Is there a difference between having a crush and being in love? The answer is; yes! So what’s the difference? This question is more important than most even realize, and often one is mistaken for the other.
When you genuinely understand the difference between the two—and we mean truly get it—you’re going to know why people use them interchangeably. To fully comprehend, you need to grasp how the chemistry of attraction and romance work and how they sometimes trick your mind.
Even if your feelings lean more toward a crush than love, you can still fall in love and have your “happily ever after.” But there are a few things you need to know so you aren’t caught off-guard when either happens.
We will determine your feelings and pick apart your love vs. crush circumstance so you know your next steps.
Crush: Why Do They Feel So Amazing?
Some refer to crushes as chemistry, and yes, that plays a significant part. But what exactly is meant by “chemistry”?
It’s a yummy mix of brain chemicals that increase your temperature for companionship, engagement, and physical connections in a significant way. Having a crush is almost like being on intense drugs that impact your ability to make rational, sound decisions.
People describe crushes as that initial spark of attraction that awakens a part buried deep inside the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA starts recognizing a potential reward, so it starts producing a chemical called dopamine, often referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter.
Dopamine is associated with romantic feelings and addiction. So, when the chemical gives you the high of a crush, it feels incredible. With it comes a level of infatuation and desire that has nothing to do with the actual person or whether or not they’re a healthy part of your life.
So, think of a “crush” as crushing all your common sense right out of you. Or, you can think of it as something you’ll feel whenever your common sense returns and you realize you’ve entered into a relationship with someone totally wrong for you, and you’re crushed!
Because of the dopamine effect, you’ll want more and more of that feeling. You’ll do whatever you can to get it and don’t care about the repercussions.
Why People Crush
Many factors make people find someone attractive. It could be their personality, their job, or what kind of car they drive. But most often, physical attraction is why people fall madly in lust.
A recent survey of almost 10,000 women demonstrated this fact. Researchers asked them some of the first things they noticed about a guy that had them in crush mode.
Can a Crush Lead To More?
A crush can become someone who could be the ultimate love of your life! But remember that when situations happen quickly and you’re not in complete control, it’s an excellent idea to take time away from your crush and lean more on self-evaluation. Allow those dopamine levels to drop a bit so you can truly see what’s happening.
How Do You Tell the Difference between Love and a Crush?
As mentioned above, a crush may lead to all sorts of wild circumstances and make you feel like a completely different person. While this may feel good at the time, it’s not conducive to finding true love.
One interesting thing is you don’t even have to meet the person to have a crush on them. For example, if you frequent online dating sites, you may experience exhilarating feelings for someone simply from a photo.
Is Love at First Sight Different from a Crush?
To answer that question, we first must understand what love is. If there’s one thing to take from this information, this is it: True love isn’t definable because as soon as you define it, it’s no longer that definition. Sounds bizarre, right? But that’s exactly what it is.
Many people want to define love as something specific. At one point, they had a wonderful love affair, so they desire to have that same thing again. Or they have never been in love or felt love, so if they know the definition, they stand a better chance of finding it.
The issue is that you will never have the same experience of anything that’s happened before. And no two people will ever experience a situation the same. So, when you ask someone what it feels like to be in love, they can only give their take on it. You ask someone else the same question, and they may have a completely different answer.
This is an important point because if you are waiting for that exact thing to happen to you, it won’t, and you’ll miss out on opportunities. It’s good to have expectations in a relationship, but when not founded in reality and not done with an open mind, you can ruin a potentially great connection.
If you’re ever in the middle of a love vs. crush situation in your personal life, be sure to look at it from your perspective rather than the viewpoints of others because it won’t be the same.
Honor yourself and take the rollercoaster ride with your eyes wide open because it’s sure to be one exhilarating adventure that will likely surpass all your expectations.