as something important to delve into. After all, if you are happily married and getting your regular dose of sex, why bother to understand whether it truly is love that is binding you together or lust that is keeping the marriage intact?
In a long-standing marriage between two partners who value sex, lust is the fire, love is the fuel. And without one, the other doesn’t last for too long. Lust is raw, love is refined. To experience love and lust means to experience the physical expression of love along with the emotional development of it, which is paramount for a marriage to be healthy.
We mistake the heights of passion as love and yet when those plummet after the initial euphoria of a new relationship/marriage wanes, what remains is what is real. Often, by the time the kids arrive and we are snugly attached to the marriage, it’s safe, sane, and convenient to call it love.
How I realized what I have wasn’t love
Here is the paradox; going through those throes of passion is essential to nurture the love inside us as well but there is a need to discern one from the other in order to truly understand the meaning of true love. It took me 16 years to realize that what I felt in my marriage wasn’t love.
It was an illusion of love. And the funny thing about illusion is that it looks and feels exactly like the truth. And yet my soul knew from the beginning that there was something missing in my marriage, although it was hard for me to decipher what. Two lovely kids, a secure life, a caring husband, it all seemed perfect. I called it love.
There’s A Difference Between Lust And Love
Isn’t that all I ever wished for? But it was all in the shadow, all darkness. The light was still far away. Although it was all churning in my unconscious mind, my consciousness had yet to acknowledge it. My awareness was yet to kick in. So after 16 years of being lost and apparently happy in a marriage that seemed perfect to the outside world, I came to understand the missing link.
I could separate the love from lust like chaff from the wheat. The threshing was a revelation. As I became a fiction writer, I confronted myself through my writing. As I interacted with other men, forming deep friendships with them, the truth dawned. I knew I didn’t love my (now estranged) husband deeply enough. If I did, I would want to be with him, not for the sake of the kids but for him and us.
Related Reading: “We’re In Lust, Not Love,” She Said
Marriage is not love
I also realized the dichotomy of marriage and love. They were two different dimensions, which could overlap and merge at times, but they were distinct from one another. The former being an arrangement, the latter being a vibration – our highest frequency as humans.
Trying to fit this powerful vibration into a living arrangement is like capturing the early morning, fresh, invigorating mountain breeze in a jar. Such a waste to even try.
You need to feel the fire between bodies; you need to feel attracted to each other, no matter your age or the age of your relationship, and that is the catalyst for experiencing love. Even if they eventually merge, you should be able to understand one from the other.
What is lust? Lust is the physical desire to be around someone, to touch, to feel their presence. Love is the soul; the body is the temple and lust is the expression of that divine temple. Love vs lust, therefore, is a futile argument.
Older and wiser: Understanding love vs lust
Now, nearing 50 and in love, I understand love on a different level compared to what I did in my 20s. Surrendering to lust has taught me so much about the power of empowering and unconditional love.
Is lust important in love? Yes, it is. Lust is pure, the unadulterated desire of the body minus the mishmash and burden of emotions. It’s the sacred fire needed to strip one of all illusions which mask love. You have to be unafraid of experiencing lust to unravel the true gem of love from the buried depths of your being.
How Important Are Lust And Love In A Relationship?
As you saw through my marriage, understanding the difference between the two can often be more important than understanding their role in a marriage. Even so, in a relationship between individuals who value and feel the need for sex, the inclusion of both lust and love is necessary.
Lust and love are both equally important if you want your relationship to feel fulfilling, both physically and emotionally. Through the process of expressing your sexual desire toward each other, you communicate your love. Love without just isn’t uncommon in asexual and similar dynamics, but where there is a sexually active person in a relationship, there needs to be both lust and love present as well.
Related Reading: It Was Unrequited Lust But Did She Finally Give In?
Instead of comparing the two with yourself, have a conversation about it with your partner. Do you feel the same way about them, as they do for you? Are your physical needs met? Do you pine for each other physically as you do emotionally? Experience the two to their fullest, and you’ll notice your satisfaction increasing too.
Whether one is stronger than the other completely depends from person to person and what they value more. For someone who identifies as asexual, lust may not be prevalent in their relationships at all. It’s extremely subjective, something that changes from individual to individual.
One is not essentially better than the other, the question becomes what each individual enjoys more. If they value the emotional intimacy of love more than the physical affection displayed through lust, they probably value love more.
Depending on how a person experiences a developing bond with someone, either of the two can come first. In purely sexual cases, lust usually comes first. In cases of emotional attachment, love is usually experienced first.
