Like vs Crush: Difference and Comparison

Be it for budding adolescents or more experienced young adults, people can often mix 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 depends and varies from person to person.

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

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

Key Takeaways

  1. “Like” is a positive feeling towards someone, while a “crush” is a temporary, intense attraction to someone.
  2. “Like” is based on a deeper understanding of a person, while a “crush” is often based on physical or superficial qualities.
  3. “Like” can develop into a long-lasting friendship or romantic relationship, while a “crush” may fade or become more serious.

Like vs Crush

“Like” denotes a positive feeling toward someone, and “Like” can be platonic or romantic. Crush” denotes a stronger and more intense romantic attraction.

Like vs Crush

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLikeCrush
MeaningIt is 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 centred around the behaviour and personality of the person.It is generally short-lived.
IntensityNot as tense, but these feelings linger on for longer.It is more intense and short-lived.
CauseIt depends on the person’s behaviour, personality, and overall morals.It is more often than not based on physical looks and aspects but also on a person’s personality and other habits.
ExpressionThe person may openly admire the other they like, and it generally aims to have a better friendship.The person is shy and introverted around the one they admire, and they often have difficulty 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, people, the weather or a certain sport, and so on.

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

A known psychological 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 always be the case, sometimes people do what is called “brown-nosing” and only pretend to like the other person back to fulfil ulterior motives.

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, etc.

It is often linked with the act of liking art and the artist or when someone makes a friend with similar hobbies.

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

It is not as intense as having a crush, nor 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 to liking a person.

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

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

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

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

Even though the biological reasoning behind liking is unknown, having a crush is a bit more similar to love; oxytocin and dopamine are released in both cases.

Returning to the fantasy aspect, this is why having a crush seems idyllic 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”. In contrast, when the affection is mostly romantic or sensual, it is generally a crush.
  2. The duration of having a crush is 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 person’s looks and personality, 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 someone often leads to friendships, while crushing on someone leads to a more romantic relationship.
Difference Between Like and Crush
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