13 Dating Red Flags He’s In Lust With You, Not In Love

How do you know if it’s lust vs love? Do you feel a combination of anxiety and excitement at the start of the dating process? If you want a relationship that lasts, how can you know if the passion between you is a sign that you’re also a good match long-term? Are there dating red flags that reveal if he’s just feeling lust, not love?

Attraction and chemistry are important ingredients for lasting love. However, they’re not the only ingredients that matter. There must be more between you than a mutual turn-on for love to last. You can think of attraction like yeast in bread, without it, you just have a cracker (and that won’t satisfy you).

You can’t settle for a lifetime with a nice, sweet, polite guy, that would be like only having a cracker when you want yummy bread. And let’s face it, that won’t last a lifetime either because no one can settle and go the distance.

Putting too much emphasis on attraction alone will lead you to miss the dating red flags that you’re not a values match.

If you’ve been burned in the past by a guy who came on strong and then disappeared or found yourself with a hot guy who turned your world upside down only to break your heart, knowing which dating red flags to look out for will help you avoid falling for the guy who’s in lust, not love with you.

So, what are the signs he’s feeling lust vs love?

The Differences That Reveal Its Lust Vs Love

The obvious differences between lust vs love involve more than just physical attraction. Love requires attraction but also includes emotional connection, matching beliefs and values, compassion, good communication and respect.

The problem with lust is that it can blur your vision so that you don’t see the dating red flags that are right in front of you. Lust isn’t just triggered by a physical attraction. You can find yourself lusting after someone who isn’t the most handsome, or the tallest, or even the one with the hottest body.

So, what triggers that intense attraction called lust?

It comes from a subconscious recognition of a familiar pattern. You learn how to receive love in your family of origin, and that pattern plays out in your adult intimate relationships. The gap between how you desired to be loved and your parents’ capacity to love you created a core wound. That wounding story becomes your personal GPS for love.

When your subconscious recognizes a match to the emotional and energetic patterns of your childhood wounds, it sends a subconscious signal saying, “This is familiar! This is familiar!” The problem is it doesn’t distinguish between whether familiar is good, or if familiar is bad. It simply highlights what you’ve already experienced. It’s easy to confuse that signal of familiarity with excitement and attraction.

This is why you are drawn to the same kinds of people again and again despite the fact that these people aren’t a good match for you. Like a moth to a flame, you can’t help but meet up with the hot person you know will break your heart.

Is There Anything Wrong With Lust?

Lust is a natural feeling. Everyone has an innate desire and drive to mate. There’s nothing wrong with the feeling of attraction and chemistry. As a matter of fact, it’s built into us for species survival.

It’s normal to have physical desires and needs, as well as to fantasize about having those needs met. Sexual fantasy and curiosity are part of being human. It’s only a problem when you confuse lust for love.

If your lust gets in the way of seeing him for the person he is, and you’re just focused on sexual gratification, then your lust can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Lust without emotional connection can drive you to take risks and may cause you to be careless about your own safety, your feelings, or those of the person you’re interacting with.

The same can happen to you when the guy you’re dating is just lusting after you and doesn’t take your feelings into account. You’ll want to be aware of the dating red flags that let you know his lust is more focused on sexual gratification than on creating a relationship with you.

It’s lust, not love that leads to a broken heart.

Can Lust Turn Into Love?

Not everyone you’re physically attracted to is going to be bad for you. Lust can transform into a healthy loving relationship. For this to happen, you must move beyond just physical intimacy. Creating a deeper connection requires spending time together outside of the bedroom, so you get to know the person, his likes and dislikes, how he thinks, and what makes him laugh, what he values and believes in.

This can be difficult because heightened attraction has you wearing rose-colored glasses that make you see him in only the best light. This causes you to ignore the obvious dating red flags that would enlighten you that its lust vs love. You know it’s lust, not love when you’re actively ignoring signs he isn’t good for you.

