When you lock lips with someone you adore, it’s easy to become confused about the strong emotions that go swirling through your brain and body. Perhaps the spark you feel -- especially when you kiss -- means that you are destined to be together -- or so you may think. Understanding the difference between love and passion is the key.

Thing Called Love

Although love brings up images of being swept away and feeling so complete when you kiss that it must mean it’s true love, this rarely happens in real life. Instead, love is a combination of intimacy, passion, and commitment, says Robert Sternberg in “The Triangle of Love: Intimacy, Passion, Commitment.” Intimacy involves sharing personal, sometimes secret, information with your love. Passion is the desire to be close. Commitment is an agreement to be together through thick and thin. So, a fiery, romantic kiss is unlikely to mean that you have found your true love because it doesn’t involve intimacy and commitment. That wonderful feeling that you have when kissing is passion.

That Spark

Passion is a great thing to have in a relationship because it can make both partners feel excited to be with each other. But sometimes it’s tough to keep feeling passionate about someone you care about. This is where love comes in. Love develops over time and by spending time getting to know your partner. To go from passion to love, focus on talking to your partner and getting to know his hopes, dreams, and fears.