Understanding the Stages of a Crush


A crush is the infatuation you feel for someone, especially during childhood and early adolescence. This infatuation is often referred to as puppy love or “the honeymoon phase” because of the initial feelings of romance and attraction.

While crushing is normal, it is important to make sure your kids understand how to manage their emotions and the stages they are going through. Unchecked, this can lead to unhealthy feelings of infatuation and even depression. It’s also important for parents to be involved in their child’s exploration of crush and to be a guide on this new territory.

Having a crush triggers hormone changes in your body and brain, which can lead to fantasies about the person you admire. Your irrational thoughts and unrealistic beliefs about this person can make you see them through rose-colored glasses and form illusory scenarios in your mind that are not true to reality. In addition to triggering mood and hormonal changes, having a crush can increase serotonin levels in your brain. This is a good thing as serotonin is an essential chemical that boosts your mood, helps you sleep and eat, and combats depression and anxiety.

As your crush starts to become more real, you go through three generic stages: denial, accepting your emotions, and obsession. During denial, you deny that your feelings are real, and you continue to casually think about them. You start noticing little things about them, such as how their breath smells after eating strawberries or the way they smile during class. You daydream about them and sway in your seat when they wave at you during a football game.

Eventually, you have to man up and tell them how you feel. This can be scary, but it’s worth it if you want to move forward in your relationship. Maybe they will reject you, which is okay because it’ll give you closure and a chance to flip the page. But hopefully, they will return your feelings. This is the best-case scenario, and all of your nerves and jitters will transform into relieved sighs of happiness.