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Is Love or Lust More Powerful?

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Every breath you take, every move you make...

From a popular love song by the Police, these words ring true for anyone who has ever experienced feelings of love or lust. There is a fine line, but what are the differences?

Not one thing influences people more than this topic in general. Love and lust literally influence every move we make and every breath we take- where we live, if we marry, if we have kids, how long we live, where we work, how much money we make, how much money we spend, whether we are happy or not- it's always on our minds.

For me, not one thing is more intriguing. I've spent personal and professional time studying this topic. The first study I assisted with in college got me hooked. It demonstrated love is indeed powerful. The study found that people performed various tasks, both mental and physical, substantially better when they received praise (before the tasks) from someone they loved (and were in a relationship with) compared to someone random in general.

I've often wondered whether love or lust is more powerful. When lust between a couple dissipates, does love become more powerful? Does lust make us fall in love? Why do some people cheat? You might be surprised by the information I've gathered.


I Want to Know What Love Is...

(Another great love song)

Romantic love, a combination of love and lust, is said to be more powerful than love or lust by themselves. One of Helen Fisher's (a biological anthropologist) central ideas is that romantic love is a drive stronger than the sex drive (lust). She says, “After all, if you causally ask someone to go to bed with you and they refuse, you don’t slip into a depression, or commit suicide or homicide like you could for the sake of new love." Romantic love involves both strong mental and physical desires. But eventually, we know, it stops sizzling and starts fizzling, which means we are left with feelings of love and perhaps lust (for our partner and/or others). So which dominates a relationship?

The lines between love and lust are blurred. Sexologist John Money draws the line between love and lust in this way: "Love exists above the belt, lust below. Love is lyrical. Lust is lewd." One difference is, love considers both the other person and yourself, while lust is purely a selfish motivation. However, lust is a component of the physical chemistry that attracts one person to another, which can result in love. The puzzle seems to be more entangled than before, but we are getting the idea that the two work together.

The brain chemistry of lust is physically more powerful than love, hands down. Some studies suggest if we are in love, we are more likely to be lustful for our partners AND other people in general. Being in love and in a relationship is a catch 22. For example, when a man has purely general thoughts of his wife, he will increasingly think of sex with her, AND other women as well. Desire, in general, aso increases for women who are in relationships, but not always desire for their partner. 

However, being in love makes a person think twice about acting on their lust with someone besides their partner. Lust for one's partner can strengthen the attraction and love for them. Lust may be the ingredient that makes love stronger, and of course, weaker in the cases of cheating.

Being in a relationship and in love signifies having access to sex when we want- or at least that's the theory. If we know we are capable of fulfilling our lustful needs with our partner or spouse then we are more likely to have lust on the brain. One study demonstrated this by showing various images of the opposite sex to people/participants who were in relationships and to people not in relationships- both men and women who were in relationships rated more images to be attractive than those not in relationships. Interesting.

Your Cheatin' Heart

The statistics for extramarital affairs have remained pretty steady for several decades now- about 20-25% of couples have experienced a cheating spouse. However, the ones that actually get caught is a much lower statistic. The steady rate can mean that lust hasn't changed over decades and is within our body a consistent, natural physical reaction.

In one study: "It is surprising the wives and husbands and girlfriends aren't more suspicious," says Lever. "Even when they know something's amiss — a sex life that's fizzled or intimacy waning — they count on their partner's love to keep them from straying." This comment alludes to the fact that lust is more powerful when the relationship is in trouble.

What I derive from various studies is there exists a perfect cocktail for cheating: relationship issues and a highly lustful partner. Truth is, love is not always powerful enough to be the sole ingredient for a healthy relationship. And some people experience lust more powerfully than others, making it harder for them to deny it.

Some would think that the statistic above states only 20% of people cheat so love must make the other 80% stay faithful, therefore love is more powerful. I thought this too, but upon further researching and reasoning, I came to the conclusion that the other 80% mostly falls into two other categories; 1. those that lust for their partner and don't cheat and 2. those that are dutifully in love, meaning the kind of love that maintains for a while because the partners feel it is their duty to stay. In the first scenario, lust is still a major factor and in the second scenario, it is out of duty, which will not last forever in most cases.

