Anecdotally, in being a hopeless romantic, I’m personally inclined to choose love over lust – but, in espousing a more objective reality for all of society, it’s best to look at the benefits and downsides of each.
Chasing after lust is often at times, more likely to result in a temporary few seconds of happiness. Love is an enduring process that takes anywhere between months and years to ultimately achieve. In a fast-driven society like today, it’s no wonder people have less and less time to commit to the idea of love, and more and more time chasing the temporary happiness that comes with the achievement of a lustful relationship. With movies like No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits helping to demonstrate this said chase, the younger generations are more weary towards commitment than the older generations. Subsequently, lust is less time-consuming to pursue, while at the same time resulting in more instant gratification than the pillars of love.
Chances of Getting Hurt
In pursuing a male/female benefactor solely for purposes of sex or physical benefits, the chances of one getting hurt are much more reduced. If you go to a party and happened to get rejected, the player mentality of life carries on as you lust after you next target. In chasing after the girl/boy of your said dreams, or pursuing whom you may consider to be “the one”, the chances of rejection are likely to sting you far longer than one night. The ability to get heartbroken, the ability for unrequited love to happen, and the ability to get friend-zoned are dramatically reduced if you are pursuing someone solely for the purposes of a physical relationship. Therefore, lust is much less consequential to your mental health in the long run (minus the physical STD’s that might manifest if you choose not to use protection).
If you are like me, the attainment of permanent happiness strikes as more important than temporary. If you truly meet someone you enjoy the company of, you will be happy every second you’re around them (minus the perpetual fights that can happen in an unhealthy relationship). To prevent the loneliness that can result in not having someone to marry, not having someone to grow old with, and not having someone to constantly enjoy the company of would be saddening, in my personal opinion. In the long run, the ability of you to chase after lust will wear away, as you become forced to settle down and commit to whomever it is you may end up loving.
If you look at the happiness (or perhaps unhappiness contingent on various factors) that a family brings, you will begin to realize the benefits of a permanent love. If your family provides for you the same benefits needed in any given society, that kind of love can only be duplicated in a significant other (or perhaps even enhanced). The greatest amount of happiness stems from somebody committed to you in the same manner you are to them. If there’s any room for flakiness that can be seen in various friendships that drift apart, that happiness will no longer be enduring. The potential of achieving the same amount of happiness you can obtain from your family is a special thing – that you can perhaps pass on to your future kids (if you choose to pursue said route).
Ignoring the moral repercussions of said argument, it all comes down to your world view and how you wish to live your life. If you are under the impression that “you only live once”, you are much more likely to want to get the maximum potential out of life possible. And in the end, if your maximum potential happens to come out of having one-night stands and crazy adventures with various men/women, then so be it. If your maximum potential stems from the systematic process of loving a significant other, that is also your prerogative. It is not in my place to judge how people live their lives, but instead offer my personal insights. In the end, I would always choose love over lust because I see it as an enduring process. But I will respect people who don’t agree with this – i.e. Barney on How I Met Your Mother.