Is he in Love, or is he in Lust?

Each day I have dozens of questions from women wondering how to tell if a man is in love with them.

This can really be one of two questions.

Either they are asking if a man loves them and how to tell, or they are asking how to tell the difference between a man truly loving them versus a man just lusting for them.

Make no mistake, there is a difference.

Love does not equal lust. And, lust does not mean there is love.

Be clear on this point!
Now of course, there are men who love their partners and who have strong sexual desire for them. It is often the case that sexual desire strengthens as partners grow closer and deepen their love. But love and lust do not necessarily go together.... not at all.

Let me address the second question... how can you tell if a man is, "in love," with you or if he is, "in lust," for you?

First, obviously this is a very general response. Men have different personalities, different traits, different idiosyncrasies. I don't want to portray the idea that all men are the same. Having said this...

If you want to know if a man truly loves you or is just wanting you for his sexual pleasure, start by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do you feel you are a priority in his life?
2. Do you feel a sense of care and compassion from your partner?
3. Do you feel your partner notices and appreciates the great things about you?
4. Do you enjoy a variety of non-sexual activities together?
5. Do you ever feel used or that sex is a duty?
6. Do you find yourself worried that if you are your true self, he may leave?
7. Do you find yourself living inauthentically to please him?
8. Do you ever wonder why you are with him because he doesn't treat you well?
9. Does he support you and encourage your dreams?
10. Do you feel he truly knows you and respects your true self?

As you read through the list of questions you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable... perhaps there is a little knot in your stomach as you realize that there is not much love in the relationship.

Contrariwise, you may have a sense that indeed there is more to the relationship than just sex and feel a sense of confidence that your partner does indeed love you.

Either way, if you are wondering and/or unclear if a man loves you, why not have a discussion? In a healthy relationship, mature adults who love each other can discuss the challenges they encounter and insecurities they feel.

If you are feeling that your relationship is based on lust with little true love, somewhere inside you, you most likely know.

Often, women do not want to admit that the relationship is not healthy or that a man to whom they are devoted, does not love them in return. But somewhere deep inside they know the truth.

Now, in a marriage or committed relationship, when a couple grows apart and is struggling but wants to remain together, the spark can certainly be kindled. My site, The Art of Intimacy is directed toward this situation.
However, if the relationship is one where there is no commitment or feelings of permanency; if there is no sense of desiring or working toward a long term relationship, the feelings may require some acceptance.

Explore the dynamics of your relationship. Notice how you are treated. Listen to your gut.

If the man you love does not love you, denying it will not make him love you. Trying to change him will result in disrespect, resentment, and irritation. Trying to make him love you will only create feelings of anger and pity toward you.

In sum, how do you know if a man is in love with you or just lusting for you?

You have discussions with your partner and you listen to what you know is true.