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The Power of Love

Well, not really...

The power lies in lust because it is based on natural, physically driven forces of survival (think, caveman). It's not necessary to be in love to reproduce, but lust is certainly a main factor in reproduction- lust is the motivation. In society today, loving relationships are formed for numerous other scenarios besides reproduction, but it doesn't mean feelings of lust go away- they are that much more powerful, having survived our evolution and civilization.

Think of creative works such as music and books. How many of those were sparked by love or lust? You may think love, but I bet they were driven by lust; wanting to get someone to love them, notice them, make love to them, or not leave them. Whenever we have our more intense feelings of love toward our partners, they are almost always tinged with feelings of lust, yearning, and wanting. Lust has driven us before love was involved.



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L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 29, 2012:

Glenn~ yes I can see where you're coming from. I think as people come to respect each other, some lust fades. And many who say lust is necessary in a relationship, I say it isn't. I think attraction and chemistry play a big role and those aren't necessarily based on lust.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 26, 2012:

I'm back again reading your hub for the second time since two months ago. I needed a refresher because I've been studying this more and came up with another piece to the puzzle. I was wondering if respect can interfere with lust. 

When I try to talk to some people about my ideas, they argue that lust has nothing to do with love. So I was glad to read that you combined love and lust under one category, that you call romantic love.  This reinforces my own ideas. 

I came to the conclusion that respect can get in the way of a lustful feeling of love.

You gathered a lot of interesting information in your research of love and lust and I found it very helpful.

Carla Dominique from Philippines on August 23, 2012:

It will be always present, both of them.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 23, 2012:

THey should go together but often lust gets confused with love and with love, lust gets lost. Intense when you can get them together. THanks for stopping by.

Carla Dominique from Philippines on August 22, 2012:

This hub is very interesting. They go together I believe. Lust intensify love and love do the same. Somewhat like that.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 09, 2012:

Thanks yssubramanyam!

Mr LD~ I think it's a rare and special thing when people can find love, lust, and friendship in the same person. You have something special for sure. I view lust in the same way you do- I never really cared for quick romance. Actually. psychologically people prefer to wait on things that may give them pleasure so lust makes no sense to me.

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on August 07, 2012:

it is v educative hub. i like it.

Mr Love Doctor from Puerto Rico on August 07, 2012:

I read through all the comments looking for one word: "friendship." Where does the concept of friendship fit into all this? It seems to me that in this day and age, we're in too much of a rush at the beginning of a relationship to define it as either "romantic" or "Friend Zone." So we miss all the glories of the friendship. I think love and lust are two sides of the same coin, and friendship is the lubricant between them. Ahem. Pardon the pun. My wife is and has always been, first, my best friend. We have a trove of shared experiences, likes, dislikes, activities, and understanding of each other. Whether we take a drive out to the country or visit a museum, spend a day at the beach or get coffee at one of our favorite spots, we are experiencing the lasting joys of a true friendship. We read the same books, peruse the same magazines. There is a quiet joy in looking over right now and seeing her, too, tapping away at HubPages because we're both into writing. The fact that we can have sex at the end of the day is sometimes the icing on the cake, but where would that be without the settled, comforting knowledge that our friendship is so strong we cannot be separated? What point is lust if you don't really like or trust someone?

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 26, 2012:

"hi friend"~ yes I agree but more times than not... lust and sex do not turn into love so that one is a gamble.

Glenn~ thanks for the comment and yes interesting studies. I agree with you about respect and that comes with time...not through lust and sex. Respect and faithfulness are very intertwined.

yssubramanyam~thanks...I agree. the combination of love and sex is heavenly.

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on June 20, 2012:

any excess lust for self interest is inhuman. when both reaches to extreme boundaries for each others pleasure, lust is heavenly..good hub.

hi friend from India on June 20, 2012:

sometimes lust and sex is followed by love, both are interconnected in married life.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on June 18, 2012:

I found those studies that you quoted very interesting.  Especially the one where people were shown pictures of the opposite sex. And those who were in relationships found more of the pictures attractive.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that they are feeling better about things when they are in a relationship, and they simply appreciate more of what they say. Many people who are in good relationships have no desire to lust after someone else. They may think about it, but they have no desire to act on it. And that makes all the difference.

