How To Tell The Difference Between A Crush And Love At First Sight

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How To Tell The Difference Between A Crush And Love At First Sight

The differences are key!

So, what's the difference between a crush and love at first sight? Oh my, this question is so much fun!

When you really understand the difference between the two, I mean really get it, you’re going to have more fun than you've ever had, and you’re going to experience more love than you knew possible.

The key word is 'experience'. Are you ready for that? Good, let’s dive in.

To begin with, let’s define a "crush". Some call this chemistry, and indeed that is a major part of it. 

And what is chemistry? It’s a delicious mix of six brain chemicals that raise your temperature for engagement, companionship and physical connection to insane highs.  

Insane, because you are literally on intense drugs that impact your ability to make sane and rational decisions. The chemistry high feels awesome! And, it brings with it a level of infatuation and desire that has little to do with who the person actually is or if they are a healthy person to be in your life. 

So, you can think of a "crush" as crushing all sensibilities out of you. Or you can think of a "crush" as something you will feel when your sensibilities return and you discover you ventured into a relationship with a totally wrong person. You are crushed!

RELATED: 4 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When You Have A Serious Crush

"I don’t care, I’m going for it anyhow."

These words were recently spoken to me by my daughter about the newest guy in her life. Either you have said this same thing or you have heard it from a friend — and there is no changing their mind. Our only option is to be there for them and ride it through.

Because this is when the wackiest reasoning comes to the surface. I call it whacky because this decision is usually made before we have given ourselves a chance to really discover who the person is. 

It is totally possible that a crush or chemistry can also lead us to someone who could become the greatest love of our life. Just keep in mind, when things happen super fast and you are not in full control of your faculties, it’s great to take time away from your infatuation and administer some self-love.  

My client, Cynthia, is a perfect example. She called me because she couldn’t seem to get herself untangled from a magnetically smart super attractive new man. She sounded distraught and exhausted.

She was. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t get much accomplished at work and she couldn’t get him off her mind. At the time, it didn’t matter if he was a good thing for her or not. We needed to get her back, fully empowered and grounded. 

She loved getting into nature and long hikes. She also loved to surf. This turned out to be a great combo.

First, she drove to her favorite mountain and spent the next 4 hours hiking. Then she came back and hit the beach before sunset. The hike got her back into her own body (a chemistry reprieve) and the surfing helped her drop into the power of the ocean and the cycles of the waves.

Her mind found the strength and determination she used for surfing. When we talked she had come back into better control of her own faculties and she was able to clearly reassess what she liked about this man, and there was a lot to like. 

The good news. They’re still together. But it was a very close call. He had decided to back off because he felt like she was more infatuated with him than anything else. He didn’t feel seen. When she came back around, the first thing she asked him was if they could slow things down a bit, which was exactly what they both needed.

You don’t have to hike or surf. There are many other options: a spa day, a massage, reading a great book, or writing a gratitude letter to your best friend. Most importantly, get grounded and love yourself!

Which brings us to "love at first sight". What is that? 

To get this one right, we, first, have to understand love. Notice, I did not say "define" love. This might be the most important thing you ever read: True love is not definable. In fact, as soon as you define it, it is no longer that. 

Most people want love to be something specific. They had a great love affair, so they want that same thing again. Or they have never felt loved, or adored or cherished, so they get an idea of what they think that love will look like and they fixate on it.

The challenge is that you will never have the same exact experience of anything that has happened before this very moment. And nothing that happens to you is ever exactly as you thought it would be. There are always subtle and sometimes major differences between what you wished for and what you get. 

This is important because if you are waiting for that exact thing to re-occur or appear, it will never happen. Those that are stuck on this will attempt to create their desires and dreams and literally distort what is so.

Therefore, it is only a matter of time before the bubble bursts and you discover you still don’t have what you need to feel totally loved, adored, and cherished.

RELATED: 5 Signs It Really, Truly Is Love at First Sight

This means love is only happening right now. This means "love at first sight" is exactly what happens when we allow ourselves to show up and fully see someone without projecting our needs or desires on them. 

Have you ever seen a puppy or a kitten and immediately loved them? We all have. In that moment, this wonderful fluff ball of pure yum grabbed your heart. Love at first sight.  

The same can happen and does happen all the time with people. You have no expectations and suddenly, someone wonderful shows up. You allow yourself to fall into a space of deep inquiry and the next thing you know, you love that person.

You do! You truly love them. Maybe romantically or maybe not. But one thing is for certain: you have met someone who you think is amazing, who touched your heart and allowed you to love. Out of your mouth, you hear the words, "I love that person." This is true unadulterated and pure love.

And like chemistry, you are powerfully pulled to want more.

The sensation of "love at first sight" and the infatuation of a "crush" can feel very similar, but they are uniquely different. 

A true "love at first sight" occurrence happens when you are totally present to discover who and what someone is. You may love what you discover, but decide this is not my next romance. Like the puppy or the kitten, it is totally possible to do that without taking them home with you.

With a crush, the person is with you all the time, either in your head as a desire or infatuation, or in person as a chemical addiction.  

Yes, it is possible to have a crush on someone who also is the recipient of your love at first site. 

The moral of this story is…well, there are a couple of them:

  1. When the decisions of humankind are based on the past or the future, love is lost. We must be present to experience love. It exists nowhere else. When we are truly in the here and now, love comes in gushes. Be ready for the time of your life.
  2. The waves of our desires will lead us to mysterious and wondrous places. Some we will like and some not. That’s living! If we hold onto the joy of discovery, like or dislike matters less than the growth from the experience. 

Love at first sight or a crush, be sure to honor yourself always and take the ride with your eyes open. It’s sure to be exciting and surpass your wildest dreams.

RELATED: Here's Why Love At First Sight Might Actually Be Possible

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Larry Michel is the father of Genetic Energetics, a typology to help us love more fully and connect more deeply. He is also a world-renowned relationship coach.  He works with single women, men and couples across the globe to find the greatest joy, inspiration, growth, abundance, and excitement in their relationships. Larry can be reached at You can also read more about the powerful effects of chemistry.