Thursday, May 18, 2006


As I was heading towards my daily work starting page online, I saw a link for a How To article about How To Tell The Difference Between Love, Infatuation, And Lust. I still, at age 26, have not been able to clearly make distinctions between these feelings. Unlike my sister, who says people are too careful with using the big L word (love, for those still half asleep), I probably fall into the camp of saving it for perfect moments and situations. It's not something I guard and I'm not holding onto it like a nun and her virginity, or placing it on a too-high pedestal but, it makes me cringe when it's thrown around. To reference one of my favorite shows, did you hear what George said to Callie on Grey's Anatomy? He wanted to wait to say "I love you" back to her and make sure she knew he meant it. Not the obligatory response to someone else saying it. I loved it when George said that. It's so true.

But anyway, so this article gives a way to make distinctions between these feelings (love, lust, infatuation).

Step 1 is to write down words you associate with the person you feel strongly about such as sex, butterflies, snoring, annoying, holding hands, etc.

Step 2 says to circle each feeling with a different color: green for love, yellow for infatuation, and red for lust. (Why doesn't love=red?)

Step 3 then says to see which color stands out. If there is not a clear winner, then move on to the following steps.

Step 4 sucks and says to read scriptures or literature that describes love. Yuck! I don't want to do that because I have enough trouble listening to songs about love and not totally melting.

Step 5 might be good for feedback but will be hard to actually do. Ask friends (or other third party) to give their opinion on what kind of feeling they think it is. Show them your color coded list. I couldn't do this. I would be embarrassed because I wouldn't want to explain to someone the reasons why I may or may not love a person.

Step 6 I could do. Watch a movie that might show the feelings you suspect you have. Cruel Intentions is all about lust, Titanic is about holding onto love forever, The Notebook is about love, etc.

This is an interesting idea, working through complicated feelings by writing them down. Is it possible though to be in lust with someone for years? Or to be infatuated with a person for an extended period of time. Well, yeah, I guess so. I'm thinking of a list of examples, haha!


Ashburnite said...

Like you, I absolutely hate when people throw that word around! It loses it's meaning when people use it for everything.

On the other hand, I am VERY guilty of mistaking other feelings for love, especially infatuation. I guess it's something we all need to work on.

Sweet said...

See I think tests like this probably make you overthink the situation, perhaps creating a case of infatuation?

NotCarrie said...

I think it could help to realize you may be in love with the IDEA of being with someone and not with the actual person.

TKR said...

I think there should be another category. I am usually guilty of falling in love with the attention rather than the person. Or maybe that should go under infatuation?

Kellie said...

I also think it's difficult to seperate those feelings. Often times when the L word is thrown around so easily, it's because the person is desperately seeking love.

And I adore me some George O'Malley.

jo said...

i like how the article said to watch movies that relate to the situation haha! 'coz movies are so real and all and they don't 'fairytalise' everything so that usually you get a happily ever after.

so is annoying snoring a love, lust or infatuation word? haha!

Amosfrie said...

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Lindsey said...

Your sister is right though. I think way too many people use 'love' when they don't really know what it means.

Just Me said...

I'm with ashburnite on this one, I can't stand people who use the word lightly. But if I look back on some of my previous relationships, I think: 'Nah, I didn't *really* love him'.

However, I might be guilty of retrospectively pretending not to have loved someone as part of my whole 'tough girl' image :) It's a lot easier to get over someone if you kid yourself that it was only lust!

NML said...

I hate when people throw it around too although I was guilty of it when I was a lot younger and stupid. Now, when i say it, I know that I mean it in the L word way, not some f'd up version.

RockO said...

lust can usually be cured by chocolate and phone call with a friend
love can usually only be cured after wet pillow cases, violent music, screaming and hard workouts.

and i agree with jo

TheBarmaid said...

I would definitely circle annoying with the lust-designated color. Nothing turns me on like a really annoying guy. :)