I agree with you where you said "love is not always powerful enough to be the sole ingredient for a healthy relationship." I believe that "respect" has a lot more to do with it. And having respect for one's partner can have a strong effect on wanting to remain faithful. Even stronger than love.

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on May 26, 2012:

Love is a universal term . the above articulation is exceptional. love is eternal, lust is a momentary. Love deepens lust to each other, lust is not concerned to love. blending is a super fine phenomenon, but it needs tremendous effort. According to Indian famous sex author called vastyayana sex is a desired force to love and vice versa. lust too takes place between true lovers for sake of orgasm experience. i request author to educate me in this subject ,if necessary.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 26, 2012:

shoreoflove~ what a fascinating way of discerning lust. I believe as civilized human beings lust is the one thing that can make us act and react like bafoons (uncivilized)!

Levertis Steele~ I completely agree. In fact the more intelligent someone is, the more likely they are to lie about cheating- interesting thought. It just shows lust often gets the bettter of us and I wonder if that means it is more controlling of our behavior than love.

Esti77~ That is exactly my point that lust is short-term and even if you were never really in love- love can seem short- term as well and end with someone lusting after someone else. Will read your hubs...

yssubramanyam~ yes that is a clear distinction between the two- thanks for stopping by.

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on May 23, 2012:

Both are powerful. love is for life time, lust is for a moment.

Esti77 on May 08, 2012:

izettl awesome Hub :) Lust leaves people craving for more and more sex. Lust only fills the person for the moment and than they go on to the next one. Lust is a vicious cycle and I rather love than lust. I rather love because love is pure, amazing, and last longer or forever. You are a awesome writer :) I will really appreciate if you read both of my Hubs. I only have 2 because I started 2 days ago, anyways keep up the awesome Hub writing peace

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on May 04, 2012:

In surveys some tell all, some lie, some do not tell. Some surveys reveal that most cheaters do not get caught. So, in reality, the number of cheaters is certainly higher than 20-25% of spouses. Many men, even, say that most men cheat. They know themselves and their circles better than anyone else. Considering that women cheat as well, the number of cheating spouses could be very surprising.

shoreoflove from Jamshedpur, India on January 30, 2012:

Lust is nothing it is also a kind of love. But one should try to take over the control on lust because for human it is like a Boon but if it is not in control it will become the most curse for the person. Because Lust love resides it not like there is no love in lust. So one should have total control on lust. Like a newly born puny never sits silent same as it our mind also never sits silent so it very important to take over the control on our mind so that u can control on lust. Then lust will become a boon for you.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on January 23, 2012:

Thanks Debbie!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on January 23, 2012:

wow what can I say there is a difference between love and lust.. as we all should know.. Although Lust is a lot of fun but it will not last. Excellent HUB.

Great reading.


L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on December 20, 2011:

uknow- yes, both can be rewarding. THanks for stopping by.

uknow on December 17, 2011:

both can be equally powerfu. depending on what kind of relationship you are in. a loving long-term one where you are willing to stay the course. or lustful "loving" one-that you can do without if something (any little thing) pisses you off.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 16, 2011:

Kaisa~ yes, sometimes lust can turn into a great relaitonship. I actually had that happen once. We aren't together, but it was good. It's ideal to have both love and lust in a relationship.

KaisaJordan from Atlanta, Georgia on October 12, 2011:

Both love and lust is good for a relationship keeping things spice up.

Sometimes lust give birth to love.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 17, 2011:

John~ I totally agree 100%

Wicked~ It is so hard to choose, but maybe hope for both!

WickedLittleLiar from South Carolina on August 16, 2011:

I've had this discussion so many times with people and it always ends up in all out war LOL. I love this article, it puts a lot of things in perspective.

john2000 on August 15, 2011:

Love+Lust is best. Love can't be complete without lust but only lust is nothing.......

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 10, 2011:

thanks expertise.

