Making Love Vs. Having Sex: Here's How To Tell The Difference

It's not a big secret: There is a difference between making love and having sex. That said, if you haven't experienced it for yourself, you may not be entirely sure what exactly those differences are. Or you may just not be sure if what you are experiencing is making love or having sex. Sometimes, the line can get a little blurry.

One of the best things about being in a loving, committed relationship is the act of making love, as much and as often as possible! Sure, it's fun to just get down and dirty and do some nasty thing with your partner, but making love, with all the emotion and romance that entails, is one of the best feelings in the world. And it makes you feel more connected to your partner than almost anything else.

Before I connected with my husband, I never really thought I would want to get married. Before we were together, I was all about being totally single and hooking up with whomever I felt like whenever I felt like it. And then, when I did connect with him, I knew right away that I didn't want to spend another day of my life without him.

Don't get me wrong: Having sex just for the sake of having sex is still pretty awesome! It's a different experience to just be having a blast experiencing sex with different humans. Now, though, although my husband is (obviously) my partner in crime for doing all the freaky things I like to do, my favorite thing to do with him is no-holds-barred, perfect lovemaking.

So what exactly is the difference between making love and having sex? Well, there's more than just one.

1. The Motivation Is Different

When you're having sex, your primary motivation is (let's be real) to get off. Sure, you usually want to get your hands on some hot piece of human, and you may even like to play in different ways, but at the end of the day, you want to have an orgasm.

When making love, it's not that getting off isn't important, too (because it's always great, obviously), but the primary motivation is to connect on an emotional level with your partner. Making love means you delight in exploring your partner's body and mind and heart, not just because you are trying to have an orgasm, but because you are trying to share a seriously intimate connection with them.

Making love might take hours, and you may even decide the orgasm wasn't your goal. It's all about deepening your connection and growing your love.

2. The Communication Is Different

When you're having sex, it's not uncommon for some dirty words to enter the vocabulary. Even if you aren't a fan of sexy talk, the communication during sex is often mostly about who is about to have an orgasm, when, how hard, etc.

When you're making love, though, this all changes. It's not that dirty talk still isn't possible in making love, it's more that it is held up by loving, emotional words. Making love often gives couples the ability to be very open with each other, and gives them the perfect space for talking about how much they love each other.

Although it may sound weird, making love is one of my favorite times to connect with my husband verbally, too. There's just something about the atmosphere that makes it feel perfect to open up with our words.

3. The Vulnerability Is Different

In sex, even if we're sometimes open to trying new things, we're not normally open to much more than just finishing and feeling good.

With making love, however, this is completely different. Couples making love are often extremely emotionally vulnerable to the point that tears may flow. This actually makes a lot of sense, because if the motivation (see point one) for making love is to connect, there's no better way to do that than being intentionally vulnerable.

Sometimes, post-lovemaking, one person or both in the couple might need a bit of extra love or extra words of safety. This is completely normal and is a product of the emotional vulnerability that comes with making love.

4. The Personality Is Different

Sometimes, when we're having sex, it's easy to turn into someone else. Occasionally, this is intentional, like through role-playing or rough play, but other times, it's just because our inhibitions are down, and it's awesome to feel like some wonderful sex goddess that you may not usually feel like in "real life."

That said, though, in lovemaking, there is no one to be but yourself. In fact, for making love to work between you and your partner the way it's sort of supposed to (with openness and emotional vulnerability), you have to be 100 percent, completely yourself. You have to be the most yourself you've ever been. There's no room for anyone else.

5. The Presence Is Different

Although we may not care to admit it, sometimes when we're having sex, our minds wander. Whether we're fantasizing about Ryan Gosling during mediocre sex or just thinking about how to politely get dressed and leave during really bad sex, there are times when we're just not all in it.

Making love, though, is the complete opposite. When you and your partner are making love, you are fully present at every single moment. In fact, there's no way to make love otherwise. You have to be in the moment with your partner, or you risk one of you feeling lonely because of the incredible vulnerability. And luckily, making love with someone you know is your soulmate won't make you want to be anywhere else because you'll feel perfect just where you are.

Making love is a truly wonderful, unique experience and not one that comes with every relationship. Making love is really reserved for those special relationships with the one you know you will be with forever — whom you can't get enough of. Of course, that's not to say having sex doesn't have its own value. After all, sometimes, you just wanna get laid! But making love is a different animal, and when you experience it, you'll know.

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