All too often, all it takes to crush on someone is to be attracted to them. While there's nothing wrong with catching feelings for someone, even someone totally suited for you, transitioning into a deeper relationship often requires more than just attraction. You'll also need compatibility. So, if you're seeing signs you and your crush aren’t emotionally compatible, it's probably time to stop and reevaluate whether or not taking this crush to the next level is really going to be what's best for you.
But what does it mean to be emotionally compatible, anyway? According to Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, nationally recognized clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of Training Your Love Intuition, it's all about feeling safe enough to be yourself with someone. "There is no definitive definition for that quality, but you know you have it when you feel happy, comfortable, accepted, understood, and aligned with your partner regarding qualities such as shared values, respect for each other, and joy and a sense of ease of being together," she previously told Elite Daily.
For Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache, emotional compatibility comes down to whether or not you and your crush are able to communicate and speak the same emotional language. "Healthy relationships require free-flowing communication," she tells Elite Daily. "Lacking the ability to express ourselves means we'll be suppressing our feelings and our needs. There's no conflict resolution without clear communication."
While that makes sense, how can you tell if that's something you have with your crush? The answer to that question is easier than you might think. Here's how Winter says you can tell whether or not you're emotionally compatible early on.
When you interact with your crush, do you find yourself totally unable to get a read on them? And do you find yourself compensating by basically walking on conversational eggshells? If so ,this is something Winter says you should pay attention to. “When you like someone, it's evident,” she says. “[If] you can't get a read on their emotional temperature," or if even after "all the chit-chat you share on 'safe subjects,' you still don't know if they like you,” that's worth taking note of, Winter explains. It may indicate you're just not on the same wavelength.
Have you tried to get your crush to open up a bit about their emotions, only to be stonewalled? Winter says that's another red flag. “[Many people] demonstrate their level of closeness by the degree to which they share their feelings. But, your crush is cautious to only reveal generic information. There's no true sharing. Therefore, the real connection you'd like isn't possible,” she explains.
Is some of this sounding awfully familiar? Don’t freak out quite yet. According to Winter, it's worth considering why your crush might seem a bit more emotionally disconnected or closed off from you.
“Could it be that your crush is shy?” asks Winter. “If so, help them to feel safe and comfortable in your presence by giving them reassurance and positive reinforcement.” Could it be they've been hurt by past relationships? “Demonstrate that you're not judgmental and allow them to simply 'be' when with you,” Winter suggests. Or could it be they're already taken? “It's worth it to find out,” says Winter. If it's either of those first two reasons, there may still be a chance you could become compatible over time. However, Winter cautions against trying to make something work if they aren’t reciprocating. “If your efforts to create closeness don't come to fruition, move on," she advises. "The time you waste fantasizing over a crush is time lost that could have been spent with a partner who's ready, willing, and able to love you.”
At the end of the day, someone who reciprocates your feelings and is on the same emotional level as you is precisely what you deserve. Don’t feel like you have to settle for less, no matter how adorable the object of your crushing desire is.