TheExpertise on August 10, 2011:

Great hub. I agree with izetti "Couldn't have said it better myself"

A Women's mind is quiet interesting I go a little more in depth on my hub feel feel to read

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 06, 2011:

Jaded Love~ Yes, combined is the best. By far the most powerful and you are lucky to experience that in one person- hang onto her as I know you will- I've just read some of your hubs. Thanks for the comment.

JadedLove on August 06, 2011:

Wonderfully unique. I have come to find lust and love in what I feel for my wife. It is an amazing feeling combined in perfection so imperfect. Up and awesome,

Johnny Love

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 29, 2011:

Couldn't have said it better myself- the Dr is in the house!! We all have that pleasure spot in our brain and it can be something or somebody that triggers it. Thanks again.

DrMikeFitzpatrick from Sandpoint, Idaho on July 29, 2011:

my pleasure, also a NW native from seattle now living in sandpoint idaho. you hit the nail on the head too, we all have some "brain-chemistry" addictions. food, sex, gambling, work, exercise, the list is long. in the end, "it is, what it is". :) you are doing yourself perfectly, you cannot mess it up! no matter who you are, or who you are not, no matter what you have done or not done, no matter who you become or do not become, you are worthy of love.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 29, 2011:

Obscure Treasure~ I agree both at necessary even in a committed love relationship. I think lust though is more physical than emotional. It may effect our emotions because it is hormonal/biological/physical. THanks for stopping by.

Dr MikeF~ I like what you're saying about infatuation and lust- so true. THanks for the comment.

DrMikeFitzpatrick from Sandpoint, Idaho on July 27, 2011:

all lust is love. not all love is lust. it is only one form of love. if God is love, and God is light, and everything IS made of light, (even thoughts have frequency) then lust is another form of love. simple. the answer, neither. you cannot separate yourself, from yourself. many repress their lusts, which are not always sexual. we have seen movies where individuals lust for power. lust is close to infatuation, which usually has a nightmare attached to balance it out. many confuse love and infatuation. love is everything, or, where is God not?

Obscure_Treasures from USA on July 27, 2011:

Is Love or Lust More Powerful?

Lust is an emotional force that is directly associated with the thinking or fantasizing about one's desire, usually in a sexual way.

Where else love is which takes time.But both are very necessary or directly proportional to each other.

Interesting lens.... Couldn't have been better...

ReceptionChair on July 25, 2011:

A great essay, thanks. I think the distinction is more time dependent. I think that in the short term, lust is more powerful, but lust only lasts a short time. Over the long term, love wins. IF it is truly love then it is always more enduring than superficial lust.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 25, 2011:

wonderful way to put it- thanks Sky's End!

Sky's End from Florida on July 24, 2011:

Lust makes you take. Love makes you give.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 23, 2011:

Edith~ yes, I think of lust as more primal- perhaps what drives our species to reproduce. I agree on your rationale about the two and thank you for sharing.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 23, 2011:

Thanks fashion!

edithsaffairs from United Kingdom on July 23, 2011:

Very interesting Subject and Responses.

I do think Lust is the more immediate, and powerful, instinct. Something that mixes and is built from all our emotions and senses . . . flattery, ego, desires and personal (and often "secret") fantasies.

Lust is the emotion that can suddenly spark, or drive, us into sudden instant decisions, or directions, that we know perhaps we shouldn't be making, or doing, and yet which we can't stop ourselves indulging, and for that moment in time, enjoying.

Then, afterwards, it is how we react to that "experience" where often we turn to that more acceptable . . . and more lasting and fulfilling emotion . . . LOVE that truly fashions who we are and how we live with, and share with our partners and family.

So, which is the stronger? . . . surely they should both be considered as two parts of the whole! Emotions and feelings that could, and SHOULD, make us a better and more rational, and more complete, person.

fashion on July 22, 2011:

Great hub.Very sensitive issue.I also agree real love means friendship, a mutual respect and an understanding that no matter what happens, you have each other.Great work.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 11, 2011:

thanks Recover today!

RecoverToday from United States on July 10, 2011:

Powerful article and something that needs to be addressed.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 07, 2011:

I definitely couldn't have said it better myself.

