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How to Keep Lust in an Emotionally Loving Relationship

I study emotional responses in relationships and write about them to help others enhance self-awareness and improve their contentment.

Can you have lust in a long term relationship?

Can you have lust in a long term relationship?

You're in a new relationship with a powerful sexual connection of lust. You already have strong emotional feelings and you're wondering if the lust will die away as more loving feelings for one another develop.

The only way to avoid losing lustful interest is to share those feelings with your partner. Communication is the key. It means you want to be committed to the relationship.

If you both feel the same about one another, and you both are committed to a lifelong relationship, then work on it together to keep it alive. Remember, you are on the same team. Functioning as team players with a mutual goal will keep it alive.

I'll give you a series of questions you can discuss with your partner, along with my views on each issue.

Is Lust Good to Have in a Relationship?

Relationships begin with all types of feelings. In some cases, lustful feelings cause the initial attraction. That isn’t a bad thing. It’s natural. It’s a result of our primal urge to procreate.¹

If two people love each other, care for each other, and enjoy being together, then wouldn’t it be fantastic for the lust to last for the remainder of their lives together?

Love can keep a couple together, and lust can keep the relationship alive. There’s nothing wrong with this type of passion as long as it’s balanced with other necessary feelings that add strength to a partnership.

If you have a healthy respect for your partner, then you might have trouble keeping the lustful feelings alive. If you find this happening, try to get in touch with your overall emotions with acceptance and trust. It’s essential to keep the attraction associated with lust alive for the benefit of a lasting relationship.

Can Lust Alone Be Enough to Sustain a Relationship?

If sensual feelings emerge before devotion and trust occur, then I think that love and affection may fail to materialize.

Erotic interest will only make a couple feel close prematurely without regard to personal values that can make or break a relationship. I can attest to that. Been there—done that. It had always worked better when a foundation of trust, with mutual respect, was part of the relationship.

If lust is the focus, the partners will have nothing else left to get through tough times and misunderstandings? It's important to understand the difference.


How Do You Know If It's Lust or Love?

Lust is brought about by immediate, passionate attraction while love develops over time. Young people tend to confuse one with the other. They feel they are in love because they have those strong feelings of attachment that is only a result of lust.

Love is considered by many to be related to spiritual goals. Lust is more related to physical or sexual goals based on an intense physical attraction.²

If you base your interest on physical appearance, and you fantasize about your partner without any consideration for intelligence or values, then it’s most likely lust that is guiding your feelings.

It becomes even more apparent when you can admit you have a strong sexual desire and you never give any thought to the faults of your partner that you might otherwise notice. That is a reliable indicator that it’s only lust.

If you lust after someone and you have no other emotional feelings, then you don’t care if your values differ or if you have different opinions about important issues.

Your relationship will eventually fail unless a meaningful emotional attachment develops based on the discovery of similar values and genuine concern for one another.

Is Lustful Fantasy Unhealthy?

In a relationship that’s based more on reality than just lustful fantasy, one eventually tends to notice faults in another person. Admit it, we all have flaws. The thing with true love, however, is that we look past those faults with a healthy attitude.³

When we have only lust, we look past any flaws in an unhealthy way. What I mean is, we could end up overlooking real red flags that would indicate significant reasons not to get involved. That tends to occur because we only focus on fantasy. We could care less about attitudes that bother us.

That sounds like a catch-22. After all, the ability to accept bothersome attitudes inherent in a partner is a good thing. It’s healthy. It’s what keeps people together. However, it’s not healthy when applied to a bad relationship solely for sensual gratification.

Can lust last?

Can lust last?

Can Lust Last in a Loving Relationship?

Love develops over time as partners get to know each other. It progresses into a meaningful and caring partnership with each one focused on wanting to make the other happy. If it’s true love, it can last.

Unfortunately, trials and tribulations in life can cause unforeseen conflicts to get in the way and destroy the continued bond of love. The outcome depends on the personalities of both partners. Some people know how to be team players in a relationship. They are willing to work things out when trouble pursues.

Lust can occur instantly based on physical attraction and sexual fantasy. It’s usually not based on any concrete reality. That’s unfortunate because, without the additional development of love that is triggered by emotional bonds, lust itself will fade and eventually fail to keep the partners together.

Without the bonds of love, changes that occur with aging can cause physical attraction to dissipate and hinder any lustful feelings. However, when two people live with each other and see each other every day, they hardly notice one another aging.

More importantly, if love is a significant in the relationship, and if its bond is stable, the partners can either continue with romance or even find ways to keep the lust alive as well.


  1. Judith Orloff M.D. (August 15, 2011). Lust vs Love: Do You Know the Difference?. Psychology Today
  2. Koshal. (May 23, 3015). Difference Between Love and Lust”.
  3. Natalie David. (May 31, 2017). “How To Not Ruin Your Relationship In The Honeymoon Phase”. Huffington Post

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Glenn Stok