The Difference Between Love and Lust – How to Identify the Two

When it comes to love and lust, things are simple (well not really, but we’ll pretend they are for a second and try to simplify both by carefully inspecting their aspects). Lust is the animal instinct we feel towards someone, the feeling focused on the physical attraction and love is the sum of all your partner’s qualities that you adore, even when you don’t. Okay, let’s elaborate.

The misconception of what being in love, loving and lusting over someone means is what gets us confused. The movies we watch and the series we binge, lead us to believe that “being in love” is the ultimate condition to “loving” someone when the truth is quite different. Often interchangeably used, these three terms are oftentimes three different stages in a relationship, each with an individual significance and meaning, which should gradually evolve Here’s how:


Lust is often the first stage in a relationship when two people feel immediate sexual attraction towards each other. When in its beginning stages, lust has the same effect on the brain as a drug. The seemingly never-ending debate on lust vs love should end (or at least get a bit clearer) when we say that lust is a state of consciousness that is entirely altered by hormones, idealization and projection, which is why this stage in a relationship shouldn’t be taken as a measurement of the relationship’s quality.

When you’re lusting over someone, you may be more interested in hooking up, than having meaningful conversations. You also may not want to do the things couples tend to do, like cuddling or having breakfast the next morning. 


Oh the beauty of being in love! Similar to lust in some aspects, being in love is the rush and excitement we get when we’re around the person we are dating. Still hopped up on feel good endorphins, this stage can sometimes fall under an idealization: instead of objectively looking at the person before us, we are projecting and seeing someone we want to see in them. Wearing rose-colored glasses, the couple does have some insight into the other person’s qualities, and personality traits but we can be very forgiving, lust-driven and would rather focus on what they believe is true than seeing what actually is. As idealization is a very strong weapon with long-lasting effects, once the “real person” surfaces, we sometimes still refuse to see. 

Being the right fit for each other and finding that true love, is the holy grail of relationships. Although this type of love doesn’t exclude lust and being in love; it doesn’t necessarily depend on them. You build an intellectual connection with your partner based on shared values; mutual understanding, mutual support and emotional honesty. You love everything about your partner; their strongest qualities and areas of weakness. And, most importantly, real love is having someone love you for you, with the same impulse, always – even when the rose-colored glasses are off. When you start caring for your partner’s well-being, success and health (almost) as much as you care for your own – you’ll understand this type of love. 

Having a best friend for life doesn’t sound too shabby, does it? You’ll have a support system, a hand to hold, a caring soul to bring you soup when you are sick, a partner who shares your values, and someone you appreciate (and who appreciates you) from the bottom of your heart.

3 Ways to Keep the Conversation Flowing On a First Date

You did it! You’ve met someone great on Plenty of Fish, had amazing conversation online and are ready to meet in person, awesome. Unfortunately, sometimes the difficult parts about dating aren’t even in finding a person, but finding how to actually connect with another person. Witty banter, charm, and a relaxed flow of conversation are not things that can be faked IRL. Often times – even when you know you would hit it off with your date – your nerves inhibit you from carrying on a thriving conversation. But, here’s a secret, you can be yourself on a first date despite those inevitable nagging nerves. Down with the awkward silence!


The easiest way to speak freely is to speak about things that you like. Duh, right? I used to keep a self-serving question in my dating arsenal that would help me determine further interest in my date; It was arrogant, but worked. I would either ask “what are reading right now?” or “what are you listening to right now?” Books and music are topics of interest to me, finding out what my date is interested in helped me relate to them. If things are going well and the other person had an answer (probable) it would spawn another conversation and another and another.

Don’t feel shy to give anecdotes about your life. The idea is to get to know each other; you probably aren’t talking about yourself as much as you are stressed about talking about yourself too much. Giving specific details to the plot of a story you’re telling will create imagery that in turn helps the other person engage with you. Extra points if the story happens to be fun. Laughing is a great way to ease up.


Just as it’s easiest for you to speak about your own experience, it’s equally as simple for someone else to do the same, give them a chance to. Listen when your date is talking. No, not that half-listening we all enter into once in awhile where we are preparing the next thing we’re going to say while the other person is still speaking. Really listen. When you genuinely listen to another person speak it provides the opportunity to naturally fall into a more empathetic listening mode. Also, ask questions. Not only will this help in keeping the conversation rolling, you will learn so much about your date. And, isn’t that the point?


