Your Call: How Do You Determine If It’s Love or Lust (Without Ruining It)?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m 24 (as is the guy I’m writing about), and just a year out of university. I met a guy while out dancing almost two months ago, and instantly hit it off. We danced all night (although it was cute “swinging and twirling” eachother, rather than grinding), had a few drinks and exchanged numbers. After a week or so, he admitted that he liked me a lot, but since it’d only been a few months since his last relationship ended, he wanted to take things slow (usually means the relationship is doomed, right?). I took that as an “i’m not interested”, and kept any convo we had casual.

After weeks of texting, we finally decided to meet up. We ended up sleeping together because honestly, the chemistry is FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC. It’s been almost two months, and see eachother 3-4 times a week. While we have sex everytime, we do also watch movies and tv, cuddle a lot, and talk about eachother’s families and life plans. He’s met my brother, although it was really by accident if I’m being totally honest, and I’ve met his brother and friends, but it was on a drunken night out – can I really put stock in that? He’s far more affectionate, and says he thinks I’m perfect, and that our “sexual appetites” match eachother. He uses the “L” word a lot to describe things about me, which is pretty new…and I find he’s started to become self-conscious around me, and touches, speaks and holds me more intimately.

While everything is very fwb-ish, I’m wondering if the positive changes in his behaviour indicate that he’s started developing feelings for me, or if this is just a result of us getting to know eachother and becoming more comfortable because of it.

Of course, I know the only real way to find out is to ask him…but I feel in doing so, I will reveal that I have developed feelings for him too. I’m told in relationships I behave like a guy, and to an extent it’s true; at this point, I could go either way with this guy: if he wants a relationship, then hallelujah! if not, I can literally switch those feelings off and keep on bangin’ him and be merry. Either way, I do know that I need to understand our direction or I may drive myself insane with over-thinking. How can I know if he wants more than just sex? I know he could come out and say it, but since I’m a very sexually-charged flirt, he may well be worrying if that’s all I want.

What are ‘signs’ I could look for? Or what may be an objective, ambiguous way to talk about it/finding out without ruining what we’re doing right now if he doesn’t want more?
Please help!

— Dazed and Confused

What should DaC do?


  1. Well… I agree with Johnny. The guy is definitely into you. I’m absolutely like this with my girlfriend. It was very special for us since we’ve rediscovered each other on FB. She was a friend of mine from way back in high school over 20 years ago (ouch…showing my age…).

    She was very successful in her life as it was and I am in the military, but things just clicked. Even living on opposite sides of the country, we were inseparable. I would fly her out to stay with me for a week or two at a time. Then we finally made the decision that we had to be together. She gave up a very lucrative career and left behind many friends and family just to be with me. Yes… Me… A not so wealthy, honest, hard-working soldier. You can only imagine how hard that decision was for her to make, and if that isn’t love, I just don’t know what is. The only things I have to offer are from the heart, but I have a lot of it to give and just like your current prospect, I am this way with my girlfriend. VERY affectionate…

    I don’t really see why you are so afraid to reveal that you have feelings for him if he’s giving his all to show you. Why say that you could go either way with him? If you are both responsible adults, you don’t need for him to clarify whether he wants a committed relationship (unless he’s asking you to marry him), so IMHO he probably already thinks you’re in a relationship with him. Why hold back feelings if you’re really into him?

  2. When you tell him how you feel, just ask him how he feels now, and don’t worry about the long term. Sometimes it seems that men panic when they’re asked about where a relationship is going, because they aren’t used to thinking ahead. But that doesn’t mean their feelings aren’t as strong.
    You two seem to have found something special, enjoy!

  3. Bravo Johnny. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Of course he’s into you. Relax and enjoy it. Be happy. It sounds like a fantastic situation.

  4. Signs you could look for include fan-freakin’-tastic chemistry, seeing each other 3-4 times a week, having lots of sex every time, use of the “L” word (even if it’s oblique), cuddling in front of the TV, meeting friends and relatives, showing affection, thinking you’re perfect, talking about families and life plans…

    Are you serious? He’s totally into you.

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