A crush is a brief and intense period of excitement that fills you with anticipation and anxiety. But why does it go away so quickly? Can it turn into something more? Why does having a crush feel like your heart is about to burst?
How come you’re daydreaming about someone one day and you can’t remember what they look like the next? Keep reading to find answers to these questions and all the facts about crushes that you ever thought you needed to know.
Fascinating Facts About Crushes
Here are all the facts about crushes you’ve been curious about and answers to most common questions about why they feel the way they do.
1. What does having a crush do to you?
When you see your crush, your heart beats faster and you feel weak in the knees. But did you know that this happens because your body reacts to falling in love the same way as it would if you were in danger?
Human behavior is often caused by physiological processes taking place in our bodies. Noticing your crush triggers the fight-or-flight response. That’s why you feel like everything is going haywire when you have a crush.
Have you ever experienced the following symptoms when you’re around your crush?
• You breathe faster
• Your heartbeat quickens
• You become numb to pain
• You have butterflies in your stomach
• You feel more alert
• You feel weak in the knees
• Your focus increases
• Your appetite lowers
The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction to stressful situations – a perceived attack or a threat – and makes you want to run away to ensure your survival, or if that’s impossible, to fight for your life.
Your body releases the hormones epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine, which work together to increase blood flow throughout your body and redirect it to your heart and lungs. Your body breaks down fat and increases glucose levels to give you more energy.
The next time you run into your crush, hormones are the reason why you’re so shaken up.
2. Why does having a crush feel so good?
You’ve already learned that you’re getting dizzy when you see your crush because of adrenaline, but neurotransmitters and hormones are also the reason behind why having a crush feels so good.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter: a chemical that acts as a messenger in your brain, controlling how you respond to the information received through your senses. It’s connected to pleasure and motivation.
When you see your crush, you get a hit of dopamine, and it feels like you got a reward. You become giddy and euphoric, so it’s no wonder you want more of this feeling. This is why the feeling of having a crush feels so intoxicating.
Your body produces another hormone when you interact with your crush or as you’re falling in love: oxytocin. It’s nicknamed ‘love hormone’ and ‘cuddle hormone’ because when it’s released, it gives you a warm and comforting sense of well-being.
3. Why is your crush so perfect?
Now that you know that hormones are the cause of positive feelings about your crush, let’s see if they’re also the reason why your crush seems to be flawless.
The perceived perfection of your crush is caused by several things. One of them is the fact that you don’t really know them, so you can project all the qualities you like in a person onto them. You don’t get a crush on someone you know well, but someone you’re just getting to know.
The novelty of getting to know someone you already think of as being just the way you like makes a crush exciting. As you’re getting to know them, you feel a sense of anticipation fueled by your own imagination.
If they’re just as you hoped your perfect person would be like, what else will you learn about them? Perfection, a sense of discovery and dopamine combine to create something addictive that makes you want to be around your crush more and more.
4. How long do crushes last for?
Don’t you love having a crush? Your heart races when you see the object of your affection, you can’t eat or sleep and all you can think about is them. You’re obsessed with your crush – until you kind of forget they ever existed.
One of the often repeated ‘interesting psychological facts about crushes’ is that they last four months, but a crush can last as long as you keep it going. If you keep focusing on the person you’re crushing on without bonding with them, you’ll have a crush.
A crush is a fantasy – it’s a combination of physical attraction and imagination. It has nothing to do with true love. Once you get to know the person, a feeling of love can develop as you develop a mental and emotional connection.
If your crush goes on for too long, it might include a sense of limerence. Limerence is infatuation and obsession based entirely on the fantasy constructed about the other person. It causes mental health issues and dysfunction.
One of the subtle signs of limerence is the feeling that the other person will complete you. This delusional thinking can be caused by fear of real emotional intimacy, so it becomes even stronger if the object of your affection is unobtainable.
5. Are crushes healthy?
Crushes can be as healthy and unhealthy as you make them.
Developing and getting over crushes is fun. Experiencing attraction and positive feelings about someone without acting on them is beneficial for your mental health. Chemical reactions happening as you’re crushing on someone lift your mood and enrich your fantasy life.
Crushes can help you understand yourself, but they can be unhealthy if you let them dictate your behavior. Unless you’re reasonably sure that the other person is interested, confessing your feelings can cause issues. You can end up in an awkward situation, especially if you lose interest when you get to know your crush, as it often happens.