Dating should always be fun; make comments about your surroundings, poke fun (with caution) at yourself and your date, laugh, acknowledge that you’re nervous – it’s all ok. Remaining calm, cool and collected is a feat easier said than done, I know. Dating can be intimidating, especially when you feel there might be a spark. A good way to avoid getting caught up in your thoughts, and acting out of character on a first date is to remember: You are interesting! Take a second to give yourself a confidence boost. This person is on a date with you.

How to Be An Emotional Genius: Get Straight A’s in Your Love Life

Would you like to be an emotional genius? Someone who has a high level of Emotional Intelligence, and can manage your feelings, understand other’s emotions, and develop great relationships? Now, you can. New research in Emotional Intelligence (EQ.) tells us that developing a high emotional intelligence can help you choose the right partner and maintain a healthy and happy relationship.

Here are four ways you can raise your EQ

Know Yourself and Your Date’s Emotional Style: There are two main personality types in the emotional world: The Thinker and The Feeler.  Thinkers makes decisions primarily with their head (logic); Feelers make choices mainly with their heart (emotions).  Although you may do both, chances are, you are stronger in one area. If you’re a Feeler dating a Thinker, it’s important that you use logic and rational thinking in your conversations—he will fall in love with your mind.  If you’re a Thinker dating a Feeler, then you need to “Think your way” to his feelings— he may need more verbal reassurance and physical affection.

Pick an Emotionally Smart Man: When dating someone, don’t be blinded by surface looks or charm. Look for signs of an emotionally intelligent guy.  An emotionally smart man doesn’t play games (he tells you how he feels), is able to manage his emotions (he doesn’t lose patience at a moment’s notice), and demonstrates empathy (he can sense your feelings).   On the other hand, “emotionally unintelligent” men have a harder time grasping their emotions (they lose patience easily), are oblivious to your feelings, and often have fewer friends due to lack of trust.  Avoid emotionally unintelligent men, and spend time with the emotionally intelligent ones, and you will ultimately find the best man for you for a happy long-term relationship.

Don’t Jump to Emotional Conclusions:  One mistake you may make, especially if you’re a Feeler, is to emotionally misinterpret your guy’s actions.  If, for example, he delays in texting you back, you may jump to a conclusion: “He doesn’t care.” In reality, he may be busy, sad, or not feeling well (or maybe, God forbid, his phone broke). Yes, he may not be interested but regardless of what you’re thinking at the moment, it’s important that you wait and ask him, instead of jumping to a quick emotional conclusion that may be wrong.

Develop Empathy:  One of the signs of Emotional Genius is Empathy—when you can put yourself emotionally in the shoes of your partner.  If you’re an empathetic person, you can sense when your significant other is feeling down—you can pick them up with the right words to encourage and motivate them. Similarly, your goal is to attract an empathetic man who also is in tune with your feelings—who can give you a massage and set up your bath when you’re feeling tired or lousy. Yes, there are empathetic single men out there, and you will find the right one when you are that way yourself. Remember, empathy attracts empathy, and emotional intelligence attracts the same.

As you raise your emotional intelligence, you will discover that one of your best tools is self-awareness. Begin today by being more aware of your feelings and even writing them down in a journal. As your self-awareness and emotional intelligence grows, you will enjoy your relationships more, and you will substantially increase your personal happiness.

Readers can learn more and listen to “BE AN EMOTIONAL GENIUS” Love University Podcast here.

5 Tips For a Fresh New Year and New Outlook on Love

Starting a new year always reminds me of what it was like back in school. We had new books; pristine blank pages that were waiting to be written on. It’s an exciting time of the year and the perfect time to put a jolt of positive perspective into your love life.

It’s also the ideal time to be clear on what you want to achieve and if finding a fulfilling relationship is one of those goals, then it’s important to set up a strategy to encourage that.

Here are 5 practical tips to help you make this year a new year of love:

Choose your focus

Before you do anything, decide what it is that you want. Then choose to focus on what makes your wish a reality. Whatever we invest our time, energy, thoughts, actions, finances and emotions into, is what will grow. What are you truly looking out to accomplish and tackle in 2018?

Create opportunities

Love won’t just fall into our lap without us doing anything to make it happen. You have to create opportunities and be proactive in manifesting the things you want. This isn’t about being desperate but instead realizing that we have to apply effort to get results. You can meet people through a variety of different means: dating apps, classes, workshops, events, meet up groups, you name it!

