If you're dating someone but can't figure out whether you're actually compatible, or whether there's just butt loads of sexual chemistry, it can be painfully confusing.
Relationship expert Sarah Louise Ryan explains there are six very obvious signs that it's lust and not love. Here's how to tell if you've got the real deal or not, and save yourself a whole world of wasted time.
You want to know everything and all at once.
If the person you're seeing is really meant to be your next significant other—then what's the rush? After all, good things come to those who wait. If it's lust, you'll try to be all in—and fast—because you won't be able to wait to get your next fix of those neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin (they're what make you feel really good).
If it's love, then you'll be far more interested in a slow-burning romance rather than blowing off some steam together.
You struggle to find commonality.
The chemistry may seem to be bang on and will feel like friction, like it's electric and you just can't get enough of being in the throws of passion or talking about it. You'll be addicted to the highs and focus any convo outside of the bedroom on how great your sex is.
Yet you can't find any other commonality, so the conversation just leads down the path to talking about your physical passion (and not much else).
You've got different outlooks on the world, but you think that's okay.
You like this person—they're attractive, you feel comfortable in their company, and you want to hang out all the time. The fact that you both have different outlooks on the world and your lifestyles aren't quite the same doesn't matter, right?
One of you might prefer a winter getaway to a stint in the sunshine, or maybe you both support different football teams—this is fine. What I'm talking about is getting down to the nitty-gritty of values, family orientation, your goals, ambitions, health, fitness and inevitably what you both do to make the world a better place.
If you find that there isn't any alignment and you're not on the same page about a lot of things, then quite frankly, you're looking at a whole lot of lust and not much else.
It's not a seamless connection, but it's exciting.
Sometimes "getting" each other feels a tad like swimming against a micro tide but you're ok with that. The chemistry is there so you think that the compatibility might come in time. Well, it won't.
When you connect with someone that’s right for you, you'll go through the stages of falling in love which, of course, include lust. But you will want more as you become attracted to their personality and want to attach to them and only them. Make sure you're falling hook, line and sinker—not just sinking in lust.
You don't communicate the same way.
If you both seem to be constantly seeking the attention of the other, not feeling satisfied or safe in the knowledge that this is it, then it's just lust. If it feels like clutching at straws for one or both of you, then you're not in it to win it for love.
Perhaps you find yourself feeling unsure where this is going, how the other person feels or what on earth is going on? The right person for you wants you to feel at ease because they want to feel at ease too.
Everything else falls by the wayside.
If you're attracted to someone and feel completely comfortable with dropping everything of significance around you, then I'm afraid to say that it's lust—and not set to be love. Things of significance can be anything from friends and family, to your hobbies, interests and work.
Love comes from compatibility, and that's based on a deep understanding between the two of you of what's important, what keeps you ticking and the knowledge that you're both in for a marathon, not a sex-induced sprint.
It's tough in the early days to see the difference between chemistry and compatibility, and what it is exactly that sets lust aside from love. As long as you trust your gut, stay true to your values and really know you want in a relationship, you’ll find that only the people on the same page as you will stick around.
In short, lust is for right now, and we all know that when it comes to love everything should just feel right.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.