The Ultimate Guide To Platonic Crushes (& How To Tell If You Have One)

Having a platonic crush on someone you care about means your friendship has reached an entirely new level. Most people know what a typical friendship feels like by the time they reach adulthood. Being friends with someone is a lot different than dating someone because there typically shouldn't be any romantic feelings to sort through. 


Some people are even convinced that friendships are more important to pursue than romantic relationships. They believe you won't have to deal with the fallout of a life-changing breakup if you're only surrounding yourself with good friends. The truth of the matter is that losing your bestie can be just as painful as losing a lover! Each of your friends won't likely evoke strong feelings of infatuation from you, but you might've noticed some peculiar feelings surfacing whenever you're around one certain person in your social circle. Here's what you should know about platonic crushes.

Platonic crushes are similar to friendships

It's easy enough to confuse a platonic crush with a typical friendship. Having a platonic crush is very similar to caring about one of your friends with tons of empathy, fondness, and understanding. One of the biggest differences here is that platonic crushes can happen between you and someone you haven't spent any quality time with before. Friendships usually exist between two people who've enjoyed each other's presence face-to-face over an extended period of time. 


You can have a platonic crush on someone you admire from movies, TV shows, or on social media. This means you appreciate the energy they bring to the table, even though you've never been in the same room with them to feel it for yourself. It's also possible to develop a platonic crush on a friend you actually hang out with on a regular basis. Your platonic crush simply indicates how much you genuinely cherish them with gratitude that they're in your life.

Platonic crushes are also known as squishes

As weird as this might sound, platonic crushes are also known as squishes. The term has been loosely circulating since 2009, but its first known usage is a bit of a mystery. If you and your friend call each other squishes, it means the feelings are mutual between the two of you when it comes to your platonic crushes. If you're the only one feeling like you have a squish in your life, it means they may not look at you through the same rose-colored glasses. 


Using the term squish is supposed to be endearing, loving, and sweet. There's something very charming about labeling your best friend with a thoughtful nickname that comes from the heart. Since the term squish isn't commonly used, it's best to explain a breakdown of the meaning to whichever friend classifies as your squish before instantly giving them such a random-sounding nickname.

There's a difference between romantic and platonic crushes

There's a huge difference between romantic and platonic crushes. Even though it might seem obvious at first, there's a lot to unpack with this subject. When you have a romantic crush on someone, you start to envision what a lovey-dovey future with them might look like. This might include a white picket fence, wedding bells ringing, and future children. It could also be a case of you fantasizing about what a bedroom experience with your crush would look and feel like. 


A platonic crush typically doesn't go that route. When you have a platonic crush on someone, thinking about getting married or canoodling in the bedroom isn't at the forefront of your mind. Instead, you probably spend the bulk of your time looking forward to the fun experiences you'll have together. Daydreaming about your upcoming shopping spree, nightclub crawl, or nail salon trip as a duo might be floating around your brain.

There's less stress with platonic crushes

There's certainly less stress to deal with when you have a platonic crush. Romantic crushes can weigh on you if you're unsure how the other person feels. Unrequited love is one of the most painful experiences people go through. Unfortunately, unrequited love is incredibly common since there are plenty of people in the world who aren't attracted to the people who want them the most. When you're faced with a platonic crush, you don't have to worry about such a stressful result. 


Platonic crushes don't generally lead you down the path of ultimate rejection. It's easy for someone to become your platonic friend, regardless of their physical attraction to you. On the contrary, it would be very difficult for someone to become your romantic partner if they didn't find you physically attractive. Nothing needs to be forced when it comes to your platonic crush since this type of connection isn't heavily based on mutual physical attraction.

Communication might be a lot easier

There's no denying the fact that communication might be easier for you when you're having sit-down conversations with your platonic crush. On the other hand, having chats with romantic crushes isn't always such a walk in the park. When you feel nervous talking to your romantic crush, you end up stuttering, stumbling over your thoughts, and completely blanking on important things you want to say. While communicating with your platonic crush, you don't have to worry about making such embarrassing mistakes. 


You might feel pressured to showcase yourself in the most flawless light in front of a romantic crush, but it's easier for you to be yourself and speak from the heart while conversing with your platonic crush. Communicating with friends gives you the opportunity to open up. You might notice that talking to your platonic crush is a total breeze compared to talking to your romantic crush, regardless of the topic.

