30 Signs It's Just a Crush and Not Love

You’re not yourself around them

One surefire sign that you’re experiencing a passing crush rather than lasting feelings is that you’re not yourself around the object of your affection. If you really wanted to build a life with someone, you’d want to be sure that they loved you for you.

So if you have claimed to be super into biking when actually you prefer a night on the couch, it’s probably a crush.

You feel giggly and nervous

When you meet a soulmate, they make you feel safe, secure and comfortable almost instantly. Even if you feel excitable and have butterflies in your stomach, something tells you that there’s actually no need to be nervous.

So if you’ve got the giggles and your heart races so much before seeing them that it’s actually terrifying, it’s definitely just a crush.

You want to impress them

One of the best parts about meeting your other half is that there’s no pressure to impress them. Things click instantly, and soon you’re convinced that they’ll never judge your bed hair, your habit of eating dry cereal out of the box or your love of terrible action movies.

If you want to make yourself seem more polished and accomplished, then it might just be a crush.

You ignore their flaws

When you’re in the midst of a new flirtation, it’s normal to have rose-colored glasses on, at least a little bit. With that said, if you consistently overlook the flaws of the person you’re chasing, even when they’re obvious to all your friends, it’s probably just a crush.

If there were real feelings, you’d see their flaws as part of the complete package.

In your fantasies, you never get serious

Your daydreams and fantasies are a direct portal to your subconscious and, as a result, they can tell you what you really want. If in your dreams, you’re marrying, settling down with someone or otherwise building a life with them, there could be real feelings involved.

If it’s all candlelit dinners and frolicking on the beach, it’s probably just a crush.

You don’t know much about them

It’s possible to have an instant attraction to or connection with someone for sure, but real feelings require actually getting to know the person.

If you’ve only met them in passing and don’t actually know their likes, dislikes, priorities or humor, then at the minute what you’re experiencing is just a crush, even if it could theoretically develop into something more.

Your friends keep saying “it will pass”

When it comes to making romantic decisions, your friends can be a hugely valuable resource in keeping you grounded and on the right path.

If your pals know about your new feelings and keep saying things like “It will pass” or “Let’s just see what happens”, then they probably know from experience that what you’re dealing with is a fleeting crush.

You’re mostly just into their looks

As the old adage goes, beauty is only skin deep. Meaning that if your feelings are only based on someone’s looks, but you have no idea what lies beneath them, what you’re experiencing is definitely a crush and not love at first sight.

More than that, if what you know about their personality isn’t attractive to you, then your crush has a limited shelf life.

You’re actually afraid to date them

Whether or not you actually want to date the person you’re interested in is one of the most under-discussed signs of a crush versus love.

When you’re crushing on someone, it’s normal to like the fluttery feelings so much that you almost don’t want to get to know the person better and start a relationship, you’d rather just stay in the butterfly phase.

Deep down you know you’re not compatible

At the end of the day, no relationship can work without compatibility.

If you know in your heart of hearts that you and the person you’re interested in would never work due to different goals, lifestyles or priorities, then you’re likely staying in the crush phase on purpose to avoid dealing with the disappointment of moving on.

You have a history of fleeting crushes

If you're the romantic type, you probably find yourself getting new crushes every week. They might feel like they're the one, but so did all the others, right?

Give it a week, and you'll probably find that the object of your affection is an entirely brand new person. When it's real, you'll know.

They give you 'the ick'

'The ick' might be a relatively new turn of phrase, but it's a well-trodden feeling. The ick is that sudden pang of disgust you feel when you see your crush doing something totally inconsequential that for some reason just turns you off immediately.

It could be failing to call over a waiter, a fashion faux pas, or tripping over their own feet - but once the ick sets in, it can be hard to shake. When you truly love someone, you won't care if they have pasta sauce in the corner of their mouth or dance like a dad at a wedding - you'll love them anyway.

You're fresh out of a breakup

While it is possible to fall for someone straight after a breakup (even more so if your feelings for that person were the reason for the breakup), it's more likely that you're just experiencing the rush of being newly-single by freely crushing on the first hottie in your vicinity.

You shouldn't make any rash decisions or rush into a new relationship whilst still in the throes of a recent breakup - that crush could be nothing more than the rush of being out of a relationship that ran its course.

You're excessively jealous

Jealousy is a normal part of any relationships, but those in true love will know that your partner deserves respect and trust.

If you don't even like the idea of your love interest having friends of the opposite sex, you're almost certainly not experiencing anything deeper than a crazy crush.