Stay educated

If you keep doing what you have always done in the past and are not yielding results, you may want to look for more guidance and educate yourself on what is needed to build a healthy and happy relationship., Know your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.

Set the standards

It’s important to set the standard right from the start. Make sure your boundaries reflect your true worth, not your fears or past breakup headaches. The tone in which you set at the beginning of any relationship whether romantic or not, is what will really determine who is worth investing your time in or not.

Have fun along the way

Things don’t always go to plan, but that’s OK. The moment we take ourselves too seriously is the moment we take the potential out of finding joy in the journey. Learn to laugh at the dates that didn’t go right and grow from each and every opportunity.

Your 2018 can be the best year yet, but that is up to not only what you do but also how you react to what it throws at you. Like anything in life, we have to ask ourselves how bad do we want it? Enough to do what is required and also enough to wait patiently for it.


Love Lessons Learned From Broad City’s Fourth Season

As we all sit in mourning because the recent season of one of the most brilliant comedic programs – Broad City – has come to an end, it’s imperative to reflect on the lessons learned alongside the protagonists, Abbi and Ilana. The fourth season of Broad City, which aired in September on Comedy Central, took the regular comedic tone of the show and turned it on its head; more character growth, further topical discussion, and of course, life lessons. Each season, viewers garner a deeper insight into Abbi and Ilana’s relationship. This season, within the heavy supply of empowering material, Abbi and Ilana (the creators, not the characters) were sure to throw in some low key lessons of love as well – enthusiastically leading us to explore them.

Ep. 02: Twaining Day

Lesson: Don’t force something that isn’t there.

Man, I feel like Abbi and Trey’s secret turned not-so-secret relationship just started. Though Trey was smitten with Abbi, the two didn’t share the same level of infatuation. Abbi confused lust for romantic longing, inevitably creating an awkward situation between her and the Garden State superfan. Their re-run relationship was bound to fail. You can’t force feelings.

Ep. 03: Just the Tips

Lesson: There is never a need to rush into anything.

After being accused of “not being a relationship person,” Abbi’s insecurities lead her to mentally jump into a relationship that isn’t there. After seeing Mike for a mere 6 days, Abbi convinces herself that she is not only in a long term relationship, but is now a relationship guru. In this episode we learn that you never need to rush into anything romantically. Also, giving relationship advice when you’re fresh into one can sometimes be pretty dang creepy.

Ep. 04: Mushrooms

Lesson: Respect your body’s process.

When Ilana is faced with her ideal situation – being approached by an open minded couple for a threesome, of course – her body doesn’t respond the way she wants it to; she can’t figure out why her body isn’t quite as excited about the experience as her mind is. After some trials (and tribulations), Ilana and the couple come to realize that it’s not going to work. This is just another subtle reminder to trust your body; it knows what’s up, sometimes before your mind does.

Ep. 06: Witches

Lesson: Celebrate your sexuality.

There is something affecting Ilana which is preventing her from performing sexually, the way she is used to. After a visit with a sex therapist it is revealed that the source of her sexual angst lays in the results of the American presidential election. Sexuality shouldn’t be a realm of negativity; never let anything big or small stand in the way of your sexual pleasure!

Ep. 08: House-Sitting

Lesson: If a situation feels hazardous, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Abbi reconnects with one of her high school teachers, making her feel a tinge uneasy. The two agree to spend the evening together on a first date of sorts, but along the way red flags are revealed about the teacher which Abbi questions, and ignores. If you feel uneasy, always trust your gut.

Ep. 08: House-Sitting

Lesson: Check in with your SO; treat the relationship as it grows.

Lincoln + Ilana 4ever! Our favourite TV dentist by day, pasta connoisseur by night,  Lincoln and half of BC’s witchy heroine team, Ilana, have finally solidified the bounds of their enigmatic connection. From what we have gathered in the first three seasons of Broad City, Ilana doesn’t have much experience in the realm of serious relationships (aside from her friendship with Abbi). As such, when she is finally able to call Lincoln her “boyfriend” she takes it on and wears it as a badge of honour, embracing it probably too fully. In one night they manage to go from the relationship highs (dressing up, showing each other off), to the getting comfy stage (a farting contest – more or less), to the lows (fear of being too comfortable, lack of sex). It’s great that Ilana is at the ready to recharge the relationship by being creative – even if it is unwarranted. But, Lincoln’s advice is what we’re here for. He reminds her that it’s important to check in with one another and take things step by step, at your own pace. That Lincoln, so wise.