The greatest gift that humans have is their ability to love and be touched by the world. As rational as the mind may be, it is the heart that truly lets us connect and share feelings. There is an infinity of emotions found inside your chest, some good, some bad, some annoying, but each of them reminding you that something in you is alive at the end of the day.
Thus, as much as we may be frustrated at the build-up beneath our ribcage, it is the reason why we experience this life to the fullest.
One of those annoying, sometimes good, sometimes bad emotions is romantic attraction. This can come in the form of a skipped heartbeat at the sight of a pretty stranger or the rush of warmth to your cheeks when you see what has been in front of you all along.
At times, it fizzles out within days, runs its course, and extinguishes its flame. Other times, it blooms and becomes something magnificent that you are fortunate enough to share with someone else.
Having a crush
Often, however, this attraction can come in the form of a stubborn, intense infatuation that refuses to leave i.e. a crush. Having a crush can be a magical feeling, made up of giddy laughter, shy text messages, and a million smiles pressed into pillows. However, it can also prove hurtful, especially in the cases where it seems like your feelings might never be reciprocated the way you want.
If you have experienced this, you may have found yourself wondering: how long does a crush last? Is it time to give up? Well, we have all the answers in store for you, as well as tips for getting over a crush, should you need them.
How long does a crush last?
Psychologists say that a typical crush usually lasts up to four months, after which it may grow into something even more intense or fade away. This is because crushes are a result of infatuation with another person (or people). This infatuation usually stems from us projecting our fantasies or idealized notions on the other person, not quite seeing them for they really are.
As time goes on and we get to know the real person behind the fantasy, we might either feel our feelings diminish or turn into a stronger attachment. This is the point where either a crush goes away or becomes something more genuine, such as love.
Of course, feelings cannot be calculated in terms of numbers. Hence, there is no correct answer to the question of how long does a crush last. Each individual’s language and capacity of love are different.
Some may have many fluctuating crushes weekly, while others may have been fixated on one person for years. What a person chooses to call a crush or how they choose to define love depends on them.
Hence, if you’re wondering the perfect answer for how long does a crush last, we would simply say that it is up to you. If you find that these feelings are transforming into another kind of affection, one which you want to pursue further, then you can choose to give it another name if you are comfortable.
And if you find that the feelings have started causing you pain or have strained your relationship with said person, it is okay to consider letting go of them as well. You may realize that your feelings are fading or that it’s becoming difficult to cope with them. It is a difficult decision to move on from someone you like or even love in a way, but if it is the option that makes you most comfortable, there is no shame in choosing it for yourself.
Ways to get over a crush
It isn’t easy to get over a crush, because even if you weren’t dating, your feelings still matter just as much. Hence, we want you to know how brave it is to decide to move on, to try and seek different happiness for yourself. To make this process a bit easier and more comfortable for you, we have compiled a list of 9 tips for getting over a crush:
1. Accept your feelings for them
The first step to getting over a crush is to acknowledge the feelings you have for them. It may be tempting to keep running away and avoid facing the situation, but your heart will be in turmoil, either way. So, it’s better to sit yourself down in a room and admit that you have a crush on the said person.
As you do this, try to see the person and the situation realistically. We tend to project our wishful thoughts on a person, often ending up hurt in the process of it. So, see your crush for who they are and ask if this situation is any good for you. You may not like the answer you get the first time you do this, but in time you will slowly learn that this is a must when choosing your comfort.
2. Confess if you feel comfortable
This next step might not be for everyone, especially if you are really close to the person. You may be worried about making your relationship awkward. But sometimes confessing can help you get rid of pestering what-ifs in your mind. Sometimes, knowing is the scariest but the best thing because you finally have your answer. Remember to be respectful even if the scenario is not the one you were hoping for.
It’s not easy to witness a change in any kind of relationship, but we have to understand that it is inevitable. All relationships go through waxing and waning phases. It’s okay if confessing creates a distance between the two of you. With time, the two of you will be able to cross it.
3. Cry it out
Never dismiss your feelings as small, or unimportant. Even if the answer to how long does a crush last might not be a long one, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of acceptance. You don’t need to be in a relationship with a person for your feelings to be valid.
Just you caring for them in your way was brave enough and it deserves to be held gently. Feel all the emotions that come and go, cry it all out. Be as sad as you feel and grieve for all the things you wished for, but did not get.
Do not blame the other person(s), or yourself because it is neither of your faults. There is nothing wrong with loving them someone, even if that love goes unreciprocated. Your heart is always something to be treasured, something which you should be proud of for feeling all that it feels.
4. Talk to someone you trust
While being alone might help some people, for others it could lead to being stuck in their own emotions, not being able to break past the sadness. In situations like that, it is better to talk to someone you trust, be it a relative, a friend, or a therapist.
Having someone you care about in front of you can make it easier to share your feelings and admit them out loud to yourself. The person may also give you useful advice on how to deal with the situation so that you can go on knowing that you are not alone and never will be.
5. Take a break from social media
When trying to get over a crush, you may sometimes find yourself scrolling down their social media, looking at all their posts and pictures, feeling warm and sad at their smile. As important as this may be in your daily pity-party, it will do you no good. You need to distance yourself to be able to breathe, to see the bigger picture, to see everything else that awaits you.
It’s okay to take some time away from that person and choosing to be with yourself instead. However, remember to inform the person about this distance, by telling them you are going through something and need time. You need not tell them your feelings, it is okay to just make up an excuse, but inform them so that they don’t get too worried or misunderstand the situation.
It’s hard, acting like a mature adult when part of you just wants to sob into a pillow, but it is a must because your crush is still an important person in your life, even if in a different space.
6. Find solace in nature
Staying indoors might prove stuffy for some people, especially if their homes are filled with reminders of the person they are trying to forget. You can step out of the house and seek the gentle lessons of nature by sitting under a tree, cycling along the river, and smelling the sweet scents of the flowers in the garden. Observe nature, feel all the silence and serenity that exists within, and watch as it unravels itself to you.
Notice how the days and nights and seasons come and go, one after another. Nothing stops just because it is night—instead, the world goes on, brave as ever, knowing that spring days will come once again. Know that your journey of love is the same thing.
7. Relax with a new hobby
It can help to take your mind off things by engaging in a hobby, old or new. Dig in your cupboard for that old journal and start filling the pages with your words, once again.
Take up something creative, such as art or learning an instrument, or go for something technical like programming, or simply cry over your favorite movie. Instead of bottling those emotions up, release them through these methods.
8. Give yourself time
The Golden Rule: Never rush yourself, always reach your destination in your own time. Don’t push yourself to get over your crush quickly, because that will only lead to unprocessed, repressed feelings that will surface one day.
Sit in your window, watch the sunset and accept that it may be a long road ahead, but what matters is that you have started walking.
9. Remember to love yourself
Ultimately, remember that whether or not you get anyone else’s love, you will always have your own. As frustrating as this may feel, pat yourself on the back for being brave enough to love and then braver enough to let it go.
Hug yourself and say that you have done a good job. Those three words carry twice the power when they are said by a person to their own heart.
Know that you’ll be okay, eventually
In the end, remind yourself that it is okay to be sad and cry, even if the tears just don’t seem to stop. It is also okay to not cry and to choose a different method of expression. After all, this is your road and however long you want to take to walk on it and grow is up to you.
Everything goes with time and so, this too shall pass. You may not believe it now, but there will be love for you always. Love from friends, love from partners, love from family, love from the world, and above all—love from yourself.