Lust can transform into love if you take off the rose-colored glasses and see him for who he really is. How do you feel when you are with him? How do you feel when you part? Does he spend his time, his energy, and his resources wisely? Do you have similar life goals? Do you share values?

Lust is an instantaneous reaction but with conscious nurturing, it can transform into a long-lasting, healthy relationship. But what if this person doesn’t want more? Or even worse, what if he turns out to be toxic, or part of a familiar pattern of heartbreak?

13 Dating Red Flags He’s In Lust, Not In Love

  1. He’s Moving The Relationship Forward Too Quickly

An obvious dating red flag that its lust vs love is that he is moving the relationship forward really fast. He wants to claim you right away before he even takes time to get to know you.

He’s giving you the full-court press, calling, texting, sending flowers, and even declaring his love by the second or third date. He wants to go exclusive right away and starts talking about sharing the rest of your lives together in the first few weeks of dating.

This guy is falling for a fantasy he has of you, not who you really are. See if you can slow him down and set your own pace. If he can’t make the adjustment, then he isn’t your guy. Remember, it’s up to you to set the pace of the relationship.

  1. He’s Only Interested In Sex, Not Other Activities

Do you end up in bed before you even make it out of the house and miss the start of the movie, or your dinner reservation? Does he make sure you drink enough on a date, so you let down your inhibitions? Do you spend more together without clothes than with?

If the two of you aren’t going out into the world with other people, and are only ending up in the sack, then this is a sign of lust, not love. There isn’t more going on here than just pure animal attraction. This may be fun for a short while, but it’s not going to be satisfying in the long term because the key ingredients of a lasting partnership are not present.

  1. He Only Reaches Out At The Last Minute

A guy who wants a relationship with you will plan a date with you in advance. He’ll reserve your time so that other guys can’t. He’ll book you for next week or maybe even plan a trip with you a few months out to get some quality time with you. The difference between lust vs love is revealed in his communication.

The guy who’s texting you at the last minute to “hang out” is only interested in hooking up with you. His last-minute strategy is based on lust, not love. This dating red flag lets you know he doesn’t value you or your time. If you let him know you’re already booked and to only reach out to schedule in advance, he’ll move on to someone who’s okay with making things easy and convenient for him.

  1. He Keeps The Details Of His Life A Mystery

If you don’t know anything about where he works, or who his friends are, and he doesn’t openly share what’s going on in his life, then he’s only interested in lust vs love.

A man who wants a relationship will share his life with you. He’ll share his dreams and goals, his workday, or any disappointments he’s experiencing. It’s a huge dating red flag if he remains a complete mystery to you after a few dates.

  1. He Won’t Introduce You To His Friends Or Family

If you’ve never met any of his friends or family, or if he’s not interested in meeting yours, then that’s a dating red flag that he is in lust, not love. One of the fun parts of falling in love is sharing your lives with each other and that includes friends and family.

Beware of the guy who wants to keep you to himself. It’s a clear sign he’s feeling lust vs. love. A man who’s falling for you desires to mix your life and his life together, include you in his friend group and eventually introduce you to his family.

  1. He Avoids Emotional Intimacy

Is he more than willing to share his sexual fantasies with you but he’s not willing to share his heart, or allow himself to be vulnerable? If this is the case, he’s probably not emotionally available for a relationship. The mystery of what’s really going on underneath that hot exterior may be intoxicating to you, but it’s not going to lead to something that lasts.

When he avoids emotional intimacy it’s a clear dating red flag that he’s feeling lust vs love. Stop wasting your time with the man of mystery. He won’t suddenly open up and become the caring man you want him to be. Don’t ignore this dating red flag if you want a relationship where you can experience emotional intimacy as well as physical intimacy.

  1. He’s Too Impatient And Won’t Wait For You

You may find him super attractive but not be ready to jump into bed right away with a stranger. If he won’t wait for you to feel more comfortable sharing yourself with him, then he’s in lust, not love.

A man who really likes you will wait for you because he knows you’re worth it. Don’t waste your time or give in to pressure to be intimate before you’re ready. This dating red flag makes it clear he’s not the guy for you if he isn’t willing to wait for you.

