How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

If you have butterflies in your stomach, feel giddy when you see them and daydream about your life together, you might be in love. Or is it lust? At the beginning of a relationship, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two.

Understanding the difference between lust and love

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 categories:

  • Lust: The craving for sexual satisfaction that drives humans to seek out sex partners. Lust is driven by a hormonal desire for sexual gratification.
  • Attraction: Also called passionate love, attraction is associated with feelings of excitement, cravings for emotional connection, and intrusive thinking about the beloved. It involves the brain’s reward center and can imitate the feel of drug addiction.
  • Attachment: Also called companionate love, attachment is characterized by feelings of calm, emotional union, and security. This mostly comes into play in long-term relationships including friendships, families, and committed romantic partnerships.

“The most commonly understood distinction between lust and love is that lust is purely physical and sexual, whereas love includes care for someone well behind their function as a source of yearning and sexual gratification,” says Alexandra Stockwell, MD, a Relationship and Intimacy Expert at Alexandra Stockwell Coaching and Consulting.

While the categories can overlap, different hormones and brain chemicals are implicated in each stage. Here’s how you can recognize the signs of lust vs. love.

Signs of love

Love can be divided into two spheres — passionate and companionate.

Passionate love, also 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 person feels attraction towards another person or thing, the brain produces “feel good” chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine that affect the same pathways associated with drug consumption and addictive 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 child.

What the research says: A small 2014 study found oxytocin was significantly higher in new couples compared to single people. The elevated oxytocin levels remained during a 6-month follow up, and couples with higher oxytocin levels at the beginning of their relationship were more likely to stay together.

According to Stockwell, signs you may be in love include:

  • You think of interesting things to tell one another.
  • You look forward to meeting friends and family.
  • You share vulnerable, tender things like challenges you are facing.
  • You know that if you live in different cities for a few months it will be okay.

“Love feels like security, respect, and admiration and typically includes a sense of safety and commitment within a partnership,” Neidich says.

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.

Signs of lust

Lust is purely sexual attraction which is often accompanied by physical arousal. Lust occurs both within loving relationships and external,” says Haley Neidich, LCSW, a psychotherapist and relationship expert at Haley Neidich Consulting. “Lust is a natural human occurrence. Lust is not always something we act on, it is a sense of sexual interest.”

According to Stockwell, you might be experiencing lust if:

  • When you think of the person, your thoughts immediately go to what your bodies do for one another.
  • When you think of the person you start smiling, feeling flushed, have sensations of excitement, and being turned on.
  • As soon as you see one another you want to kiss.
  • You don’t necessarily have much in common, but when you are touching it really doesn’t matter.

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.

Can lust become love?

Relationship experts agree lust can turn into love — but warn that feeling lust does not guarantee an eventual loving relationship.

“Sometimes lust can lead to love and is often experienced within a loving relationship. However, the presence of lust speaks to absolutely nothing about partners compatibility long-term,” Neidich says.

How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

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:

  • You spend most of your time being physically intimate with one another, and when you do anything else it’s not engaging.
  • They aren’t interested in getting to know you beyond the bedroom.
  • They are unwilling to make plans for the future.
  • It often feels like you have different values.

Insider’s takeaway

Love and lust are exhilarating emotions, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two when navigating relationships.

“New love can feel intoxicating and exciting when a couple is first falling in love and imagining their life together. However, long term love that continues to feel “addicting” is actually quite concerning.” Stockwell says. “That feeling of ‘addiction’ is often a major red flag that one or both partners may have a co-dependent attachment style which can lead to unhealthy partnerships.”

How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

Love and infatuation are intense emotions that a person feels for someone they fall for. However, most of the time these feelings often get muddled for each other. It can be challenging to explain the difference between infatuation and love especially when you are young, inexperienced in the romance and dating world and are impressionable.

