Difference Between Like and Crush

Be it for the budding adolescents or the more experienced young adults, people can often mix between their feelings of liking someone and having a crush on someone.


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Of course, feelings or emotions as a whole is subjective and it depends and varies from person to person.

According to the American Psychological Association, human emotions have three elements which are experiential, based on experience and observation, behavioral and physiological elements.

On the other hand, emotions can be grouped into three categories which are physiological, neurological, and cognitive. 

Like vs Crush

The difference between a like and a crush is that a liking is more platonic and a broad term that is applicable to animate and inanimate objects alike while a crush on the other hand is more of a romantic feeling. 

Like vs Crush

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLikeCrush
MeaningIs more of a general and platonic feeling without very less romantic emotion.It is more of romantic or sensual emotion.
DurationIt generally is not time-bound but more centered around the behavior and personality of the person.It is generally short-lived.
IntensityNot as tense but these feelings linger on for longer.Is more intense and short-lived.
CauseIt depends on the behavior, personality, and overall morals of the person in question.It is more often than not based on physical looks and aspects but also the personality and other habits of a person.
ExpressionThe person may openly admire the other one, whom they like and it generally aims to have a better friendship.The person is really shy and introverted around the one they admire and they often have a hard time expressing their feelings.

What is a Liking ?

Affection is one of the basic emotions of us humans, and it is almost like a reflex action to reciprocate it to others.

The term “like” is pretty simple and easy to explain, we like objects, we like people, we like the weather or a certain sport, and so on.

It is a blanket term used for our fancy of items to our admiration of other fellow human beings. 

A known psychology fact is that we like someone who likes us, if someone has positive feelings towards us we too more often than not reciprocate it.

Though it may not be the case always, sometimes people do what is called “brown-nosing” and only pretend to like the other person back to get ulterior motives fulfilled.

Similarly, people with low self-esteem do not reciprocate the feeling of their admirers. 

There is also the other aspect of liking objects, items, hobbies, weather, and a million other things.

It is often linked together with the act of liking an art and the artist or when someone makes a friend who has similar hobbies as them.

Liking someone thus leads to better and newer friendships and other platonic relations.

It is not as intense as having a crush and neither is it as short-lived, it is more of a slow burn and is mostly based on what the person does and behaves more than what they look like. 


What is a Crush?

Crush is probably one of the first terms we learn in middle school, and it surely is as simple and innocent as one is back then. People have crushes and grow out of them phase effortlessly most times.

Unlike just liking a person, having a crush is almost always romantic or sensual, it is often the next step of liking a person.

These are basically short-lived, intense emotions and affections or attraction towards another person. 

These are also mostly superficial and the admirer is attracted to the looks, physical aspects, and sometimes the personality of the person.

The reason behind liking a crush is also often linked to fantasy, it is often developed on people we don’t even know that well but fantasize about them and idealize how they might be.

Having a crush involves a lot of daydreaming about them, stealing a glance or an opportunity to talk to them, but also being very shy or introverted around them.

Even though the biological reasoning behind liking is not known, having a crush is a bit more similar to love, oxytocin and dopamine both are released in both cases.

Coming back to the fantasy aspect, this is why having a crush seems idyllic as compared to the person next to you, as you do not know them, and neither do you know their flaws and faults, and thus they look better than most others.  


Main Differences Between Like and Crush

  1. When the admiration and affection are mostly platonic though not strictly, it generally tends to be a “liking” while when the affection is mostly romantic or sensual it is generally a crush.
  2. The duration of having a crush is really short-lived lasting a few months. Studies say around 3 months is the maximum time of “having a crush”, while like is mostly long-lived.
  3. A person can like people as well as objects, for example, one can like chocolates and also their English teacher while on the other hand, a crush is a romantic feeling towards another human being. 
  4. Having a Crush is mostly based on the looks, personality of the person while Liking a person is much more than that, and not just based on superficial features like looks or any other physical aspects. It may be a common hobby, integrity, or morals of the person.
  5. Liking some often leads to friendships while crushing on someone leads to a more romantic relation.
Difference Between Like and Crush


  1. https://psych2go.net/6-stages-of-having-a-crush/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jennifer_Neemann/publication/231893361_The_Changing_Importance_of_Romantic_Relationship_Involvement_to_Competence_from_Late_Childhood_to_Late_Adolescence/links/586bba9708ae6eb871bb69b0.pdf
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