You always keep the conversation light

If conversations with your crush never seem to go deeper than surface level, it's a clear sign that neither of you are in it for the long haul.

While topics like religion, politics or family are generally considered off the table for casual chitchat, when you're in love with a person, you'll want to know absolutely everything about them - even the uglier stuff.

You're being delusional

One sign that you're in the throes of a heavy crush is delusion. Realistically, the object of your affection is probably not going to leave their partner for you, and almost certainly isn't dreaming of you in their spare time.

When you're in love, you realize the importance of being realistic with your expectations of another person. You may even realize they are never going to be right for you, and healthily accept it and move on instead of obsessing.

You're crushing on a fictional character

Ok, this one really should be obvious, but nobody said crushes were logical! If you're obsessing and fantasizing over a fictional character, we hate to break it to you but - you're definitely not in love with them.

Characters from movies and television shows can inspire profound feelings within us, but they don't exist. You can't ever know them - or love them - in any realistic way.

They got a haircut and now you don't like them anymore

One day, you're dreaming about the long flowing locks of your crush, and the next day they walk in with a fresh new buzzcut. If your first thought is "ew!", you probably weren't really that into them in the first place.

Crushes are fickle and circumstantial. They're based almost entirely on physical appearance, and if that changes for the worse, the crush can quickly fade. True love however will see you crazy for your lover whether their hair is brown, blue or totally bald.

You don't have any inside jokes

Inside jokes are an integral part of any loving relationship. When you and your partner crack up over the silliest things that others just wouldn't understand, that's a sign you're perfectly on each other's wavelengths.

But if you and the object of your affection don't have any inside jokes, or worse still, don't even laugh together, it's probably a sign you're not really compatible. The crush is simply surface level.

You never hang out alone together

Think about the last time you saw your crush. And the time before that. Do you only ever see them at parties, hangouts or in your friendship group? Then things definitely aren't that serious.

If either of you were truly interested in getting to know each other on a deeper level, you would have.

Your friends are trying to set you up with other people

By having an outside perspective, our friends are often the first to know whether our feelings are legit or not. So if your friends are constantly trying to introduce you to other people, they can tell there's no future between you and the object of your affection.

It could be that they're trying to distract you from what is clearly a dead-end crush, or they don't think your crush is good for you - but either way, they're intent on helping you develop feelings for someone else.

You've just experienced a big life event

Huge life events, such as losing a family member, moving house or having a baby, can be a source of huge emotional turmoil. You might find yourself seeking stability or comfort in a crush.

If your crush developed around the same time as your life changed dramatically, fear not - it probably won't last. True love thrives on stability.

You're obsessed with them

The happy hormones associated with crushes are addictive, and if not kept in check, they can quickly spiral into a serious obsession.

If your crush occupies your every waking thought and your dreams, if you can't bear the thought of not seeing them, if you deliberately alter your schedule to spend time with them... these are all signs that the obsession might have gone too far.

They make you feel like a teenager

Our teenage years are synonymous with fleeting, intense emotions. If the sight of your beau or belle makes you feel like you've been transported back to high school, that's a surefire sign it's nothing more than a crush.

When you're in love with someone, you'll feel much more mature about it. Security, stability and self-acceptance are all the signs of true love - and definitely not the puppy kind.

You're crushing on a celebrity

Similiar to romantic thoughts about a fictional character, developing a crush on a celebrity can feel intense at times - but it's just that, a crush.

Celebrities have carefully curated public personas that are intended to make them personable and desired. But you'll never truly know them, and so you'll never be able to truly love them.

You don't want to be patient

When you have a crush, everything feels like its sped up. You're desperate to know everything about them, see them constantly, and move to the next stage of your relationship ASAP.

True love, however, takes things slow. You'll want to savor every moment with them and put the time and effort into developing every phase of the relationship.

You're terrified of fighting with them

Fighting sucks, but it's a normal part of any relationship. At some point, even the most lovey-dovey couple will have an argument, either big or small.

The difference is, people in love will work to overcome any obstacle, and therefore they know that - in most cases - a fight doesn't mean the end of the relationship. If you're terrified of fighting, deep down you probably know that your relationship wouldn't withstand even the slightest conflict.

You're clingy

You might think that a constant desire for physical contact with someone means you're loved up. But couples in loving and secure relationships not only respect each other's personal space, but understand that you don't always need to be hugging and kissing to show you're in love.

