Love vs lust definition. A simple guide for men

I didn’t know him at the time, but many years ago, before he met my sister, my brother-in-law was a single guy going through his share of women. Now, Dave (yea, that’s not his real name) was probably your typical guy in his twenties.

He had been in a few relationships for various lengths of time ranging from one night to several months. He was also typical in that he wasn’t sure what love was with a woman or if he had ever felt it. He knew love was a real thing as his father clearly loved his mother, but he wasn’t sure about himself.

Dave had been in a few relationships by now, but nothing really clicked emotionally for him. He had seen a couple of friends of his fall in love and get married and started to wonder if that was ever going to happen to him. He had been with some beautiful quality women who would make a good wife and companion, but he never felt much for them beyond just wanting to drink with them and fuck them.

When he met my sister, Michelle (yea, that’s not her real name either), he liked her just the same as he had with the girls before. They wound up dating for a few months. One night, they were out at a restaurant having dinner and drinking, and Dave started feeling a little strange. He was able to finish dinner but was definitely sick in his stomach, so they left. He had had a few cocktails during the outing, but it was not more than normal, and the food was his usual fare, so he wasn’t sure why he was feeling so ill.

On the way to the car, Dave broke out in an instant sweat and had to go over in the grass and start throwing up. My sister was concerned and went over with him to try to help in some way. “Are you OK? Do you think it was something you ate?” She asked.

“I don’t know what it is” Dave returned. But in a couple more seconds, the reason came to him in a flash and he said, “I think I love you”, and then hurled another round of discharge. So, this is how my brother-in-law found out he was in love.


This is a question that many guys ask themselves, and it’s a damn good question. As a general rule, I can easily answer this question for you. Of Course, you are capable of love. I mean, unless you are some level five sociopath, you do love. The proof is within your own life. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do; you love something. You may love fishing, drinking beer, a pair of shoes, the beach, your brother or sister, a TV show, sex, a video game, your time alone, a movie, or a hundred other things commonly in your life.

The dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection. Certainly, this defines what you feel about certain things that you have in your life.  The next question then is, “Are you capable of loving a woman?”

For some guys, the answer to this may not be yes. Some guys have had some bad luck with women and are so scared by them that they can’t even get close enough to one anymore to love them. No one gets that more than me. You could be a pretty understanding and accepting man but get fucked over by like two or three women in a row, so you are done with them. It’s like being bitten by three different dogs of the same breed. Unless you are Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, you’ll be done with pitbulls if that happens, even if you still love other dogs.

Other than having a bad past with them, almost all men are capable of loving a woman. It’s of course, a lot harder of a process than loving Budweiser or the Pittsburgh Steelers though. Beer can’t reject you, and even though the Steelers can let you down, you don’t need them to fulfill a necessity in life, like sex. Certainly, the stakes are higher in loving a woman as you will be exposing more of yourself to get it. But that doesn’t mean you’re not capable of it. You may just have to put yourself in “safe mode” with them so they can’t infect you with a computer/brain virus.


Admittedly, I wasn’t aware of the difference between these two things until I was in my mid-thirties. At a glance, these two terms seem pretty close to the same. But they are a world apart. Love is something that almost every human being has in their lives. You can love anything from concepts to inanimate objects to activities. Typically, loving something carries very little risk. You may spend too much money or time because you love it but for the most part, it only enhances your life with passion. Being “in love” is a much darker and scarier emotion.

It is possible to be in love with some things like an ideal or a culture or a way of life, but for the most part, you will experience the emotion of being “in love” with another human being. And if you are a heterosexual man, then it will be a woman. I think the biggest thing about being in love is that your status turns from want to need. And to need something means a loss of control. No one likes losing control of anything that they once had control over.

The state of being “in love” with a woman will make you do things you never thought you would ever do. You may find yourself thinking way too much about her all the time. You may do things you’ve never done before like cook a real dinner or clean the house for her. You might buy stupid expensive flowers that you swore you’d never waste the money on because they will just die in a couple of days anyway. You may even start actually listening to her, and learn to appreciate and love some of the deeper parts of her personality. Crazy, right?

