What is a Crush?


A crush is more than just a fleeting infatuation; it’s an instinctual reaction that activates the fight-or-flight response. This explains why people react differently when their crush is around; some become shy and tongue-tied, while others become outgoing. The key is to note how you feel, and try to determine if you’re feeling something more.

The word “crush” is derived from the Latin verb “crsus,” which means to squeeze. This is exactly what happens to the body when we’re in love: The adrenaline rush causes our blood pressure and heart rate to increase, resulting in pale skin and dilated pupils.

In a more literal sense, a crush is also what’s known as an “acute stress reaction,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s caused by the sympathetic nervous system wired in our brain, and it triggers a chain of physiological responses that tell the body we’re in danger.

While a crush is often temporary and may not lead to romance, a full-on romantic relationship can lead to marriage, babies, and lifelong commitments. And while crushes are often rooted in fantasy, they do have similarities to more serious romance, New York City-based therapist Bukky Kolawole told INSIDER. Both experiences involve fantasizing about a person and idealizing who they are, she said. And they both involve oxytocin and dopamine release, which can cause a feeling of euphoria.

If your crush reciprocates your feelings, then all of those nerves and jitters will transform into a wave of sighs and relief. You’ll feel like the luckiest person alive, and your crush will be just as happy to have you in their life.

But if you’re in a committed relationship, it’s important to remember that your crush may be someone else’s person, and acting on those feelings could jeopardize your current partnership. That’s why it’s crucial to ask yourself some hard questions — especially when your crush is someone who has a close friend or family member.

Crush tries to be as honest as possible about the ins and outs of romantic relationships, but it lacks the requisite dose of youthful mischief and a light scandalous touch that’s integral to many of the rom-com tropes Sammi Cohen and co-writers Kirsten King and Casey Rackham attempt to revive with this well-meaning but bland film. Though a few solid actors and a refreshingly diverse cast make the movie watchable, it’s a familiar world that feels largely superficial. That’s a shame, since this movie could have been so much more.