True Love vs. Crush: 10 Differences You Should Know

crush or true love
Photo by Egor Vikhrev

Have you ever felt such intense feelings for someone, and wondered if you were falling in love? When you enjoy someone’s company, think about them constantly, and feel that they’re special, it can seem like true love. But what if you’re just crushing on someone, and confusing that for love? Although crushes can develop into true love over time, they can also result in unhealthy obsession if you aren’t aware of the real reasons for your feelings, and the true nature of your relationship with this person.

To help you avoid wasting time and unnecessary heartache over someone who isn’t a realistic match for you, here are 10 differences between true love and a crush that you should know.


1. Crushes are impulsive; true love is mature.

Do you ever find yourself doing reckless things in order to be with this person? Maybe you feel like your actions are wonderfully romantic, like you’re in a movie and running through airport security to win back the love of your life. If this impulsiveness begins to interfere with your other obligations and relationships, causing you to become unreliable and inconsiderate to everyone else besides your crush, this is a sign that you need to step back and try to think more rationally about the consequences of your actions. In contrast, true love makes you more steadfast and mature in all aspects of your life.

Also read: 15 Signs of True Love in a Relationship


2. Crushes are based on shallow similarities; true love is based on deeper connections.

Do you like this person because of your shared interests? Perhaps you like the same shows, books and music, or you have the same hobbies. On the surface, this can make them seem like they’re perfect for you. But true love goes beyond these fun, enjoyable moments and reaches for a connection based on a shared vulnerability with each other. Opening up to someone in this way and admitting our feelings can reveal our deepest fears, goals, and values. These are the true indications of compatibility with another person – not shared interest in Netflix rom-coms or true crime podcasts.


3. Crushes make you feel insecure; true love makes you feel comfortable.

Do you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re around this person? Maybe it happens even when you’re only imagining them. While true love can also make you feel intensely happy, the shyness and nervousness that you feel when you’re crushing on someone can prevent you from forming any meaningful connection with them. If you don’t feel that you can be open and honest, it’s not love.

Also read: How to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship: 12 Tips


4. Crushes make you feel isolated; true love makes you more connected with the world.

Do you think about this person all the time? Does it feel like you spend most of your energy and emotion on them? When everything else seems unimportant compared to this person, you may lose enjoyment and enthusiasm for your work, hobbies, and other loved ones. You feel lonely and out of touch with the rest of your life.

On the other hand, true love is an exchange of energy and emotion that serves and encourages both of you. True love inspires you to be connected and fulfilled.


5. Crushes make you feel extreme highs and lows; true love feels stable.

Can one message from this person make your whole day? When you spend time together, do you feel ecstatic? When someone can make you feel happy so quickly, often they can also make you feel sad just as quickly. If they don’t text you, or don’t spend time with you, you feel heartbroken.

Crushing on someone gives you these emotional highs and lows that are difficult, sometimes impossible, to manage. They’re based on inconsequential things. True love is consistent, and centered around a solid connection that doesn’t require constant reassurances in order to feel real.


6. Crushes make you overthink; true love lets you stay focused.

Do you find yourself constantly analyzing your interactions with this person? Maybe you replay conversations in your head, or closely observe everything they do when you’re together. Sometimes, you may even imagine scenarios with you and this person in the future.

If you’re always second-guessing this person’s words and behavior, it’s a sign that you don’t feel the assurance of true love in your relationship.

Also read: 13 Early Signs of True Love in a Relationship


7. Crushes make you want to change to fit the other person; true love makes you grow into the best version of yourself.

Have you ever taken up new activities, or started demonstrating certain behaviors, because you thought that doing so would bring you closer to this person? Perhaps you might have even changed the way you look – dressing differently, or cutting your hair to fit their style and make them notice you.

If you’re trying to do the same things for this person even though you don’t enjoy them, you’re trying to win their approval at the cost of your own self-esteem and identity. True love makes you want to change, but in a way that improves the things you love about yourself.


8. Crushes make you give too much; true love fosters equality.

Are you constantly doing things for this person? Do you always give them gifts, or pay for everything when you go out together? While true love also makes you enjoy doing things for another person, these actions are reciprocated by your partner. There is a sense of give=and=take with true love. When you’re being overly giving, the relationship becomes draining and unhealthy for you.


9. Crushes develop quickly; true love takes time to grow.

When you first develop feelings for someone else, it’s fun and exciting. You feel happy and energized, and it can seem just like true love. However, the truth is that love always takes time to grow. True love is difficult, because it has to be resilient enough to survive the differences and disappointments you’ll encounter along the way to building a life together.

Crushes are all about enjoying someone’s company and being happy when things are going well. True love is constant, no matter what the circumstances are.


10. Crushes make you focus on what you feel; true love is more concerned with how the other person feels.

Ultimately, no matter how giving and self-sacrificing we may feel when we’re crushing on someone, the truth is that crushes are more about what we feel than how the other person feels. This is the reason why crushes sometimes make us engage in desperate behavior, making us try unreasonable things to change their mind if they’ve already made it clear that they don’t share our feelings.

True love is more concerned with the other person’s feelings. We respect their wishes, and we want to make them feel appreciated and understood.


Hopefully, this has helped you decide if what you’re experiencing is true love, or just a crush. Spending time with your crush and dreaming of being with them can feel wonderful, but if it can’t grow into love, you need to let them go. Doing so will make you free to grow as a person and find true love with someone who will make you feel understood and valued for who you are.

Also read: What is the Definition of True Love? 15 Ways to Define It

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