How to Stop Yourself from Having a Crush

Click here to go straight to the methods.

For those of you who have read my posts all the way back to several years ago, you’ll recall that I wrote about how not to lose yourself when having a crush.

My personal belief is that a crush should be fun and harmless.  It should provide pleasing moments as you navigate through your daily life.  It’s a nice little distraction; something–or rather, someone–who makes you smile when you see him/her across the way or when he/she randomly pops into your mind.

via GIPHY

(And don’t even lie–you know you’ve made that face before.)

But what happens when you develop a crush on someone, and it starts to consume more of your thoughts–and time–than you want it to?

via GIPHY

It’s annoying, innit?

Why Should I Stop a Crush?

Is it Me…?

Your frustration at having the crush may have nothing to do with the actual person you’re crushing on. The guy/gal could be one of the sweetest, friendliest, coolest people you know.

Or, maybe not. Maybe they suck the big one, and you are honest-to-goodness frustrated that this person, off all people, is the one who makes your heart go all doki-doki.

Regardless, we’ve all experienced what happens when we become infatuated with someone:

  • We blush profusely.
  • We fidget noticeably.
  • We literally get stupider.
  • We stare at them too much.
  • We don’t look at them at all.
  • The ability to form sentences fails miserably.
  • We babble like the possessed.
  • We show off excessively.
  • We become as still as a mouse.
  • We get way too close.
  • We run.

Bottom line: we lose the ability to act normal.

What’s worse, despite the staggering amounts of online lore that clearly give these behaviors as signs of interest, we might think one of several (or a combination of) things if someone behaved this way towards us:

  • Creep.
  • Shy.
  • Showoff.
  • Guess he doesn’t like me.
  • Guess he really doesn’t like me.
  • Couldn’t care less that I exist. But why not? I’m awesome.

Thus, we think they’re thinking this because we think they’d think this about us.

(Y’all got that, right?)

…Or is it You?

Maybe there’s a more external reason that you don’t want to have a crush.

  • The person is already involved in a committed relationship.
  • The person has already told you that they do not want a relationship with you.
  • The person is in a certain professional/religious/authoritative/etc standing that makes the crush embarrassing or annoying (e.g. your boss, your priest, your teacher).
  • Heck, maybe you actually hate this person, yet your pure, raw, biochemical makeup has determined that you and them are supremely sexually compatible and would make excellent pro-creators to continue on the legacy of the human race!

Regardless of the reason, you want to abolish these feelings and move on. Sooo, it’s time to employ measures to crush the crush before it goes any further. I would like to share some ways that you can stop–or at the least, reduce–your latest infatuation.

Disclaimer: I am not a dating coach. I have had plenty of experience in the crush department (pity me later–let’s keep this about you for now 😁). I offer these recommendations based on my own experiences, and hope that they can offer some insight into your own situation.

I will be even more honest–not all of these methods are quick fixes. Nor are they “easy” fixes. But they might at least give you a better idea as to why you have a crush on someone you don’t want to have a crush on. Speaking of which…

The Six Crush Crushers

1. Understand WHY You Like Them

If you have a crush on someone and your first reaction is to be annoyed or frustrated by the crush, chances are you’ve also asked yourself this question:

It is a question, unfortunately, that only you can answer.

What was the moment when everything changed? Did he/she say something that flattered you or do something that put him/her into a beauteous, glorifying light? Did s/he display a unique skill or a hobby that added intrigue to their personality?

Uncovering the reason or moment when you did start liking them can help compartmentalize that moment separately from them as a person. You can learn to appreciate the moment for what it was–and then move on.

2. Get to Know the Crush

I know, I know. Why don’t I just tell you to walk into the sun?

The problem with a crush is that it’s often an idealization. We use most of the time building up crushes with daydreams and fantasies of what we would love to do with them. Forget his/her actual personality; in the safety of our own minds, we can imagine them saying, behaving, or doing anything we want.

So, how to stop fantasy?

Bring in the reality!

Remember: your crush really is just another human being. And there isn’t a single human being on earth that is perfect.

Now, you don’t have to corner your crush and interrogate them until you’ve got a nice ‘n’ proper dossier on their daily activities. Just be more observant of his/her personality whenever natural moments to interact arise. When he/she approaches you to talk…just talk. Make an appropriate joke; see if they respond to your satisfaction.

