“It’s not a crush! I’m in love. This time, it’s the real thing!” I am sure that you have either heard those words, said them yourself or at least thought them. Well, what if it’s true? What if it is love this time? This time. There’s been too many times, it’s not special anymore. It’s like crying wolf. Everyone knows that it’s not real, that it won’t last.
I have been here too many times. I have had so many crushes. What even is a crush? According to The Urban Dictionary, a crush is “a burning desire to be with someone who you find very attractive and extremely special.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Crushes are so fun sometimes, but they can also be painful and dangerous. Painful, because rejection is a very real thing. Dangerous, because you can get into an unhealthy pattern. I will explain that a bit more as I go, but here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. The part where I spill the beans about my own experiences with crushes. Sit tight; there is a lot of stuff to wade through.
I was about seven years old, and his name was Josh. I just remember thinking that he was amazing, and so hansom. And then there was Brian, who I liked at the same time. I went for a walk with them out on a big property, and I ended up kissing both of them. I was seven, it wasn’t a real kiss. But are you starting to get what I mean about falling into a dangerous pattern? The next boy I remember crushing on was named Joseph. And that crush caused some tension in one of my other friendships. Boys should never come between friends, especially not when you’re eight…just saying. Oh, and I forgot to mention my neighbors. They were twins, and my crush switched from one to the other based on silly things. Not too long after that, I moved to Australia. Yes you read that right. Yes it was fun. After we got there, I started attending a school for the first time, because up to that point I had been home-schooled. School is a whole new opportunity for having crushes on people. In the two years that I did attend this school, I had crushes on so many people, and a lot of them were at the same time. Let me see if I can name them all for you… There was Ben, Brock, Mitchell, William, Coebe, Troy, Aidan, Josh (I know, Josh is a common name) Luke, Aaron, Ryan and Jamie. I probably didn’t remember them all, but you get the idea. I was totally boy crazy. And the hard part was that none of them really liked me back. I was not very well liked at school. I wasn’t popular. I was going through my awkward years, and to be honest I wasn’t very attractive. Being twelve is just hard ok, without unrealistic expectations being thrown at you. Anyway, most of these boys that I liked, I would have never dated or anything. A crush is so weird. It’s pretty much only superficial. These boys had something in common. In my opinion, all of them were attractive. That’s really what crush is I think. Not really knowing the person, or really knowing anything about them. But feeling as though you’re in love with them just because of how they look. Get what I mean about dangerous territory? Talk about shallow relationships. And multiple ones at the same time. That is just practice for trouble, believe me. But that’s not all, not even close. I did leave that school and return to homeschooling. There were several other homeschooled boys who I ended up having crushes on. And there were boys from church and youth group. Ironic right? At church we’re not supposed to be thinking about those things, or even at youth group. But I was boy crazy, completely. These boys were more recent, and I’m still friends with some of them so I am going to use different names. There were some crushes that were not very “serious.” Let’s call them, Bob, Steve, Gabe, and John. And then there were the serious ones, the ones that ended up finding out how I felt. There was one guy, who I liked the whole time I lived in Australia, let’s call him Austin. Right before I moved away again, I told him how I felt. He hadn’t figured it out which was great, but he did not return the feelings. It didn’t break my heart, but I stopped liking him after he told me that he didn’t like me. And then I was free to like someone else. Even during the time where I liked ‘Austin’ there were several others. One was my best friends’ brother. I’m going to stop right there. Just don’t even go there, it was messy. And then there was another, let’s call him Fred. He was awesome, and so sweet. But I think I ended up scaring him away. And you thought all that was messy? We haven’t even got to that part yet. My most serious crush while I lived in Australia was on an adult. Let’s call him Justin. I was so sure that I was in love with him, and I wanted to marry him someday. I was thirteen, what did I know? I knew that we had an unhealthy relationship, but I didn’t want it to end. He was the first guy who ever made me feel loved and special. I told him how I felt, and instead of being the mature adult and not encouraging me, he took advantage of the fact that I liked him. We kissed, and this time it was a real kiss. And he touched me in an inappropriate way. After that, we didn’t really talk anymore. That crush really messed with me, because I felt dirty afterwards. