When does a crush become REAL love?
How can you tell if what you’re feeling is truly meaningful?
What if it’s just a temporary infatuation?
Many people think that the difference between love and a crush is clear as day. If you are in a relationship, it’s love and if you’re not then it’s obviously just a crush.
While it’s true that it often starts with a crush, develops into a relationship and then love blossoms, sometimes it’s not that straightforward.
Sometimes you can fall in love before you’re even dating. And (of course) you can definitely be a couple before you two are actually in love. Stick around to find out how to tell the difference once and for all.
Before we get started, you should know that if it turns out you two aren’t in love just yet, there’s no reason to despair.
Don’t be in such a rush to be in love. Enjoy where you are now, get to know one another and let love develop over time.
The worst thing you can be is not sure one way or another. This can lead to misunderstandings and worse. Don’t let this confusion rob you of your relationship before it even starts.
I’m going to help you find the difference between being in love with someone and just crushing on them.
And stick around to the end to find out what to do if it turns out it’s just a crush.
So instead of giving you a bunch of basic, one-size-fits-all signs, I’m going to take a different approach.
How To Tell If It’s Real Love: 8 Tests
We’re going to put your relationship through 8 tests. Take your time with the questions and really dig deep. If you can pass all 8 honestly, then you’ll know that you’re truly in love… or not.
1. The Feeling Is Mutual
I’m going to ask you to be brutally honest with yourself. You need to answer the following question.
Does he like me back?
Love isn’t one-sided.
If you think you love him and he won’t give you the time of day, this is probably just a passing crush. It’s easy to get hooked on guys when they aren’t into us. Maybe we see it as a challenge. Maybe it makes them seem valuable that they don’t want us. Maybe it’s low self esteem. Whatever it is, it’s not love.
Real love forms when you spend time with one another and build bonds. If you can’t say for sure if he even likes you, then you’re probably not spending real quality time together and you’re definitely not building those bonds.
If your feelings for him are the same no matter what he says and does around you, then you’re more into the idea of this guy than you are into reality. That my friends, is just a crush.
2. The Private Eye
You have to really know someone before you can say that you love them.
It’s easy to mistake enjoying someone’s looks and company with love but you need to understand what’s beneath the surface before you can really fall for a guy.
With that in mind: imagine yourself as a private investigator. Someone has asked you to create a whole dossier on him.
No, don’t go snooping through his garbage or following him to work.
You simply need to make a list of all the things you know about him.
- What’s his full name?
- Where does he live?
- What does he do for a living?
- Where did he grow up?
- Who are his friends?
- What’s a typical day in his life?
- What was his life like before he met you?
- What is his family like?
- What are his goals?
You don’t need to know him inside and out to be in love but this exercise will help you realize what you know and don’t know, about this guy. If you needed to track him down in case of an emergency, and you’d have no idea where to start, that’s a bad sign.
3. Happily Ever After
You shouldn’t be planning a dream wedding just yet but you should be able to answer these questions:
- What’s the next thing you two are going to do with him?
- Who are some people in your life you want him to meet?
- How do you see your relationship in two years?
- Picture your future. Is he in it?
RELATED: How To Know If You’re In Love
Love’s not just about the here and now. Love has a future.
Crushes are usually fixated on the person as an idea whereas love is something you build together. If you can’t wait to show him a youtube video because you want to see his reaction then that’s a good sign that you two are really and truly in love.
4. Your One And Only
If you’ve found someone you really love then dating other people will be the last thing on your mind. They’ll feel far away and unimportant compared to this guy who is really here for you.
- Do you still think about other guys a lot?
- Are you still thinking of yourself as single?
- When’s the last time you talked to one of your exes?
- If you notice someone cute smiling at you, what goes through your mind?
You can have a bunch of crushes at the same time, but love is focused on one person.
5. Stuck In Your Head
Love is like a song you can’t stop singing.
- Is this guy what you think about first thing in the morning?
- Is he on your mind even when he’s not around?
If he pops into your head out of nowhere. If something happens and your first thought is “I wonder what he’ll say when I tell him about it.” If you walk by a bakery and you smell a smell that reminds you of him– you might be in love.
This one isn’t 100%–crushes can be pretty strong–but it’s definitely a great sign that what you’re feeling isn’t just a passing fancy.
6. The Presence Test
Sometimes we feel like we’re in love with someone who we never spend time with or talk to. Whether they moved away, we’re never in the same place, or they don’t even know we exist. Whatever the case, if you don’t actually spend time together then this isn’t love.
- When’s the last time you saw him?
- When’s the next time you’re going to see him?
- Where is he right now?
- What did he do yesterday?
These seem like simple questions but it’s easy to get wrapped up in our feelings and miss the fact that he’s fallen off the map completely.
You need to see someone regularly to build that real connection. Plus, people change over time so if he has this whole new life that you know nothing about, then the version of him you love doesn’t exist anymore.
7. The Road Block Test
- Is there something keeping you apart?
What I mean is, why aren’t you doing more than crushing on him? If you’re both single people who are looking for someone, you’re not really close friends, you didn’t date one of his friends or visa-versa, then why hasn’t he made a move? Maybe your families wouldn’t allow it. Maybe you’re in different cities. Maybe he doesn’t know how you feel. Maybe he’s shy. Whatever the case, look at the reasons that you’re not together despite this feeling.
What I’m saying is that it’s possible to be in love with someone even if you’re not together but if you’re really in love then what’s keeping you apart would have to be pretty significant. Otherwise, it’s probably just a crush.
8. Falling For Trust
Do you trust him? It’s a simple question that can be difficult to answer.
If you can’t trust someone, you can’t love them, not really. A big part of love is security and if you can’t feel secure with this man, how can you know you really love him?
With that in mind, answer these questions.
- Are you keeping anything secret from him?
- What are you worried that he’ll find out?
- If you got arrested, would he be your one call?
- Imagine your car breaks down on the highway and you can’t get a tow truck. Would he come and get you?
What if your hairstylist sneezed while cutting your bangs and suddenly you were missing all your hair on the left side? Would he still be there?
It’s a silly question but one you need to know the answer to.
Crushes are very exciting but they’re also scary and insecure. We spend a lot of time wondering if he feels the same way or if he might just disappear if we say the wrong thing. If you’re in love then you’ll be comfortable with or without his presence. You’ll know that no matter what happens, he’ll be there for you and no one else.
So how did you do? If you followed along and answered the questions honestly then by now you should have a pretty good idea if you’re in love with this guy or just crushing on him.
If you’re in love, congratulations!
If not, don’t despair.
This is totally okay. Love takes time. Falling in love before you’re even dating is extremely rare and often a recipe for disaster. Again, there’s no rush. Instead of putting a bunch of pressure on the relationship, just try to get to know him as you would a friend. Spend time together, talk to him, and be present. Love happens when you least expect it.
What if you are in love and you two aren’t together?
This is a tricky one. Now that you’ve realized that your feelings are more than just a passing crush you need to figure out your next step.
Do not go and immediately declare your love for him. While this may work out, it could backfire on you and scare him off, even if he has strong feelings or even loves you.
Remember, there’s a reason you two aren’t together at this point.
If the reason is that he’s shy and inexperienced than you are then you need to take your time. Simply speak to him more and work your way up to seeing him in person and spending more and more time together.
If the reason is that either of you have been putting up walls because you’re scared then reaching out is often enough to change that. Spending more time together is a great first step. If he feels the same way then he won’t say no.
But chances are there’s a bigger reason that you two are being kept apart.
What you really need now is a plan. How are you going to remove that reason and make him yours?