Being “in love” is also more of a constant state. You may love watching NFL football on Sundays and may even think about it during the week sometimes. But for the most part, your love for watching football isn’t occupying your mind for most of the time. When “in love” with something or someone, at least, a portion of your brain is always thinking about it. In computer terms, it’s a program constantly running in the background and using a portion of your RAM (random access memory).


The biggest to know about lust is that it is directly related to one’s sexual desires. When you have a lust for someone, it means you have a strong desire to have some form of sex with them. Be it sex you’ve already shared with her, or what you haven’t done with her yet, the emotion of lust has sex connected to it.

So, when you have strong emotions about a specific woman in your life, and they are all tied to having sex with her, then that is lust. The emotion can be strong and complex, so it’s sometimes tricky to define as just lust. It’s often difficult to identify because our sexuality often has a high level of complexity to it. This means you may be appreciating something about her that is non-sexual but is, in fact, connected to your sexual want for her.

Examples for this are you thinking of her smile, how she makes you laugh, that she drinks Jameson, that she listens to Nickelback (yikes), the way she eats, her social status, the way she drives her car, and so on. Basically, you can be thinking about any part of her, and it’s lust if those things are attached to what you want to do with her sexually. Her smile makes you want to fuck her. Her being funny makes you want to fuck her. Her drinking Jamo makes you want to fuck her. Nickleback sucks, but her liking them makes you want to fuck her. It’s cute how she picks at her food, and that makes you want to fuck her. Her having a lot of friends or not having many friends makes you want to fuck her. She drives like a maniac, so you want to fuck her. You see what I’m getting at here? No matter what it is that you think about her, it’s tied to you wanting to have sex with her. That is lust, my friend.


Depending on the situation, this can be an extremely difficult thing to determine. One thing to look at is why you would want to know which status it is for you? Do you want to know whether or not your feelings for a girl are genuine and lasting (in love) or are they superficial and short-term (lust)? Is it your girlfriend challenging your status by claiming you are just interested in her sexually? Is it your boys saying you are one thing or the other based on their observations?

In our society, we view lust as something bad, and being in love as something good. One is surfaced, short lasting, and deceptive (lust) while the other is deeply emotional, can last forever, and is genuine (in love). The reality is that there is nothing wrong with lust. A normal and functional long-term relationship should have some continued lust. Believe it or not, there are some guys out there who have been blissfully lusting for their wives for decades.

We are males of the planet. Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, we are bound by the rules of animals of the planet. We must breathe, eat, drink, sleep, and have sex (at least for procreation) like any other animal. Lusting for a woman is a natural occurrence and in fact, exists more in nature than being in love.
Many times, a man’s lust for a woman will eventually turn into love. And lust can continue (if you are lucky) when you do fall in love. The two can and should exist together.

If you are in a physical relationship with someone, then the answer to “Are you in lust”, should always be “yes”. Surely, you want to have sex with her. That’s a given. The more accurate question then is, “are you in love”?


It may be hard to tell if you are in love. It usually takes some event that challenges that status. Sometimes, she has to break up with you. Sometimes, you have to have an affair. Maybe she has to have your kid before you can fully determine you’re in love with her. Here are a couple of scenarios:

1 How do you feel about her immediately after sex?

This is the time when you just had your sexual release, so for at least twenty minutes; you’re not burdened with the thought of it. Do you want to still hang with her or are you immediately looking to watch ESPN? If you feel the same about her during this time, there could be something more there than just lust.

2 Do you defend her?

How do you feel when someone says something negative about her? Even if they are right about it, do you defend her no matter what? That’s a definite sign you might be in love.

3 Do you think about her all the time?

As mentioned above, when you can’t stop thinking about her, it may not always be a sign of love. But if you don’t normally think much about girls you date and you’re thinking a lot about this one girl you’ve been hanging out with, it could mean love.

