15 Physiological signs of a crush

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By: Naveen B

Crushes are a natural phenomenon. Though most of us assume that our crushes are unique to us, and we’re the only ones going crazy over someone, it’s completely normal to develop feelings for another person.

Crush is a word that describes a strong, yet temporary attraction towards someone. Whenever you think about him/her, your heart starts beating faster, your cheeks get red and you find yourself smiling involuntarily.

Also read: Why do we have crushes? (The science and psychology behind a crush)

In simple words, you like someone without even knowing much about them. It happens suddenly and we can’t control it. There is no scientific explanation for how or why crushes happen as of now. 

However, research has found that there are many physiological changes that happen when we have a crush on someone.

You can’t always tell when you or someone else has a crush, but there are some physical clues. These physiological signs can be a sign of a crush but not always.

15 physiological signs of a crush


Here are 15 physiological signs of a crush

1. Increased levels of dopamine

One of the more interesting signs of a crush is that it can actually change your brain chemistry. This happens because, according to Psychology Today, “Love and romantic attraction activate the pleasure centers in your brain.”

  • Ever wonder what causes people to get butterflies? That’s all dopamine! Dopamine is one of several neurotransmitters in the brain (chemical messengers) that influence things like motor control, motivation, and reward-seeking behavior. 
  • In a crush, dopamine floods our system when we see or think about the object of our affection.
  • This is part of why spending time with someone we like makes us feel good. It also explains why being away from them for too long can make us sad or anxious.
  • Our brain releases dopamine (a neurotransmitter) when we experience attraction or excitement. But the exact reason why this happens remains unknown. 

Some psychologists believe that the feeling of infatuation is a result of our innate drive to seek out people who possess positive attributes which we desire in ourselves but lack.

2. Mental confusion and disorientation

In the early stages of a crush, it may feel like you’re not able to think straight. You may find it difficult to concentrate on anything other than your crush. This can make it hard to do daily tasks and may cause you to lose focus at work or school.

You may also find yourself struggling with your memory, having difficulty remembering things that are usually easy for you to recall.

If you have a lot of thoughts about someone in your mind, it can be hard to focus on other things. That’s why having a crush on someone can be distracting and make it harder for you to stay focused on everyday tasks or work projects.

3. Butterflies in the stomach

A common experience of butterflies in the stomach is a physiological reaction that occurs as a result of a sudden rush of adrenaline. 

It can be felt at various points in the body, such as the stomach and arms. The exact cause of this experience is unknown, but it is often interpreted as excitement or nervousness.

Also read: What does it mean to have a crush on someone?

4. Dilated pupils when looking at that person

Dilation of the pupils of the eye occurs in response to a decreased light level, but it can also be triggered by strong emotions. 

In humans and many other animals, the pupil dilates in darkness and constricts in light. In this way, pupil size changes the entrance pupil diameter and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. 

The eyes’ ability to dilate helps to balance how much light is entering the eye, regardless of external lighting conditions.

If you’re wondering whether or not someone likes you based on their eye behavior, it can help to pay attention to what happens when you first see them after several hours apart from one another. 

If they don’t want to look at you as soon as they see you (or if they quickly look away), that could be a sign that they’re not interested in being around you right now. 

However, if their pupils dilate as soon as they notice your presence, that could be an indication that they’re excited about seeing you and/or are interested in getting closer to you.

5. Increased heart rate when around/thinking about that person

Increased heart rate is a physiological response that all humans have when they are feeling stressed; this stress can be caused by many different things, such as school or work, but in the case of a crush, it is caused by your attraction to this person. 

In general, increased heart rate is caused by the flight or fight response, which occurs when our body needs more oxygen and energy to respond to situations that could be potentially dangerous. 

Although your crush may not pose any physical threat, your brain still reacts in the same way that it would to danger, because it cannot tell the difference between stress responses (read here for more).

If you’re nervous about whether someone has feelings for you back, ask yourself: do they seem nervous around me too? This might mean they’re just as anxious as you.

Also read: 25 Psychological facts about crushes and falling in love (Scientific research based)

6. Blushing all the time, even when talking about mundane things.

The main reason for blushing is that blood flow increases in the face. This can happen because of various reasons. Blushing is a common reaction to stress, embarrassment, excitement, or anxiety. 

It can also happen when blood pressure increases or as a result of an allergic reaction. A simple way to test yourself if your crush is behind it is to think about them and see what happens. 

If you start blushing instantly, you are probably crushing on someone and it’s all due to increased adrenaline levels.

7. Dry Mouth

If you are having a real hard time finding out whether your crush is a “crush,” here’s a sign to look for: dry mouth.

Whenever you have a crush and start talking, it’s really normal to have a dry mouth. This happens because the blood flows to your brain and the rest of your body, so your mouth loses some moisture. 

It’s pretty much like when you get nervous about something like speaking in front of an audience or going on stage and start sweating from all over your body, but then it’s just a dry mouth.

The brain releases a chemical called norepinephrine when you’re attracted to someone. This chemical causes your pupils to dilate, your heart to beat faster, and, yes, your mouth to get dry.

How to Recognize It (As a Sign of Crush): If your mouth is spontaneously drying up, it’s very likely that there’s an attractive person in the room with you.

People Also read: 100 Questions to ask your crush

8. A body reaction to the smell of that person.

When you’re in love, your brain will start releasing pheromones which make you more attracted to that particular person. 

Also, if your crush has a certain smell (i.e. a clean smell), you might feel more attracted to that person when they are around because their scent always makes you happy and relaxed. 

You can even find yourself getting a little high when they have this particular scent on them!

Also, with time and as your body gets used to their presence, it can start craving more physical contact with them, like kissing or hugging them. 