While Living in With My Partner I Realised I Could Never Marry Her…
Readers Comments On “Why Lust Is Important To Understand Love”
I disagree on writer views that Marriage, soulmate and love are different. As writer has taken body and soul concept, I will explain why they are same.
1. All souls are eternal, blissful, knowledgeable and spiritual. Souls have distinct identity but they are equal qualitatively meaning no soul is greater or lower than other soul. They all came out from the Supreme Soul. Hence the soul in our spouse, soul in ourself as well as soul in the other man (OM) to whom we are getting attracted are similar in quality without any superiority or inferiority. Hence, there is no point in saying we can’t love our current spouse or our current spouse is not a soulmate whereas other person outside of marriage is a soulmate as all souls are qualitatively same. The difference is only in gross bodies hence under illusion we are getting attracted to the other person over lust. Attraction can be due to physical body , intelligence or personal traits etc.
2.Due to past Karma’s each soul got certain body some in human body and some in animal body. In human also, some souls acquired male bodies and some female bodies based on past deeds. Based on past deeds and Runas, people are destined to get married by destiny. In a marriage two souls with male & female bodies come united, experience happiness and distress based on their past deeds and are expected to fulfil Artha (Money/benefits) and Kama (Lust) linking with Dharma. Hence, the bond between two people in a marriage is a sacred one and spouses are expected to love each other without question. Love always is unconditional & without selfishness. Couples in a marriage vow that they love each other with TRIKARANA meaning with body, speech and mind in totality. It is the duty of spouses to love each other as they already soul mates because there is no other soul greater than them as explained above in point No.1
3. Spell of illusion starts from not accepting our spouse as soul mate followed by the inability of either of the spouse to understand the above concept coupled with inability to see the good in ourself which intern affects seeing good in our spouse, then compare our spouse with other men/other female of outside and get attracted to other men/women under lust. It ends in justifying other men/women as our soul mate and reject our current spouse to whom we got married.
There can be no of men/women who are handsome/beautiful than our spouse, more intelligent than our spouse etc but within the body all souls are same qualitatively. We can respect their qualities but not that we reject our spouse under illusion & get carried over to them to make new relationship. Even our current spouse has many good quality which we lack to see under illusion.
4.When we purchase wada pav from road side shop they are packed in paper and handed over. If the same is purchased from Hotel, they are packed in silver foil and handed over. If the same is purchased like from McDonel, they are packed in a beautiful box. We humans also same. Different people are packed in variety of bodies colours, sizes and shapes by the destiny. If the packing is open, all have same thing, blood, bones organs etc and a Soul. All men have similar private parts and all females have similar private parts. There are no additional private parts with third person which can fulfil lust beyond your spouse . Its only mind’s illusion which drives this. It is the illusion of Mind which drives to go for others not realizing the worth of what we have or not having gratitude for what we have (current spouse).
5. Lust and Love
Lust is one form of expression of Love. Love doesn’t depend only on Lust. Initially it may start with lust but lust may loose its charm over the period. It is the emotional connectivity, occasional hugs and kisses etc can keep the relationship afresh. But when a person accepts his spouse is a soulmate everything happens & falls in line otherwise he/she can see only responsibility towards his/her spouse but not love.
Conclusion; If one spouse accepts that the other spouse bound in the marriage is a soul mate and see the good in his/herself as well as in our spouse, then everything will fall in line. Body fire and attraction everything will happen automatically. Otherwise, going for other person as a soulmate we are not achieving anything except for accumulative some negative karmic effects by disowning current spouse (and giving hurt ) who loved us whole heartedly so far.Thats all
Apologies if above comments hurts if any,
Marriage bring two people (two souls) together. However, God has blessed both genders capacity to love any one meaning when spouses are not known to each other till Marriage, post marriage, they have capacity and potential to develop love for each other. When you tie the not, it is expected that both spouses develop love towards each other. However, we humans screen the person through coloured glass I.e physical appearance, knowledge, behaviour, job and financial status etc and starts comparing our spouses with the best available outside. The moment screening gets started & material factors imparted & comparison started, the love gets contaminated as it is no more unconditional but what remain is lust and responsibility in the marriage. If a person is not loving his/her spouse means, he/she is selfish and conditioned with material aspects and comparisons. If one see all Vedic literature or scriptures, person has capacity to love unconditionally his/her partner.
Lust is one form of expression of love but lust can exist without love also like in prostitution, one night stands, physical affairs, open marriages etc.
When a person loves spouse One can see the internal peace and satisfaction whereas.happiness from lust is for few seconds in live making. Lust is material where as love is on spiritual and is divine which gives immense peace happiness and satisfaction. That’s why when a person loves his/ her spouse, he/she will not involve in any affairs or cheating , will not stray from marriage.
