How to Manage a Crush

A crush is an intense, irrational, and often one-sided desire for someone that you think of all the time. It’s the thing that makes you blush when you see them, causes your heart to race, and makes you feel like a giddy kid. A crush typically comes when you’re a teenager, but it can strike at any age or any stage of life—even if you’re in a committed relationship.

Whether you’re in the middle of your own love story or just dreaming about it, you’ve probably experienced a crush at some point. Maybe you envisioned yourself as Jack and Rose in Titanic or fell head over heels for Romeo and Juliet. Depending on the intensity of your feelings, it can be hard to shake them even when you’re in a relationship. Having a crush can be a source of embarrassment and is often seen as a sign of immaturity, but it’s not always bad. In fact, it can be a great way to experience the thrill of romance without putting your own relationship on the line.

Crush can be a tricky thing to navigate, especially for people in monogamous relationships. Having an unrequited crush can come across as adolescent, creepy, or a threat to your primary partner. In fact, research shows that a healthy crush is not necessarily a negative for your primary relationship. Most often, people in a committed relationship who report having a crush use strategies to manage it. These include being somewhat open with their crush about the attraction, fantasizing about them, and redirecting their attention back to their partner.

While having a crush is a normal part of growing up, it can lead to problems if you don’t take steps to control it. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to talk to your partner about how your feelings are affecting your relationship. You may also want to consider asking your crush if it would be okay to hang out outside of your usual shared spaces or try flirting.

It’s also important to be careful about who you tell about your crush. If you go blabbing to everyone about your crush, you could end up getting embarrassed by someone who doesn’t know you very well. Likewise, if you get your crush’s number, be careful about who you give it to so that they can’t call anyone else but you!

The article originally appeared on Psych Central and is reproduced here with permission. This is an independent blog by a group of psychologists and psychiatrists who write about various topics related to mental health, parenting, and culture. For more information on who we are, visit our About page.

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