• Red flags
Another possible problem caused by having a crush is that it can make you ignore the red flags early on. Because of the unrealistic picture you have of this person, you might go on idealizing them even if they turn out not to be anything like what you’ve imagined.
This is how you might end up in an unhealthy relationship, even if your crush develops into something else.
RELATED: 14 Psychological Facts About Soulmates That May Surprise You
6. What are the best ways to get over a crush?
The best way to get over your crush is to wait it out. Crushes end, one way or another.
When your crush turns into love, it fades. What this means is that, when you get to know what your crush is really like, the fictional story you constructed about them will fade. They either fizzle out or become something else.
Some crushes turn into relationships. When you actually connect with someone – emotionally, physically and mentally – you don’t feel the need to look for an idealized version you constructed in your mind.
• Limerence, continued
On the other hand, a crush that involves the sense of limerence might last for years. This type of crush is an indication of deeper emotional issues and might need to be dealt with in therapy.
If you’ve had a crush for a long time and feel that it negatively affects your life and mental health, a professional can help you uncover the reason why you’ve been stuck in this situation.
7. What is the difference between a crush and love?
So, what’s the difference between love and infatuation? Can they co-exist?
A crush happens when you project your wishes onto another person and imagine that they have certain traits you’re attracted to. Your feelings towards this person have nothing to do with them and everything to do with the image you’ve created.
You’re emotionally invested in this idealized version of your crush and your hormones are making you addicted to these feelings. This is why crushes are fun and exciting, but they fade quickly.
Love is much more long-lasting. When you love someone, you love and accept them for who they are, flaws and all. Their happiness is important to you, not just how they make you feel. Falling in love is about getting to know someone and developing a bond.
Real love is about emotional connection and intimacy. It’s a feeling that depends on personal attachment and affection. Romantic love can develop from a crush, but a crush usually simply fades away.
8. Why do you daydream about your crush?
You fantasize about your crush because that’s all they are – a fantasy. Your crush is a different person than you believe they are, and your ideas about them come from your imagination.
Because your crush is an imaginary personality projected onto someone you’re attracted to, it’s only logical that you daydream about them: they’re a fictional character in a fictional situation.
Imaginary conversations and situations are better than real ones anyway. When you’re fantasizing, you have control of the setting, the events and the other person’s reactions.
In real life, what you’re imagining would probably go differently. You can’t predict someone’s behavior and what will happen when you talk to them, but in your imagination, you can.
Daydreaming about your crush isn’t harmful or unhealthy. In fact, it’s a fun and safe way to explore what you like, what you’re attracted to and what you’re looking for. The only danger lies in the possibility of focusing too much on your fantasies and ignoring your life.
9. Why does everything remind you of your crush?
You have a crush and suddenly, everything reminds you of them. Wherever you go, you see your crush’s name, the same shirt as the one they’ve worn last time you saw them and you hear their favorite song.
There’s a reason for this. It sounds like one of those weird psychological facts, and it is.
It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and it’s also known as the frequency illusion: when you become aware of something, you start noticing it everywhere. It was there all along, but you’ve paid attention before.
For instance, if your best friend told you about getting a Shiba Inu, you’ll start noticing this breed of dog everywhere. Your neighbor has always had one, but you never really took notice. Now that you’ve heard your friend’s news, you’re seeing them everywhere you go.
Your crush is interesting to you, so you pay close attention to everything about them. Not to mention that your crush is always on your mind – so it’s not surprising that you’re noticing things related to them even if you never really cared about them before.
10. What are the symptoms of having a crush?
Having a crush makes you a little bit obsessed. All the hormones and neurotransmitters are to blame – crushing feels intoxicating. It’s an addiction that rarely has negative consequences, so it’s no wonder that it makes you want more.
A crush is as stressful as it is exciting. Luckily, it doesn’t last a very long time. If you recognize yourself in the list below, congratulations, you have a crush.
• You think about them all the time. You feel weird when you’re not thinking about your crush.
• Your life revolves around your crush. Everything you do can in some way be connected to them.
• You talk about them all the time. There’s no conversation you can’t turn back around to your crush.
• You’re always on the lookout trying to spot them. You go out with the sole intention of running into your crush.
• You fantasize about imaginary situations between you and your crush.
• You over-analyze all your interactions with your crush. You dissect their every word and gesture trying to find hidden meanings.
• You make assumptions about their feelings and behavior that have nothing to do with reality.
