How to Deal With a Crush

Crush is the most commonly used term for the infatuation someone may feel for another person. It can apply to a romantic partner, a friend, or even a work colleague. Whether the crush is for a new relationship or just a passing fancy, it can still be a difficult thing to navigate. Despite how common crushes are, many people still struggle to articulate how they feel and how to handle the situation appropriately. Luckily, there are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with your crush.

The origin of the word crush is unclear, but it’s likely a variation on the word mash. By 1870, mash was already an established way to refer to someone who is head over heels for another person. In addition, the verb to mash something was also popular, which suggests a similar kind of infatuation. For example, a man might crush on a woman with his crafty glances and smooth line of conversation to entice her to become his mash.

As a result, it’s not hard to see why the terms crush and mash are often confused with one another. However, there are some key differences between a crush and a more serious love interest. While both can cause feelings of awe and euphoria, a crush is more rooted in fantasy than a true emotional connection. Crushes typically occur when you don’t know much about someone, and you idealize what they are like, New York City-based therapist Bukky Kolawole told INSIDER. This type of infatuation can also trigger mood-boosting hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, which can cause a butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling and obsessive thinking.

In contrast, a true love relationship is based on a deeper emotional connection and can lead to long-term commitments. It also requires trust and mutual respect in order to thrive. In some cases, feelings of a crush can interfere with these aspects of a primary relationship and lead to jealousy or infidelity. However, in the majority of cases, a crush can be a positive aspect of a relationship.

A crush can be a great way to learn about a person, but it’s important to remember that this feeling is a fleeting emotion. If you want to develop a relationship with your crush, it’s best to take it slow and not bombard them with all your feelings at once. Flirting is a good start, but don’t forget to give them time to respond before you make a move.

Though Crush has a diverse cast and includes the rare sight of an openly gay character, it isn’t especially nuanced or thoughtful in its depiction of teen romance. Instead, it feels a little more like an ode to diversity for the sake of it, a reassurance that parent distributor Disney is willing to portray nominal representation (even as it backs anti-LGBTQ legislation). Nevertheless, with its delightful young cast and sunny cinematography, it’s definitely worth a watch. Just be prepared for a sexy high school story with the lowest of stakes.