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.

A POF Love Story from Jane & Andy

Jane: Andy messaged me first “Hi how are you? My name is Andy been single a while now. I’ve got 3 children, all independent. Time for me now!! It would be great to hear from you x

Andy: Our very first conversation was about the dates we had been on and the lessons we had learned. We decided to meet at the Red Lion Pub for our very first date.

Jane: It wasn’t until date two that I saw there was a lot more to Andy than met the eye which turned out to be true and  on date three, we had been to see the show Motown and happened to get lost in the rain. We laughed a lot. We both chatted about what we loved, including a mutual love of Greek food and low and behold, we looked up and we happened to be standing outside a Greek restaurant!

Andy: It was at the Motown show where I knew Jane was the one. I spent more time watching her than the show!

Jane: After the show we decided to go for a stroll. Andy told me more about his life and how unhappy he had been until he made some big changes and so far hadn’t looked back. His story confirmed what I already knew, that he was an absolute hidden gem.

I knew that night I would marry him.

The day after Motown we booked a trip to Spain together and it was the best thing we could have done as we got on magically on that vacation.

It’s Andy’s calmness and steadiness which compliments my impulsiveness and impatience perfectly. We just naturally bring out the best in each other. We have the most brilliant chemistry and became really good mates very quickly which was really important for both of us.

Andy: Jane makes me think about myself and is helping me to become a better person without forcing anything. She has an infectious personality and I absolutely love her positive attitude about everything.

Jane: I love it that Andy is so kind, calm and makes me feel so secure. He’s a lot of fun and is the most loving, caring and genuine man I have ever met. He really has no idea how lovely he truly is.

Congrats Jane + Andy! These two will be tying the knot December 2018.

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.

20 Best Love Quotes from the Movies

When you’re dating, it’s easy to let a bad date or two make you cynical. You can end up feeling like you’ll never find a relationship or love, and that your quest to find a partner is doomed. 

If that sounds like you right now, you might need a heartwarming (and slightly cheesy) pick me up to remind you why finding love is worth it. To help you out, AA Executive Cars have put together this infographic celebrating love across seventy years of cinema. It includes some of the most inspirational and beautiful quotes about love and relationships from films across all genres, ranging from classic rom-coms like Sleepless in Seattle and Dirty Dancing to epic fantasies like The Lord of the Ring. You can even get your Disney fix, with a few choice selections from films including Finding Nemo and The Princess and the Frog!

These quotes celebrate the highs and lows of love in all its forms, from the fairy tale world of The Princess Bride to the dystopian future of The Terminator. Who can forget Julia Robert’s Anna Scott in Notting Hill telling Hugh Grant’s Will Thacker “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”?  And perhaps we should all follow the sage advice from Juno in our own love lives (and on your next POF date): “In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find someone who loves you for exactly who you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you.”

We hope that these 20 quotes will leave you feeling re-inspired by love and dating, and positive about all the opportunities they can bring. Okay, so you might not meet a world famous actor right outside your front door, or perform a perfect dance number in the style of Dirty Dancing’s Baby and Johnny. But you might well go on interesting dates, discover new places and meet amazing new people. And sooner or later, we’re sure you’ll find love that will match anything out of the movies!

Without further ado, take a look at our selection of the twenty most romantic movie quotes of all time: 

Simple Tips to Elevate Your Dating Game

Between work, hobbies, family and friends, it can be hard to find time to date. But when you finally get some free time, you can meet people anywhere these days. There is no doubt that asking someone out can feel gut wrenching, but once they’ve said yes, the rest is a no-brainer. The most important thing to remember while dating is to keep an open mind. Bad dates might happen, and probably will happen, but they’ll only help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a partner. Throughout the process you’re going to have some questions, and thankfully, others have been in your place and have advice to help build your confidence and success in the dating world.

Is it wrong to text or call before the first date?

Before the big date, make sure you’re still actively communicating with your match. There is nothing worse than being ghosted before the first date even starts. While the two of you are chatting, make sure you figure out each others interests. This will help determine where your first date will take place. First impressions go a long way, so we recommend choosing a public location that will allow you to feel comfortable, and act your natural self. If you’re having trouble deciding where to take your date, check out these 20 Great First Dates for some inspiration.

What should I wear?

There is no need to stress when picking out an outfit for your date. Determining the location of the date is the stressful part, so figuring out what to wear should be stress-free! If you’re feeling unsure about what to wear, pick out a couple options and ask for some opinions. What else is Snapchat good for these days? Your friends won’t let you down!

When figuring out what to wear, make sure you are comfortable in whatever you’re wearing. There is nothing worse than sitting for hours in an uncomfortable pair of pants or sweating under multiple layers. If you feel confident in what you’re wearing, you’ll be able to act comfortable around your date. If your first date takes place during the day, or err on the side of wearing something casual (but not too casual!). For the ladies, we recommend wearing a fun colored sweater, such as this one, with a pair of skinny jeans. Throw on your most comfortable pair of booties, and you’ll be ready for your date! For the men out there, try wearing a pair of stretch jeans with a nice long sleeve shirt. Add a pair of chukka boots to elevate your casual look.

If your date takes place in the evening, try to figure out as many details about where you’re going before picking out an outfit. If the date is a surprise, try to give the other person as many specifics about the location. There is nothing worse than showing up somewhere under or over dressed for the occasion. For the women out there, you can never go wrong with a great pair of black jeans. Dress your jeans up with a black blouse with some accent jewelry, or a leather jacket. For the gentlemen, spruce up your dark wash stretch jeans with a classy dress shirt. Add a blazer on top for a dressy casual look.

Is dating etiquette still a thing?

Dating etiquette is by far the most important aspect of a first date. Looking good in your outfit shouldn’t be the only reason to “wow” your date. Etiquette is by far the most crucial aspect to a first date, and when taken into consideration is likely to increase your chances of getting a second date. There certainly will be nerves at the beginning, but don’t let that be a reason to forget your manners. One of the biggest things to think about is disconnecting from your phone. It can be hard, but we highly recommend putting your phones away altogether to avoid any temptation to use it. There is no worse feeling than being on a date when the other person whips out their phone to check out their Instagram feed or Snapchat a picture of their dinner – don’t be that person. Make sure you are engaged in the conversation. Eye contact and good conversation can go a long way! Check out how to tell if your first date is going well here.

The first date ends, now what?

Like mentioned before, always remember to keep an open mind while dating. You might not feel a connection with someone after the first date, and that’s okay! There is no reason to feel bad or upset. It’s a learning experience. The best thing you can do at that point is to be honest with the other person. Don’t agree to a second date if you’re just going to ghost them or make up an excuse in the end. They’ll appreciate it and you can build up your confidence in making the right dating decisions.

Lastly, there is always the debate of waiting a few days to text your date or to contact them right after your first outing. If the date was a success, don’t let any doubts cross your mind. Let them know that you had a great time! Don’t feel timid, and confidently plan that second date. If both parties are interested, the other person should offer to make the plans this time. And if that’s you, don’t stress. After all of the great conversation from the first date, planning a second should be easy!