• You’re way too invested in their social media.
• You look for any excuse to talk to them and each conversation becomes the focus of your day.
• You’re floating on cloud nine at all times, except when you worry about your crush not liking you.
• You’re jealous of anyone who comes near them.
RELATED: 50 Questions To Ask Your Crush And Help Them Open Up To You
Fun Facts About Crushes And Falling In Love
Here are more facts about crushes – these are bite-sized!
• One of the interesting crush facts is that sometimes they’re not romantic at all – it can just be a sign that you want to get closer to someone.
• You might be crushing on someone and never have any desire or intention of pursuing a romantic relationship with them. In fact, this applies to most crushes.
• It’s possible to have a friend crush, although they might feel a little different: you fantasize about someone’s personality and what it would feel like to hang out with them
• Romantic crushes are the most common, even when you don’t want to get your crush to like you back. Crushes are intense, making you feel so focused on someone that nothing else matters.
• Your mostly likely crush? An acquaintance, a co-worker or a friend of a friend. The bottom line is that it’s going to be someone you see around, but that you don’t know very well. When you like your best friend, it’s more than a crush.
• Real life crushes beat celebrity crushes. When you meet someone you start crushing on, movie stars lose their appeal.
• You’re more likely to crush on someone with a similar personality as your own – or someone you imagine has a similar personality. Similar interests and personality is a good indicator of romantic compatibility, whether you’re crushing or falling in love.
• When you’re crushing on someone, you tend to mirror their body language. You do this subconsciously to make them feel more comfortable and to show them how similar you are.
• Taking mirroring a step further, you might also imitate your crush. You’re not doing this consciously, but you start to feel attracted to their hobbies or taste.
The purpose of this is to make you feel bonded to each other and impress your crush by being the kind of person who shares their interests, but it’s not done to manipulate your crush. Instead, it happens because you’re so fascinated by your crush that everything about them fascinates you as well.
• If they maintain eye contact longer than necessary, it’s a good sign that your crush likes you back. If their pupils dilate when they look at you, they like what they’re seeing.
• High self-esteem makes you more attractive. If you appreciate yourself, you’re signaling to the world that you deserve to be appreciated.
• Flirting increases self-confidence, puts you in a good mood and it reduces stress and negative feelings.
• Do you believe in love at first sight? If you do, you might just experience it. There are no rules or time frames about falling in love – everyone has their own way and moves at their own pace.
• The anxiety you feel around your crush makes it hard to lie to them. In fact, it makes you likely to overshare hoping to develop a bond with them faster.
• When you’re interested in someone, you’re interested in everything about them. No topic that involves your crush could ever be boring: you want to know what they like, and what they’re like.
• Conversely, you also want your crush to know you and like you, so you talk about yourself whenever you get a chance and you try to present yourself in a way that your crush will find appealing.
• Having a crush or being in love makes you find the object of your affection more attractive than you would if you didn’t have feelings for them. The reason for this is that, when we like someone, we tend to focus on their good sides and ignore the bad sides.
• Your body goes into overdrive when you see your crush, so it doesn’t surprise that you might tend to act clumsy around them. You get nervous and start to fidget.
• Talking to your crush is difficult: you might keep putting it off and when you get around to talking to them, it might take several attempts to get a sentence out. It can be a struggle.
• A sense of humor is one of the most attractive traits you can have. Making your crush laugh or laughing at their jokes can bring you closer very quickly. A shared sense of humor is an indicator of compatibility in many areas.
• You can be in a relationship and have a crush on someone else. Most people don’t ever intend to act on their crushes, so this can be an opportunity to examine your relationship.
• Crushes can happen at any age, even though we usually think of something that happens to teenagers.
• Finding out that someone likes you can make you like them back. Their positive feelings make you notice them!
• The pitch, tone and volume of your voice change when you’re around your crush.
• It’s impossible to force attraction, crush or love. Trying to ‘get’ someone to like you is a waste of time. Instead, focus on someone who returns your feelings.
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It’s Just A Little Crush
Having a crush is fun and makes life more exciting, as long as you accept it for what it is. Knowing why you feel a certain way doesn’t make it any less thrilling.
Psychology and neuroscience explain a lot of facts about crushes that seem inexplicable at first glance. However, this doesn’t take any romance out of how it feels to be crushing on someone.
Doesn’t knowing that your body goes into overdrive around your crush make you feel like it’s even more romantic?