Everyone has experienced a crush in their life.
Maybe it’s someone you work with or a friend’s girlfriend. Maybe a TV anchorman or a local librarian who just looks amazing hot when they put their glasses on.
Regardless of who the person is (or why you’re into them), we’ve all had that moment where we look at someone from afar and think “WOW.”
But are crushes healthy?
Normally, they’re fairly innocent. But you do need to keep an eye on them.
If you find yourself spending a significant portion of your day thinking about the other person or engineering opportunities to interact with them, you might be crossing a line, particularly if you KNOW there’s a reason why you’re admiring your crush from a distance. For instance, you might be married, they might be in a relationship, or one of you is in a position of authority over the other.
And that's where, sometimes, a crush can turn into something totally different — a pre-occupation that distracts you from the REAL people you love in your life.
If you’re concerned that you might have an unhealthy fixation on your crush, here are 4 simple yet revealing questions that will definitely help you come to terms with how you REALLY feel about them.
1. What is it EXACTLY that’s making you crush so hard?
This can be a hard thing to narrow down. If it’s a physical aspect, you have to remind yourself, “This is not the only person with rock-hard abs/an ass that won’t quit.” Physical crushes are fun eye-candy, but they’re normally inch-deep emotionally. They just appeal to you on an aesthetic level.
But emotional crushes are insidious things. Why are you feeling such an attraction to this random person at work or that barista at Starbucks? If you’re feeling inexplicably drawn to a person, you need to try to explain it to yourself before you move forward.
Are they filling a psychological need for approval?
Are they providing you with a never-before-experienced sexual thrill?
Or are you legitimately falling for them? You need to ask yourself the hard questions ASAP because the answers will tell you a lot about whether or not your crush is actually healthy for you.
2. What qualities make this a crush and not a relationship?
“Crush” is a pretty loaded word. It’s normally used to describe a situation where you’re attracted to someone but they don’t know it. And there can be MANY reasons why these one-sided attractions crop up.
So you need to ask yourself — why have I given this the “crush” label?
If it’s a “crush” because the other person is completely inappropriate for you — a friend’s spouse, a co-worker in a sensitive position, someone who is too young for you — yeah, keep your distance.
That’s a bad kind of crush.
You need to recognize it as a self-destructive urge and move on.
If it’s a “crush” because the other person seems like they belong in a different world than you — she’s rich, you’re poor / she’s a punk, you’re an accountant — that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue it.
Often times, we crush on people who are wildly different than us because we’re just too afraid to step out of our normal sphere of existence and try something new. But that shouldn’t be an obstacle for romance.
If it’s a “crush” simply because you’re too afraid to do anything about it — the other person is appropriately aged, you know them, you’re not already in a relationship — toss out that “crush” label and just start thinking of that person as the next person you’re going to ask out.
Remember… nothing ventured, nothing gained.
3. Would you want to spend a ten-hour car trip with your crush?
This is a surprisingly revealing question. Ask yourself — if I was locked in close quarters with this person for a prolonged period of time, would that be the best day ever OR would I slowly learn to hate them?
Because, let’s be honest, Gisele and Justin Bieber are hot AF, but the idea of trying to make small talk with them in a car during a 3-hour traffic jam should give us all hives. There’s no way you leave that car feeling the same way you did when you got in it.
Crushes mix genuine attraction with a healthy dose of fantasy, so when you feel conflicted about a crush, you need to find ways to remove the fantasy elements from the situation. And, if you remove the slow motion and stripper music you hear in your head whenever they enter the room, is there really enough there to hold your interest?
4. Is it worth it?
As I mentioned, most of the time, we call something a crush because there’s some kind of obstacle between you and the other person.
You’re admiring them from afar for a reason — it might be an emotional reason or a societal reason.
You need to ask yourself — if those obstacles were removed, would it be worth telling this other person how you feel about them? Or even asking them out?
If you’re already in a relationship, it would mean breaking up with your current partner first, because you don’t want to be the jerk who hits on people when you’re already with someone. If the other person is a co-worker, it might mean making your work environment awkward or, at the worst, potentially losing your job.
If the other person is much younger or cooler than you, they might laugh in your face.
When it comes to a crush, you need to ask yourself WHY you’re into them and WHAT the consequences will be if you finally decide to go for it.
Because those consequences will really help you decide if taking your desires out of the realm of fantasy are worth it.