How To Get Over A Crush: Healthy Coping Techniques For Moving On

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated February 20, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The word "crush" is often used to describe the desire to be with someone you find attractive or compelling, with the underlying possibility that you might not be romantically or intimately involved. Many people with a crush may feel dismayed if being with that person (who may be the only person they like) isn't possible. They might be experiencing incompatibility, unrequited love, or the fact that the other person is already in a monogamous relationship. Despite these potential realities, a crush can feel all-consuming. 

Feeling anxious, angry, hurt, bitter, hopeless, or isolated may be natural if you develop feelings for someone who doesn't like you back or want to rid yourself of your feelings. If you want to know how to get over a crush, it may be beneficial to consider the situation objectively. Getting over someone you've never dated can still be painful, and there are a few things you may be able to do to cope healthily.

Learn how to cope with your feelings in a productive manner

How long do crushes last? 

Many crushes take place over a short amount of time. They may develop into a romantic relationship or dissolve within a few weeks or months, in the case of unrequited love. Often, a person can experience heartache, helplessness, loneliness, stress, regret, embarrassment, fear, and frustration about having a crush. Although you may feel stuck or challenged by your intense feelings surrounding this individual, knowing your crush may be temporary may be comforting.

According to psychologists, crushes often last a few months, with a minor percentage developing into a relationship. This statistic may stem from the fact that many crushes are founded in infatuation instead of an attachment or love. For example, a recent study published in the PLOS One journal examined how romantic love is perceived in its phases, including crushes, infatuation, and perceived attachment. 

The researchers discovered that people could intentionally control their feelings for another person depending on their behavior. Developing feelings of infatuation for another person can be a temporary phase that only lasts during the initial part of a crush. If you're feeling upset now, consider how you might feel in a few weeks or months. 

Healthy coping techniques for moving on from a crush 

The following strategies may help you move on from a crush healthily while valuing your emotional and physical needs. 

Try not to avoid your crush

If you avoid your crush, the distance may keep your fantasy of them at the forefront of your mind. To start moving forward, consider talking to the individual or spending time with them as close friends without flirting or thinking of them romantically. Spend time with them to see how you connect, and focus on enriching your connection platonically. After getting to know them, you might learn more about who they are and discover that you're incompatible. This may lead you to decide to just stay close friends. For example, you might have differing beliefs, morals, values, or ethics. You could also find that your crush doesn't have the qualities you look for in a partner, or that your romantic feelings for them lessened as you became good friends.

If your crush is your friend or you feel that talking to them would cause your feelings to grow, you might consider taking a break from spending time together until your feelings have subsided. If you don't want to admit to your feelings, you might ask for time to attend to a personal matter or let them know you want to focus elsewhere for the time being. If they know you have a crush on them, you might refrain from telling them you're trying to get over them. Take your time away and come back when you feel ready. 

Stay busy 

If your heart is aching and you feel sad about your vision of a relationship not working out, focus on situations in your life that bring you joy. Distraction can help you focus elsewhere while attempting to reduce your feelings. Although you might not instantly get over your crush, you can spend time considering what you need. Medically reviewed studies have found that using positive visualization to imagine the type of life you want may improve mental health, focus, and the possibility of success. Try visualizing a life where you no longer have a crush on this person. 

To keep busy, you might join local groups that participate in activities you enjoy or go to a place that makes you feel at peace. Distractions that you find fulfilling can take your mind off the person you like and remind you of what you appreciate outside of your attraction. You could also focus on your education, work, a new hobby, personal growth, meeting new people, or volunteering for a charity. If you struggle with enjoying activities after your crush, you can talk to a therapist or counselor to learn new coping skills and brainstorm ideas together.  

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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 can include members of your family or a best friend. 

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. Try not 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 good friend posts with your crush or about them, it may be worth it to avoid their social media accounts 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 a parent,  family member, or friend isn’t 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. 

Learn how to cope with your feelings in a productive manner

Reach out for professional support

Having a crush that doesn't work out can feel like getting your hopes up for nothing. You may be experiencing sadness, depression, stress, or another mental health concern. Regardless of the social support you have in your life, talking to a professional may help you work out these feelings in a safe environment—and you don't have to do it in person. Many therapists work online through online therapy platforms like BetterHelp, which offer care from anywhere with an internet connection. 

While it can be normal to feel infatuation toward someone, it may be beneficial to learn how to cope with these feelings productively. Through an online platform, you can use journaling prompts, worksheets, and outside resources suggested by your therapist to receive support. In addition, you can take control of your counseling experience by choosing between phone, video, or chat sessions. Having control over this area of your life may provide emotional relief while moving forward from a potentially uncontrollable situation.  

Online therapy is backed by research as a cost-effective and highly beneficial alternative to in-person therapy. A recent study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics researched the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of online therapy versus in-person therapy for 154 participants living with depressive disorder. The researchers concluded that online therapy was equally effective at treating depression and was significantly more cost-effective, with an average savings of $945 after an eight to 12-week treatment series. 

Counselor reviews

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. 


Moving forward from a crush may show you that you are worthy of love and compassion from someone who feels the same way about you. You are not alone in your feelings, and support is available. Consider taking the first step to moving on by talking to your support system, practicing self-care, or connecting with a licensed therapist.  

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