Five Tips On How To Stop Obsessing Over A Crush

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated May 1, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Managing the complicated feelings that can pop up when someone doesn't feel the same or when you want to stop obsessing over a crush can be challenging. In learning how to get over a crush, exploring your emotions to understand why you feel consumed by this person may be helpful. 

Obsession with another person often stems from a lack of self-esteem or an anxious attachment style. However, you may be able to reduce this obsession through a few steps.

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Are you struggling to move on from a crush?

Is obsessing over a crush normal? 

It is normal to have a crush. Crushes can feel exciting, which might be exacerbated by the allure of distance and keeping a secret. However, with time, excitement can become an obsession for some individuals. Although obsession might not necessarily be unhealthy, it can be if it causes mental health challenges for you or non-consensual behaviors toward your crush.  

You might experience anxiety, stress, or insecurity when you feel obsessed with a crush. Trying to recognize these feelings and understand their cause can be helpful. When obsessing over a crush, you might benefit from finding ways to occupy your mind rather than focusing on whether they are calling you, seeing someone else, or feeling interested in you.  

Research on obsession and love 

A study published in Psychological Science reveals that some people obsess more over love interests who indicate they might be interested in a relationship than those who are confident they are interested in a relationship. This study shows that there may be an instinct to want others that you believe you cannot have. 

However, this study also highlights that the tendency to be obsessed with an unattainable crush may reflect personal insecurity. You may act based on deep-seated insecurities and fear of stepping into a relationship of mutual interest. When someone returns your feelings, it could cause fear or a desire to retreat and stop the relationship altogether. 

Intense feelings of rejection can stimulate the same regions of the brain associated with addiction, cravings, and motivation. When the crush you are obsessed with rejects you or shows a lack of interest, it can activate a part of your brain that makes you want them more. This process might explain why moving on from a crush involves many difficult thoughts and feelings.

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Five ways to reduce obsession and move forward  

One of the challenges that can accompany obsession is a lack of focus on yourself. Daydreaming and wondering about a crush constantly can suck up mental energy that might otherwise be spent on self-care, pursuing your passions, and connecting with new people. While it's normal to be interested in a crush and think about them, these behaviors can be unhealthy if they take over your daily functioning. When constantly obsessing over a person you’re interested in begins to take over your life, it can be vital to take action. It may also be wise to seek professional help if the strategies below don’t help you stop obsessing over your crush.

If you're ready to move forward, consider the following five tips for reducing your obsession with this individual. 

Distance yourself

Giving yourself distance from your crush may help you reduce obsession. Consider unfollowing the person or removing them from your social media accounts. When you aren’t bombarded with reminders of your crush, it may be easier to stop thinking about them. You can also spend less time together while ceasing texting or calling. Reducing contact can allow you to clear your mind of obsessive thoughts and re-evaluate your feelings. 

You might continue to have thoughts about your crush throughout this period. However, give yourself time. If you can't get rid of these thoughts quickly, you can try meditation to learn to let thoughts pass without judgment. In addition, spending time away from this individual might help you forget what they look like and why you're attracted to them. Try not to look at pictures or their social media. 

Cry 

It's normal to feel a sense of loss and other challenging emotions when moving on from someone you cared about, even if they didn't feel the same way. Let yourself feel those emotions. Crying is healthy for you and can be a form of expression that allows you to get emotions out without words. 

Surround yourself with your support system 

Emotional support when you're obsessed with someone can help you take your mind off your crush. When you're distracted by a family outing, time with friends, or a new potential partner, you can start to fill your mind with other plans, ideas, and goals. You might choose to spend time cultivating a healthy relationship in your life, whether that’s with a friend, family member, or new love interest.

Practice self-love

Taking care of yourself is a valuable way to move on and overcome challenging emotions. Getting a new haircut, taking a gym class, or learning a language are ways to keep your mind occupied and practice self-love. You can also repeat positive affirmations in the mirror each morning or try a guided mindfulness practice. Embracing a new hobby can be one of the best ways to immerse yourself in something other than obsessing over a guy, girl, or anyone else.

Identify what qualities you liked in your crush

Reflect on what qualities you like about the person you're obsessing over. Considering exactly why you’re obsessing over them can help you understand what qualities you are attracted to. Instead of focusing on a crush, you might try a speed dating event, dating app, or another way to meet new people. Look for people who has positive qualities with your crush and who do not have the negative qualities of your crush. 

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Are you struggling to move on from a crush?

Counseling options 

When it seems that nothing is helping you stop obsessing over a crush, it can be helpful to consider speaking with a mental health professional, like a therapist or a counselor. If traditional therapy doesn't feel like an option or your face barriers to therapy, you can also consider online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp. You can save time, money, and energy when you speak with a professional through the web. 

Research shows that online therapy helps address feelings of rejection, sadness, and other emotions related to unreciprocated love. One study about treatment addressed the effectiveness of internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy in treating sadness and depression. The study states that internet-based CBT decreases depression and anxiety symptoms, noting that 64% of participants reported satisfaction with the program. 

Counselor reviews

"Sabrina is helping me so much through my breakup, and I am so excited for her to help me along my journey of self-love and discovery. Thank you for helping me detangle my inner problems and guiding me to the end of each and every string!"

"Brenda has been a lifeline to me in a very difficult time. In one month, she has helped support me through quitting alcohol, partaking in self-care, and helping me through the process of a breakup. She asks the questions that your friends won't, a real chance to understand what's happening to you as well as being able to evaluate it healthily. Brenda also gave me very good practical advice on how to manage my anxiety and how to handle those first few days of a breakup, which can feel impossible. I've loved that I can message her whenever I get those awful feelings, and she usually responds pretty quickly. You can also schedule weekly phone sessions, which have also been helpful some weeks when I've really been really struggling."

Takeaway

Having a crush is often harmless. However, if you start worrying more about the person you like than yourself, you might reject your needs or believe you are unimportant. To stop obsessing over a crush, understanding what contributes to these feelings may be beneficial. Boosting self-esteem, taking care of your mental health, and working with a licensed professional are ways to reconnect with yourself and move forward from this crush.

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