Jeanine on July 07, 2011:

I have a lust for life and a very healthy libido... I to was celibate my entire teen years til I married, then lust took me and shook me and I loved every minute of it... I believe there is a great advantage to loving one... lust for my love became my friend instead of my enemy. Shy behavior became a slow tender caress, my lack of knowledge became a purposeful blessing... the uniqueness of the moment never to strange, nor waken from sleep ever became a blame to stop the moment of lust... I am in love still after forty years... twenty years ago cancer took my loves libido away, saved a life but lust was dampen by meds and stress... so I am celibate again... still desiring, always respectfully inquiring but in love just the same... so twenty within massive lust and twenty without... would I give up love for lust, never, would I give up lust for love, I did. What love has that lust knows none of... is hope... never a day goes by that there is not the thought and hope for my love to lust for me again...I will wait patiently for my love to come to me once more...

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 06, 2011:

4tune (clever name)~ yes I agree on som uch you've said. I agree about the libido as well. I was celibate most of my single years before getting married. I had friends who slept around, not because of libido, but trying to find some pleasure they were missing because of a lack of libido and love for themselves. Thanks for the comment!

4tune from Michigan on July 05, 2011:

I agree that love is stronger than lust and the two should be combined - matter of fact I can't just cut loose without the first coming in to play somehow that would not be any turn on for me.

I have to disagree with the fellow on libido, I have had a healthy libido and have been celibate most of my adult life and have seen people with less of a libido than me playing around.

Just because someone has a libido don't mean they will not be selective, that is also a matter of morals an values and taking risks etc.

Ugh and that person who is saying love is like god maybe don't exist? Oh please never come near me or my child seriously that's exactly the sort if thing I would expect a child molester to say no kidding. Oh and black is white and white is black so I can do whatever I want no matter who it harms BS.. Oh I don't freaking think so!

Oh yeah I love my family and even my good friend I haven't even touched over seas, Pretty sure just as real as anyone's selfish lust and some lust is compltely selfish and don't care who it destroys.

jeanine on June 24, 2011:

Lust is an amazing thing in that if one lust for life there is an overwhelming desire to live it all... as one goes through this type of life... one decides what one loves...

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 24, 2011:

Jennie~ I agree with all that esecially with having both. In a society where we enjoy instant gratification, lust sometimes prevails, but only for the moment.

Venture Boyz from Floating in the clouds on June 23, 2011:

I think people react more quickly to lust than love.. lust is temporary but it is present and consuming.. can you have one without the other? yes, but having both intensifies..

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 23, 2011:

Thek1ngsway~ Yes, in other words, I do agree :)

Shastri~ Thank you so much for stopping by!

registerdomains~ that's debatable, but it's good to believe that.

registerdomains from India on June 23, 2011:

Love is more powerful. Many times powerful than lust.

Sahastri from Hyderabad on June 22, 2011:

well i liked the work u have done on this topic. To be specific love is related to heart and lust is related to our physical feeling.

Thek1ngsway on June 21, 2011:

So you agree :D Above i meant "there is no way we can defend love against it"

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 21, 2011:

Thek1ngsway~ I think we'd all like to think love is most powerful because we work hard at it at times and love must endure lust for others- sometimes love wins, but it takes effort. Lust comes naturally and is a primal physical need, but love is much more rewarding and beneficial for our society, hence our purpose.

Thek1ngsway on June 21, 2011:

Love is like god , maybe it doesn't exist . But nonetheless we should have faith in it , pretty much like most of us have faith in god .

why do we have to bring lust into the bargain any way ?! No, i ask because really , there is no way we can defend lust against it . Lust is real , comes down from our animal part. So i guess lust destroys love in a fair contested battle but nonetheless we have to put all our money on love , coz if we didn't ... Where would we be going ???

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 19, 2011:

Days leaper~ funny...lust wins again! It's hard not to lust in today's society where everything is out there for the taking.

argdraw~ you make some valid points. Lust is one of those cardinal needs that must be satisfied, some more than others. Perhaps if love is strong enough between two people, like close family, then lust is not necessary. This could also work in a romantic relationship as well.

mishaanatolia~ I see your point. I was just stating above in a comment that if love is strong enough, lust doesn't always have to be there. THanks for stoppping by.

Kate~ lovely way to put it.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 19, 2011:

Darknlovely~ well said. thanks for stopping by.

