Having a crush is one of life’s greatest pleasures. No, we’re not talking about being ~in love~, (tho that’s pretty nice sometimes too). A crush is the bubbly feeling inside your ribcage when you like someone but aren’t a thing: it’s exciting, silly, fun—like you’re inside a romantic comedy. Nobody has ever felt like this before, and they never will again.
There are hours of entertainment to be had: creating cute playlists, thinking of ways to ask them out, trying not to like anything when you danger-scroll to the bottom of their Facebook, stalking their Instagram until your eyeballs bleed. Oh, wait, yeah, having a crush also takes over your life and is v soul-destroying sometimes. Love that for us.
So. what do you do when your rom-com mood ends and you feel more like a polar bear in a bleak documentary whose travelled five-thousand kilometres in search of a mate only to find your favourite ice cap has melted? How do you get over a crush on a guy? Or girl? Or non-binary cutie? Maybe you feel like it’s impossible, or you’d rather stay friends, or they have a gf/bf already. The human heart is a mystery, but if you feel that your crush is starting to drain you, we’ve rounded up some of the best advice we could find on how to let it go. No. Stop. I’m not putting a Frozen gif here.
Give yourself some space
According to the philosopher Dua Lipa, the first step in getting over a crush is a simple one: don’t pick up the phone. Truly though, the deep dives into your crushes social media are only going to fuel the fixation. Try and create some breathing room between you and your crush. Sometimes a crush it feels all-consuming—the first step is shaking yourself out of that and remembering you did have a purpose in life before trying to get someone to think you’re cute. Self-soothing activities and distractions are key to getting over a crush, according to Sherene, 23, “there’s a Spotify playlist for that. Or like, rewatch Peaky Blinders.” You know what’s better than having a crush? Cillian Murphy lol.
Friendship is magic
If you’re already friends with your crush or move in the same circles, try to focus on spending time with other people, kind of like a human buffer or sponge for your raging feelings. Leaning into your friendships is also a good way to remind yourself of how fun it is to chat shit, watch movies and hang out with people who you’re not constantly wondering if they like you back.
How long does it take to get over a crush? Unfortunately, the heart wants what it wants. Amy, 17, says that the only sure-fire way to get over a crush is “riding it out and waiting,” which does gel with the phrase ‘time heals all’ but it isn’t exactly the most comforting while you wait.
Remember that there was a time in your life you didn’t know this person existed, and you were perfectly happy then, and you will be again.
Thank u, next
Another piece of advice we got was the old switcheroo: Replace your crush with another crush—that’s hopefully less crushing. “I mean do you ever really get over a crush?” says Jamie, 22, “traditionally the way I’ve got over a crush is by finding another person to crush on. It’s not a healthy cycle.” But seriously, remember that there are nearly eight billion people on the planet (help us, that’s literally too many). Rest assured that there is no “The One” but probably many “The Ones” and you’ll probably find the next one sooner than you think. Be open to new people and try not to compare everyone to your current romantic interest.
When you have a crush, you often find yourself fixating on all the stuff you love about them, which leads to crushing even harder, which leads to—yeah, you get it. But getting real about your crush and distancing yourself from the idealised version you might be thinking of can help. Maria, 25, advised: “Closely examine their flaws. Go through the entirety of your imaginary relationship in your head. Forsee how it ends, and decide not to go for it.”
This isn’t the only piece of advice we got which was essentially “lie to yourself,” btw. David, 19, says the way to get over a crush is to “convince yourself they have a bad habit, or whatever your deal breaker is (bad breath, being rude to hospo staff, etc.) is something they do.”
Whatever it takes, I guess?
Detox your feelings
As a chronic Pisces, I’m a big fan of feeling your way through things. If you need to create an elaborate playlist mourning what never was, fire up the Spotify and get to it. Monjie, 27, a musician, takes getting over a crush one step further: “Write an album. Genuinely though you kind of have to purge it out of your system. Sort of like a fever you just have to sweat it out. Like, emotional sweating.” While writing an album might not be for everyone, sometimes you just need to watch a heart-wrenchingly sad movie, have a cleansing cry and move on.
Lead image: Romeo + Juliet (1996)