While thinking of your romantic interest, you don’t really care whether it is love or infatuation, but it may be handy to know how to differentiate between the two. Let’s analyze the two in order to understand the difference between infatuation vs love.

Infatuation vs Love

Love is when you care incredibly deeply and strongly about someone else. You support and wish them well; you are willing to sacrifice whatever you hold deeply for their sake. Love entails trust, emotional connection, intimacy, loyalty, understanding, and forgiveness. However, love takes some time to develop, and it does not happen instantly.


Infatuation is when you get swept off your feet and get lost and carried away by your romantic interest. The goosebumps you get every time you think or see the other person and how you smile when you are daydreaming about them is clear signs of infatuation. Infatuation vs love is clear when you become completely obsessed with someone and cannot take them out of your mind; and when they do not feel the same way you want the worst to happen to them.

Love is never painful nor does it hurt the other person but obsession and infatuation do. Also, falling in love, at first sight, may sound romantic but is not actually true- this feeling again is infatuation. There is nothing wrong with infatuation as long as it is healthy; which in most cases develop into true and long-lasting love.

Comparison chart to explain Love vs Infatuation

Infatuation Love
Symptoms Intensity, urgency, sexual desire, reckless abandonment of what you valued once Faithfulness, loyalty, willingness to make sacrifices, compromise, confidence
Person To Person It is a reckless commitment in order to fulfill one’s lust It is a genuine commitment where you think about the other person before
Feels Like It is an all-consuming euphoria that is similar to using a drug. It is a deep affection, confidence, and contentment towards one another.
Effect Under full control of the brain’s chemistry, not the heart The effect of love is contentment and stability
Time Period It is fast and furious like a forest fire and burns out quickly as well leaving behind emptiness Love deepens as time passes and nothing and no one has the power to burn it out
Bottom Line Infatuation is a delusional feeling Love is unconditional and the real deal

Symptoms of true Love vs Infatuation

The first and foremost sign of being infatuated is that you want that person to be around all the time. This can also sometimes be related to sexual desire. Other symptoms include jealousy, anxiety and even panic attacks.

Love, however, can start with lust and infatuation but over time it becomes deep and emotional . Symptoms of love include an emotional attachment with a particular person, feeling of affection and confidence along with immense trust.

How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

Infatuation vs Love; Difference in attributes

The main difference in love vs infatuation is that love can happen without you having any conscious intention. For this reason, pure love does not expect anything back in return. Infatuation, however, comes with a strong feeling of passion. It starts with intense physical attraction and then concentrates on excitement to be around that person.

Love comes with a lot of passion as well as intimacy. Love is also forgiving and extremely tolerant whereas infatuation invokes high levels of jealousy. Infatuation also induces impatience in a person whereas love is very patient.

The difference in the feeling of Infatuation vs Love

To sum up the entire difference between these two feelings you can understand it via infatuation vs love quotes. One such quote that makes everything clear is:

“Infatuation is when you dream of everything that should be with you, and then you wake up incredibly disappointed and realize that it wasn’t real. Love is when you have intense nightmares of losing what you already have and so when you wake up; you breathe a sigh of relief thanking God that it was only a dream.”

In a nutshell

Even though pure and true love between two people can only develop in long term commitments and relationships, in rare cases infatuation can lead to such a strong connection. Even though true love is a feeling of closeness between two people and is mutual, infatuation, on the other hand, produces a feeling of immense closeness, but these feelings are usually one-sided.

We hope that now all misconceptions you may have about infatuation vs love are clear.

If you've ever experienced heartbreak, you'll understand these quotes.

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How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

Idioms about love

  1. out of affection or liking; for pleasure.
  2. without compensation; gratuitously: He took care of the poor for love.
  1. to embrace and kiss as lovers.
  2. to engage in sexual activity.

Origin of love


Words nearby love


What is a basic definition of love?

Love is an intense, deep affection for another person. Love also means to feel this intense affection for someone. Love can also refer to a strong like for something or to like something a lot. Love has many other senses both as a verb and a noun.