KyleBear~ Thank you for reading.

Ghostwriter~ you've got a good point. Sometimes we are unaware and mistake lust for love and vice versa. The two run into each other often.

Kahana~ yes,so true. I think that's why those who study this topic argue lust is more powerful because it is physical and almost involuntary. Are we creatures governed by our physical needs or psychological? Most would say physical still overrides our psychological needs like love.

Annie from NewYork on June 18, 2011:

lust is temporary... do not worth it,

take love,Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

KyleBear on June 18, 2011:

Food for thought :9

Peter Yexley from UK on June 18, 2011:

Love Vs Lust?

Which comes first? I wonder whether we really know if we are in love or lust, I suspect we quickly find out pretty soon! Great Hub - well done!!

Kahana on June 17, 2011:

Lust is a chemical response. Determined by pheremones, visual stimuli, etc. that all induce a chemical release in the brain. It is an autonomic reflex. But love, true love is an intellectual response, based on decisions pathways that require analysis and action in order to achieve reaction. Lust may lead to love and love will hopefully lead to lust but the two are entirely different.

KateWest from Los Angeles, CA on June 17, 2011:

Those two so often get all mixed up together to confuse us but if you just let time takes it's course, it will most likely straighten you out and then you'll be able to tell which is which.

mishaanatolia on June 17, 2011:

Love = Lust (chemistry) + friendship. If someone really loves someone else, they can still feel lust. But the bond will be strong enough that they would stay faithful. Otherwise maybe they were never truly in love in the first place.

argdraw from London on June 17, 2011:

This is an interesting hub, that I came across by accident, your comment,

"For me, not one thing is more intriguing. I've spent personal and professional time studying this topic."

is what has prompted me to comment, because my definition of Love and Lust seams to vary from many others, I strongly believe our minds are linked, esp, telepathy call it what you will, Love is our description of the feeling we get when mentally atuned to another, Lust is the physical attraction. To have both is an amazing experience, but both can exist independentley, the Love for a family member can be extremely strong, but is not lust full, for example. To limit Love to sexual relationships could be an error.

as has been said above, love is enduring when the connection has been made it cannot be undone, the parties involved may not be able to be together for various reasons, but they will always be lovers, meanwhile satisfying lust and duty elsewhere and calling it love because that's what society demands.

days leaper from england on June 16, 2011:

When you show me pictures like that, lust is more powerful!

Great Hub, will come back to read more.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 16, 2011:

THanks web world watcher!

Web World Watcher on June 15, 2011:

I was really impressed with this article. Made me reconsider a lot of personal relationships I had that went south for one reason or another.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 15, 2011:

Thanks Carol for stopping by. I enjoy life most with both love and lust. One is not much without the other.

ocheje~ beautiful words. i couldn't have put it better myself.

Thanks for the kind comment intellagentleman.

ctbrown~ We have differing opinions because I think most love is usually lust in the beginning. It's also been found in studies that those who are in love acutally lust more- after their partners and others (but many do not act on lusting for others). They are very much intertwined. I do agree with the love and lust selfless and selfish statement you've made- that's true.

Thanks so much for reading rorshak.

rorshak sobchak on June 15, 2011:

Love is forever. Lust is temporary. Great write up!!

rorshak sobchak

ctbrown7 on June 15, 2011:

Really interesting topic. I don't believe there is a fine line between love and lust. Love and lust have nothing to do with each other. Lust is merely founded in a person's most base, carnal desires; whereas love is the opposite--being founded in selflessness. Clearly love is the greater power.

intellagentleman from Andover,MA on June 14, 2011:

I Must say this is good.

ocheje on June 14, 2011:

lust is like mirage,or bubble,that cascades on emotions. more of feeling going like lightening without control piercing anything on it track.maybe this is one reason behind the upsurge in rape and all sort of sexual abuses and assault in the societies.while love is the exact opposite,it is in built it grows naturally it emotional power is more stronger than lust.

Carolina from Switzerland on June 13, 2011:

I prefer both. Lust is wonderful with love. Lust without love is not worth without meaning. To love is to have lust.

Some may just do lust, but i am not the one.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 12, 2011:

Sun360~ thanks for stopping. Love the name 'sun360'!