After enough interaction has happened, one of three results will hopefully occur:

  1. You’ll realize that there is nothing really spectacular about them. They’re a nice person, just…maybe not as much of what you initially thought.
  2. You’ll discover that they’re actually a horrible person. Verbally abusive, toxic, annoying, unforgivably flaky–what were you thinking?
  3. You’ll get to know them for who they are, and you like them for that–not for what you imagined them to be. What’s more, your jittery, idealized nerves will settle, and you’ll sincerely enjoy their company when you seem them. They may even become–gasp–a real friend.

The main point is that, you’re no longer putting them on a pedestal–and honestly, whether they knew you were crushing or not, I think they’ll appreciate that.

Note: If your crush has a significant other, this method may be a little difficult to execute or handle (see crush crusher #4 on why). In that case, I wouldn’t recommend this as the best choice, if it makes you (or them/their SOs) uncomfortable.

3. Block the Crush

This one is difficult to apply if you have daily interaction with your crush (ah, the boss/coworker or roommate conundrum). However, if you can do it without it affecting your daily life, it might be worth trying.

To apply this tactic, you need to be fully disciplined and absolutely airtight.

Avoid them at all costs. Do not communicate with them. Remove them on all your social media. If you can’t bring yourself to remove, at least hide/block them so they don’t appear on your feed.

Stop talking about them to friends and colleagues–not even a casual “you know who” is allowed. If someone starts to mention them while in your presence, plug your ears and sing the hook of VITAS’s “Opera #2” as loud as you can.

AS LOUD. AS YOU CAN.

(Hi-sterical as that may be, probably don’t wanna do this for reals until you’re around people that really, truly understand you. And will forgive you later.)

The rationale behind this method is 100% out of sight, out of mind. Like trash in a computer’s recycle bin, your crush can hang around for a while after you’ve made the choice to dump it. You’ll need a substantial amount of time to pass to give your brain a chance to forget what you adored about them.

A week’s not gonna cut it. Maybe three. A month is safer. Several months, even more so.

And the moment you think to yourself, “Ah, I feel great–like I’ve got my own mind back! I guess I can unblock them and talk to them again.”…

DON'T.

That faux confidence is your mind playing tricks on you. If you are thinking “I’m over them”–you are not over them. Continue to apply all aversion tactics for the next, oh…three to six months. Heck, make it year, just to be sure.

Do you know the only time you should unblock them or talk to them?

…wait. Talk to who?

Exactly.

4. Watch Your Crush Have a Crush on Someone Else

This one…can be painful. And I certainly don’t recommend this method if you can avoid it. That being said, it will certainly dampen any idealizations you may have had.

It is never fun to realize that there is someone else who makes your crush feel the way you feel about them–and it’s not you. It’s human nature to want to be special, let alone be special to your crush.

But life is not like a TV show or film where the imperfect protagonist will, after an hour and a half of watching their love interest cuddle with their SO, magically convince the LI that the protagonist is the one for them all along!

Does it happen?

Well, sure. Sometimes.

But how long do you want to wait for that so-called revelation while, week in and week out, you watch your crush sidle up to their crush to make their own dreams come true?

5. Start a New Crush

What better way to deflect one crush than with the power of another?

By choosing a secondary crush, you diminish the amount of nerve-wracking power the primary crush has over your nervous system. Having multiple crushes can also help remind you that there is no single ideal who completes everything.

Are you attracted to the Black Irish look?

What about a tall guy with a swimmer’s build?

Or a redhead with wide hips and a giggle like a bell?

Welp–why not all of them?

Beauty comes in all forms, and it doesn’t hurt to appreciate them. Besides, the new person you crush on may be a better fit for you in the potential of friendship or even a relationship.

6. Do…Nothing.

Let me explain this one with a story.

A couple of years ago, I met a guy who was–you know, a guy. Let’s call him John. Didn’t have a thought about him, one way or another. Since he hung in some of the same circles, I saw him every now and then. The few times I tried to engage him, he seemed like he…didn’t want to. Okay, fine, I thought, and happily stopped trying.