4 Are you doing stupid shit?

This is one of the biggest signs of being in love. Guys will do moderately stupid shit just to get laid, but the real dumb; out of your character stuff is done when you are in love. Did you just get a puppy when you don’t even like dogs? Did you buy tickets to go see Yanni? Wearing a bowtie for the first time? Driving all over town to find the right necklace? Whatever you are doing that is dumb and relates to her in some way can definitely be a sign of being in love.

5 Do you miss her when she’s gone?

Normally, when your girlfriend leaves for the weekend, you are glad. It’s a time to be free to do whatever you want. You can go out with your boys or stay home for some awesome alone time. If in a day or so you are missing her, the love trap may be set for you, my friend.

6 Are you ok with her shortcomings?

Women do irritating shit. Some are late all the time. Some take forever or are super picky ordering food. Some burp or always take all of the blanket and sheets when you sleep together. There can be a thousand little annoying things a guy has to deal with, but if you are finding them “cute” instead of aggravating, then you could be in love with her.

7 Do you still want to be around her during times when you can’t have sex?

Illness, times of the month, out of town company staying with you, pregnancy, and tragedies are but a few examples of things that create periods of time when you don’t or can’t have sex. Do you still like being with her? Good sign for love.


Several years ago, my best friend at the time was married and shouldn’t have been. He didn’t give a shit about being married or his wife, as he was constantly cheating on her. This was one of those things you were in your early twenties and went ahead and got married just because you think that’s what you should do.

A few years went by, and the marriage got so bad that his wife eventually met another guy, and told my friend she was moving out. My friend Jules (yea that’s not his real name), who normally didn’t get two shits about his wife or what she was doing, started freaking out a little. For some reason, he didn’t want her to go. During a heart to heart, him and I had, I asked him “why do you care if she goes? It’s not like you guys have a good relationship or anything”.“I don’t know why. I just don’t want her to leave” Jules answered. “Well, you don’t even really like her, do you? I mean, do you love her” I asked. Jules wasn’t the kind of guy that fell in love. I only heard him say the word love once when we were at a topless bar and got so drunk; we said we loved each other while getting a table dance. “I guess I do love her. Yea. I think I love her” he said to my complete surprise. A month later, he realized he really didn’t love her. He was just freaking out because she was leaving him. It turns out he was having a problem with her leaving because he felt like she was his property or something.

In the next couple of years, Jules and I discussed his divorce, and how he reacted to it. We agreed that he just had a strange ownership to her, and didn’t want her to be with another guy only because of that. It was the same emotion as someone taking his 1970 Buick GS 455 from him. And that is definitely not love.

If you only want your woman to stay with you, so she isn’t with anyone else, then that is an unhealthy portion of the male psyche that involves you not wanting her. But only wanting to control her. You can’t own another person, and trying to own a woman will eventually take you down a very dark road. Don’t confuse the feeling of ownership with love. They are almost opposite of each other.


The way I see it, being in love is one of those risks versus reward things. The risk of being in love is that she may not love you back, or one day leaves you for another. You’ll be stuck in love, and the emotion doesn’t turn off very quickly or easily. So, when the pain comes, you have to just ride it out. And there is maybe nothing more painful than true heartbreak. It sucks donkey balls!

Then there’s the being in love and getting it in return. Your life just makes more sense in every way. The fucking sky is bluer when you’re in love. It is easily the greatest thing you can feel in this life which, to me makes it worth its great risk.

There’s a cheesy Robin Hood movie from the early nineties that stars Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. Costner is his usual bad actor self and the movie ends with him saving Lady Marian from the evil Sheriff. When they reunite, Marian, truly grateful of Hood’s presence, weeps out, “You came back for me”.

As they look each other in the eye, Robin Hood replies, “I would die for you”. They embrace, and the movie ends with its now-famous theme song, “Everything I do, I do for you” by Bryan Adams. This is the ultimate description of a man in love. If you are willing to die for her, congratulations, you are in love.

Leave a Reply