Crush, infatuation, true love – we have all experienced this at some point in our lives. Ever thought about their psychological reasons and impacts?
Why do we have a crush on someone, knowing fully well that it will not work out? What are the psychology facts behind the feeling of infatuation?
Many studies and research have analyzed the reasons, facts, and psychology about crushes and falling in love. This article brings together the information learned through numerous studies and presents it here in an easy to grasp style.
Why do we experience crush or infatuation?
The dictionary defines a crush as “a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable”. Infatuation is “an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something”.
Both crush and infatuation are short-lived with an emphasis on it being “intense”.
When we come right down to thinking about the psychology of crushes, a logical question that may pop up is “Why do we have a crush on someone over another?”. We come across so many people in our daily lives. We don’t develop a crush on all of them. On what basis do we choose one person to fall in love with?
The culprit in this instance is our brain. Or the way it functions and processes information. Many studies undertaken in psychology point to this simple fact – when we find someone attractive, our brain tends to embellish the image of the person further to make them more attractive to us. This is known as perceptual bias in psychology.
This is because our brain is wired to give precedence to contextual information over reality when making inferences. This is too common in everyday life when we use contextual information to skip certain events and move on quickly from unimportant things.
When this is applied in the instance of relationships, we all tend to add positive attributes to people we like and ignore their negative attributes.
Another interesting revelation of these studies is that we tend to look for symmetry in body structure, primarily facial features. However, there are exceptions to this rule – different ones for men and women.
Though illogical and weird, these psychological tendencies in us help us make snap judgments about others. Ultimately, we use these first impressions to decide whether they are worth further consideration.
The unfortunate part about these quick judgments is that they are based mostly on outward attributes like physical beauty and attractiveness. This actually decides whether you will take time out to know them better. This means that someone with a good personality has a better chance of forming relationships, though their inner attributes play a role much later. On the other hand, someone who is not attractive enough may not get as many chances as the handsome ones.
20 weird psychology facts about crushes
Crushes are indeed weird. Knowing fully well that someone is way beyond your reach, you still fall in love with them obsessively. Though short-lived, crushes make a huge enough impact on your life that you may remember it all through your life. Often the reason for memories about crushes can be because of the intensity of romantic love you experienced.
Later, you may fall in love with a person who is equally in love with you. You will have a successful relationship with this person. However, the intensity of emotions felt will not come anywhere close to the one you felt for your crush.
This is where crushes gain importance.
Here are some weird or interesting psychology facts about having a crush on someone.
Fact 1: Most often, you experience a crush on someone known to you
This is nature’s way of ensuring the survival of the human race. Bringing people together in a relationship is a natural phenomenon. There is a better chance of developing a bond between two known people.
Fact 2: You are more likely to develop a crush on someone who resembles your parent
Of course, it goes without saying that you must have a great relationship with the parent in question. This may be because your brain is always seeking familiarity to feel safer.
Fact 3: There is no way to predict when you will fall in love
That is the beauty of it. The unpredictability of the event. Though multiple studies have attempted to find a pattern in human behavior, this is something none of them have been able to find an answer to.
Fact 4: Love at first sight is a reality
Though psychologists have never been able to find a reason for this phenomenon or why some succumb to it while others don’t, love at first sight is indeed true because so many people have experienced it. Also, there is no way of predicting when this will strike you.
Fact 5: You develop a crush for someone like you
We always tend to choose someone similar in appearance or personality to ourselves. Maybe we like our own company more. Or we find it easier to be with someone who we can get along with.
Fact 6: You are more likely to have a crush on someone with a different eye color
This is indeed strange. This has been revealed by some studies on the topic on crushes. Maybe we are wired to choose a partner outside our genetic pool to produce healthy offspring. Or it can be a case of opposites attract.
Fact 7: Men prefer women high on femininity and women go for masculine men
Is it the conditioning of the society behind this phenomenon? Or is it nature’s way of maintaining a balance in the relationship?
Fact 8: You are likely to experience a crush on a friend or colleague
The reasons may be the opportunity, familiarity, and proximity. When you know the person well and have the opportunity to be in their close company, you have a greater chance of having a crush on them.
Fact 9: Seven seconds is all it takes to make a snap judgment
This is unbelievable but true. Multiple studies point to the veracity of this. You are well-equipped to make such quick assessments of others to decide whether you want to know them further. And, within this short time, you may also end up developing a crush on the person.
Fact 10: Your olfactory sense enjoys a prominent role in falling in love
Your sense of smell is closely linked to your memory. As we like to be reminded of something comforting or secure, we fall for someone who reminds us of this memory.
Fact 11: Your skillset determines your compatibility with someone
At times opposites attract. But more often it is the birds of the same feather that flock together. We are constantly on the lookout for someone similar to us because we feel that they can understand us better and are easier to get along with.
Fact 12: When someone doesn’t return your smile, maybe it is a one-way romance
Making eye contact is important in romantic love. As we are all well-equipped to make snap judgments of each other, if the other person is not showing any indication of interest in you, maybe your true love is unidirectional.
Fact 13: When someone is having a crush on you, you are more attractive to them than you actually are
That is how we tend to process the feeling of love and passion in our brains. We see people we like as more attractive than they actually are in reality. Even if we know this for a fact, we tend to undervalue how attractive we are in the eyes of others.
Fact 14: When you have a crush on someone, you can know their intentions with eye contact
You are naturally inclined to look away when your eyes meet with that of your crush. It may be shyness or embarrassment. You may feel that you are loving them without taking their permission. However, making eye contact can reveal what they feel about you.
Fact 15: You feel happier by flirting
Flirtatious behavior can raise your happiness levels and make you feel confident. It can also bring down your levels of anxiety and depression. But there are many deathtraps in flirting and ensure you don’t fall into them.
Fact 16: You may fall for someone who makes you laugh
This is a well-known fact in the dating scene. We always tend to gravitate toward someone friendly, approachable, and light-hearted. Who wouldn’t want to laugh all the time? A good sense of humor often tips the balance in their favor.
Fact 17: You tend to develop a crush on someone who resembles your ex
Your relationship ended recently. As it was amicable, it took you less time to get over it and get back into dating mode. The next person you love or develop a crush on is more likely to be similar in looks or behavior to your ex.
Fact 18: You should learn to give compliments more
That is a way to show your interest in the person. When you have a crush on someone and want to take it forward, try the “compliment” route. It can help to break the ice and is a shortcut for building a relationship.
Fact 19: Offer your crush a shoulder to cry on
This is another shortcut to developing a relationship with your crush. Your ability to listen to their complaints and the accompanying action can earn you brownie points in the eyes of your crush. Show them that you are a friend indeed.
Fact 20: How you say matters as much as what you say
You should know by now that first impressions are important in a relationship. The factors influencing attraction in your crush may be numerous. It varies from person to person and depends on you and your crush. However, it doesn’t hurt to put forth your best appearance and best behavior. First impressions do matter.
Having a crush on someone is often bittersweet as it is often not reciprocated and dies a natural death. The person may not be aware of your feelings or even not aware of your existence.
As your feelings for your crush are highly intense, you may misinterpret it as true love and act accordingly. Having a crush on someone is like having something you want but cannot achieve. It is merely a short-lived infatuation and nothing more.