Then, one day, a girlfriend and I were talking about guys we thought were cute. We threw a few back and forth, and suddenly, she blurted out, “I mean, I think John’s hot.”

I just stared at her, positive she was talking about someone other than the John I was imagining. “John John?”

“Yeah!” she chirped. Just then, as if summoned from a dream, the John in question happen to walk by, but out of earshot. It gave me the ideal opportunity to see him through fresh eyes…

Aaaand still feel nothing.

It took another couple of months, a five o’clock shadow, and a snug turtleneck (when I begrudgingly and absentmindedly checked out his pecs) to develop my crush. However, had my friend never made the comment and planted that seed of thought into my mind, I would have never, ever considered John anything other than…John.

Time passed, and I got to know him organically. Some days I’m sure I made a fool of myself as I wore cute skirts or sat next to him when we all met for lunch. Other times, I stared at him and thought, “Well…he’s not the most parked car in the lot.”

By simply letting time pass as it normally would (and after several random giggle-fests with my GF over John’s forearms or voice), something interesting happened.

The crush faded away naturally.

I didn’t have to go out of my way to do anything. As I progressed through my life and John progressed through his, my choices changed in what made someone crushable in my eyes. His crush model became obsolete; still not bad to look at occasionally, but no longer my ideal.

To Crush or Not to Crush?

Regardless of which method you try, the main point is that having a crush should not be taking over your life or keeping you from enjoying yourself. If thinking about the crush is stressing you out in any way, maybe it’s not the healthiest option for you. And your health is the most important part of everything you do.

Not only that, but the healthier and happier you are, the more you can look forward to someone of quality having a crush on you. 🙂

Missed Opportunity, Pt 2 – An Open Letter to the (Other) Men Who Got Away

In Part 1 of this post, I wrote to Mr. Missed Opportunity 1 and 2, who just didn’t work out.  Part of the reason was poor timing; another was personal choices.  These last two (and the bonus man) were simply circumstance.  And those can be the worst missed opportunities of all.


To Mr. Your-Hugs-Are-Awesome-But-My-Friend-Likes-You-Too

I’m not even sure if you were ever attracted to me.

But I will cherish that time when our eyes locked through a crowd of acquaintances, and you seemed to light up with a hope that I was not used to seeing on men who made me want to giggle.

You parted the crowd with your shoulders, leaning forward and extending your hands before you had a clean path to me.  Your eyes never left mine, not until your cheek passed my eye line, and I felt the warmth of your neck.

The hug was all-encompassing, full-pressed and revealing.  I recall thinking, “Good lord, does he hug every woman like this?”

Even when you pulled back, you stayed close, and I forced myself not to think about how easy it would have been to pop up on my toes and peck the underside of your bottom lip.  I tried not to think of the conversations we could have had, the fact that I’d overheard you weeks ago talk about out-of-body experiences and chakras and that you kinda knew what you were talking about.

I tried not to think about the way I’d caught you looking at me sometimes, and convinced myself I was merely feeding some narcissistic fantasy.  I mean, let’s be honest–I probably was.

Instead, I stored that epic hug in my starved memory banks to remind myself in times of settling that that–that is how a hug should be.

To Mr. Almost-Kissed-Me-By-the-Copier

Yes, I ultimately realized what you were about to do that fateful day.  It only took me three years and a thorough re-read of the journal I kept at the time, but I figured it out.

I think I regret my missed opportunity with you more than any of the others.  I liked you a lot, from the first time I met you and listened as you rejected me outright on multiple standings.  Despite our crappy start (which seriously played like the perfect opening for a rom-com), our chemistry was magnetic.  Your attraction to me wasn’t nearly as obtuse or vague as I imagined it to be.  The signs were very much there–and if I hadn’t been so naive or obsessed with seeing what I thought mattered, I would have seen the biggest sign of all that said, “I WANT YOU.”

The one you held right in front of my eyes.

Every Woman Wanted You

Every woman wanted you, even the ones who complained about your brusqueness or your arrogance.  Maybe that’s why I couldn’t believe you went out of your way to help me, even when it attracted the disbelief and sarcasm of our colleagues.

