Like, Lust, Love; What’s This All About?

Happiness for many is determined by learning the lesson between like, lust and love. If you want one of those relationships that is an example for all those who encounter it you must experience all three.

The essence of like, lust and love drive some of the best and worst relationships.

Being the late bloomer that I was, I was terrified of women growing up. I knew I always found guys disgusting, so I knew I wasn’t gay—not that there’s anything wrong with that—but I couldn’t bring myself to go further than a kiss whenever I had a “girlfriend”.

Nobody really gave me the speech or told me what it’s like to be in like, in lust or in love. Because of this, I had to fumble my way through it. Fumble is the best word because I was anything but graceful.

I was just lucky that at some point my mom had instilled in me that I had to remain a gentleman under any circumstance. I believe this made my lack of confidence fairly acceptable.

Now I’m sure over the years I have offended, pissed off, hurt, and even disrespected the woman in my life at the time, but I can say with complete confidence it was never intentionally. I have also never been physical. Sure, I’ve stayed to long, which caused unhealthy communication and games have been played but I think most of my previous partners would agree that I never hurt them with any intent.

I didn’t really know how to deal with the emotional or physical side of these three feelings that we’re talking about until it was way later than it should have been. But, I’ve learned that many of us make the mistake thinking that, like is love and lust is love, and even that comfort is love.

When I think of the relationships I’ve witnessed in my life it occurs to me that there are similar threads between those who cheat, those who get divorced because their marriage is basically a comfortable arrangement for two roommates and those who stay together for the kids. We’ll get to that common thread in a bit.

First though, I want to point out that this common thread doesn’t exist for any of the couples I’ve seen whom are deliriously in love.

Now I know you might be saying to yourself that deliriously in love is a romantic state. It is not a permanent state. But I think that it is a permanent state when it’s real.

The trick, of course, is to figure out the difference between like lust and love, and while I was a late bloomer, I think I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I do; where I can define each and I can understand why it is that I tricked myself into believing one was the other.

I feel really sad for people that don’t figure it out; those that don’t get to experience how impactful these relationships that are and how much they make that undefinable soul inside of us sing. It must be terrible to never feel that. I am one of the lucky ones as I’ve been in real love twice.

Like those who have never experienced real, earth shattering, magnitude 7 love, I mistook like for love many times and I definitely mistook lust for love far too often. However, I think that perhaps having those experiences and those mistakes under my belt are what allowed me to understand when I finally experienced love.

This is the common thread between all of those I spoke of earlier. So many mistake what they have for love and they build a life around it. When the inevitable end comes they are never the same on conscious and subconscious levels.

What is Like?

Well, when you like someone, you have compatibility on several levels and you get along. You probably laugh at the same things. You have sex despite neither of you really understanding whether it’s great or not because often times something is missing, and neither of you really vocalize it.

But the problem with like is that it doesn’t take much to topple it. Like is fickle because both partners are aware deep down that they are on shaky ground. Like is not a state a relationship can stay in forever. Like is the passage way to love. To not graduate to love is to be stuck in a relationship that will never truly fulfill you. Like is fun and like is light, but if like doesn’t evolve it becomes a burden as life’s inevitable ups and downs come at you both.

What is Lust?

Lust is a powerful chemical reaction where you meet someone and you don’t care about much else except for that physical attraction. It’s always short term, and if it goes long term, you know, it’s a mistake, but you do it anyways because you’re so chemically intertwined with this other person.

Lust is surface level and can turn into love but it’s less likely than with like. The worst part of lust is that many don’t admit that it’s all that connects them to a person and that is the quintessence of setting yourself up for failure.

What is Love?

Love, though … love supersedes all of it. Love is like and lust evolved with great communication, no matter what. Love is a real partnership in everything you do. Love is two people connecting so deeply that no one else could possibly understand them better.

On a very real level, love is impossible to comprehend until you feel it. I know that seems like a copout! People say it all the time: you have to feel it to understand it, and they say it because it’s true. I felt it, I understand it and I want more of it. But I also understand that I can’t seek it out. It must seek me.

Love is a definitive connection, and if two people love each other fully, in that they maintain their communication and bond no matter what, it is an impossible bond to break.

You may not believe that because the divorce rate is so high, and I’m sure when you look around, nearly everybody in your life has said they found their true love, only to lose them. But here’s the thing about your true love. You can say and hear anything—good or bad—between the two of you and still want to spend your time, your valuable time, with them.

You still want to help them, still want to be there with them, still want to conquer with them, still want to sleep with them, still want to have sex with them, still want everything to do with them no matter how rough things get. And that’s because there is this level of respect and understanding that supersedes any momentary emotional flex.

This kind of love is what I feel may be the major missing component in so many relationships where the two people tell each other they love each other but really, they just kinda fell into the relationship like wanting to be an artist and becoming an accountant because you’re good with numbers and your boss at your dead end job recognized that.

I have come to believe that a lot of people say they love each other because it’s the right thing to do at the time or so they think. I also believe a lot of people get comfortable and they start to worry about what life would be like if they had to go back at it on their own.

So they say I love you.

