How Can I Move Forward After A Crush?

Updated January 5, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

A “crush” may be defined as the desire to be with someone who you find is attractive and exceptionally special with the underlying possibility that you will never become a couple. With this definition, it is understood that people experiencing a crush know their expectations are unrealistic. Maybe it is incompatibility, unrequited feelings, or that the person is already taken. One thing is for sure: these emotions can feel all-consuming. Feeling anxious, angry, hurt, bitter, hopeless, or isolated is completely natural and part of this experience. If you want to know how to get over a crush, how to get stop thinking about someone, or how to stop liking someone and quit obsessing over them, it is important to consider your new crush in objective terms. Continue reading to learn about ways you can cope with getting over a crush and how to work through difficult feelings associated with the loss.

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A Crush Will Not Last Forever

Most crushes are short-lived--they either progress into a romantic relationship or dissolve within a few weeks or months. Often a person can experience heartache, helplessness, loneliness, stress, regret, embarrassment, fear, and frustration after a crush does not work out. Even if you feel stuck in some intense feelings about this crush, it is good to know that the most destructive and heart-wrenching feelings of disappointment will eventually pass. 

According to psychologists and studies, most crushes will last only a few months with a small percentage actually developing into a relationship. This most likely stems from a crush being founded in infatuation as opposed to attachment. For example, a recent study published in PLoS One looked at how romantic love is perceived in its different phases, including crushes or infatuation and perceived attachment. What the researchers discovered was that people can intentionally up- and down-control their love feelings for another person depending on their behavior. In other words, feelings of love for another person may simply be just that, a feeling that subsides once the initial phase of infatuation subsides. 

Healthy Coping Techniques To Let Go Of A Crush

If you want to get over a crush, consider talking to them as a friend and not as a true love or a romantic partner. Try spending time with them to talk and find out if you have anything in common. Having conversations with this person can give you the clarity you need. After getting to know your crush, you may be shocked to discover that they are nothing like you imagined them to be. Their morals and ethics may be beneath you or intellectually lacking in conversation. Lastly, you may realize you both simply have nothing in common. It will benefit your wellness and happiness if you find closure. You may realize they are not the only person for you, as you once believed. 

If you realize that even after meeting with your crush that the feelings do not subside and you are unable to stop thinking about them, the following strategies may help you know how to get rid of a crush:

Do Not Avoid Your Crush

In avoiding your crush, you may keep the fantasy of a future relationship vivid in the forefront of your mind (and heart). You may find there is no chemistry between the two of you. You can begin to make the break from the fantasy to move on with your grieving process. 

A healthy relationship is developed through trust and understanding of each other’s values and interests. In talking to them, you can find out if you have anything in common or similar values. Ask what is going on in their lives. As mentioned above, you might be surprised to find that their personality is nothing like you imagined it to be just by talking to them as friends. You may even find that you disagree on important topics or that they are intellectually lacking. Do not be scared to ask them deep questions that allow you to really get to know them.

Get Busy With Other Aspects Of Life 

If your heart is aching and you are feeling sad about your vision of a relationship not working out, return to focusing on the things that bring you joy. This does not mean you will instantly get over your crush or that you need to find someone else right away. Look to finding the motivation to push beyond the difficulties and set your sight on the state you want to be in.

For instance, join some groups that participate in activities you enjoy or go to a place that makes you feel at peace. Reach out to a friend. Distractions that you find fulfilling can take your mind off the person and remind you of finding meaning in life beyond this attraction. Focus on your education, your work, your personal growth, or volunteering for a charity. If you are struggling with getting back to enjoying activities and your life in general, you can talk to a therapist or counselor to learn some new coping skills. 

Confide With Your Loved Ones About Your Crush

Surrounding yourself with the people that mean the most to you--people who love and respect you for you--can improve your well-being and remind you that you are whole, with or without a partner. This includes family and your best friends.

