Crushes aren’t just for high school.
They can last for years and stay on your mind – and in your heart – as a bittersweet memory.
Here’s what to do if you have an epic crush that just won’t die.
1) Crushes can make us think and behave unrealistically
The truth is that having a crush is a powerful experience, especially when it lasts for years.
And your long-term crush might just be in your head.
Before letting yourself get too far into dreamland, make sure you still have some link to this person or way to see them again.
If you want to have a crush that’s only a fantasy, that’s your choice, but the drawbacks of living a fantasy life are pretty big.
2) Creepy behavior doesn’t make people fall in love
The worst thing you can do if you have a long-term crush you want to get ahold of is to build him or her up into a deity in your head.
This person is only human (I’m assuming) and putting them on a pedestal is very disempowering.
One example of building someone up too much over the years is constantly imagining the conversations you would or will have with them if and when you see them.
Like Ariel Nagi writes about how some people act after having a long crush:
“You know, so if you ever actually have a real convo, you’ll be prepared.”
3) Is your crush for real or just a fantasy?
Related to point one, it’s important to be honest about this long crush you’ve had.
Is this person someone who you could really be together with one day or are they just a fantasy?
One of the most crucial things you need to know if you’ve had a crush on someone for years is that life moves fast…
Do you know where this person is now and what they’re doing?
They might be married and settled down.
They might be living on a different continent.
They might not even be alive anymore!
4) Avoid overthink and overanalyzing
Crushes have a habit of making us romantics overthink and overanalyze.
We get in our feelings and spend long nights zoning out to sad music and imagining our reunion.
We analyze what their Facebook message eight months ago really meant.
We think about whether sending a text on Whatsapp right now would be needy or weird.
One of the things which is a certified romance-killer is overthinking and overanalyzing.
I should know, I’m basically the world all star of doing it!
5) Think about what you like about them most
Sometimes having a crush is a way of also orienting our own values.
What I mean is that the person we have a crush on is like a lodestar, a guiding light who shows us what our own potential could be…
We feel in love with them in both a romantic and idealistic sense.
This person points to something we could achieve and an inner state or way of existing that would be deeply meaningful to us.
Thinking about your long-term crush this way can be really revitalizing in clarifying where you want to go with things…
And deciding once and for all what this epic crush means to you!
6) Communicating with your crush
One of the top things you need to know if you’ve had a crush on someone for years is that communication isn’t easy for the best of us.
I’m awful at even staying in touch with my close family members now that I live far away.
If you’re into someone and they’re far away or busy, communication is key.
If you want something with them down the line, it will be worth your time to put in the effort to call or text on a regular basis.
Plus, is there anything better than talking to your crush?
7) Your feelings are a sign of something good
Having strong feelings for someone for years doesn’t make you obsessive or weird. It just means you have strong feelings for someone.
What you do about those feelings can end up crossing the line into obsession.
But it doesn’t have to.
If you accept that you have strong feelings for someone and really reflect on it and let them percolate you can actually grow a lot as a person.
Plus, maybe you do have a chance with them after all…
8) How to get over the fear of rejection
The fear of rejection is nothing to scoff at.
Many of the people who say that rejection is no big deal are two types:
- Those who haven’t been rejected very harshly before and have no idea how much it hurts
- Those who haven’t felt strongly enough about someone to be truly damaged when that person tells them they’re not into it
If you’re not one of these two types of people, then you know that rejection can destroy your life.
It can hurt so much that you barely even want to continue with life.
But the best way to get over it is to accept and embrace that pain. You have to take a risk of rejection if you want to get anywhere with this crush.
That’s just the way it is.
9) Comparing your crush to new people is inevitable
Another one of the most important things you need to know if you’ve had a crush on someone for years is that comparison is inevitable.
No matter who you meet and date, you’re going to compare them to your crush.
Her amazing personality and bewitching smile…
His farmer’s tan and effortless charm…
Well, it’s going to be hard for your new love interest to stack up, and that’s just the way it’s going to be…
“You always find yourself comparing everyone you meet and date to them, at least initially. And you also compare the people who they’re with to you. It’s almost a reflex at this point.”
10) Don’t uproot everything to be with them unless you’re sure
One of the biggest temptations of a long time crush is the desire to pull up stakes and be with them at all costs.
If you live in Missouri and they’re in Melbourne…off you go.
This is generally a mistake, although there are times that bold action is called for.
For the most part, however, you shouldn’t ditch everything to go be with your crush unless you’re sure they’re into you too.
Trust me, been there, done that. At least I learned German, but the rest didn’t go as hoped.
11) Work crushes can tank your career
If your long-term crush is work-related, I encourage you to proceed with caution.
If you have an ongoing and long-term crush at work, be advised that it can endanger your career.
Too many people have ended up tanking their career prospects because of cheating or doing other bad things at work…
It happened to someone who’s a very close friend.
If you work with your crush, try to keep it professional!
12) Do you have a romantic history with them?
That’s a scientific fact.
They turn your life upside down in both good and bad ways.
But it’s important to think about the foundation this crush is built on.
Do you have a romantic history with this person? Did you used to date? Did you hook up once and then never talk again?
Do they even know how you feel about them?
What is the actual status you have with this crush?
Maybe you’re in the friendzone, for example, and unsure how to admit your feelings.
It’s definitely a key thing to consider before you take things to the next level or get more serious with them.
13) Not all crushes are created equal
Not all crushes are the same, and the intensity of a crush may wax and wane.
It’s up to you and the crush to really decide how you feel about each other and whether there’s potential for a relationship.
Spend as much time together as possible and see where the connection takes you.
Maybe you’ll fall even deeper in love.
Or maybe you’ll find they were better as a crush from far away…
A crush come true…
There are situations where your long-time crush can become your partner. I know people it’s happened too, and I’m too much of an idealist to rule it out.
Think about the strength of the crush. It’s really quite amazing. If you can make something out of it and get together with this person then all the power to you!
“When you were really into this person, you were really into them. Probably longer than you would admit to anyone ever.
“And no matter how hard you try, the feelings don’t go away.”
…Or time to pull the plug?
Sometimes it really is time to pull the plug. After years of a crush that never materialized, you need to respect yourself and walk away.
If they have rejected you or expressed no interest, it’s up to you to take the hint.
It’s a hard decision to make, but sometimes forcing yourself not to think of your crush anymore and moving on can be the best thing you ever do.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
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