Sun360 on June 11, 2011:

Very informative article and i believe all you said in here.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 10, 2011:

Thanks for stopping by gmwilliams.

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 10, 2011:

To izetti: Great hub. Lust has a place in relationships. In any relationship, lust is the first attractor. Without lust, people would not be in any romantic relationship. However in long term relationships, lust becomes secondary and love becomes primary. Love is the glue that holds long-term relationships together. Lust is important, though, but it is not the most important thing. I have discovered that any romantic relationship based solely upon lust fizzles out fast!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on June 08, 2011:

nikki~ yes, I agree to what you say. I think God is love. Loving God teaches us how to love others.

THe ideaology of love is why we seek it endlessly, die for it, and do anything for it. However, I think lust is more of our subconscious, what we are unaware of- people go too far and cheat without thinking much because the phsycial lust took over. People mistake lust for love a lot. Some cheat because they mistake the lust for love and they think they must love the person they're cheating with more than their partner, but it's just a high on lust, not love.

Thanks for your insightful comment Nikki. I'm a hopeless romantic that love wins!

ask nikki from Canada on June 07, 2011:

Very intriguing hub!!!! i do believe though, that you were correct in a comment that you left saying the scientific community will be biased. There is no way possible to physically measure love.

What i do know is that every single person on this earth hopes and prays that love is more powerful and i believe that says something all in itself. Love is a driving force and as you mentioned in your hub it effects all that we do...The love of a partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend,a pet, a job, a hobby...the love of life has been the ultimate influence in society throughout time...

i don't know if anyone is religious here and i don't want to step on any toes...i do respect everyone's beliefs..but i believe that God created us because he loved us...meaning we were born loved and with love inside of us... thus being programed (metaphorically speaking) to allow love to have such an influence in all that we do...makes sense to me...

On a side note, i have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We couldn't be happier and pride ourselves in how honest and committed our relationship is. We are getting engaged soon and love each other more than anything. We started dating fairly young, so we've often see friends getting out of bad relationships or going into them. Many of our friends are extremely unfaithful to their partner and sometimes their partner is aware of it. This obviously happens when a person allows lust to take over and consciously decides that their partner is not worth being true to.

Lust and desire can be often viewed as different things as seen in the debate earlier..lust mostly having bad or sinful connotations attached to it but for all practically purposes, lets just say were talking about the same thing...LUST and/or DESIRE need need need to be in a relationship but cannot exist without love.

Lust can turn into love and Love can turn into lust...sometimes you will lust after someone first and sometimes its the other way around...a good example is two close friends who never saw each other in any sort of romantic way but one day they realize they are starting to fall in love...desire and lust would come after in this case..

Another thing is that love can work in a non romantic relationship and not be harmful to a person, for example love of a family member, it creates a union and bond between two people that works. Lust on its own IS harmful or irrelevant and alone does not create anything but a useless emotion.

Anyways...both strong emotions and feelings...perfect when combined together as if they were made for each other...

Again great hub izettl!! Its shows how much research and effort went into it. Thanks so much for posting it and sharing your thoughts with everyone!


L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 27, 2011:

nycgrl~ Passion can mask a not so good relationship so it's very deceiving. Having both is having the best of both worlds. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Veronica from New York on May 24, 2011:

Hmm I am pretty much in agreement with most on here. And when we say lust I think a better word is passion. You can love someone but if there is zero passion in the relationship or you let the passion go after awhile, then yes someone will stray and that relationship will end. You can also be very passionate about someone but not love them and that relationship won't work either. I have had many "passionate" relationships where yes there was tons of attraction and great chemistry and as fun as it was, it never lasted because we really had nothing else to base a real relationship on. I have only had 1 relationship so far that had both and it was good because not only was the chemistry and passion there but we were also best friends that could hang out and talk for hours.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 20, 2011:

I absolutely agree nikitha.

nikitha on May 20, 2011:

I think both of them are important in a relationship, love with no lust is boring and lust with no love dsnt lust long.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 18, 2011:

Neil~ The combination is the most powerful- you're right. Thanks for stopping by.

