Coping with a crush

Crushes can turn up at any time and reduce you to a nervous wreck. Here's how to cope.

Girl sat on the stairs, writing her diary

Dear Diary...

Just a crush, what do you mean?

Crushes are addictive – they make life exciting, and give you hope and focus. This is why we let ourselves make the same mistakes over and over again. This is the thrill of the chase, except that often it’s more of a loiter!

Here are just some of the symptoms:

  • You love them yet you don’t even know them
  • All you can think about is them and what if…
  • You’ve planned your whole future
  • You follow them round like a puppy on your lunch break
  • You go red whenever you see them
  • You lose the power of speech and co-ordination in their presence
  • Butterflies in your stomach
  • Pounding heart
  • You stammer/stutter something like “have you got the time?” at them
  • You imagine hours of conversations with them

How to cope

Try not to tie yourself up in knots about this – you’ve set yourself up with a fantasy relationship, but that is all. The emotions feeding this fantasy can seem very real, but the advantage is you don’t have to deal with the actual person. It’s like a sexual encounter without the real-life hassles.

It is fairly unlikely to turn into reality as often crushes are formed on the unobtainable. The person might be attached, a famous film star or totally unsuitable. You have to accept that this romance will never exist outside of your own head. Often, just confiding in someone you trust will help you get things in perspective.

If things get too intense try to limit the time you spend in their company. In a while you’ll get a grip on this fantasy and see it as a learning experience about some powerful emotions. If anything, it’ll work in your favour when it comes to dealing with real life, realistic relationships.

Unobtainable crushes can hurt like hell – the object of your affection may walk past like you don’t even exist or, perhaps worse, notice your drooling and laugh about you with all their mates. If this happens, deal with the rejection – treat yourself, see your mates or curl up at home with a DVD of your choice.

On the practical side, try to fill the time you would otherwise spend thinking about your crush. Plan your day. Promise yourself some crush-free time, and set up a reward afterwards. Once you’ve defined the boundaries, a crush like this can be a positive experience. One that can set you up to deal with the emotional side of future, more realistic relationships.


Next Steps

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015

Photo of girl on the steps by Shutterstock.