Most I love you’s are disingenuous and that is why there is such a high divorce rate and so many miserable couples. I mean, it’s probably not the only reason, but it’s definitely one of the major reasons.

No, women aren’t impossible to understand.

No, men aren’t all pigs fuelled by football and sex.

No, not every relationship sucks.

I hear this from people all the time and I know they believe this to be true in the moment, but that’s just because they’ve tricked themselves into believing what they have is as good as it gets.

This often leads to cheating and dishonesty.

Now, here’s the thing. I have been in real love twice and on both occasions it never even dawned on me that I should cheat emotionally or physically. It never even entered into the equation.

There are a lot of guys reading this right now thinking that I’m lying or that I must have loved some exquisitely sexy women but one of the women I was in love with wasn’t even my type. I didn’t lust after her when I first saw her. I loved her when I first saw her, and that is what produced the lust. The other woman I was in love with had it all. However, we could not properly communicate our emotions and that is what killed us.

What I know is this. There are many people in relationships around me. Some more successful than the others. But I can only think of four couples that I believe instinctively, will last forever.

I know a lot of couples and can only picture FOUR in a forever scenario. How sad is that?

All the other couples I’ve met have fallen short. I witnessed their lack of communication. I witnessed their lack of drive to keep things loving and interesting. Most importantly, I witnessed their lack of respect for each other. It’s not that they didn’t have general respect, you see.

No, it’s that they showed disrespect by dancing like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. That’s for boxing, that’s for fighting; that’s not for love. Sadly, that’s how most people govern themselves when they’re in a relationship …

They flirt with others at their job. They have these hidden pieces to themselves that matter to the partnership but they keep them a secret. They treat their partner as if they’re window dressing or background noise most of the time.

When they’re triggered to acknowledge an important date like an anniversary, a birthday, a promotion—whatever the case may be—you’ll see a burst of love come out of them for a brief moment because they know it should.

However, that burst is what love should be on the regular. No, I’m not saying love should be a romantic fairytale the whole way through. I am not deluding myself in any way, shape or form. I know love is hard. I know love is harsh. I know love can sometimes make you question everything. I know that you can hate the person you love while loving them more than anybody else on Earth at the exact same moment.

I’m aware because I’ve been there. But I’ve never intentionally disrespected someone I loved by holding back something they need to know. I’ve come close. A couple of times I was with someone whom I knew it wouldn’t last with but I kept going to spare feelings. In those instances, the mess than ensued was nearly atomic.

What I know for sure is this: I’m currently single, I currently like someone, and I currently lust someone. Whether it works or not, who knows? There’s no crystal ball in my closet.

But I know what I feel and what I feel is pretty important so I hope it works out. It’s hope against hope at this point, but I still hope that when the dust settles she’ll see I’m genuinely interested in exploring what the possibilities are. I like her and she’s the type of woman I’ve always wanted to love (so far).

Unfortunately, many in a situation such as I get hurt and then settle. I refuse. If the current apple of eye decides that I’m not the man meat she wants, I will push forward. I would rather be single than settle.

No one seems to acknowledge these emotions anymore. I’m not sure we as a people ever did. That might be why real love is unthinkable to so many. Maybe they put their heart on the line and their heart got stomped. Maybe they’ve never been able to meet someone that ignited a fire in them. Whatever the reason, I know more people than not who don’t believe in what I’m talking about. I guess if I die single then they might be onto something but I doubt it.

As romantic as these thoughts are, I’m not a believer that there’s one person for everybody on this giant rock in space. I’m not a believer in fairy tales.

I think that generally we’re geographically predisposed to the people we’re around and a lot of us don’t go out into the world to find somebody elsewhere, to find somebody we can love.

But I do believe that there are very few people on this planet that we can truly love because there are very few people on this planet who we can truly connect with and be ourselves.

A few years ago, I went on a journey after a friend ripped me off for a lot of money and I realized in that moment that while I did nothing wrong my weakness allowed me to get ripped off. I didn’t want to be that person. I felt like that person was at odds with who I truly was.

So on this journey, I decided to figure out who I actually am, and I think I’ve pretty much gotten there. I’m still a work in progress of course I’m confident that I know more about me than ever before. I couldn’t handle the love I found prior to this journey because I didn’t know who I was and worse … I didn’t like who I was, to be honest.

Today, I’m okay with who I am and better yet, I know who I am at my core. I think that makes it possible for me to finally find my partner in crime. I’m ready. I know I am. I just need to find somebody else who’s also ready and feels the same way about me as I do about them.

It’s tricky business going out there in the world and laying your heart on the line while also wearing it on your sleeve. You have to push forward past all the bad dates, the swiping, the ghosting, the hard balling … all of it. Dating is more akin to a war zone than it is to a courtship these days.

But, like I said before; I would rather be alone than have comfort love or love born out of fear.

Who knows if I will find Mrs, Right? What I do know is I finally deserve her.

I hope everyone that reads this will come to finally deserve and find that love just like I FINALLY did.

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Jay Hall

Jay Hall

I find therapy in words. 3 types of articles I write: Life Lessons, What If (fiction meets reality) and Nonsense Listicles.