How Do You Distinguish Between a Crush or Love?

by Zanny on December 13, 2008

By:  Suzanne Maiden

Ooooohhhhhhh, I have a new favorite song:  Crush, by David Archuleta.  The lyrics inspired me to think about what distinguishes a crush verses a real connection, e.g., love, verses a simple crush?  What is a crush?  What is love?  Do all love relationships begin with a crush?  Who knows?  How do you decipher between them? 

What happens when you have a crush on another and you know it may be like licking an ice-cream cone except this flavor  will only inflame your tongue like a dessert fire?  And yet… the pull is very strong.  It’s analogous to the moon pulling the tide.  The tide is strong in it’s own right, but the moon’s magnetic pull dictates how the tide will express itself.  The two seemingly tandem events need each-other for expression.  The moon dominates the tide, and the tide must acquiesce.  It unfolds the way nature intended.  Could this metaphor be applied to human desire, or crushes?  While the magnetic pull of the moon cannot be denied, the tide still ebbs and flows by itself.   

If we’re honest we all get crushes or feel an attraction to others – even those of us in committed relationships.  Each of us feels sexual tension towards various people at different times.  We look at another and contemplate, “Yeah, maybe a different time, different place… maybe.”  Get a group of women together, and a little alcohol in the mix, and their crush confessions come out.  Some people experience this more than others.  I certainly have to own my experience of different crushes at different times for whatever reason.  I haven’t acted on any, but the feelings have been present at various times. 

I have a confession; I have had a small, itsy-bitsy crush on my surgical oncologist, Charlie.  He’s excessively chubby.  He’s bald.  He’s extremely intelligent – OK, smart-as-hell would be my exact description.  And, oh yeah, and we laugh and laugh and laugh.  Charlie has to call me at different times to give me my CAT scan results.  We often talk for an extended period, until I finally say, “Charlie, don’t you have a life you need to save?”  I own my affection for him, and have never taken it seriously.  I regard my crush as the ‘hero worship’ scenario.  He saved my life.  And I know he would do whatever it takes to save me.  I sense he genuinely cares for me as a fellow human being.  Of course I feel affection for him.  I know that is as far is it will go. 

I diligently work at being conscious on my behaviors and underlying feelings.  It’s hard work, and I find I that I am never done.  That’s why I stay in therapy, because when I’m unconscious of my behaviors, I can count on my therapist, Barry, to set me straight – which he frequently gets the opportunity to do.  If I feel a crush or attraction to someone, I teasingly tell my husband, “Did I tell you?  He’s my next husband, hahhahaa.”  We both laugh.  No harm, no foul.  

Actually, if events unfolded so that I had the opportunity to re-marry, I would not.  I’m not interested in marriage.  It’s just not on my agenda.  In many ways, I’m better single.  But who knows this until they marry?  And, my stance does not mean I’m unhappy in my own marriage.  

So, what about crushes?  Why do we get them?  When do you know if it’s more?  Does that mean you act on it?  I don’t know.  And if we acted on every attraction - nothing in the planet would ever get done!  What about the deeper connection that penetrates physical exteriors?  As Archuleta sings, “Am I crazy or falling in love?  Is it real, or just another crush?  Do you catch your breath when I look at you?  Are you holding back like the way I do… cause I’m trying, trying to walk away, but I know this crush ain’t going away…”  

How do you decipher the difference between a crush or love?  What do you do about it?  How do you manage the intense feelings?  Call me:  678-884-0524 and anonymously share.  I know you’re out there – because some of you have privately confessed your crushes with me… 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Adele July 24, 2012 at 1:49 am

Hi Zany. I see this is an old post but you will agree it is timeless in it’s appeal. I am a girl and as we know, some societies still frown at women expressing their feelings to the males. So I’m stuck in this shell, have been for the past 2years. And like David Archuleta, I have to ask myself: Is it real, or just another crush? Somehow it feels so very real. Like he’s a part of my life I just can not do without. Something feels amiss when I don’t see him. Yet still he can never find out how I feel about him. I long to spend an entire day with him, even if we are to sit in silence. He’s not perfect, has flaws like everyone, yet still he’s perfect… He’s a workmate, not ideal i know but I can’t help it. I have come up with a long list of why I should get over him, convincing enough but I can’t do it. Can I ever work through it and see him the way I see every other colleague? PS: We are both single


iza September 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

i love this.


Shirotora October 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’ve got the biggest problem, theres this guy called Phoenix Wright, he looks just like the one inthe games and I have a crush on him ad I think he likes me cuz’ he lets me call him Feenie and everyone else has to call him Phoenix. Does anyone think he likes me? I wanna know so I can tell him how I feel without him never wanting to see me again.


Robin December 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I’ve never experienced either, even at age 35.


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