It is difficult to explain what love is. Love is one of the most intense emotions humans feel in life. It is the opposite of hate, another incredibly intense emotion. When you would do anything for a specific person, that’s usually because you feel love for them.

There are many kinds of deep affection you can have for another person, and they can all be described as love. The love you feel for your parents won’t be the same love you feel for a close friend or a romantic partner. You can also have a strong emotional bond with an animal, such as your dog. That, too, is love.

  • Real-life examples: Spouses hopefully feel love toward each other. It is expected that a parent will have feelings of love for their child. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love.
  • Used in a sentence: The man always helped his daughter out of love for her.

Love is used in this same sense to mean to feel love toward another person. People who romantically love each other are said to be “in love” and are called lovers. These terms generally imply romantic or sexual attraction.

  • Real-life examples: Romeo loved Juliet. Most parents love their children. A person often loves their boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Used in a sentence: She loves her best friend like a sister.

Love is also used to refer to a less passionate, but still strong, fondness for something.

  • Real-life examples: Athletes have a love of sports. Readers have a love of books. Artists may have a love of painting, music, or drawing.
  • Used in a sentence: His love of Paris led him to take many trips to France.

In this sense, love can also be used to mean to really like something or someone. The word lover is used to mean a person who really likes something, as in a “dog lover” or a “food lover.”

  • Real-life examples: Cats love to chase things. Outgoing people love being around other people. Couch potatoes love television.
  • Used in a sentence: I love going to the zoo and seeing all the animals.

Where does love come from?

The first records of love come from before the 900s. The noun comes from the Old English word lufu, and the verb comes from the Old English lufian. Both of these words are related to older words for love, such as the Old Frisian luve and luvia.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to love?

    (adjective) (adjective) (adjective) (adjective) (adjective, present tense verb)

What are some synonyms for love?

What are some words that share a root or word element with love?

What are some words that often get used in discussing love?

How is love used in real life?

Love is a very common word that people use to refer to others that they cherish or to things they really like.

I like how my friends send me random cat memes because they know how much I love cats❤️

— please tell me to go study (@mutale019) November 25, 2020

“I sustain myself with the love of family.” #MayaAngelou

— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) November 29, 2020

Try using love!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of love?

How to know the difference between love infatuation and lust

There is nothing that feels quite the same as being in love.

For centuries, poets have dedicated their creative lives towards trying to explain what being in love feels like, and while that means we as a people have thousands of wonderfully beautiful poems, what we don’t have is a crystal clear explanation about what it is like to be in love.

While I don’t believe we will all ever come to an agreement about what makes the perfection description for how being in love feels, we can learn a lot about other people when we ask them their opinion on the subject.

And if you ask men what they think being in love feels like, chances are they’ll each have their own explanation.

For the romantics of the world, being in love is puppies and candies and roses. For the practical people, it’s meeting someone who shares your interests and your plans for the future.

When you’re talking to a man and trying to figure out just what kind of guy he is, you can’t go wrong asking him to tell you his personal definition of love and what it feels like for him.

One Redditor recently discovered this to be true when they asked the guys on the Ask Man subreddit, “What should ‘being in love’ make you feel?”

So if you want to know what love feels like, check out what 15 men had to say and you’ll see exactly what I mean .

1. You don’t need rose-colored glasses.

“When all the new wears off, you don’t have butterflies every time they call or text or you know you’re going to see them, you’re not getting all giddy about ‘firsts’ in your relationship, you’re no longer both on your best behavior, you can see their faults and let them see yours, you’ve survived a few disagreements, you’re not intimate every time you catch some alone time .

And after all that, they’re still your favorite person. You still do things for each other, for the simple joy of making them happy. The absence of the rose-colored glasses of new lust hasn’t been replaced with resentment, it has evolved into comfort, stability, and security with that person.”