  1. He Never Plans Future Dates With You

Are you constantly wondering where things are going in your relationship because he’s never talking about a future with you? If you’re already rolling in the hay, he may be happy with the way things are because he’s getting what he wants but you’re not.

The guy who’s living in the moment with no care for your future together is in lust vs love.

A man who’s interested in a relationship plans for the future with you. A serious man will talk about taking a trip together months in advance. He’ll share where he sees his life going and how you fit into his plans. He’ll see a future with you and take steps to create it with you.

  1. He Doesn’t Respect Your Boundaries

An important dating red flag is an inability to respect your boundaries. Does he show up unannounced and expect you to be available? Does he push you to be intimate and not take no for an answer? Aggressive boundary pushing is a sign of lust, not love.

If he can’t respect your boundaries and ignores your wishes, then he isn’t interested in you or a relationship. He’s just seeing what he can get from you.

A man who wants a relationship and isn’t obsessed with lust vs love will respect your boundaries. He’ll ask for consent before he gets intimate with you. He wants you to feel safe.

  1.  You Can’t Resolve Your Conflicts

Do the two of you have a fight, use sex as a make-up tool, and then later act as if nothing happened? Do you never work through the issues in your conflicts or clean up your emotional messes? Conflict is a part of all relationships, but only in healthy relationships is conflict addressed and worked through so that you can reconnect again.

If neither of you takes responsibility for bad behavior or never apologizes to one another the relationship will never deepen. Make-up sex is only satisfying for the short term because ultimately those conflicts will return and eventually the toll will leave you emotionally alienated from each other.

Lust vs love is more interested in make-up sex than in making things right between you.

  1.  He’s Not Curious About You

A man who likes you wants to get to know you. He’s curious to know what you like, and what makes you tick. He wants to know what brings you joy and makes you happy. He’s as interested in getting to know as he is in getting into your bedroom.

If he is obsessed with your physical appearance but doesn’t care about the thoughts in your head, then he’s definitely in lust, not love.

  1.  He Can’t Handle Your Upset

A guy in lust won’t want to deal with your emotions. He won’t know how to handle you when you’re upset or be interested in how to help you calm down. He’ll probably just get up and go when things become uncomfortable. He doesn’t want to deal with your upset because he’s only interested in your body, not your heart. He’s obsessed with lust vs love.

A man who likes you will want to help you. He’ll try to make you feel better when you’re upset. He may even offer to hold you and give you a safe place to just feel whatever you’re experiencing.

  1.  He’s Unable To Be Sincere

Humor can be very attractive. It’s fun to be with someone who finds humor in life. Almost all dating profiles mention a sense of humor as a desirable quality. But humor as deflection can get tiring very quickly. Sure, you want a guy who can make you laugh, but you want him to be able to be sincere with you as well.

If he’s using humor to get you into bed, he’s in lust, not love. A relationship with a man who can never be sincere is shallow because life presents challenges for couples to work through. If he’s never sincere and he only wants to make jokes that means he’s using humor to seduce you, and that won’t stand the test of time.

Being in lust is exciting and it can bring the hope that something more can develop between you. This is only the case if you move forward to connect on an emotional level as well.  Lasting love begins with sharing your hearts and grows with your ability to work through your differences to create a life together.

Look out for these dating red flags and you’ll avoid wasting your time with a guy who’s in lust vs love. Steering clear of the heartbreakers allows you to focus on finding an ideal match who will stand by you through the tough times as well as share all the joy of the good times with you.

Do you find yourself driven by your attractions and always falling short of the lasting love you desire? Are you looking to avoid the guy who’s just interested in one thing and finally meet the man who chooses you? To change your pattern, you’ll want to take a new approach to love and dating. One that avoids the trap of falling in lust, not love.

To avoid these dating red flags and more, then take a new approach to creating long-lasting love. Join us for a Soulmate Strategy Session and we’ll show you the path to creating the love you desire and deserve.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

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