What’s that strange feeling in your gut that makes you feel like you’re suddenly all lovey-dovey? Do you have a crush, or are you in love with someone? What’s the difference between having a crush and being in love? Is there any? Could you really put a label on what you’re feeling? Am I confusing you with all these questions? Well, love can be confusing, and there are all sorts of love. You don’t love your family the way you love your friends, and you don’t love your friends the way you love your partner. What if you love someone who is none of those things? Let’s focus on romantic love and attraction and find out what’s it all about.
How can you know whether you’re having a crush or you’re in love with this person?
1. Time and fantasy
Obviously, a crush and love don’t last the same. If you’re having a crush, it’s not going to last long, and they might not even be the right person for you. When you have a crush on someone, you create an image of them in your head and this is what you feel in love with. You don’t really know them that well, and if you did got to know them you might not want a relationship with them to begin with. When your feelings last and you really know a lot about this person maybe you truly love them. Sometimes, a crush will last for a long time and still be just a crush. It’s similar to inflation which is when you admire or feel amazed by the person you imagine someone to be, not the person they really are. When you are in love with someone for who they truly are and you accept their bad sides with their good, it stands the test of time.
2. Relationship and commitment
You can have a crush on someone you never even spoke to. Just remember Sandra Bullock in “While you were sleeping” and you’ll see the difference between having a crush and being in love. When you’re in a relationship with a person, you can fall in love with who they are and adore their little quirks. Love is something that you create together, not something that you’ve created in your head. Maybe you are already in a relationship with your crush and it could turn into love! When you’re committed to making the relationship last you are making room for love and not just enjoying the rush of chemicals in your brain.
3. Reasons and intensity
The difference between having a crush and being in love is in reasons this person is special to you. Why do you have feelings for them? Is it because they’re witty and pretty, or is it because you have a strong bond and plans for the future? Maybe you have a crush on an attractive coworker, or you are in love with the person you’ve been dating for a while now. Naturally, the reasons you care for either of them would be different. Having a crush is often associated with high school and liking someone you don’t talk to. Being in love with someone is most often associated with a realization that you want a committed relationship with the person you’ve been going on dates with. The intensity of the feelings is also not the same because having a crush happens suddenly, feels intense, and fades away eventually, while being in love lasts longer with lower but consistent intensity.
4. Physical attraction and strong feelings
A crush is most often based on physical attraction. You don’t really know what kind of person they are, you just like the way they look or find something about their behavior or attitude attractive. The difference between having a crush and being in love is that you love a person for their inner qualities more than their physical appearance. When you feel like you’re in love with someone who you don’t know that well, you feel a physical attraction even if you think that it’s love. This is because you’re still imagining who they are and don’t really know them enough to care for them so deeply. When you’re having a crush you will experience strong feelings, but these are hot and cold emotions, not continuous affection. You’ll think that you both love and hate them because you have an unrealistic image of them in your mind, and you change your mind about them. If you only have a physical relationship with them, you aren’t in love with them either, and you need a much stronger connection for love.
5. Hurt and care
When you have a crush you experience all sorts of emotions, and you go on a love rollercoaster which leaves you feeling dizzy. You cry about this person, and ultimately, your feelings are making you feel more hurt than happy. The difference between having a crush and being in love is how much you care about this person and how you show that. When you love someone, you want what’s best for them and try to make them happy. When you’re instead having a crush, you don’t think about the person’s wellbeing. You instead rely on your instincts and start thinking that love hurts. Love is not supposed to hurt, it’s supposed to make you feel safe and cared for. While a crush can grow into love, it might break your heart and make you feel bad about yourself. Don’t ever forget that people who care for you want to make you happy. If your crush is making you miserable, you might want to distance yourself and get over them whether you’re in a relationship or not. Only real love lasts forever, so don’t get caught up in a fantasy and lose your head over someone who won’t reciprocate your feelings or will only leave you in tears. Get to know the person you’re going to love, and you’ll build the right foundations for a meaningful relationship and perhaps true love.
Don’t let the best love movies of all time make you have unrealistic expectations about love, but watch them and enjoy the movie romance while you’re enjoying the butterflies in your stomach!