The difference between lust and love
Do you believe in love at first sight? There’s no scrutiny in that question, unlike many of my other questions. This question, however, is necessary for understanding this piece, and perhaps yourself even. If you answered yes, than I say hooray! I dearly hope the right man or woman has swooped you off your feet and that you enjoy many years of love, sex, and happiness together. If you answered no, than you’re riding along a similar steam boat as I am. Do you have an alternative destination in mind if not steadfast love? I’m your captain, and I must confess that I don’t either, but I’ll do my best to lead us to the shores of modern civilization.
I was born and raised in New York City, and considering that the only people possibly reading this are most likely childhood friends, chances are you were probably raised here too. Over 8,000,000 people live in this city, but even if you didn’t know that, you surely feel like billions reside here while you’re strolling down 5th avenue or time square in Manhattan. There are plenty of girls who pass you by, and plenty of girls you encounter in your life that you may feel sensually, or physically, attracted to. (Forgive me for using boy-girl relationships in this passage, but being that I’m a heterosexual male, and even then we know that no one is fully hetero or homosexual, I must use what I’m used to in order to properly portray my thoughts. Hopefully these words can be felt by those of all orientations.)
Are feelings of attraction wrong? Hardly, we are human beings. We are emotional. We are sexual. Many modern and post modern psychologist would agree that an absence of libido is a sign of several different disorders. Is acting on attraction wrong? With safety and consent, there is nothing wrong with any sort of pleasure. I personally don’t believe, despite popular belief, that you must love someone to have sexual relations with them, and that is because of a common mix up between love and lust.
My friend, who we shall call Oliver, has often talked about the girls he loved. One girl I remember in particular was named Lucy, and Lucy came from a strict Eastern European home household. She was our age, attractive beyond belief, and sharp as a whip.
“I love her.” He told me. “I love her with all my heart. I’m going to take her out on Friday and waltz with her at our wedding.” (This was around the time I wanted to vomit too.)
Nonetheless, he was my friend, and I supported him despite his juvenile presumptions of his amour.
“Fuck the bitch.” He told me the night after. “I took her back to my place for a cup of coffee. She wouldn’t even take the mug, her dump parents and all that. Fuck her!”
In case you didn’t catch on, the cup of coffee bit was a metaphor for his obscenities. Lucy did not have sex with “poor” Joseph because of her upbringing. A sin? Certainly not, but for Joseph’s libido it was. Joseph thought he was in love, no one uses the rhetoric he started with if they didn’t genuinely believe that they possessed such feelings. But like the song “when a man loves a woman” by Percy sledge says, “He’d give up all his comforts And sleep out in the rain, If she said that’s the way
It ought to be.”
Joseph was willing to do none of that. Joseph was not thinking with his heart, nor his brain. He wanted physical relations so badly that the emotions manifested in his mind as love. He did not force her, presumably, or else this piece would be about a whole other topic. Joseph merely confused love for lust.
Lust often takes on only in a sexual nature. Women, of any culture, stature, or color, are subject to male desires (apologies for it, I’m often disgusted by how men act about it too.) With Lust, there is a level of acquaintanceship that leads to a sexual infatuation. It is so easily defined, because it is so commonly seen. Lust, although not commonly thought as such, is also correlated with a need for companionship. My friend George just broke up, got back together, than broke up again with his, currently, ex girlfriend. It’s not the first time he’s done this, and it probably won’t be the last, but nonetheless I don’t believe that sex was the primary drive to these breakups with the same girl. The big picture with this type of lust is companionship: the need to be with someone for comfort rather than for love. He wanted her because she made him feel comfortable, but he said he loved her because he couldn’t handle the thought of escaping a comfort zone. Comfort is vital to love, but when it becomes the focus of a relationship, it can lead to lustful companionship, and that is the fault of staying comfortable.
Enough with the negatives, for my comfort is in criticism of such harsh feelings. Were I not to comment on love itself, an area I am weak in, I could only be called a hypocrite. Here goes nothing. Love isn’t as simple, even to the experts on it, as lust is. Love doesn’t always get your dick hard. Love doesn’t always leave you in harmony. A stake to the heart probably hurts less than what love does to it. When it comes to beloved love, there are a myriad of trials and tribulations. You must be courageous to act on these emotions, as many men, such as myself, let the feelings go idle for too long until the potential fades to nothing. Nothing is the enemy of love. Never let emotions turn to nothing, for when love that was strong turns to dust, it leaves a hole larger than an ulcer.
How do you know when you have found love in someone? It’s rather unexplainable, which is perhaps the beauty of it, but I will do my best to describe it as it felt to me: being in love with another person is more spiritual than anything they’ll teach you at church. Being with that person is like Christmas Day each time, and talking to them is like opening up Christmas gifts, and intimacy with them? Probably a Christmas miracle. If you love someone, being without them a day is like a month, a week is like a year, and a year like a decade. When they leave, and my god she’s still gone, so too does a piece of you.
But every puzzle has its missing piece, and one day, whoever they are, will fit perfectly into your body, your soul, and you’ll know it’s true when you feel whole again, with whomever it is you truly love.
Who am I to speak on this? Nobody. I’m as clueless as any young person is, and I don’t believe my opinions are definitive. I’m simply a boy, a young man even, with a passionate curiosity for the one emotion that consumes the best of us. If you hate this, I’m happy to have evoked any emotion in you, but if you love it, than I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your soul, whoever you may be.