Do I Really Like My Crush? Or Just the Feeling of Being in Love?

I’m not exactly sure where I can verify this, but in high school I believe I set a record for shortest relationship. I can’t prove it, but I’m confident since it lasted for about 45 minutes.

Like many high school students, my attention was pretty consumed by girls, and when I found out through friends that “Jen” liked me I immediately tracked her down and asked her out. Any why not? She was cute and ran in my circle of friends. What could go wrong?

Jen immediately said yes, and things were going great … for the first few minutes of gym class. She was one of my first girlfriends, so I really tried to do everything right. I was a fairly confident young man, and pretty soon I thought I had hit my stride. But then she seemed to become less interested in doing things together (well I guess just being on the same side of the gym), and finally, after an awkward 17 minutes, Jen dumped me. She gently explained that she liked liking me a lot more than she liked me.

As is so often the case, the romantic feelings were a lot more fun than the actual relationship; after those 28 minutes of bliss she realized that we really didn’t have anything in common, we didn’t have the same vision for our relationship, and in fact I wasn’t that desirable.

I was pretty disappointed after getting dumped, but I was also a little relieved because I knew she was right. We really didn’t have much in common besides those butterflies we initially shared. Trying to sustain our relationship past gym class would have caused a lot of strife and heartache.

My relationship with the woman who became my wife is very different. While Kara’s looks have always caught my eye, it was her witty letters and clever jokes that truly reeled me in. On our first date we spent three hours talking over coffee. We realized we could go in for the long haul because we shared so many interests and goals. And it’s the things we share that have kept us together.

We’re often told that the heart wants what it wants, and if you feel strongly enough about someone you can overcome any obstacles. And like my own experience, that’s usually true for about the first 28 minutes, give or take. Sure, there have been many days where my infatuation with Kara has gotten me past arguments, stressful situations, and challenging moments. There are few situations that can’t be improved by a kiss or a batted eye from Kara. But I have become convinced that while romantic feelings are important, they are only a part of the equation.

The fact is, those butterflies we feel for each other have ebbed and flowed in our marriage. What hasn’t changed is our shared vision for what we want our life to be like. Our love is definitely more than a feeling, and we’re working to make sure it lasts a lifetime. 

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