You don't have to worry about cheating

You don't have to worry about cheating if your platonic crush turns into a solid and long-lasting friendship. When you're friends with someone, it's healthy for both parties involved to cultivate friendships with other people. You know you don't own your friend, and they don't own you either. Neither of you is the other's property. Enjoying each other's time in the presence of mutual friends is also a super normal and fun thing to do. 


Having a romantic crush, on the other hand, can lead to worries about eventual cheating. If your romantic crush turns into a full-fledged relationship, it's possible that your partner might not be true to you throughout the course of your relationship. If they go behind your back, betray you, or dabble with the idea of infidelity, it leaves you feeling heartbroken and disappointed. It's just not possible for your platonic crush to hurt you in that exact way.

You might catch romantic feelings along the way

Whether you're trying to block this from happening or not, it's possible to catch romantic feelings for your platonic crush. When you approach a friendship with someone you're crushing on platonically, thinking of them in a romantic light might not be on your radar whatsoever. But things can change as your friendship continues to grow and develop. The closer you get to someone emotionally, the easier it is to notice more things you appreciate about them. 


If you see that you're starting to shift from a platonic crush to a romantic crush, it might be in your best interest to slow things down and reevaluate the situation. If it's possible that they could switch up their feelings as well, it might actually work out perfectly for both of you. If you don't believe there's any chance of them possibly liking you back in a romantic way, you might want to prepare yourself for a little bit of heartache.

Things might turn sexual at some point

People are capable of changing their minds at any point in time. That being said, approaching a friend with a platonic crush can certainly lead to sexual feelings down the line. If you and your platonic crush are on the same page about your inclinations, it's possible things will eventually turn sexual. After your platonic crush turns into sexual desire, it might change the way you act around your special someone. 


If the feelings are mutual, you'll likely be able to gauge where their head is at using body language cues. Whenever you're sitting next to each other on the couch, take note of where their knees are pointed. If their knees are always pointed toward you, that's a sign of their interest (per Science of People). Whenever the two of you are out, pay attention to how often they lean toward you. If they're always gently encroaching on your space, that's another sign of their potential interest.

It's easy to agree with your platonic crush about most things

When you're friends with someone you don't have a platonic crush on, it's easy enough to stand your ground and speak up about varied opinions. You might notice that when you develop a platonic crush on someone, though, it becomes more natural to agree with a lot of the things they say. Whether it's about something as serious as their morals and values, or it's something minuscule like the best reality TV shows to binge-watch, you'll see that agreeing with your platonic crush starts to become the norm. 


This is something to be careful about as your friendship continues to blossom. You most definitely don't want to lose your personal identity based on their personality traits. It's totally fine to get excited about the same things your platonic crush is hyped about, but it's still important to hold true to your own interests beyond the friendship.

You'll probably value your platonic crush's opinion

Valuing the opinions of your platonic crush will eventually become a huge factor in your life. When deciding what to wear before going to a nightclub, asking your platonic crush for their opinion might be the first thing that comes to mind. When choosing between two different restaurants for lunch, allowing your platonic crush to weigh in might feel like the easiest way to come to a conclusion. 


At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with getting a little bit of advice and guidance from the people you care about most as you make simple decisions. When it comes to major decisions that don't impact anyone other than yourself, though, it's important that you listen to your heart and trust your own intuition. Your platonic crush likely has good intentions for you, but it's vital that you make your biggest and most life-changing decisions on your own.

Platonic crushes can lead to romantic interactions

It's totally possible for a platonic crush to lead to a handful of romantic interactions. This doesn't mean you're developing romantic or sexual feelings for your platonic crush, either. It simply indicates that the two of you might occasionally interact in ways that lovers would. An example of this would be purchasing thoughtful gifts for your platonic crush while you're out shopping for other things — just because you spot items you think they might appreciate. This is something romantic partners naturally do for each other. 


Another example of this would be snuggling closely with your platonic crush on the sofa while watching scary movies together. Although the two of you aren't dating, you're engaging in behaviors that romantic partners engage in. There's nothing wrong with enjoying romantic interactions with your platonic crush on various occasions. You simply have to make sure you're in the right headspace to avoid letting your platonic crush turn into something romantic if that's not what you're looking for.