If you're constantly seeking the warm touch of your partner, even if they don't seem like they want to, it's a sign that you're terrified of losing them and could be trying to savor every last moment in their company.

The reality doesn't live up to the fantasy

It's the moment everyone dreams of - after weeks of pining over your crush, you finally get them. You get ready for a magical moment, for sparks to fly and your lives to change forever... only to be severely disappointed by the anti-climactic reality.

The problem with crushes is that they're entirely fantasy. Nothing in reality could ever match the lofty, loving heights you've dreamed up in your head. True love, which is based in reality, means having a realistic view of things - which means you're rarely disappointed.

You only want them to be happy with you

The thought of losing your partner to another is devastating in any case, but those in love truly just want their partner to be happy: with or without them.

If you're crushing, you only want them to be happy on one condition - that they're with you.

You don't want to eat around them

It's common knowledge that being in a healthy and happy relationship will see even the fittest of people pack on a few pounds. It's a combination of comfort, self-acceptance and unconditional love - not to mention, eating with your partner is one of life's greatest joys.

But if you don't want to eat around someone, it could be a sign that things aren't very serious. If you don't want them to see you guzzling down a giant slice of pizza or accidentally spilling ice cream on your shirt, it could be because you're worried they won't find you attractive anymore.

You're not interested in meeting their friends or family

Meeting a partner's friends and family can be daunting, but if you're in love, you'll want to meet the people who are important to your loved one. After all, they might be your family in the future too!

However, if you're crushing, the thought of meeting their friends and family might fill you with dread, or apathy. If you're entirely uninterested in those people, there's no future there.

You're not comfortable saying no

In the early days of a relationship, you'll be keen to prove yourself as a fun-loving and exciting person to be around. That can often lead to you getting into unwanted and awkward situations, like an impromptu rooftop party at 2am when you'd really rather be in bed.

When you're in love, however, you're fully comfortable saying no to any situation that doesn't make you happy. So what if your partner thinks you're being boring? They love you for you.

You're hiding parts of yourself

Nobody is perfect. We all have parts of ourselves, whether physical or mental, that we prefer to keep private. Maybe it's your fear of clowns or an unsightly wart on your toe - but you're scared it'll scare your crush off if they find out.

Love means accepting and loving someone because of their flaws, not in spite of them. And when you're in true love, you'll feel safe and comfortable showing all the private parts of yourself, warts and all.

You refuse to be gross in front of them

Farting, burping, snoring, bad morning breath... these are all natural - if unpleasant - parts of being a human being. If you're pretending that you don't have any of these gross human habits, you're definitely not in this for the long haul.

True love sticks around even in the yuckiest circumstances. If you can't imagine holding your partner's hair back while they puke or picking up their snot-filled tissues, then it's not love - it's just a crush.

You fell "in love" at first sight

Despite the name, love at first sight is a common misconception - you simply cannot fall in love with someone just by seeing their face.

What you're feeling is superficial. You can't love somebody that you don't know, and you don't know somebody you've just laid your eyes on.

You've never been in love before

If you've never been in love before, understandably you'll be looking for meaning in the feeling. Movies and television have helped to create a stereotype that the typical crush feelings are associated with true love, and so you'd be forgiven for mistaking one for the other.

But when you're in love, there's no second guessing - you simply know.

You've only known them for a few weeks

Despite what romcoms and Disney movies tell us, falling in love doesn't happen instantaneously. Love is a long, patient process that develops as two people spend time together, get to know one another and go through things together.

If you've only known the object of your affection for a few weeks, it's incredibly unlikely that what you're feeling is true love. It might become love, sure, but at the moment, it's probably just a crush.

You constantly try to fill the silence

When you've found your true love, awkward silences become a thing of the past. The most secure couples are more than happy to spend time with each other in total silence, and don't feel the need to fill the dead air with idle chit chat.

If you're hanging out with your crush and are desperately yammering on in order to avoid even a second of silence, it's probably because the relationship isn't strong enough to function without constant stimulation.

You're already in a relationship

Yep, believe it or not, even people in the happiest relationships sometimes still get crushes on other people. There's nothing inherently bad about having a crush on another person, even if you're married - as long as you don't act on it.

In fact, having a crush on another person can actually strengthen the love you have for your partner. You'll realize that, yes, having fantasies is exciting, but ultimately nothing beats the feeling of having a partner you love and trust. As the phrase goes, you can still look in the bakery window - just make sure you're eating dinner at home.