- When getting over a crush, it’s important to talk about your feelings or write them down.
- Picking up a new hobby or hanging out with friends can also help.
- Take the time to focus on you.
Crushes can be all-consuming – even when we know someone is unavailable, or perhaps just not the best fit for us, it can be hard to get rid of those intense feelings.
Oftentimes, we simply can’t help who we fall for, so if you’re hoping to squash your crush once and for all, you might have no idea where to begin, especially if you’re crushing on someone who you have to see often or who is taken by someone else. INSIDER spoke with three relationship experts who gave us the lowdown on how to get over that unrequited love, in a way that is both healthy and productive.
Here are some ways to help you get over your crush.
Talk your feelings out with someone you trust.
Getting swept up in a crush can make us feel out of control, but one of the best ways to get a handle on those feelings and heal from them is to get them out there by talking to someone you trust – a friend or family member that won’t judge your feelings, or a licensed therapist or counselor are all great options.
“Talking out your feelings allows you to process what has happened and how you feel about it,” said sex and relationship and LGBT+ expert Kryss Shane, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW. “In some cases, this alone causes the body and mind to relax. In other cases, having a sounding board for guidance can help to work through finding a solution so you can either fix your own issue or fix the issues in your relationship by returning to the other person with a suggestion for moving forward.”
Opening up about your feelings with someone can help by hearing about things they have learned in the love department, too. Shane told us that “it can also get you the opportunity to learn from them about their past and current relationships,” helping you gather a bit of outside perspective.
Write it all out if you’re uncomfortable expressing your emotions to someone else.
“This is such a beautiful practice,” said Marla Mattenson, relationship expert for entrepreneur couples.
“To write out your feelings is also an act of self-love. I recommend keeping a note in your phone about the person you’re crushing on. Write the date and then write out what’s going on, how you’re feeling, what you’re happy with, frustrated with, wishing was different. Then go back and keep adding to it as the days go on. Keeping an ongoing note is one of the greatest techniques to help you see the real truth of your crush or relationship.”
You should ideally cut off contact with your crush altogether.
The harsh reality is that if you can avoid seeing or talking to your crush, you should. This can be tougher if you live near them, work with them, or travel in the same social circles, but minimising your time with them is often the first step to begin healing.
“Sometimes cutting off contact is the only way to begin to heal. It can be so easy to continue to rely on a crush that the habit will outweigh the plan to try to stop,” said Shane. “By cutting the person off, it forces you to seek comfort, guidance, or support elsewhere, minimising that person’s impact and place in your life, and helping you to heal.”
If you can’t avoid seeing them, come up with a preparation plan for when you do need to interact.
It might be tough, but if you absolutely can’t avoid seeing your crush, you’ll need to prepare ahead of time, Shane told INSIDER. “Avoid when you can, prepare for when you can’t. Have friends with you to keep you from interacting with your crush and to support you.”
This may be a good opportunity to check in with yourself – are you going out of your way in the hopes that you’ll run into them?
“Reassess whether the places you are going when you see them are still places you want to be or if you are just going in hopes of seeing your crush,” added Shane. “This reexamination can help to clarify your intentions can help to guide you towards making changes and intentional choices.”
Start hitting that unfollow button.
Social media makes it next to impossible to cut off contact with someone you’re crushing on, but unfollowing, unfriending, or even blocking the person might just be the best way to prevent those mindless late-night scroll sessions through their feeds.
“Reviewing their social media pages keeps you enmeshed in their daily life and their thoughts, something that can make it impossible to move on,” said Shane. “By minimising all contact and fully cancelling social media connection, you begin to create space in your life for yourself and for your loved ones, rather than to keep holding a place for someone who is no longer supposed to be your priority.”
Take the time to focus on you.
“Use this time to feel into what you really love about life and explore,” Mattenson told INSIDER. “What’s new in town that you haven’t experienced yet? What are some activities, adventures, explorations you’d love to discover? Make some new choices – even something as simple as taking a different route to work, buying yourself flowers for, learning to cook some amazing meals, travelling somewhere alone … you get the idea.”
Pick up that new workout class you’ve been meaning to try or learn that skill you’ve been meaning to tackle.
Now is the best time to take on a new hobby or skill that you’ve been meaning to try, Shane told INSIDER.
“Finding something new to do both keeps you temporarily busy and it expands your interests and your social circle. This is a great way to meet new people, but not necessarily for romantic gain,” she added. “Even just chatting with neighbours or new people at a party is a great way to get your mind off a crush. You’ll find out new talents you didn’t know you had and you’ll be getting to know new people, which can fill your social schedule and help mask the feelings of longing for your ex until your heart readjusts to focus elsewhere.”
Branch out socially with no expectations for romance.
Meeting new people isn’t easy for most of us, but now is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, just try not to put pressure on yourself to fall for someone. “The practice of being open to meeting new people without trying to make a romantic connection is essential in getting your mind off a crush,” said Mattenson.
“It takes some dedication to do this practice, but it is totally worth it. Try this: intentionally go out and talk with people you would normally never speak with for whatever reason … Start talking with all kinds of people so you can feel what a real connection feels like free from the attraction.”
Allow yourself to “feel your feelings,” and minimise judgment if you’re not moving on as quickly as you think you should.
Crushes can be intense – there’s a reason why they’re called crushes, after all. But when you’re ready to focus on moving on, you should first start by simply feeling your feelings.
“Give yourself permission to ‘feel your feelings,'” advised psychotherapist Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT and Co-Founder of the Wright Wellness Center. “Literally say out loud, right now, ‘I give myself permission to feel my feelings.'”
Mattenson agreed, noting that it can be helpful to “notice if you’re feeling one of the four main emotions – mad, glad, sad, or scared – or a combo of more than one emotion. Notice the thoughts running through your mind. Are your thoughts contributing to your happiness and well-being, or are they making you feel awful? Make the choice to pivot your thinking into something productive and positive that moves you closer to your relationship goals.”
Then, remind yourself that feelings always pass.
Keep reminding yourself that these feelings are likely temporary and will pass soon, no matter how hard you’re crushing right now. “Feelings are like clouds,” said Wright. “Sometimes they linger around for a little while casting shade and sometimes they float by rather quickly. No matter how fast or slow they’re going, they’re still moving. You’ve got this.”
Remember that no one is perfect.
One of the best parts of having a crush is being able to live in a fantasy, but being in a real relationship with someone is always far less glamorous.
“You can also use this time with your friends to get them to help you to focus on your crush’s ‘annoying’ habits,” Shane told INSIDER. “Maybe they never make the bed or are rude to service people – this will remind you that no one is as perfect as the fantasies we drum up in our minds … and no one is better to discuss your crush with than friends who love you and [will keep it real about this person].”
If you’re looking to find someone new, be honest with yourself and with future crushes.
“When you’re ready to start dating, take time to be clear in what you’re looking for,” advised Shane. “Be clear on what kind of interactions you want to have, then be clear on your deal breakers. This makes you very aware so you only invest your time in getting to know people who fit your goals.”
Mattenson agreed, adding, “Practice being the absolute best, unapologetic, loving, honest version of yourself possible. When you get back into the dating arena it’s the perfect time to practice speaking your truth with kindness so that if the love of your life does show up, you’ve been practicing being your true self in all interactions.”
Most of all, be kind to yourself.
“Crushes come and go but you are with you forever, so treat yourself the way you’d treat your best friend,” said Shane. Remember to be patient with and kind to yourself.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.