How you view and judge the article Chandni, is a reflection of how you perceive it and how you understand both lust and love . .it has NOTHING to do with what the writer has written or why this was written. Stay blessed !
Love at first sight! Do you really believe it? There is a lot of debate over whether or not even it exists. But how long does it take to fall head over heels in love with someone? How do you know when it’s just a physical attraction and it’s finest?
So, yes, it’s pretty difficult to know the difference between lust and love. But then both are equally important. I feel without lust there is no love!
Lust Is as important as love. I believe lust, regardless of what people want to think, is the initial start of any relationship. I believe people are often, first attracted to each other in a lustful way and then love is formed. Lust is, therefore, a very important step in finding love and, thus, every bit as important.
Very well said
Thanks inliked it Wow… really i came to know the difference of showing only lust nd showing love with lust nd i thought that my partner will fall in lust completely nd he will stop loving me but.. Seriously i was wrng
had experienced both raw lust and Lust with love.
lust dies off shortly.. but lust with love.. never & re ignites as per..Lust is the fire, love is the fuel..
or I can also read it as love is the fire, Lust is the fuel..keeping love glowing all times..
as expressed by the writer… it takes a while to understand.. and then you enjoy both..
even if not put together some times..still like two sides of a same coin.
Thanks a ton @kazmicolumnist- you made my day 🙂 Humbled !
Arvind- To know the distinction between the two is essential to knowing oneself more profoundly and having said that- they are always so meshed up that it helps to know one from the other- one feeds the other and separating the two was an intimate journey for me to help understand myself better and delve deeply into the morass of love and lust- each to his own- a writer writes what he needs to 🙂 Thanks for liking it though.
Yes @triptisharan– people need to introspect and discern one from another- will save us a few hearbreaks
and will help us understand relationships in a deeper way. Thanks x
True @anney– thanks for liking x
Thanks Preeti for your kind words.
Thanks @shobha-iyer– humbled:)
Thanks Saloni- yes they do:)
Thanks a ton Tuli
Really nice one !!!
Lust and love really go together….
very beautifully written… honestly … after reading this we find the need to introspect ourselves – Lust is the fire, love is the fuel and without one the other doesn’t last for too long….. So True !!!
Lust is the physical desire – to be around someone, to touch, to feel their presence. Love is the soul; the body is the temple and lust is the expression of that divine temple….. awesome words !!
so beautifully put and honest to the core,all of us are living life but there is a fine line between luv and lust,you have chaffed the wheat,reading the piece has brought us to introspect ourselves.????
I loved the way you made love to “lust” through your piece. Without lust, love is a little lack-luster or even of a different kind – like you love a child. If a relationship is sexual the lust is like salt…without which you don’t experience the essence of the love you are feeling, irrespective of whether it is reciprocated or not.
Beautiful and honest write up. Am sure it will make many people introspect.
I believe love and lust go together, almost making the sentence to sound something like: One lusts for love and loves the lust in love. Separating it, the way you have done, will take a lot out of both love as well as lust. Lust then is left alone to believe that it isn’t as high and mighty as love… and love moans for the wild intimacy minus which it remains blinded with a rage that it cannot understand.
However, I loved the way you’ve written the post.
Haven’t seen such an interesting and amazing piece of writing since many days…
Wow @Meenu, simply loved reading it.
Well written piece. ‘Lust is the fire, love is the fuel…’ In a relationship both are equally important.
I loved the piece. To pronounce ourselves as lovers, there has be a physical connect and intimacy. It may not be actual love making …. still it is the physical intimacy that differentiates a lover from a good friend. I loved your analogy of lust as the key to unlock the body and soul. Look forward to read more of your writings
Thanks Saurabh for resonating with my piece. Humbled.
I would never have been able to understand this aspect having been married for almost 25years assuming it is love. But the way you have put it makes sense. Appreciate the honesty
It took me 16 years to understand this myself and I am happy that you could resonate with it. Thanks for reading and appreciating.
Thanks Renu – Meenu
A beautifully written piece indeed. It takes a lot of courage and awareness to be able to look so deeply within oneself. Very insightful and deep article. Thank you
Thanks for your kind words. Humbled. – Meenu
A very insightful and well written piece. It takes a lot of courage to look so deeply within oneself and to confront one’s innermost truths with such sheer honesty. Please write more..
Thanks Jasmine…that made my day and filled my heart to the brim…humbled…love, Meenu
This is one of the most honest and beautiful pieces I have read here on the portal. Salute to the writer.