Sorting through your feelings can be difficult at the beginning of a relationship, but making the right long term decision can depend on your ability to process those feelings.
Find out how to tell love from lust before making any big steps forward in your relationship. Avoid any decision that you could end up regretting by making the important distinction between great chemistry, that involves purely physical attraction, and love, which means a lot more. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to find your answer.
1. Do You Really Want to Get to Know Him?
One simple way to differentiate between actual love and an infatuation based on lust is to figure out if you really consider your man a real person, or he’s still your ideal projection of what you’d like him to be. When lust is involved, you don’t want to get to know him too well, since deep down you know that what you might find could be a deal breaker.
2. How Much Time Do You Spend Outside the Bedroom?
When you’re wondering how to tell love from lust, analyze your relationship objectively and figure out if the reasons you’re really into him have more to do with sex than anything else. Being very into him is a normal part of any relationship, but when weeks or months pass and the bulk of your time together is spent without any clothes, it’s probably not love.
3. Are You Also Friends?
Being lovers is great, but without friendship your relationship can’t really progress to more than physical attraction. If you find yourself discussing your feelings more with your friends than with him, then it might just be a case of lust blinding you to the incompatibility in your relationship.
4. Do You See a Future Together?
If you want to tell love from lust, it’s important to look forward. If you see a future together, that’s most likely linked to emotional compatibility. If you have trouble imagining you and your new guy still together when one of you is sick or when sex dries up during or after a pregnancy, it’s probably not real love.
5. Do You Want to Make Him a Big Part of Your Life?
Have you introduced him to your friends and family? Do you value his opinion on matters that will affect you in the long run? If you don’t have a positive answer to both these questions, you’re probably not ready to make him an important part of your life. That’s fine for a while, even when love is involved, but if things stay the same, you’re probably just dealing with lust.
More: Signs You Should Take a Break from Dating
6. Do You Find Him Irritating Often?
Accepting and even cherishing your partner’s quirks are a good way to tell love from lust. When his oddities make you cringe, then you’re probably just in the lust zone. If you’re not willing to accept him as a real person, taking in all the bad with all the good, then love is probably not in the picture.
7. Is He the First Person to Call When Something Big Happens?
Have you established a real emotional connection with your new guy? If he’s not the first or even the second person you think to call when something important happens in your life, then your relationship probably has more to do with lust than love.
8. Do You Solve Arguments Quickly?
When you’re in love, you tend to want to solve any conflict as soon as possible. In order to tell love from lust, analyze the way you both act after an argument. If either of you has no problem in staying mad for a few days without any contact, it’s probably just lust.
9. Do You Feel Possessive?
Jealousy is considered a sign of love by many, but you can possessive even without turning into a jealous mess. If the thought of him sharing his feelings with another woman is just as upsetting as the idea of having sex with someone else, then you’re probably in a relationship that’s closer to love than lust.
See also: 10 Signs You’re Dating a Cheater
10. Does He Reciprocate?
Probably the hardest question to answer when you want to tell love from lust is… are you really on the same page as your partner? If he’s more interesting in spending time with you in the bedroom and not much else, or if you’re his booty call after he goes out with friends, he’s probably not interested in love, even if he really likes you.