This morning in the middle of a perfectly good cup of coffee a dear friend of mine asked a question that came across my Twitter feed:
"What’s the difference between a crush & loving someone? #Question"
This stopped me in my tracks. I stopped reading the morning headlines. Put my coffee down and caught myself staring off into space. I hurriedly sent a reply:
"Wow, don’t think I can answer that #Question in 140 characters or less…"
and then I went back to reading the headlines. But the question stuck in my head.
Maybe I thought about the #quesion because I’m in a bit of a debate about crushes and love myself right now. It’s an interesting question.
At the beginning - can you tell if it’s just a crush or love? Does love hit you in such a way that it makes its differences obvious? Is it just a matter of terminology?
The dictionary defines crush as:
"a usually temporary infatuation."
Love is defined as:
"A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness."
In the dictionary the differences are obvious. Even the length of the definitions seems to indicate something profound. But, when feelings of attraction begin to simmer it’s only natural to feel optimistic in the hopes that the “crush” may turn into something more.
A crush seems temporary and impossible. Like a feeling you might have for a celebrity or otherwise unavailable or unattainable individual. It seems reflective of one aspect of desire. Attraction based on appearance, talent, power, money, personality, sense of humor, intelligence, celebrity or other single form of attraction based on one or two of these combined influences.
Maybe the better question is: “What is the difference between being in love with someone (or falling in love with someone) and a physical, intellectual or utilitarian sort of attraction?
Love, and even infatuation, would have to be multidimensional - incorporating more than one of these aspects. But love, or the state of being in love (as opposed to infatuation), is deeper than those one-dimensional attractions. Love touches your heart in a way that makes you care for that person and want what’s best for them. A concern for their happiness. Love accepts the parts of a person that are beautiful and perfect but makes room for the parts that are flawed… and continues to love.
Love is a profound, tender affection for another person with or without physical desire. To love is to accept someone as they are. It seems we have been conditioned through society, failed relationships, past rejections and unattainable crushes to hide our love. It is vulnerable. It is a risk. It is giving someone else access to the most fragile part of you - your heart.
There are many cliche things to say about love - but the difference between a crush and loving someone is vast - something that should have occurred to me immediately.