It's okay to be aromantic

Although society tries to convince you that being head-over-heels romantic is the best way to live life, you don't have to subscribe to that narrative. Grand gestures and massive displays of affection have been sprinkled throughout movies and TV shows for many generations. Seeing so many lovey-dovey moments on-screen has plenty of people convinced that they should be romantic in every relationship they have. The truth of the matter is that it's completely fine to be an aromantic person. 


Aromantic people don't care to experience romantic attraction, loved-up relationships, or anything else of that nature. They don't need a drop of romance in their lives to feel completely fulfilled. These are the type of people who really thrive when they have platonic crushes and friendships. Aromantic people relish the benefits that come from having a solid friendship with someone they're platonically crushing on without ever feeling the need to cross any boundaries.

It's a challenge to have a platonic crush on an ex

It's safe to say that it would be a massive challenge to have a platonic crush on someone you used to be romantically involved with. If you're looking to have a long-lasting friendship with your ex following your breakup, you have to consider if it's something you can pull off without getting hurt. When you date someone romantically, you typically open yourself up to them with vulnerability and depth. 


After a breakup, both people go through the shared trauma of the failed "happily ever after" notion. Being able to maintain healthy friendships with your exes is a true sign of maturity and growth, but you have to make sure enough time has passed between the breakup and your friendship to keep any lines from getting crossed. Since you've already experienced lovey-dovey feelings for your ex at one point in time, trying to view them through the lens of a platonic crush will be difficult.

Platonic crushes vary based on sexuality and gender

There's no denying the fact that platonic crushes will vary based on your sexuality and gender identity. Platonic crushes between two heterosexual women might turn out differently than platonic crushes between two bisexual women. A platonic crush between one straight woman and her lesbian bestie could go in a multitude of directions, as well. Platonic crushes can successfully exist between anyone, regardless of sexuality and gender identity. 


It's still interesting to note the different ways friendships can turn out between people who care about each other while taking their sexual orientations and gender identities into account. There's no reason to close yourself off from a platonic crush out of fear that your sexuality or gender identity will interfere in some way. When it comes to friendship and love, whatever is meant to happen will undoubtedly happen. Avoiding quality time together based on hesitations related to this subject would be unfair to you and your platonic crush.

Your romantic partner might feel threatened by your platonic crush

If you're already involved in a romantic relationship with a loving partner, it's possible they'll start to feel threatened by your platonic crush. Although there's a stark difference between romantic crushes and platonic crushes, your partner might not be fully aware of what those differences are. From your partner's perspective, it could look like your feelings are a lot deeper and more intimate than you realize. 


If you're in this type of situation, it's your job to be reassuring to your partner by explaining that your platonic crush isn't romantic in the slightest. The worst possible mistake to make would be ignoring your partner's concerns by telling them they're overreacting. Accusing them of being too insecure is another terrible idea. Showing your significant other that you care about them through validation, comfort, and reassurance is a surefire way to prove you love them without risking the friendship you have with your platonic crush. 

You might start to idolize your platonic crush

It's time to be very careful with your platonic crush if you realize you're starting to idolize them a little too much. Turning anyone into an idol is a dangerous thing to do because it means you're placing them on an unrealistic pedestal. When your platonic crush messes up in any way that proves they're still human, it will shock you, devastate you, and disappoint you in a way that's totally unfair to them. 


It's normal to admire your platonic crush for their sense of style, their sense of humor, and the way they navigate life with total confidence. It's completely fine to appreciate the way they speak up for themself, share their hilarious anecdotes, and make you feel totally cherished. Still, idolizing your platonic crush for all of their amazing qualities can get messy. They're only human, after all. You leave them very little room for error when you idolize them too highly.

Nothing should feel forced with a platonic crush

Whenever you spend time thinking about your platonic crush, nothing should feel forced about the connection you share. If anything feels forced between you, it probably means the friendship needs some work or shouldn't exist at all. Forcing a friendship with someone, or any relationship in general, isn't a healthy thing to do. Once the allure of a bond has worn off, there's no reason to continue grasping at straws. 


If you feel like you're constantly begging your platonic crush to make time for you, it's possible that you're forcing things. The same rule applies if you're always the one who has to initiate plans. Take a quick scroll through your text message thread, and pay attention to who starts most of the conversations between you and your platonic crush. If it always happens to be you, it's very likely you're forcing the friendship.

