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Love versus Lust – Where to Draw the Line?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Toronto chapter.

What is the difference between love and lust?

A “hook up”, technically speaking, means an assemblage used for a specific purpose, for example circuits for a radio transmission. This term was also used to mean the sale or exchange of illicit drugs. Now go ahead and ask a middle school kid what hooking up means, and they will giggle hysterically and say it’s to make out with someone, ask an older student and they’ll say it’s to have a one-night stand. The entire idea of hooking up refers to lust. We all grew up watching movies where the princess finds its prince and they fall in love, and so many of us fantasized about such a future. Yet, when we grew up, shows like The Bachelor and Keeping up with the Kardashians taught us lust overrules love.

The Bachelor, is a show about a bachelor who interacts with women and presents a rose to each woman he wishes to remain on the show. His final decision is all based on his “feelings” towards each contestant. First of all, this is fake. Girls don’t cry just because they didn’t get some stupid rose, they cry because it’s an act. They cry because they no longer get to be on this exotic vacation while wearing pretty expensive dresses and doing nothing for days. I would cry too if I were them! Second of all, this show is the media’s way of portraying the perfect image of a man a girl should want to marry. The media is telling us we need to claw our way to find love. In 2009, in an exclusive interview, Megan Parris (The Bachelor season 13 contestant), specifically says that the producers edit all the footage in order to create a fictional storyline. She argued that not only the show is scripted, but that the producers bully contestants into saying things to the camera that the contestants don’t want to say. Wait, where did bullying come from?

Don’t get me wrong, do watch the show – but for fun and its ridiculousness. Be discerning! A contestant itself is saying “there’s nothing real about it”. The show is all about lust, there isn’t any love, you can’t get to know someone while there is a camera on you during the date and you need to follow a script. If the bachelor wasn’t good looking, would you even apply? You’re being compared to other contestants and there isn’t any actual commitment. In fact – The Bachelor boasts an impressive record of 2 lasting relationships out of 19 finales – one of the two wasn’t even the girl he chose, Season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick infamously broke off his engagement with his “finalist”, choosing instead another contestant, whom he is now dating. Just throwing this out there, but perhaps he found it easier to connect with her when the cameras weren’t watching.

Lust is just intense emotions and desires for validation.

It’s basically just another word for drama. Speaking of drama, keeping up with the Kardashians also portrays lust – not love. The people on the show constantly cheat on one another then they just drink their problems away. For example, when Khloe’s husband, Lamar, cheated on her during her birthday. This isn’t the definition of marriage, there is no commitment, no loyalty. It’s all just drama. Who knows, maybe they are also following a script. How do you think they magically became so famous? Why would anyone watch a show where the only plot is about Kim losing her diamond earring in the ocean? Whoa, first world problems. They need fake plots, in order to have people to watch their shows. Yes these are reality TV shows, except with no reality. Even the producer of the show, Russell Jay, testified last year that several scenes from the show are either scripted or doctored.

There are even songs which flip the definition of love into lust. The song “Love Me Harder” by Arianna Grande and The Weeknd, is basically all about “loving” her harder in bed. And are we forgetting about intimate relationships which turn into an abusive relationship, if there is no emotional connection. Couples that fulfil their needs, without any presence of affection, may become abusive emotionally, physically, or both. Let’s not forget the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” either, which was criticized for trivializing sexual consent, while presenting itself as a song about attraction. 

We have gone from Disney movies about true love into Reality TV shows and songs that mask lust into love, while teaching us that yes it is okay to cheat or be cheated on, yes it is okay to binge drink our relationship problems away, yes it is okay to sleep with someone just cause it’s fun and no, not because we care about them.

So this is basically our new definition of love. Well, good luck to all of us out there – because it seems to be a cold, cruel world.