The thing about crushes is we tend to fill in the blanks regarding what we don’t know about the object of our desire. To change a crush into a real relationship that is more fulfilling and enduring, here are some helpful hints:
Off of the Pedestal
Crushes are a combination of fantasy and reality and are fed by internal desires that are place on the person. As you get to know that special someone better, crushes begin to morph into something more substantial by accepting their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, they are no longer on this unattainable pedestal of perfection, but become real people with faults just like everyone else. It is on this equal footing that a real relationship can begin to grow into something mature and lasting.
Testing the Waters
There are subtle signs to give that you are interested in something real and that can take the relationship to the next level. Flirty secret smiles, prolonged eye contact, and brief physical touches during conversations are just a few ways to let it be known you’re interested in stepping up the intimacy. Planning events—which by their nature call for a certain amount of emotional and spiritual intimacy—is bound to move things along more quickly. For example, a sunset supper on the beach on a balmy summer evening provides a beautiful intimate setting devoid of the noise and chaos of dance clubs and movie theaters. Your aim is to build a closer bond by sharing the deeper parts of your being, thus creating a sense of familiarity built on trust, caring, and acceptance.
From Physical to Emotional
Crushes are often fueled by lust, and stem primarily from a physical attraction, whereas love is an emotional attraction to another person. Feelings of love come from seeing someone for who they are inside and out, as you explore every aspect of each of you and how you fit together as a couple. Physical attraction is a great part of a loving relationship, but it cannot be the only strong feeling you have for him or her.
Selfish or Selfless?
Crushes are often selfish, reflecting your desires for the “perfect man” and usually obscuring the reality of who he actually is, faults and all. True love means putting the person you “love” first, accepting him for who he is and loving him despite his flaws and imperfections. As you get to know him better, you will begin to see him as he truly is, and accepting all sides of him is one of the best ways to prove your love. This also means laying all of your cards on the table, the good with the bad, showing him all of what you are and proving to him that you love him enough to be vulnerable with him.
Fleeting vs. Everlasting
Since crushes are inclined to be built on whimsical desires, as you change, so do your desires. Whereas certain qualities you bestowed upon the idea of him when you first met were once important to you, as your outlook and priorities shift, you may discover you are no longer enamored with these traits and behaviors. Or, as he exhibits certain behaviors which do not live up to your idealized image of him, your crush is likely to diminish. With true and everlasting love, the longer you know him, the more of life you experience together, the more you are impressed with what you see and the deeper love grows.