When you have a crush, you feel something akin to an intense infatuation, but the difference is a crush is more casual than a full-blown relationship. It can be amazing and agonizing at the same time, and sometimes it ends up unrequited — but no matter what, there are always lessons to be learned from having a crush.
There’s no clinical definition of crush, but there are some characteristics that distinguish it from a more serious romance, New York City-based therapist Dr. Bukky Kolawole told INSIDER. A crush tends to be rooted in fantasy and happens when you have little information about the person but idealize what they are like, she said. “You are drawn to them because of their appearance or their personality, but you do not know if they are a good fit for you,” she explained.
A crush can also trigger some of the same feelings you experience in a romantic relationship, such as desire, obsession and guilt, she added. Ultimately, the feeling can make you want to get close to your crush. “You might fantasize about them, you might start to see them in your day-to-day life — whether it’s at work or going to the grocery store or even just texting them,” she said.
But if you are in a relationship, having a crush can be dangerous because it may distract you from the needs of your own relationship. You might start to focus more on your crush than you do on your partner, and that can lead to insecurity or jealousy issues. You can also cross some boundaries with your crush that you would not do in a monogamous relationship, such as stalking them online or sending them sexually suggestive messages.
For some people, a crush can be a wake-up call that it’s time to take stock of the relationship. They might realize that their current relationship is not what they need, or they might come to the realization that their crush is a symptom of deeper problems within the marriage. It’s important to speak with your partner about your feelings when this is the case, because it can help to alleviate some of the guilt you might be feeling.
The word crush can also be used figuratively, to refer to the crushing weight of something, or the act of crushing something. For example, you might crush a bug between your fingers or crush the cans in your recycling bin to make more space for more. It can also refer to an overwhelming amount of something, or a force that can overpower another, such as the force of a train crushing cars on a rail track or military dictatorships crushing rebel uprisings.
In terms of the drink, the Crush is one of the most popular cocktails at Bad Decisions Bar in Baltimore. The drink is a hit with the bar’s clientele, which includes young adults who frequent edgy spots as well as those who prefer more traditional bars. The unpretentious nature of the drink is appealing to both groups, and the bar’s owner credits the drink with introducing them to more complex cocktails.