Love or Lust? How to Know if Your Love is Real

Is it love or lust? There are ways to tell if the love you feel is real.

Is it love or lust? There are ways to tell if the love you feel is real.

You’ve met someone great online. The two of you seem to have hit it off and memories are building with each passing day. But how do you know if it is truly love that will last or if your feelings and the relationship are just a temporary attraction? Is it love or lust?

SEE ALSO: Eight Warning Signs that He is Going to Break Up with You

In a lifetime, the average person falls in love at least four times. But is it really love?

There are signs you can look for when it comes to communication, love, and respect. Your answer to these questions will help you determine whether your relationship has a solid foundation built on love or a shaky one built on lust. Once you understand these signs, you can proceed accordingly, better knowing if the person you are dating is the right one for you.

In a lifetime, the average person falls in love at least four times. Click To Tweet

I. Communication
Being honest with each other in a relationship is very important and it is also important that you get to know the person properly before you commit yourself. How well do you know each other? Is the only talking you do bedroom talk?

Good Signs:

» You talk openly about life issues such as finances, children, things that frighten you, and each other’s ambitions in life.

» You can argue and come to some sort of compromise at the end of it.

» You are open and honest with each other about your feelings.

Warning Signs:

» You only know his favorite color and what paper he reads. You are afraid to ask him in-depth questions about his life for fear of rejection or for fear of what you might find out.

» You don’t discuss how you are feeling with each other and the frustration builds up in each of you, often causing you to resent each other.

» Neither of you is willing to forgive the other.

II. Love

A long lasting relationship/marriage can rarely survive without love. So is it love or are you just kidding yourself?

Good Signs:

» In a crisis you stand by each other no matter what the result.

» You make sacrifices to make the other person happy.

» You are truthful and honest and don’t keep secrets from one another.

» You are emotionally, physically, and mentally compatible.

» You are friends as well as lovers.

Warning Signs:

» When the going gets tough, your partner gets going.

» Your partner has an eye for members of the opposite sex and has proved to be untrustworthy.

» Your partner lies to you about where he/she has been and only confesses when you find out the truth.

» There is little physical affection, laughter, or communication between the two of you.

» Your has been unfaithful on numerous occasions.

III. Respect

A relationship is about friendship, respect, and acceptance of one another. When there is lack of respect, it is replaced by suspicion. That can grow into hatred as the trust the person had for you is eroded.

Good Signs:

» You are aware of your partner’s faults and are able to accept some imperfections.

» You support and encourage each other’s individual interests and identity.

» You take the time to listen and understand the other’s point opinion.

Warning Signs:

» You criticize each other in front of others.

» Your partner will not give you space to indulge in your interests and wants to spend every minute of the day with you.

» You are constantly struggling to live up to your partner’s standards or the person you think your partner wants you to be.

» You can’t forgive and/or forget each other’s mistakes.

Be aware and objective about your relationship. If you can’t nurture it, then it may be time to leave. If it’s strong, then building upon mutual love, respect, and communication will only make it stronger.

What are some other signs to help you know if it is love or lust? Tell us in the Comments section below:

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2006 and updated in 2015)


Joe Tracy

Joe Tracy is the publisher and founder of Online Dating Magazine, which launched in July 2003 and has been providing original dating advice, tips, articles, reviews, and videos to readers ever since.


  1. Mikaela on April 20, 2010 at 7:48 am

    How do you really tell if love is love? You could say it and spend each day with that person. But love is never what you expect. That’s why life is so confusing. As a human, we were born raised and later have a job, to raise our own family one day and have kids. I just wish i could see my self as my mom and dad of how there love never gets old and is like a new sun with so many dreams each day. And there not so exciting life holds this all? I don’t know what love is yet i hope to find it….one day.

  2. rtrtr on July 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    You don’t need this to tell you if your in love. When your in love, you can feel it.

    • Chradbrak on October 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      How can you be sure what you’re feeling? What are you feeling?

  3. cowgirl on August 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I wish love was one of those subjects that happily-in-love couples would tell us how to tell if we are in love.

  4. mervit on December 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    my love is faraway and i suffer so much of this. when i get angry he always forgives me although he’s very nervous with others. is he really in love with me?

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    So how can you tell if your love is real? How can you tell if it is love or lust? These signs can help you decipher whether it is true love or just a desire…

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