Platonic crushes aren't supposed to evoke jealousy

If you and your platonic crush are both healthy-minded people, then you're both already fully aware that there shouldn't be any feelings of jealousy between you. If your platonic crush is evoking jealousy in you, you certainly need to reevaluate the friendship as a whole. It's possible that pangs of jealousy spark up within you when you see your platonic crush spending time with other people. 


This is something you need to work on individually because your platonic crush should have the freedom to pursue whatever friendships and relationships they want in life — with or without you around. If your platonic crush is living a gloriously blissful life that's starting to make you feel insecure about your own status, that's also a massive problem. It's not fair for you to constantly compare their successes to your failures, even if you're keeping these dark thoughts to yourself.

You can be yourself with your platonic crush

One of the top benefits that comes along with having a platonic crush is that these types of connections give you the chance to be yourself. When you're spending time with a brand new romantic partner, you might not feel super comfortable being completely authentic. It's normal for people on first dates to act a little more prim and proper than they normally would. It's typical for couples in new relationships to over-exaggerate their success or status. 


When it comes to spending time with your platonic crush, these aren't things you'll likely feel pressured to do. It's easy to be yourself in front of your platonic crush since you're not trying to court them or impress them romantically. Being friends with someone opens the door to true sincerity and authenticity. Hanging out with your platonic friends allows you to shed some light on who you really are at the core without having to sugarcoat anything.

Platonic crushes show what you're looking for in relationships

You'll be able to easily gauge what you're looking for in a romantic relationship based on time spent with your platonic crush. Even if you don't have any desire to date your platonic crush, there's obviously a reason you're "crushing" on them. Take time to note all of the things you admire about your platonic crush — whether it's their work ethic, their daily optimism, or the way they light up any room they walk into. 


These are probably things you hope to find in romantic relationships, as well. Your platonic crush will certainly check a lot of boxes when it comes to your perception of upstanding people, but that doesn't mean they're someone you want to date. Still, you can reflect on all the things they do to make you smile before entering romantic relationships with people you're physically attracted to. 

Platonic crushes can end in breakups

The messy truth about platonic friendships is that they can definitely end in what you might call a breakup. Breaking up with a platonic crush is a lot different than breaking up with a lover, but both of these situations can be super painful to recover from. When you break up with a lover, it hurts deeply knowing you've shared yourself emotionally and physically with someone you no longer have a future with. The biggest difference in breaking up with a platonic crush is that you didn't end up sharing yourself with them physically. 


The emotional connection you had with them is still enough to leave you feeling devastated, though. Breakups with platonic crushes can happen for a multitude of reasons. If your platonic crush is very clearly a one-sided friendship, it's possible the person who's less interested chooses to cut things off. If the platonic crush ends up turning romantic for one person but not the other, that's another reason things might come crumbling down.

You still might feel safer from heartbreak

Although it's true that breaking up with your platonic crush is a very real possibility, seeking out connections like these could still leave you feeling safer when it comes to protecting yourself and avoiding heartbreak. It's definitely more common to experience heartbreak in a romantic union when two lovers decide they're done with each other. The good news is that friendships aren't widely known for having such dramatic endings. 


It's always possible for a platonic crush to end in utter devastation, but it's more likely that things will gently fizzle out without too much of an uproar. Plenty of people who talk about the end of their adulthood friendships claim it was just a case of growing apart. Growing apart from someone you used to be close to can hurt your heart, but it probably won't be as intense or harsh as being dumped by a lover.

Platonic marriage could be your endgame

Have you ever heard of platonic marriage? It might just be the endgame for you and your platonic crush — if you both play your cards right. A platonic marriage can occur between two close friends who make a pact with each other to get married, despite having no romantic or sexual feelings toward each other. If you and your platonic crush decide to pursue this, you can enjoy a beautiful wedding day, split funds to own a home together, file joint taxes, and even raise a family together. 


The greatest benefit of a platonic marriage is that you have an abundance of support always coming your way from your best friend. It's possible to touch on the idea of a platonic marriage with your best friend in a way that goes beyond vagueness or playfulness. You can wholeheartedly commit to your platonic crush by becoming legally married in order to be there for each other in the most significant and consequential way.