A crush is an intense infatuation with someone, often someone who is unavailable or unaware of the admirer’s feelings. A crush is usually short-lived, and people may experience a range of emotional reactions, including a butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling and obsessive thinking. While there is a distinction between having a crush and being in love, the two experiences do share some similarities, including the release of mood-boosting hormones like dopamine and oxytocin.
While there is no clinical definition of a crush, therapists agree that the feeling tends to be more fantasy-driven than true love. “A crush tends to happen when you don’t really know that much about the person, but you have some idealized version of what they are like,” New York City-based therapist Dr. Bukky Kolawole told INSIDER. “You have little pieces of information about them and you project your values on to them.”
According to a recent study by the University of Chicago, those who are in committed relationships are less likely to say they have a crush because they are not comfortable sharing their attraction with their partner or do not want it to interfere with their existing relationship. The research also found that crushes are generally unilateral, unreciprocated and not communicated to the target of one’s affection.
Sammi Cohen’s Crush, a Hulu original that premiered April 29 and stars Rowan Blanchard, sticks to the familiar formula for romantic comedies when it comes to its same-sex characters, but it’s a heartwarming film with some excellent performances. The chemistry between Blanchard and co-stars Ben Rosenfield and Aasif Mandvi is magnetic. Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) is an excellent choice as Paige’s over-sharing mother, and the rest of the cast delivers solid work, too.
Despite sticking to a comfort-food format, the movie manages to feel fresh because it takes a matter-of-fact approach to its story of an ill-fated young woman who finds the right partner in the most unexpected place. The fact that the movie isn’t trying to prove a point or land on any deep and meaningful message makes it all the more affecting. That’s not something you can say for many films that try to make a statement about their subjects. For this reason, Crush is a delightful surprise. It will resonate with teens, but it’s also a movie that will speak to the adult viewers, too. And that’s a good thing. The teen romantic comedy genre is long overdue for some refreshing change.