Remember your first high school crush? Sweaty palms, butterflies in your stomach, a fast heartbeat that feels like it’s going to pop out of your chest? You constantly daydreamed about the other person, about your future together. You thought about them 24/7. Well, having a crush on someone isn’t only for the middle and high school crowd-it can happen at any age.
What Exactly Is A Crush?
Amid a crush, it is often difficult to differentiate between feelings of love versus a crush. So here is a quick comparison to help you identify if what you are feeling is a crush:
Love is an emotion and is felt when a person has a very strong personal affection or attachment toward another person. It is long-lasting, sometimes for a lifetime.
A crush is a very strong attraction toward someone; however, it is an infatuation for a very short period. A crush is usually based on a person’s appearance, the way the person talks or walks, or some particular behavior that another person idolizes. It is short-lived.
Here are other symptoms of having a crush:
Why Is It So Difficult To Not Think About Your Crush?
You’re Receiving An Overload Of Chemicals In Your Brain
Your crush is all in your head, literally, and the brain chemistry of a crush is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which explains why we become obsessed over our crush. In fact, studies show that having a crush can alter your brain chemistry for up to two years. When someone has a crush, certain chemicals in the brain are constantly being released, which makes sense why a middle or high school crush is so common, for it is during those years, there is a natural overproduction of hormones and chemicals.
Dopamine is one of those feel-good chemicals. It’s a chemical in your brain that affects your emotions, movements, and your sensations of pleasure. Dopamine can induce levels of serotonin, which affects your mood and the way you act. Since dopamine contributes to pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system, it also plays a part in addiction. In fact, a rush of dopamine is released when someone does drugs.
Oxytocin, vasopressin, and cortisol contribute to the chemical world, producing feelings of passion, connection, and uncontrollable excitement. Oxytocin and vasopressin play a major role in bonding, which plays into the attachment to your crush. At the same time, cortisol is responsible for the adrenaline you feel and the uncontrollable nervousness and exhilaration you experience when you see them.
Serotonin also plays a role and is the reason why you can’t get your crush out of your head. This happens because the levels of serotonin in your brain drop. Serotonin is what evens out your mood and has also been known to decrease people who suffer from OCD. As a result, your crush becomes a compulsion that you can’t seem to get away from.
Your Brain Has Been Reprogrammed
There’s a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). Although it is a fairly small part of your brain, the RAS has a very important role: it’s the gatekeeper of information allowed into your conscious mind-the traffic cop of your brain that tells you what is important to you. Have you ever bought a car and then suddenly see that car everywhere? Or learned a new word, and then it seemingly appears everywhere? It could be a pair of shoes or a particular color, but the concept is alike.
The same goes for your crush. Your brain has been reprogrammed to believe that your crush is important, so important in fact that you think about them uncontrollably. Thanks to the RAS, our brains are wired to bring significant things to the top of our consciousness because they’re considered highly important. And while this is useful with things such as hearing our name being called in a crowd of people or being conscious of anything that threatens the safety of our loved ones, the thoughts, and images of our crush are also considered extremely important to our brains.
You Might Be Trying to Suppress Your Thoughts About Your Crush
Suppressing thoughts makes it more difficult not to think about those thoughts, including your crush. Here’s an example: for the next 5 seconds, close your eyes and do NOT think about a blue cow. Don’t think about it, and don’t let the image into your mind. If you’re like most people, you saw the blue cow whether you wanted to or not.
The bottom line is that there’s nothing wrong with you, and you’re not alone. Not being able to stop thinking about your crush is very common. Now, let’s look into how to stop thinking about your crush!
How To Stop Thinking About Your Crush
Get Rid Of Everything That Reminds You Of Your Crush
The less you are reminded about your crush, the quicker you’ll be on your path toward healing and the next exciting chapter in your life! This includes removing their contact information, text messages, and voice messages from your phone. Remove them from social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as email. Deleting their information will not only keep you from contacting them, but it will also erase the constant reminder of them; in essence, “out of sight, out of mind.”Toss out any other reminders such as pictures or letters, if necessary.
Snap Out Of It
Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you begin to think about your crush. This exercise will help you redirect your thoughts away from them. It’s also a small reminder-but an effective one-that you are taking control of your emotions, thoughts, and life.
Feel Your Emotions
Sometimes we need to feel our raw emotions to allow our brains and bodies to process what is happening. We need to feel and you from the fantasy world to reality. Don’t be hard on yourself. It takes time to remove the constant thoughts circling your mind. Even though you were never in a relationship with your crush, it can still hurt when someone doesn’t return your affection. It can feel like rejection, and that takes time to heal. As discussed earlier, suppression can have a negative effect, so if it becomes impossible not to think about your crush, then set a specific time during your day to let your thoughts about your crush rise, and then release those thoughts.