2. It should feel happy and safe.

“Happy and safer than you’ve felt before. And a strong urge to ensure the other feels the same.”

3. It can feel like food poisoning.

“For me, love is like a nauseating stomach feel where you’re super hungry but want to throw up at the sight of food, or like smelling liquor during a terrible hangover.”

4. It goes deep.

“I guess everyone is different, but for me, love is feeling like you really know someone and have a depth of affection that goes deeper than with anyone else, along with a bond of companionship and physical attraction.

When I don’t know a woman very well but she feels really exciting and like the most important person on earth, that’s really just lust and infatuation in my experience.

I don’t think I could really love someone with having spent a lot of time with them and gone through shared experiences.”

5. It’s indescribable!

“It’s very hard to put into words how I feel about her but I feel a connection that I can’t describe. It’s a connection that makes me know exactly what she’s feeling at any given second and I know she knows how I feel.

I would sacrifice everything for her and I know she feels the same way. Love just can’t really be described, but I know I’m in it.”

6. Love feels like home.

“Everyone saying ‘Happy,’ ‘Euphoria,’ ‘Excited’ . is, in my opinion, wrong, very wrong. True love feels comfortable, it feels right, the person feels like home.”

7. Being in love makes you listen.

“When you listen to her over your mother and you don’t feel guilty about it later.”

8. There are different stages.

“There are a few different stages. Initial attraction, obsession and seeing her as perfect, then slowly seeing the real person and the feelings left over are true love or nothing.”

9. It’s pure joy.

“Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan in ‘Star Trek Generations’ described it (well, something else relative to the movie but it still can apply here) well I thought: ‘It was like being inside joy, as if joy was something tangible and you could wrap yourself up in it like a blanket . and never in my entire life have I ever been as content.'”

10. Love isn’t a feeling, per se.

“Okay so some people may disagree with me, but I do not believe that love is a single feeling that you hold on to. Love is a bond and a connection that can have so many different feelings, mostly good ones, sometimes bad ones, sometimes no feelings. The important thing is that forgiveness and respect rule your relationship from both sides.

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You should feel needed and wanted, and so should they. Not at all times, you’re allowed to have rough spots. In fact, having a level of healthy discourse is a good reminder that you both are still human beings trying their best.

A lot of relationships and marriages get stale when one partner finally just decides that they are going to roll over for good and let the other do everything.”

11. It’s a habit.

“Love is a habit. Not an emotion. Your emotions change all the time. There will be days when you don’t want to be married. That’s where the habit fits in.”

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12. Being in love is a conscious choice.

“Love is where you want the absolute best for someone and will do anything for them. Anything other than those feelings are not love but rather attachment or infatuation. Love is intentional — it does not just happen to you!”

13. Love unconsciously rearranges your priorities.

“Love for me meant subconsciously putting her needs before mine and deriving joy from her smile.”

14. It’s about gratitude.

“Words don’t do it justice, and it’s sort of a ‘explain salt to somebody who hasn’t tasted it’ paradigm. Love felt safe. A warmth. A gratitude that that person, and not just any person, was there beside you despite all the chaos of the universe and the world. The person who cared to understand who you were and how you ticked. Love is being each others’ entire world, where you wait up for the other and can’t imagine parting. There’s a gentleness in your interaction, a joy of being around them.

Love is being a calm voice during a panic attack and the big spoon after a bad day. Love is gathering wood, lighting a fire, and contemplating the immensity of space and the improbability of your union, considering your utter smallness but being okay because you’re small together. Love is a steady voice and a warm embrace during a bad trip when your soul’s raw and exposed, when everything immutable and essential gets reduced to meaningless cliche.

Love is waking up and seeing her little body and curly hair taking up 80 percent of the bed, pushing your considerably larger frame to the brink, seeing her toothy smile and her intensely colored eyes almost disappearing into themselves as the day’s prospects excite her. Love was the time I spent sharing my soul.”