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on May 18, 2011:

a combination of love and lust - or lust and love. mmmmmm

The trouble with humans is we tend to judge too much. The ownership of another is totally wrong. If we truly listen to our hearts and have open communication we will live much freer and happier.

good hub

Love - Light - Laughter ... and Lust!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on May 04, 2011:

David~ You make some great points. I was thinking about this more and I realized lust is short-term and love long-term, BUT even with long-term love, lust can still come up after all those years with someone a person loves and threaten the relationship if not satisfied. Lust makes people wander away from love. So it's a powerful driving force.

Your comment about people with strong libidos is right on. I don't think those people were meant for serious monogamous relationships.

Thanks for stopping by David.

David99999 on May 04, 2011:

This is a great hub. It would have to agree, that lust is a powerful force. This is why the saying, "Sex sells" is true.

Unfortunately, it, alone, doesn't make for a meaningful, longterm relationship. Perhaps, more unfortunate, is the fact that, times, people don't distinguish between lust and love.

I believe that love can deepen. Perhaps lust for a partner may become less overpowering - however, if it exists to a major extent, love will deepen. People who tend to have overly-strong libitos (i.e., yearn sexually for more than one person) should, probably, either, (a)Get with somebody who is willing to have an open relationship, or, (b)not get into a serious romantic relationship (i.e., simply date and have casual sex).

Anyway, great essay! Very thought-provoking!:)

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2011:

Harvey- you mature and thank God in the process you didn't lose your sense of humor like most people who "mature". You sure can write a lustful story though. Ever thought of writing erotica books?

Harvey Stelman from Illinois on April 27, 2011:

iz, Years ago (I mean many) I would have said, lus... lu... lu...lus... LUST! But I'm more mature now. H

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 27, 2011:

Well stated Toby!

Toby Simon from Kansas City, Missouri on April 26, 2011:

For me, when it comes to feelings, Love is the most powerful!

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 22, 2011:

padmendra~ wonderful definitions of love and lust. That's why I'm glad I wrote this hub- to see all the different and meaningful points of view from everyone. thank you so much for you comment.

Jeanine~ I agree with you.

Tamila~ thanks for stopping by and adding a very different perspective. You are right though about lust has a way of eating at you until it's fulfilled, whereas love is often denied or unrecognized. Great point!

Tamila Roberts from Canada on April 21, 2011:

My guess is the lust. Because, you can miss the love but, can't miss the lust.

Jeanine... on April 21, 2011:

oh... my.... Padmendra... very creative response laced in romantic banter... very cool... to have the strength to recognize love's power for a long period of time,is truly unique in it's ability to keep relationships from returning to zero... this is one factor that could be the weight of the matter... for some couples... in separating Love from lust...

PADMENDRA S R from DELHI/NCR on April 21, 2011:

Its a hard truth that lust is powerful when performing its act but within a short time, its power reverses to zero. But as for love, it is unique in its recognition, powerful in its strength and mighty in its weight and long lasting for unlimited period of life. One can rely upon love but if you rely upon lust, it will be a grave mistake on the part of a human being.

L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on April 20, 2011:

Paul~ I think when love or lust dies, there is trouble. Love isn't always there and neither is lust, but both can be short-lived or so it seems in today's society. thanks for the comment.

Thank you Nash, Bally,David, Curiad, Tina Wong, kafsoa, Deadly king. Awesome compliments!

Thanks also to susannah42, writer1st, lyfanna, and velosipeddet.

Winsome~ you always make me smile! Great comment and so true.

Jeanine~ wonderfully stated and beautifully written.I can tell you've experienced both :))

Jeanine on April 20, 2011:

Love is the finesse of Lust... after one has lusted for any length of time... the mind begins to search for a way to retain and recall moments lived and place them on display... not so much for the viewer although some actions are for those watching but most are for the participants... Love is more of an insiders read between the two people... with most of their intimate moments being cataloged for their relationship... moments of teasing that are sane enough to share in public that remind each of them of the insane moments shared in private...and inside joke so to speak... keeps the naughtiness alive yet under control in public... savored by each other and deposited into each others fantasy... so both Love and Lust are part of the same emotion... these two connect all the rooms of the houses we live in the heart together...

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