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to respond. I did learn from that experience. My crushes after that were fewer and farther between. But there was another messy one. Right before I moved back to America, there was another. Let’s call him Jeremiah. We had never met, but we had a mutual friend. We started messaging each other, and in one day it turned from good friends to being in love. When we actually met each other, it was great. I was still fully committed to whatever might happen, at least I thought so. He said that we had moved to fast (which we had) but that if we stayed loyal to each other while I was gone, I could come back one day and we would get married. Well, I was totally into that idea, until I found out that a cute guy I knew liked me. Let’s call this guy Tom. Well, Tom “asked me out” over Face book, which is totally legit right? Hahahaha, stuff like that never lasts. When Jeremiah found out about it, and that I had said yes to Tom, he flipped out. We did make up eventually, but it was never the same. He told me that he could never think of me the same way. What I did was stupid, but Jeremiah and I would have never worked anyway. Then we moved back to America, where I had lived as a child. The first social event I went to, I found a guy who I just thought was incredible. I did not know him very well, but I was very pleased by what I saw in him. He seemed to be mature, and to have a strong faith in Christ. Over the next few months, I was able to get to know him better. I did like him, very much, but only as a friend. And we are still friends today. I’m almost done, sorry you’re probably bored. I found a job, and there was a guy who started work there after I did. He paid me a lot of attention, and I found him quite attractive. But he did the same thing to all the girls, flirted mercilessly. Those feelings quickly died when I found out he was such a player. Ok, ok one more. This one’s messy too. Another co-worker. Work relationships never really pan out, they just become overly awkward, and so I would suggest that you avoid them. Anyway, this guy was into me, like very into me. He was a huge flirt, and he was a smooth talker. I found myself feeling attracted to him because he flirted so much with me and told me how beautiful I was. He also ended up touching me in an inappropriate way, and he made me feel unsafe at work. I prayed a lot about what to do with him, and I asked God to help me through the temptation I was feeling. Well, God did His work well. This guy mostly stopped talking to me, and I could see that he flirted with every girl the same way. I never really liked him, or had a crush on him, but since he told me how he felt about me I found him pretty cool at the time. I was on the other side finally. Being liked by someone is so flattering, but if you don’t really know how to deal with it, it can turn into a big mess. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) This is a profound truth, and probably the problem behind most crushes. My heart is easily changed, because it is wicked. We won’t ever truly grow out of that until we get to heaven, but it will get better. I can see how I’ve gotten better lately through prayer and healthy relationships. As you get older, it will get better. I’m not saying that crushes are bad, or that you shouldn’t have them. In fact, they are a normal part of growing up. But just be careful. Don’t get in too deep, because it is so easy to get hurt. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23) Also, don’t get into a pattern of only liking a guy because he’s cute. Physical appearance is not nearly as important as character in the long run. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Now, what is love then? I am going to try and explain the difference between a crush and love for you, and give you some patterns of true love to follow. When you are young, every crush feels like love, the real thing. But it’s not. Someone very wisely once said, “It’s not love, its hormones.” That may sound harsh, but think about it. I know that to be true from my own experiences. So then how can you tell if it is love? It’s hard, because the human emotions are so fickle. There are many scriptures that speak about love, and about God’s love for us. I think we really need to grasp the magnitude of that before we can ever hope to love anyone “properly” or for real. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) That has got to be the most famous verse of all time, and it speaks so strongly of God’s amazing love for us. Without it, we wouldn’t even be able to love, let alone live. “We love because he first loved us.”(1 John 4:19) I am so grateful for God’s amazing sacrifice and His love, but I am also grateful that He gave me the capacity to love. As Christians, we have the perfect picture of what love should look like, we are so blessed. Everyone you talk to will have a different definition of the word love. But one of the most important, is that love is an action. Love is putting the needs of someone else before our own, even if it’s uncomfortable for us. But the best, biggest most wonderful example of love that we have, is in our Savior. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Are you willing to die for person you have a crush on? Maybe. Are you willing to die for your friends? Probably. Are you willing to die for your family? I hope so. Are you willing to die for you spouse? I encourage you to check. Are you willing to die for your faith? Your relationship with your heavenly Father is much more important than any other human relationships. Get that sorted out first, and the rest will flow from it. Are you willing to die for the ones you claim to love? To me, that is true love.
Crushes happen on a whim, they are superficial and they don’t tend to last too long. Love grows, it deepens, and it lasts longer than any crush you’ve had. Be careful though. ”Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (Song of Solomon 2:7) This verse isn’t just for girls either, but guys too. Be cautious because we know that we are fickle. Wait on God, wait until you are old enough, and wait until He opens the doors. He has your best interests at heart; He knows what you need and when you need it. Remember that.