15. It’s as simple as knowing you don’t want anyone else.

“When a more attractive woman hits on you but you love your girl more so you don’t consider it.”

Did you ever think that it was a cruel joke of nature that many of us find ourselves attracted to people very much unlike us? I mean, wouldn’t it be an awful lot simpler and a lot less messy if we tended to be drawn to those whose personalities are more like our own rather than those who seem like they are polar opposites of us? Especially given the inclination that seems to be present in most humans to see the way that we are as the “correct” way and to try to influence the other person to become more like we are, rather than vice versa. It sure can make for some “interesting’ dialogues.

But consider the possibility that those differences that can seem so problematic may actually be the very things that add spice and passion to your relationship, particularly its sexual aspects. We are drawn to others out of needs and desires that are unfulfilled in our lives, such as a desire to experience greater connection, security, love, support, and comfort. On the other hand, some of those unfulfilled longings have to do with their polar opposites, such as adventure, freedom, risk, challenge, and intensity. While these needs and desires may appear to be mutually exclusive, they not only can co-exist with each other, but in the process, generate a “tension of the opposites” that produces the passion that sustains, deepens and enlivens relationships.

In an age in which external cultural norms no longer sustain and enforce the continuation of long-term partnerships, the generating internal motivation, that which comes from within the relationship itself, is essential to its long-term growth and viability. The incentive to support that motivation comes from the ability of both partners to continue to co-create compelling experiences on an ongoing basis. While security, safety, closeness, and comfort are certainly qualities that characterize all fulfilling relationships, without a balance of excitement, passion, adventure, risk, and yes, even a certain degree of separateness, security becomes boredom, dependability becomes indifference, intimacy becomes claustrophobia, and comfort becomes stagnation. The French view this paradox not as a problem, but as something to celebrate. Rather than say “Oh merde” (look it up if you aren’t sure what this means) when this apparent contradiction shows up in a relationship, they say, “Viva la difference!”

It’s “la difference” that makes relationships edgy, dynamic, and exciting. As most of us know, differences can and do show up in a lot of ways. Opposites, or perhaps more accurately, “complements” do attract. Introverts and extroverts, morning people and night people, impulsives and planners, steady plodders and adrenaline junkies, adventure-grabbers and security-seekers…there’s no denying the idea that something in us is drawn to people who counter some of our dominant inclinations with complementary tendencies. And while this can create some interesting challenges for most couples, these differences are actually the source of what is considered by many to be the source of the most important aspect of any successful relationship: chemistry. Chemistry refers to that undefinable quality that is the basis of the attraction.

While the first thing that we consciously become aware of in meeting someone is their physical appearance, what determines the degree to which we find them attractive is something that is much more than skin-deep. It has to do with a feeling, an instinctive sense of the qualities and tendencies that may be all but invisible to the naked eye or to our conscious awareness, but are recognized by a kind of inner radar that identifies and responds to someone on a subconscious level. We’re probably asking some version of the question: “Is my experience of myself more whole, more complete with this person?”

When the answer is “yes” and the chemistry is strong, our relationship is likely to be powerfully compelling, particularly in the early stages, when the fire of infatuation is sufficient to ignite our mutual passion without much effort on anyone’s part. This intensity will continue without any effort or concern on either partner’s part until the elements of mystery, excitement, risk, and adventure that drive the feelings of infatuation burn out or atrophy. When a relationship is imbalanced because of an excessive amount of danger or threat, feelings of anxiety inevitably arise and create instability. This diminishes the feelings of security that are also important to the sustaining and deepening of the relationship. Similarly, an excessive attachment to security can diminish the excitement level and move the needle too far to the left on the security-adventure spectrum. Great relationships thrive on passion, particularly passionate lovemaking, and in trying too hard to avoid risk or novelty, we may inadvertently cool down the sexual heat by transforming our perception of our partner from a lover to a parent or a child.