Furthermore, they may surprise you with a great piece of advice that worked for them regarding how to get over a crush. A trusted loved one may help you understand why you have a crush on this person and what that says about you. They have had their own experience and can impart some words of wisdom about how to handle the situation. Lastly, they can give you a new perspective on your love life and help you recognize unhealthy relationship patterns so you can find someone who can return your love.

Question Yourself About The Origin Of This Crush

Take the emphasis off them and focus on your relationship with yourself. Why do you feel this way? Could there have been other circumstances that led to the crush? Maybe you were having negative thoughts the day you first met, and they smiled at you at the right moment. Sometimes, feelings can be situational and when that person becomes an actual part of our lives, we may feel differently. You may consider that you created a fantasy relationship in your mind.  Ask yourself if this person has the qualities you desire in a partner. You may be projecting attributes that do not exist. Understanding the reality of the relationship can help you in the healing process.

Give Yourself A Chance To Grieve

If you do believe, after trying these strategies, that you have missed out on your true love, give yourself space to feel sad about it. You may be feeling a great sense of loss, or grief. Acknowledge these emotions and process the loss of a potential relationship. Do you best to ignore them or bury them, as doing so can lead to unresolved feelings that you will eventually have to address. It might help to take out a pen and paper and write down your feelings in a journal. Allow yourself to grieve the feelings that were there. You probably spent a good amount of time fantasizing, and that can feel amazing. When the fantasy ends, it can be jarring and uncomfortable.

Stop Following Them On Social Media Platforms

You do not need reminders of them or updates about what they are doing every minute of the day while getting over a crush. Furthermore, most people only post the best of what is happening in their lives, so you will likely not be looking at the full picture, just places and parts of their life they want others to see. If a mutual friend posts with your crush or about them, it may be worth it to avoid their social media for a bit too.

Open Yourself Up To Dating

Remind yourself that there are plenty of other people who want to date you. You can join an online dating site, ask your friends to set you up, or join a club that explores one of your interests. All of these are ways to get over your crush and meet new and interesting people while giving yourself a little distance from your old crush. 

Reaching Out For Professional Support

Wanting a relationship with another person can get your hopes up and let you down when it does not work. You may be experiencing extreme sadness and even depressive symptoms. Remember- there is always someone ready to talk to you, so you do not feel isolated, even if parents, family, or friends are unavailable. Seeking professional help to work out these feelings is an option that can give you a path out of these sad places. 

BetterHelp provides an objective perspective from a clinical psychologist trained in the field of relationships. You can receive advice for your situation in confidence and a safe space from an online counselor professionally trained on the subject. While it is common to feel infatuation with someone, it helps to discuss your feelings and learn how to deal with them productively. Reaching out for support from a licensed therapist can help you manage these feelings and lift any shame, confusion, or anger you may be experiencing. 

If you find that it is difficult to find a therapist in-person, especially considering the cost, online therapy is supported by research to be a cost-effective and highly beneficial alternative to in-person therapy. For example, a current study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics researched the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of online therapy versus in-person in 154 participants who were managing depressive disorder. The researchers concluded that online therapy was equally effective at treating depression and was significantly cost-effective as compared to in-person therapy, with an average savings of USD 945 after an eight to twelve-week treatment series. 

Final Thoughts On How To Move On

Moving forward can help you to remember you are worthy of love and compassion from someone who feels the same way about you. You do not have to go through these difficulties alone. Know help is available to assist you in taking the first step to fulfilling relationships today. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues. 

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BetterHelp Therapist Reviews

"Mark is an amazing therapist. He listens so well and has such valuable insight on male and female perspectives and issues while also not passing judgment. I have only just begun, but he has already given me so many great takeaways to improve my relationships and situations. I am filled with gratitude, and I would highly recommend him to anyone!!"

"I enjoyed my sessions with Dr. Anstadt. He helped me see how one issue was affecting multiple aspects of my life. He has greatly improved my relationships with the people I'm closest to and even the way I approach work. I have seen a huge difference in my relationships already, and I have several tools to help me manage the issues I started seeking therapy. I cannot express how thankful I am to Dr. I Anstadt!"

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