This is also an important sign of a crush: enjoying the touch of your crush’s skin and lingering a bit longer than usual when kissing or touching each other’s hands for example.

9. Heightened sense of smell and taste

The smell is a powerful sense. It’s linked to memory and emotion, and it can trigger feelings of attraction and love. We are drawn to people who smell good to us, but we may not realize that our nose is doing this subconsciously.

The natural scent of a crush is intoxicating to some people, especially when they catch a whiff of the sweat glands in their armpits.

There’s even research suggesting that women tend to be more attracted to men whose immune system genes differ from theirs.

This is because having children with someone who has different immune system genes will make them better suited for fighting off disease and other health problems as they age together.

10. Increase in emotional sensitivity

When you are experiencing a crush on someone, everything they say and do seems significant. You will likely find yourself hanging on their every word and feeling like they are the most important person in the room.

This increase in emotional sensitivity is not limited to your own feelings, either; you may find that you become acutely aware of your crush’s emotions or that you have an increased ability to understand others’ feelings.

This increase in emotional sensitivity can be a good thing. If you learn to channel it into paying closer attention to your own feelings, it may help to make you more self-aware and more understanding of others’ needs and desires.

If this increased awareness proves difficult for you, don’t worry! It doesn’t last forever, but it can also be a sign that there is something within yourself that needs some exploration and growth.

11. Feeling anxious, nervous, or “shaky” inside

You may feel like your heart is racing, you’re breathless or you’re “shaky” inside. This is because when we experience nervousness our bodies go into fight or flight mode and release adrenaline and other stress hormones.

The effects of the adrenaline can make it hard to concentrate on anything else, which is why people often have trouble sleeping or concentrating at work or school when they have a crush.

But don’t worry, everyone experiences physical symptoms of nervousness when they have a crush! So if you’re feeling anxious around your crush, chances are they feel the same way too!

If you’re looking for ways to calm down, consider practicing deep breathing or doing an activity that takes your mind off things (like watching a funny show). If all else fails just remember this will pass with time.

People Also read: How to make your crush fall in love with you and like you? (10 tips as per psychology and research studies)

12. You struggle to maintain eye contact with them for more than a second or two because you get a little tongue-tied and blushy.

You struggle to maintain eye contact with them for more than a second or two because you get a little tongue-tied and blushy.

It’s not just because you’re naturally shy, or that your confidence is low: it’s also because you’re nervous around this particular person. 

You might be worried about what they think of you and how good your flirting skills are. Or perhaps you’re trying to hide your feelings from them (and everyone else). 

All of these things can make it difficult to look someone in the eye when they talk, which is why staring at the floor is another common sign of having a crush on someone.

13. You always stare at your crush from far and your body is in a heightened state when you think about them

You try to see them as much as possible. You want to be close to them, but not too close. You want to know what their friends think of you; you want their friends to think well of you. 

And you feel like your body is in a heightened state when you think about your crush: your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, and butterflies are fluttering around in your stomach. 

These are physiological signs that can help you determine whether or not someone has feelings for another person.

One thing I’d love for us all to do better at is being direct with our feelings and the people we have feelings for, instead of trying to read into their actions or picking apart the words they say looking for little clues on their true intentions. 

It’s a lot of energy, time, and anxiety trying to figure out if someone likes us back when we could just ask them how they feel about us and eliminate the mystery altogether!

  • You want to be near them, but don’t want to be too close.
  • When you think about your crush, you feel an increased state of awareness. For example, your heart rate increases, and your hands may become sweaty.
  • You are curious to know what your crush’s friends think of you.

14. Your palms are sweaty and your hands are shaking a bit when you talk to them.

If your palms are sweaty and your hands are shaking a bit when you talk to your crush, it might be a sign that you’re infatuated.

These symptoms can also occur if you’re nervous about talking to someone new, or if you have social anxiety.

Your body is telling you that this person has an important effect on you, so take some time to think about why that is.

If your crush makes your palms sweaty and your heart race all the time, it might be worth making a move.

This is a physiological sign that you are anxious and nervous around your crush.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. The people who usually don’t feel anxious or nervous around their crushes are the ones who aren’t even interested in them.

If your hands are sweating and you feel like they might shake while talking to your crush, it is probably because they make you nervous.

Remember that your crush could be feeling the exact same way as you do when they talk to you. It is a good idea to make eye contact with your crush so that he or she feels more comfortable talking to you.

People Also read: 15 Signs you have a crush on someone (Psychological and physiological signs)

15. You catch yourself smiling for no reason.

Have you ever caught yourself smiling for no reason? As you were walking down the street, going about your daily business, or just sitting in a class? 

Well, this is one of the signs of being in love. It doesn’t matter what is going on or what someone could be saying to you. 

If your crush comes up in conversation or if you think about something that reminds you of him/her while you’re doing something else like daydreaming, then this can cause your brain to trigger the release of dopamine which results in smiles and laughter.

 Your mind is so obsessed with them that even when they aren’t there, they are still there with you.

the more you think about it, the more you realize that whenever you’re around them, or even just thinking about them, your heart starts beating faster. 

You can’t pinpoint why exactly—your mind is just filled with happy thoughts and positive emotions when they’re around.

If this sounds familiar to you, there’s a good chance that you have a crush on this person.


Now that you’ve gone through the various physiological signs of a crush, you should be able to tell with confidence if you have a crush on someone or not. 

These physiological signs are great at telling you exactly how much your body is reacting to other people, and they will tell you when it is time to make the next move to take action against your crush.

If you felt like these indicators were familiar or you experienced them in some way during this article, then it might be time to follow up on those feelings! Use this information as best as possible and good luck out there.

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

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