Difference between Crush and Love

By: | Updated: Feb-21, 2018
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Do you remember feeling panicked about some form of infatuation over a person you did not expect to fall for and then having a friend tell you to relax because it was just a crush? How did that make it any better? What is the difference between a crush and love, anyway?

Summary Table

Crush Love
Is a temporary infatuation Is a real and deep feeling
Is superficial, although it can be felt just as intensely Implies a dose of self abandonment and self-sacrifice to make the other person happy
You crush on people whose qualities you are aware of You can fall in love with the people you least expect
We are more concerned with being noticed and appreciated by our crush There is a sense of self sacrifice when it comes to love



A crush is a temporary infatuation with an object of desire. It implies liking a person so much that our behavior around that person changes completely. Most crushes are sudden, and we find it difficult to control the way we act.

Having a crush on a person means wanting to be around that person, trying to stand out when that person is around, trying to get that person to notice us and to like and appreciate us the same way we do. We get giddy, we do our best to look good and we make the extra effort. We can even try to change who we are.

A crush can also go away in time, which is lucky since we can have a crush on the wrong person, like a professor or someone at work. A crush usually defined by a powerful attraction we do not know how to explain. It is mainly due to specific traits which in our brains equal perfection in what we are looking for in a partner: these can be looks, authority, a social position, great humor or possibly a shared passion.

Love is a very deep feeling and the one we most often associate with happiness. We expect love to bring us together with the person we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives with and live happily ever after. In reality, love is a very deep feeling which can be manifested in a number of ways.

Being in love means feeling amazing, excited and willing to do anything to keep the other person next to us. In more extreme cases, love can ask for sacrifices and those involved are willing to make them. The most beautiful love stories ever told are very intense and dramatic.

Crush vs Love

So what is the difference between a crush and love?

It’s the intensity of the feeling that tells a crush apart from love. While in appearance they are both just as intensely experienced and enjoyed, a crush can only take you so far. People are more willing to do things for love than for a crush.

A crush is also consumed and consuming. It is short lived and can make people impulsive. The attraction can be so strong that it makes people curious about each other. Love means being more patient and enjoying instead of consuming.

You can have a crush as a result of exacerbating the feeling of appreciation for certain traits such as looks, power or intelligence. We consciously recognize them in another person and think that they would make the perfect partner. Love, on the other hand, can happen in a very surprising manner and the person you fall for could be the exact opposite of whom you were consciously attracted to.

Also, crushes pass. It is a good way to describe a temporary attraction to another person. Even people who are already in a relationship and are serious and very committed can have crushes on other people. In these cases it is recommended not to act on their impulses. They can wait for them to pass and for things to go back to normal, because they always do. On the other hand, when you are in love, you know that it is more than attraction. It is a real desire to be next to the other person.

Time can tell the difference between the two. You can have a crush and be amazed by some traits you consider great. They can fade in time, however, or you might stop finding things you like in the other person. With love it is the other way around. As time passes, it only grows stronger and you find even more reasons to want to be with the other person.

Falling in love with someone and not being able to do anything about it can even mean dragging the feeling along for years. Doing favors and being in the close friends’ circle is sometimes an option for people whose love is one-sided. There is a sense of self abandonment in love, one that crushes never awake in anyone. By contrast, crushes fall in a more cerebral category and are selected according to our tastes. We would not change for a crush, but we could change for love.

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