Well maybe not love, but general positive emotions that you want to learn more about! A crush is defined as: passionate infatuation for another person. While working with teenagers and young adults of any ability this can be a sensitive topic that comes into play when working through social and relationship scenarios.

Having a crush is a very normal thing. Most people who choose to interact with other humans end up having a crush of some kind at some point, whether intended or not. Having positive emotions for another person can be a short lived thing or something that is telling you to pursue a deeper relationship with that person. Developing a crush on someone can start in early elementary years, there truly is no right or wrong time to start having them. Sometimes a crush will happen with person that you don’t expect. You cannot always help who you have a crush on but you are always in charge of how you behave around your crush. Hopefully this post will help you navigate emotions and thoughts that come along with a crush.

There are many kinds of crushes that you can have both romantic and platonic in nature. Let’s review a few outlined below, but be aware that not every crush will fit into these categories.

  • Romantic:

A romantic crush is where you want to be around that person all the time. You are wanting to take care of them and them to take care of you. You might fantasize about sharing in an intimate experience such as holding hands, hugging and kissing.This is a crush where you would think about the future and hoping that they are a permanent person in your life.

  • Friendly:

Finding a person that you like, having similar tastes, and interests could develop into a crush. However, don’t just act on those ooey-gooey feelings. Look at the context of your relationship. Remember that friends are also people you have positive emotions for and you might pursue being with them often, which is similar to a crush.

  • Admiration:

Legolas a character from “Lord of the Rings”, was my ultimate crush when I was 10 years old. He was heroic, friendly, and funny to all of the creatures he came upon. Though fictional, he possessed qualities that I admire in a person. But that means that I should check the intensity of my attachment. Having a give and take, romantic connection to Legolas’ is impossible since he is an elf. However, finding traits I admire in Legolas was a great way to determine traits I would seek out in a romantic partner.

  • Brief crush:

Physical attraction is a quick thing. It happens immediately upon meeting another person. Crushes can easily stem from a physical attraction to another person. Sometimes all the mystery involved in getting to know a new person can be fun and exciting, developing into a crush. These types of crushes are typically fleeting and are not founded on any specific deep connection.

How to know you have a crush?

There are several components to evaluate whether or not you are developing a crush. Review how you feel, think and behave both when you are around your potential crush and when you apart from them and this will help you know what direction to take.

  • How you feel:

You might feel a “physical” response to being in your crush’s presence or when you’re thinking of them. It could feel like a squeeze in your chest, it could feel like your stomach falling to the floor or it could feel like tinglies in your fingers and toes. You smile and laugh when you’re with that person and you want to be noticed and have positive interactions with them. You might feel nervous or excited each time you see them.

  • How do you think:

You will think about your crush all the time, when brushing your teeth, when playing sports, when feeding your dog. They will be the center of your thought life. You might create fantasies about you and your crush. Your crush will come to your mind every time you do something that you both do in common, like if you both like to play the same video game. Strategizing ways of getting closer to your crush will be your favorite thing to think of.

  • How you behave:

A tell-tale sign of having a crush is making an extra effort to enhance your physical attractiveness. Wearing a new shirt, restyling your hair. You might act shy or boisterous; whatever will get you attention from your crush, even when that is not your typical behavior.

What to do when you have a crush:

Communicate with your caregivers and create a plan. You can talk with your parents, your doctor, psychologist, your OT or speech therapist. They can help you determine what kind of crush you are having, if you’re not sure. Discussing a crush with someone might feel awkward at first, but remember, they have most likely have had or currently do have a crush and can empathize with your situation. A trusted adult can help you determine what to do about your crush. Here are some questions to get you started.

Is now a good time to start a relationship? Being busy can stifle a relationship. Are you involved in so many extracurricular activities at this time, that you might be too busy for a relationship? Remember that when you start a relationship that creates an increase in expectations between the people involved. Are you independent enough that you can maintain a relationship? Maybe your crush lives 30 minutes away by car, that would mean that you need your license and a car or a generous driver in order to be near your partner. Talk with your caregivers about your level of independence and your priorities at this time. You might find that pursuing a relationship with your crush is not a priority at this time.

Should there be boundaries set? If so, what boundaries should I create to start a healthy relationship? Boundaries are very important to uphold a healthy relationship. A boundary is defined as: creating limits on an activity, setting parameters. Talk with your caregiver about how often and in what context you would like to engage with your crush. Depending on how old you are and your level of independence, it might be appropriate to be supervised during your interactions. When in a relationship, physical boundaries are important to set up right away. Talk with caregiver about what you are comfortable with. It is also important to communicate your boundaries with the other person in your relationship. If that person is not respecting your boundaries after you have communicated them, it may not be a good idea to pursue a relationship with them.

How do you let someone know that you have a crush them?

If after you determine what kind of crush you have, talk with your caregivers to determine that you would like to pursue a relationship with your crush and have created clear boundaries for that relationship, then, you can communicate your intentions to your crush. Check out the wiki-article below to to guide you in share your feelings to your crush.

A quick shoutout to Ismail for having the great idea of address a taboo topic (check out his blog post from earlier this week “Navigating Relationships”). And to my mom for always being available to review my writing.

Written By: Sydnie Parish, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Resources/references:
  1. http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-That-You-Have-a-Crush-on-Someone
  2. http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-Your-Crush-You-Like-Them