Talk About It With Someone You Trust
Speaking with someone about the emotions you’re feeling is a great step toward your healing. Just having a safe and objective sounding board can do wonders for you. It can break you out of isolation and give you a different and healthy perspective on what you’re feeling. Constructive advice from someone you trust can give you ideas to continue moving forward in a positive direction. You may find it hard to talk to others about your feelings and experiences or may feel nervous about how people will react. However, when you let someone know you need their help, they are likely to respond positively.
Other Healthy Steps
According to Mental Health America, the following is a list of other steps you can take to improve your overall wellbeing during this stressful and confusing time in your life:
Seek Professional Help
Accepting that you’re struggling with not stopping thinking about your crush can be both challenging and vulnerable. Seeking help from a mental health professional can feel even more taxing, but it is essential for your long-term wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people who can benefit from mental health services delay or avoid seeking help because they see it as a sign of weakness.
Be assured that seeking professional help is a sign of strength and a positive step toward the next exciting chapter in your life.ReGain is always available to those in need of help. Whether you’re working through obsessive and ongoing thoughts of your crush or going through something else, know that you are not alone and that we at ReGain are here to help you work through it. With ReGain, you can speak with a therapist 24/7, seven days a week. With chat, text, phone, and video chat options, you can speak with a therapist in a way that is most convenient for you.
You can contact ReGain by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone?
When you’re trying to move on from someone and clear your mind of them, it may sometimes feel like they’re hard to get rid of. Some people feel better after finding a new crush, while others find that slowly realizing that their crush isn’t reciprocating feelings is enough to start the healing process.
What should I do if I can’t stop thinking about someone?
If you can’t stop thinking about someone, a good first step is to avoid looking at your crush on social media. Instead, skip to the main content on your page. If you haven’t talked to your new crush about your feelings for them, try opening up. If your crush doesn’t share your feelings, you will know for sure, which will help you clear your mind of them.
One other way to stop thinking about your crush, according to experts, is to try redirecting your thoughts. When you’ve got a crush, you may want to stop thinking about someone fast. The truth is, sometimes allowing those thoughts to linger can be more beneficial to you. Having feelings for a crush doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just means you are feeling emotionally connected to another person.
How do I know if a person is thinking of me?
There’s no scientifically proven way to tell if someone is thinking about you other than telling you. But there are some pretty fun theories by more spiritually focused practitioners. Many of the signs they suggest include physical sensations, such as burning ears or sneezing.
If you can’t stop thinking about a new crush on social media, allow yourself to enjoy the emotions. Just don’t let it become so overpowering that you can’t enjoy the rest of your everyday life. It’s important to stay grounded in what you like to do on your own and with the people you love. A new crush shouldn’t be the center of your whole universe.
What does it mean if you think about someone every day?
According to experts, if you can’t stop thinking about a crush, one of the most important steps is to stop trying to push your feelings aside. By denying how you’re feeling, you’re allowing the feelings to become even bigger than they already are. Also, it’s important to remember that though you can’t stop thinking about them now, later on, it may seem like a small thing that happened in your life. When you’re in the moment, it may be difficult to remember that you will be perfectly all right no matter how it turns out.
Can someone feel me thinking of them?
Some people believe that there are physical symptoms that a person experiences when others think about them. Dream experts also believe that if a crush appears in your dream, this means that they are thinking about you. As mentioned previously, there isn’t any scientific data to prove this, but many people have shared experiences when they are emotionally bonded.
How do you know if someone is thinking about you sexually?
How do you know if someone misses you?
If a relationship ends and you’re struggling with lingering feelings, it can be difficult not to wonder if your ex-partner has similar feelings. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stop focusing on whether or not your ex misses you and start focusing on how you’re going to grow and move on from the relationship. Keep yourself distracted and grounded, and avoid reaching out to someone that you’ve decided shouldn’t be in your life.
Can someone feel when you miss them?
When you’re missing someone that either used to be a part of your life or that you’ve had to take some space from, there is a possibility they may be experiencing similar feelings. If you’ve decided to stop contact for a justified reason, then it’s best to respect that and not reopen any wounds.
How do you know if you have chemistry with someone?
Oftentimes, people describe chemistry as a seemingly electric connection. It’s a shared spark that normally flows both ways. If you find that it’s easy to talk to someone, and you feel butterflies in your stomach when you’re around them, then you two may have chemistry.
According to experts, there’s something really exciting about the new phases of meeting someone, and you should never feel the need to push aside a healthy crush.
How do I get him out of my head?
If your feelings and thoughts about your crush are becoming overwhelming or exhausting, it may be time to try some more active processing. Examples of this include journaling, going for a walk in nature, or venting to friends or family. Many people find being the writer, and editor of a letter addressed to their crush can really help them get their emotions out. Oftentimes, people never give the letter to the person they wrote it for, but having a chance to express their emotions directly can be very beneficial.
Though it may take time to get over a crush or an ex, it will happen. You have to trust the healing process. If your feelings for a crush are becoming a serious distraction in your life, consider reaching out to a therapist who can help give you tools to overcome this time in your life. Therapy is a non-judgmental space to explore your emotions and reconnect to yourself.