Here's How To Stop Thinking About Your Crush, According To Experts
It can feel ultra delicious to have a crush. You've got a new cute person to look at and wonder about. They're a juicy tidbit you can add to the group chat. And there's all this sparkly, butterfly-inducing potential every time you interact with them. (I'm speaking as a Libra, aka a serial crusher.) But for whatever reason, you might find yourself wondering how to stop thinking about your crush.
It's possible there are aspects to your crush that aren't so delicious, like the fact they're already in a (monogamous) relationship. You two might have had a "moment" — a kiss, a hookup, or a warm exchange of affection — but they don't seem super keen on taking things further. Maybe they're distracting you from your academic or professional goals. Or perhaps they straight-up told you that they see you as just a friend and that's that. And now you're stuck with feelings you really wish you didn't have.
In a sense, it is harder to get over a crush you've been obsessing over rather than someone you've dated and with whom the relationship has run its course. "I think it's common to feel hung up on someone you've never actually dated if you were infatuated with them," relationships expert Demetrius Figueroa told Elite Daily. "Infatuation by its nature is intense and intense feelings are hard to get rid of — whether you dated someone or not." So, how do you make your feelings less intense? Here are three solid ways you can start getting over your crush.
Embrace The Idea That You're Better As "Just Friends"
It will probably be an uncomfortable process, but embracing the idea of a platonic future with your crush (or one without them, at all) is crucial to getting over them. Dr. Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist and founder of Eros Coaching, says that the "17-second rule," wherein all it takes is 17 seconds of positive visualization to shift your mindset. What does a future without your crush look like? What kinds of new friends or crushes do you want to make room for in your heart? Writing this down helps.
Try to keep in mind the benefits to remaining just friends. There's no need to turn to hate or negativity, but consider qualities in the other person that might not make them the best partner for you. Etiquette and relationships expert April Masini told Elite Daily, "When you can articulate the losses, it's easier to gain a perspective beyond feelings." This applies to breakups between romantic partners just as much as it does to the one-sided breaking up you do when you're getting over a crush.
Consider, too, that maybe, if you'd gotten together, you would have ended up breaking up anyway." It's much easier to get over the idea of dating someone you've already dated because you know how things went and why things went wrong," Figueroa said. Even if you think you'd be perfect together, there might be things about your crush (that there's no way of knowing, unless you're dating) that might make them a bad romantic fit.
Confront Your Feelings
Along with envisioning a new future, sit with all your feelings — even the not-so-pleasant ones, like hurt and disappointment. "Painful as it is, it is better to feel fully as part of the process of healing as opposed to suppressing, repressing and avoiding feeling," Lee told Elite Daily. Dr. Gary Brown, a relationship therapist, also said that giving yourself time to acknowledge how you feel is a critical part of moving on. "Allow yourself to feel sad, to cry, to simply grieve the loss of something that could have been," Dr. Brown said. But don't get stuck dwelling on the what-if's.
Easier said than done, right? Well, that brings us to the next tip...
Don't Check In On Your Crush's Social Media
The ability to have insight into our friends and faves' lives on the daily? A gift, truly! But that blessing turns into a curse when there are people who you shouldn't be checking up on — exes, haters, et cetera — for your own sake. As Masini has said, "It's too easy to become an amateur stalker... That's a method of staying engaged, which won't help you get over your heartache."
So, don't do it. I know you want to look at your crush's cute lil face and check out what they're up to and daydream about being together. But don't! It's a trap that will only make you feel worse about the situation. You could unfollow them, or take the less controversial route and mute them in the mean time.
Re-frame Them As An Ideal Friend
Again, there's no need to be overwhelming negative toward your crush if you're trying to leave your romantic feelings behind. Instead, just focus on the qualities that make them a great addition to your crew. Take the romance out of your interactions. See their friendliness (or even flirtiness) for what it truly is — being nice.
There's a reason you were drawn to them in the first place and I'm willing to bet that each of those qualities are things you'd look for in any friend. And yeah, they might be... hot. But hot people need friends, too. And if you're up for it, you're probably a good fit for the task.
If you're dealing with a crush you can't shake, good luck (again, coming from a serial crusher). It might be hard on the front end, but the more mindful you are of interactions with them, the easier it will be long-term.