A crush can be a wonderful, inspiring thing that breathes new life into a person. A crush can also be upsetting torture that leaves a woman feeling incompetent and insecure. I’ve experienced both, many times over. Here’s how to have a crush that is uplifting and life-affirming, and how to avoid allowing it to turn into the opposite.
Use that beautiful crush-energy to get shit done.
Oh, girl. There is such a valuable force that appears when you’re crushing. You know all of those things you’ve been procrastinating on for ages? If you harness your crush correctly, you can get them all completed like that.
Go ahead and make plans to “accidentally run into” your crush in a few days. Prepare for the best case scenario–him flirting with you and wanting to come back to your place. This type of small daydream has previously motivated me to rapidly vacuum and wash my car, clean my apartment, exercise everyday for a week, shave my legs, give my clothing and makeup collections a quick overhaul, buy a bunch of healthy groceries, and just accomplish things in general. I’ve paid parking tickets because of a crush and that doesn’t even make sense. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the dude actually comes over or not, or even if I talk to him. Look at all the shit I got done easily, and in a short period of time!
Let the crush make you a better person.
One time I developed a huge crush on a guy who was just about to leave the country and spend a few months in Mexico. My logic was, “If he travels internationally, he’s probably all cultured and worldly and only wants to date someone who is the same.” What did I do? Spent two months in Brazil later that year. The guy and I never ended up together, but who cares? I had an amazing experience and became better traveled. Going to Brazil was something I had always wanted to do, but it took a crush for me to finally translate that desire into action.
When crushing, it might be tempting to try and mold yourself into the person you think your crush wants you to be–I’m not recommending that you do that. Instead, identify the ways in which you already wanted to grow or change, and use the crush to propel you those directions. Taking this perspective allows you to transcend the power of the crush by regaining control of how you deal with the sudden influx of emotion and energy.
Let the love flow out in all directions.
Crushes result in an a drug-like high, making you happier and giving you all sorts of nice feelings. While you might be tempted to use all of those feelings on your object of affection (or just gush about them secretly to friends or in your journal) go ahead and spread your happiness around. Bake a cake for a family member, or mail a card with a nice message in it to a friend. Even just say “hi” to more strangers you pass on the street. If you feel joy trying to radiate out of you, let it! Enjoy the boost in mood for what it is rather than focusing on whether or not your crush feels the same way. As I’ve said many times now, who cares? You’re feeling an awesome high that other people would pay money for. Enjoy it and allow it to enliven you.
Use your crush as a muse.
As a writer, this is my favorite part of a crush. I think it’s impossible to be deep in the throes of a crush and have writer’s block at the same time. Nearly all of my fictional male characters are in some way inspired by a crush I’ve had at one point of time or another. Shoot, even this article came out of my recent experience of crushing on someone.
Let your crush ignite your creative passions. Write a poem or story. Write a song. Draw or paint a work of art. Whatever creative outlet you have, now is the time to jump into it full-force. If you don’t have a creative outlet, now is the time to pick one up. What have you always wanted to do, but not yet tried? Try that thing, letting the energy from your crush inspire you.
Confess your feelings.
If your crush doesn’t reciprocate and your feelings don’t fade after a certain point, you’re going to need to do something about it. Crushes that drag out over several months or even years without acknowledgment can become pure torture. If you find yourself feeling more anxious than happy when thinking about the object of your affection, or notice you’re constantly over-analyzing your crush’s every move trying to determine if he has any interest in you, it’s time to come clean. Make a move. If your crush reciprocates, hooray! If not, it’s fine. Your feelings will be hurt, but the quickest way to get over a crush is getting your feelings out in the open. And you know what happens once you get over a crush? A new one pops up and the fun begins once again.
Many people try to act like crushes are something unique to children and teens, but for me (and many women I’ve spoken with about this topic), they appear to be lifelong phenomena. I’d love to hear from readers in the comments. What are some of the biggest crushes you’ve ever had? How did they affect your life, either positively or negatively?
Jessica Thompson is a writer and dog-lover living in Chicago. She is co-owner and Editor of What Song is in that Commercial? She also does freelance blogging and social media and may be reached through her website, yesjessicathompson.com.