Besides, when you tell a woman, “I don’t want to get to know you,” they will turn off any type of charm they may have been trying to build as ammo against your defenses.

Thinking back, I’m a little flattered at how hard you ultimately worked to flip that circuit breaker back in the ON position.

And then, there was that dinner party you didn’t know I attended.  I was bored within ten minutes of arriving (it’s tough being a 20-something in the land of 40- and 50-somethings) and sipped my wine as I contemplated how much time was appropriate to say I’d successfully networked.  I’d seen you come in with your then-girlfriend–it was my first time seeing her; I was immediately humbled.  Out of respect, I kept my distance, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw you glance my way.

I saw you double-take. No one had ever “double-taked” at me before.

I tried to hide my pleasure as you hurried over to express your mild surprise, to introduce me to your date, to invite me to sit next to you at our select table.

The Last Time I Saw You

About 8 months later, the first words out of your mouth after greeting me were, “I broke up with my girlfriend.” Then, you glanced at me in as much anticipation as you could while navigating traffic on our way to a casual lunch.

I absorbed what you were telling me, registered why you brought it up.  I was strangely calm that day, for I was in love and knew what I wanted.  I planned my response carefully.  I opened my mouth.

“I’ve decided to get serious with this guy I’ve been seeing,” I said.

You didn’t answer.  I noticed that your driving aggression doubled almost immediately.  I jumped as we popped over several traffic cones.

After lunch, we agreed to stay in touch–but there was never any real intention to, I think.  At the time, I believed that I had found The One, someone who I was closer to in many areas.  If it’s any consolation, he and I didn’t even last another six months.

But then, what else would you expect from a Mr. You-Weren’t-Mine-So-I-Never-Cried-For-You?

Someone Like You

I imagine, a couple times per year, what our relationship may have been like.  Yours was the slow, sweet burn of getting to know someone for who they were, winks and warts alike.  It was awkward, rude, hurtful, inspiring, warming, painful, and wonderful.  Nevertheless, despite my levels of regret, I think I know that we wouldn’t have worked out.  I was much too much of a mess in my 20s and wouldn’t start un-messing until, oh…three years ago.

Be grateful you dodged an emotional bullet.  But also, know that I’m grateful for my time with you.  It set a bar in my dating world.  I will be very lucky to meet someone like you now–someone who will make me feel the way you made me feel, and more.

BONUS: To Mr. Celebrity-Who-Possibly-Internet-Searched-Me-But-Probably-Didn’t

I’ve admired you since childhood.  When I met you last year and received your autograph, I mentally fist-pumped when you called me cute.

I actually tweeted about it later.  Sorry about that.  I’m not the kinda girl who gets celebrity-obsessed, you know?

By the way–if you use the internet in the middle of the night, I recommend–don’t.  You’ll end up on some crazy sites.

Like that one where you can see people who performed Google searches on you?  It sounds awesome at first, but honestly? I think it’s rigged.

I don’t know how or why your first initial and last name came up as someone who searched for my name. Maybe I was half-asleep.  Maybe I need to get a life, and you have no idea what I’m talking about.

Actual details are cloudy.   Don’t care.

The point is…I’ll take it.

So thanks. 🙂

man walking away missed opportunity

What would you say to the Mr. (or Miss) Missed Opportunity who got away?

Missed Opportunity, Pt 1 – An Open Letter to the Men Who Got Away

The memories of a missed opportunity rise in our heads at the moment we least expect them.  For me, it was while rummaging through my closet this weekend, scrounging for blouses and dresses that I never wore, that I can’t wear, that I will never wear.  One missed opportunity after another, I think ruefully, yanking a crisp, custom-cut Pink Floyd top off its hanger.  Never even had a chance.

My life has currently grown extremely busy to the point that I have very little time to spend on activities that aren’t directly correlated to one of these projects.  Unfortunately, this has also included what remained of my casual dating life.  No longer time to look other than to indulge a passing, aesthetically pleasing glance.

Like the purge on my closet, there have been gentlemen in my life who seemed to stand primed, merely waiting for me to pull them out and make them an active part of my daily routine.  I’d passed them often, admired them, and moved on.  Or I tried them on at the wrong time and was left feeling off, unattractive, or just annoyed that it didn’t look the way that I remembered it looking.