A commitment to continual harmony and peacefulness can be as threatening to the integrity of a successful relationship as an excessive amount of risk, discord or disharmony. Creating a balance involves the ability to hold the tension of the opposites, without going too far over to one side or the other, which by the way is unavoidable. Fortunately when the inevitable occurs, as it occasionally does, it is possible to put in course corrections that can re-stabilize things. Sometimes we have to risk going too far in order to find out how far we can go. And, there is no fixed or correct point at which we can find some permanent balance. This is a dynamic process and the balance point between the two poles of security and adventure is constantly in flux, and influenced by the inner and outer realities of each partner and the needs of the relationship itself at any given moment.

Sounds complicated? Not really. It’s actually pretty simple, but simple isn’t necessarily easy. Particularly when your operating system has been wired from (or perhaps before) birth to have certain tendencies and inclinations. Influencing the system is possible, but it does take a willingness on the part of both people to risk moving into their partner’s world and accommodating their needs and values without compromising their own. Again, easier said than done.

Yet the more we practice being on either side of this process, the more capable we become of developing the kind of flexibility that passionate relationships require. And over time, the process of making the micro-adjustments that great relationships thrive on becomes effortless, natural, and even fun! There is, for most of us, a learning curve that isn’t always fun, and can be, at least temporarily, unsettling. That seems to be the case for any new challenge that we step into. If we can overcome the initial resistance that is inherent in the process of making life changes, the long-term payoffs can be worth every moment of the process. But don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself!

Marni Feuerman is a psychotherapist in private practice who has been helping couples with marital issues for more than 27 years.

Aaron Johnson is a fact checker and expert on qualitative research design and methodology.

Anthony Harvie-Stone / Getty Images

Love is essential to our well-being. Though most have experienced it in their lives, defining love is challenging. Few researchers have put forth a viable theory on the concept of love. One exception is the triangular theory of love, developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Robert Sternberg. This theory suggests that people can have varying degrees of intimacy, passion, and commitment at any one moment in time.

Three Components of Love

In Dr. Sternberg’s theory, the concept of love is a triangle that is made up of three components:

  • Intimacy, which involves feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness
  • Passion, which involves feelings and desires that lead to physical attraction, romance, and sexual consummation
  • Decision/commitment, which involves feelings that lead a person to remain with someone and move toward shared goals

Finding a balance between the physiological need for sex and the need for love is essential, and the complete absence of all three components is categorized as non-love.

Types of Love

The three components of love interact in a systemic manner. The presence of a component of love or a combination of two or more components create seven kinds of love experiences. These types of love may vary over the course of a relationship as well.


This type of love is when the intimacy or liking component is present, but feelings of passion or commitment in the romantic sense are missing. Friendship love can be the root of other forms of love.


Infatuation is characterized by feelings of lust and physical passion without liking and commitment. There has not been enough time for a deeper sense of intimacy, romantic love, or consummate love to develop. These may eventually arise after the infatuation phase. The initial infatuation is often very powerful.

Empty Love

Empty love is characterized by commitment without passion or intimacy. At times, a strong love deteriorates into empty love. The reverse may occur as well. For instance, an arranged marriage may start out empty but flourish into another form of love over time.

Romantic Love

Romantic love bonds people emotionally through intimacy and physical passion. Partners in this type of relationship have deep conversations that help them know intimate details about each other. They enjoy sexual passion and affection. These couples may be at the point where long-term commitment or future plans are still undecided.

Companionate Love

Companionate love is an intimate, but non-passionate sort of love. It includes the intimacy or liking component and the commitment component of the triangle. It is stronger than friendship, because there is a long-term commitment, but there is minimal or no sexual desire.

This type of love is often found in marriages where the passion has died, but the couple continues to have deep affection or a strong bond together. This may also be viewed as the love between very close friends and family members .

