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

Not being able to keep your hands off each other can certainly leave you feeling breathless. Just the thought of seeing him again has those butterflies fluttering inside of you. But when you’re looking for a relationship that lasts, how can you know if the passion is good or not so good for the long-term prognosis? Are there dating red flags you can look for that let you know if he’s just feeling lust, not love?

Attraction and chemistry are important ingredients for lasting love. However, they are not the only ingredients that matter. There must be more between the two of 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 will not satisfy you).

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

You can’t just avoid the men you find really attractive and only date nice, sweet polite guys because then you’re just settling for crackers. And let’s face it, that won’t last a lifetime either because no one can settle and go the distance.

So, what are the signs he’s in lust, not in love with you?

The Differences That Reveal It’s Lust, Not Love

The obvious differences between lust and love involve more than just physical attraction. Love includes attraction but adds in emotional connection, matching beliefs and values, compassion, and respect.

The problem with lust is that it can blur your vision so that you don’t pay attention to the dating red flags that are right in front of you. Lust is not 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. The brain science of attraction is formed when you were a child. You see, you learned how to receive love in your family of origin, and that pattern plays itself out in your adult intimate relationships.

It’s like your own personal GPS for love. It was created when you were a little girl in just the same way that you learned to walk and talk by the people that raised you. The setting for love in your subconscious mind may not even be a match to what you desire as an adult.

When your subconscious recognizes a match to your emotional and energetic patterns to your childhood wounds, it sends out a signal telling you, “This is familiar! This is familiar!” The problem is it doesn’t distinguish between whether or not familiar is good, or if familiar is bad. It simply highlights what you’ve already experienced.

This is why you are drawn to the same kinds of people again and again despite the fact that you know these people are not ultimately 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 is nothing wrong with the feeling of attraction and chemistry. As a matter of fact, it’s built into us for species survival.

It is 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.

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 are 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 it is 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 are 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 the physical intimacy. Creating a deeper connection requires spending time together outside of the bedroom, so you get to know the person, their likes and dislikes, how he thinks, and what makes him laugh are all a good place to start.

This can be difficult because heightened attraction has you wearing rose-colored glasses that make you see him in only the best light. This can cause you to ignore the obvious dating red flags that would enlighten you to move along and not get in too deep. 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


An obvious dating red flag that he’s in lust, not 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.


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.


A guy who wants a relationship with you will want to plan a date with you in advance. He’ll want to lock in spending time with you so that other guys can’t. He’ll want to 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 guy who is texting you at the last minute to “hang out” isn’t really interested in anything other than hooking up with you. His last-minute strategy is based on lust, not love. If you let him know you’re already booked and to only reach out to schedule in advance, he will move on to someone who is okay with making things easy and convenient for him.


If you don’t know anything about where he works, or who his friends are, and he doesn’t openly share what is going on in his life, then he’s only seeing you for one thing.

A guy who wants a relationship will share his life with you. He will want you to know about his dreams and goals, and about 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.


If you’ve never met any of his friends or family, or if he’s not really interested in meeting yours, then that’s a dating red flag that he is in lust, not love. Part of falling in love is sharing your life with one another and that includes friends and family.

A man who is falling for you will want to mix your life and his life together. This occurs by meeting one another’s friends and family.


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 is really going on underneath that hot exterior may be intoxicating to you, but it’s not going to lead to something that lasts.

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.


You may find him super attractive but may 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. He’s not the guy for you if he isn’t willing to wait for you.


Are you constantly wondering where things are going between the two of you 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.

A guy who is interested in something lasting will plan for the future with you. He’ll 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 will see a future with you and take steps to create it with you.


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 really interested in you or a relationship. He’s just seeing what he can get from you.


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.


A man who likes you will want to get to know you. He will be curious to know what you like, and what makes you tick. He’ll want to know what brings you joy and makes you happy.

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


A man in lust will not want to deal with your emotions. He won’t know how to handle you when you are upset. 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.

A guy 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.


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 the two of you. This is only the case if you move forward to connect on an emotional level as well.  Lasting love occurs by sharing your hearts and 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 is in lust, not love with you. 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? 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 all of these dating red flags and more, then you’ll want to take a new approach to creating lasting love. Find a new way to date for your soulmate by getting our special report, “7 Steps To Soulmating™.” You’ll receive our top dating strategies that have helped thousands to avoid wasting their time with the wrong man and finally create their soulmate relationship.

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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