The term crush has a romantic connotation in most cases, but it can also be used to describe a person or thing that you admire, like, or want. Whether it’s a crush on a person or a crush on a frothy beverage, the feelings that come along with a crush are similar. Crush can be a good or bad thing, and how you deal with it will depend on the situation.
In the simplest sense, a crush is an unrequited desire for someone. This may or may not be a romantic relationship, and it could be for a partner, a friend, or even a work colleague. If your crush is a person, it’s normal to be excited about them and think about them all the time. You might blush when they do something nice, and you might imagine romantic scenes with them. Crush can also be an addictive feeling that can be hard to get over.
If you have a crush, it’s important to know how to recognize it. It can help to pay attention to your physical reactions, and to notice how you react when your crush is around. If you’re shy and tongue-tied when they’re around, or if you find yourself trying to tease them, these are signs that you might have a crush. You might also feel nervous and excited all at the same time when they’re around, or you might start looking for excuses to hang out with them.
It’s also helpful to pay attention to the way your crush makes you feel, and to consider how they treat you. For example, if they are nice to you and they make you feel good about yourself, it’s likely that your crush is a positive influence in your life. If they are rude or mean to you, or if you see them with someone else that makes you jealous, this is likely a negative influence.
In Study 1, we asked participants to share their experiences with a crush, and coded the responses. The most common positive outcomes associated with having a crush related to excitement and fun, followed by self-esteem boosts and fantasy/escape. Some respondents also reported that their crushes improved their primary relationships, but this was less common. Negative outcomes that emerged most frequently were moral concerns about the crush, such as thoughts of betrayal or infidelity. Other negative outcomes included feelings of discontent and boredom.