Fatuous Love

In this type of love, commitment and passion are present while intimacy or liking is absent. Fatuous love is typified by a whirlwind courtship in which passion motivates a commitment without the stabilizing influence of intimacy. Often, witnessing this leaves others confused about how the couple could be so impulsive. Unfortunately, such marriages often don't work out. When they do, many chalk the success up to luck.

Consummate Love

Consummate love is made up of all three components and is the total form of love. It represents an ideal relationship. Couples who experience this kind of love have great sex several years into their relationship. They cannot imagine themselves with anyone else. They also cannot see themselves truly happy without their partners. They manage to overcome differences and face stressors together.

Love Is a Verb

According to Dr. Sternberg, consummate love may be harder to maintain than it is to achieve, as the components of love must be put into action. Without behavior and expression, passion is lost and love may revert back to the companionate type.

Your Relationship Is Unique

According to Dr. Sternberg, the importance of each component of love may differ from person to person and couple to couple. All three components are required for the ideal romantic relationship, but the amount of each component required will differ from one relationship to another, or even over time within a relationship. Knowing how the components interact may help highlight areas that may need improvement.

You sound like an awesome young person and I wish you the best.


01/06/21 – Planet of the Apes Day –
  • Nov 16, 2021
  • #62

Hey y’all. I’m hoping someone can give me some advice on my current situation because honestly I’m not keen on talking to anyone in my personal life about it. Some backstory: I’m a 23 year old woman and was/am a "late bloomer" in a lot of ways. So I don’t have a lot of experience in the dating world and am bound to make some mistakes. But this year I decided to "put myself out there" and I met a 28 year old guy that I hit it off instantly with. I’m more on the shy/introverted side but with him I feel sooo comfortable and at ease. We met in August 2021 and since then are relationship moved really fast. I lost my virginity to him, we’ve became official within a month and a half, I want him to meet my family and so on. Even he describes our relationship as "intense" and "passionate" and I agree (two Sagittarians lol).

This is my dilemma. My boyfriend is an extremely honest and upfront person and lets me know all the time that he cares about me deeply and has "strong" feelings for me. I see it in his words and his actions, so I believe him. But he’s made it clear that while he has these strong feelings, he doesn’t necessarily "love" me nor is he "in love" with me. According to him when he says the word it means a lot to him, therefore he’s not quick to say it (he is a divorcee with a kid so I can understand his hesitance in a way). I know I sound like a crazy person since I’ve only known this man since August, but for the past several weeks I’ve definitely felt deeply in love. I’ve cried tears of joy from how happy he makes me, I’ve fought the on several occasions to not just blurt it out and say it.

Yesterday I was with him and already emotional to begin with thanks to PMS. We stopped to get food and he said "This is how much I love you. oops sorry I misspoke, I meant LIKE you". I ignored it when he said that but it cut me deep. When we got home I started crying but just blamed it on the PMS. It hurts to be giving yourself entirely to a man that does not feel the same way. It hurts to have to quiet your true feelings because they are not returned. I know what I’m feeling is not simply infatuation, that’s what I felt earlier on but I now know it’s much deeper.

I guess my question is what should I do at this point? I don’t hold negative feelings for him because he’s not in love with me, I know I can’t make a man love me. But I also don’t want to wait around a wait for him to fall in love, because that’s what it currently feels like. Part of me wants to just pull away from as to not get hurt further. I also want to stop having xes with him because I feel like it only intensifies my feelings.

Sorry, beloved, but you’re his dog on a leash..

You gave up your virginity to him, and he knew you were madly in love with him.

He doesn’t deserve you, dear. So sorry you ran into Count Dracula (sucking all of the life out of you) as your “first.”

It’s a lesson everyone has to learn. When you give a valuable gift to someone, make sure they are worth it. This bum has only known you since August, and he not only hit the jackpot, but gets to be a jerk too.

He knows what he’s doing to you, and what it cost you. Please loose yourself from this bloodsucker.