Then, days like today arise.

And I realize I’m far too late to try them again.

Swimming Against the River

As I scowl into the box of apparel folded and primed for the Goodwill shelves, somewhere within the bittersweet fog lies the remnants of regret amongst the memories of men whose feelings of attraction were–or were very close to being–fairly mutual between him and myself.

I probably wasn’t as coherent in these moments as I am now.  That’s probably why it’s called a missed opportunity.

None of these men are active parts in my life now, as time is the river who guides us all along in life.  If they were, I wish I could have a chance to say these things to them, just to let them know…


To Mr. You-Weren’t-Mine-So-I-Never-Cried-For-You

I’ll begin with you, sir.

Of any missed opportunity, our tryst lasted the longest.  Probably too long.  Part of it was because I kept up the silly hope that, despite everything, it was me you really wanted.  Life had just given you a supremely crappy hand.

Funny.  There was another guy I was kinda seeing on and off at the same time as you, and I didn’t like him half as much as I liked you.  He and I broke up countless times. Almost each time, the tears rushed out heated and heavy.  I’d sob to myself, or I’d call a friend and blubber over the stupidity of the relationship to them.

But you?  I never cried for you the way I cried for him.

Maybe because he was real.

A Fake Missed Opportunity?

You were a phantom, a ghost, a fairy.  You were mythical, beautiful.  If I could prove to others that you were real, that would have been truly magical.  If I could claim you in my clutches, I would have done the absolute impossible.

Ultimately, you had already been caught by someone else.

For her, you were solid and tangible and touchable and available.  When she summoned you, you appeared and lived the mortal live destined for you.

There was nothing I could do.  After all, it wouldn’t have been proper to reach into a cage someone else had built for you.  Especially when you walked into that cage of your own volition.

It took a fake psychic to exorcise the longing of you from my heart, to purge me of ever wanting to see you again.  Take that as you will, and enjoy your life.

To Mr. Touches-Over-a-1000-Piece-Puzzle

The first time our fingers brushed, I wrote it off as an accident.  It was a 1000-piece puzzle, and there were yours, mine, and at least five other pairs of hands pawing through the piles of borders, corners, and cogwheel-imprinted cardboard.  There were bound to be collisions, and when ours occurred, it was a sweet little tingle.  You were considered the cute one in our group outings, but you were also fresh and new.  Any interest in my aged mind (and my silly personality) was implausible.

The second time, the touch was impossible to mask for anyone watching. Most of the other puzzlers had given up, wandered away from the table.  You and I and a couple of other remained, though the third had leaned back into her phone, her hands occupied by the touchscreen.

The fourth, our host, rose from the table and asked if anyone wanted something to drink.  “B?” he called when I didn’t answer immediately.

“Yeah?” I said, and lifted my hands above the puzzle to clear it for any wanderers.  As I turned my head in the direction of the speaker, I saw your fingers rise, too.  And as I pondered over my beverage options, I felt it–the lightest, slowest trace across my knuckles, my palm.  A pause of delicate, interlocking fingertips–just enough to recognize that someone was recognizing, appreciating, exploring.

My train of thought faltered, but I let my hand hover to let you continue–and you did, for a blink.  It was probably me who drew back and resumed searching the puzzle piles.

I Wasn’t One of Them

I imagined it all, of course.  We hardly ever talked.  We moved in different circles.  You were sweet and hopeful; I was tired and damaged.  I knew the kind of girls you liked.  I wasn’t one of them.

At the end of the night, I packed up silently and moved to the front door, panning the room lovingly as general social pandemonium commenced.  I stopped when I saw you, standing on the other side directly across from me.  You were watching me, carefully.  I thought I saw a note of sadness in your body language.

But I must’ve imagined it, just like I imagined everything else.  And after all these years, you’d probably have no idea what I’m talking about.  So, if I made you uncomfortable, I’m sorry.

But the shy wave and the silent smile you passed across the room made me think that maybe I didn’t have anything to be sorry about.


When I first wrote this post, I thought I had fewer missed opportunities than I actually had.

But then I thought of another…and another…and another.

And I realized something.

Maybe I need to start taking more leaps of faith.

To be concluded in Pt. 2!