How Long Does a Crush Last?

How long is it considered a crush?
on February 12, 2024
Read Time: 5 mins

Ever had your reality turn into a rom-com scene every time that person walks into the room? Welcome to the crush club — the place where logic takes a backseat, and giddy feelings take the wheel. 

From stealthy glances to imagining your epic love story, we've all been there. But how long does a crush last? 

Whether you're a seasoned crush-aholic or new to the game of "do they like me back," we’re here to help you understand the reasonings behind crushes, and how it’s possible to get over this rollercoaster of emotions. 

What’s a crush? 

Crushes are very commonplace throughout history and are commonly defined as a person harboring intense romantic feelings for someone they are not currently romantically involved with. 

While crushes are often associated with love-struck teenagers or as only happening in high-school halls, research suggests that these experiences aren’t so isolated and can even occur amongst people in committed relationships. When you have a crush on someone, it can be pretty hard to pay attention to anything else, as daydreaming suddenly takes up a lot of your time. 

While crushes can get down the line into something more, if these intense feelings are reciprocated, they usually involve unrequited love and often, heartbreak! 

Since crushes are usually admired from afar, this kind of infatuation involves the idealization of your object of desire, even though it may be far from the actual reality. 

How does having a crush feel like? 

Having a crush is a feeling like no other, with the beating wings of butterflies providing a thrill every time your loved one walks past. 

When you have a crush, it triggers the same feel-good chemicals associated with true love — dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. While this rush of intense emotions feels amazing, it can also come with some unwanted side effects… That’s right, these hormones naturally contribute to your sweaty palms, racing heart, stuttering sentences, and ever-revealing blush when your crush looks your way. 

As you envision the perfect romantic relationship with this one person, you can feel all the exhilaration of romantic love. This is perhaps why the crash back to reality hurts so much if the feelings go unreciprocated… 

How long do crushes usually last?

While there is no exact time frame for how long crushes should last, studies have shown they usually last for a few months, with a small percentage evolving into a long-term relationship.

According to recent research, romantic love naturally evolves in certain phases. Having a crush on someone is considered the first phase, before moving on to infatuation, and the attachment phase. 

However, there is no specific period of time assigned to each phase, with a lot of people experiencing crushes for long periods — even years!

How do you know if it’s more than a crush? 

When you’re crushing on someone, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve found your perfect match. 

Even though this may make perfect sense at the time, your love life is likely a little more complicated than that. While you might be attracted to someone and strong feelings might be at play, there needs to be a reciprocated emotional connection to take things to the next level. 

Figuring out if your crush has the potential to be your romantic partner can be tough, as you need to push past the fantasy and see if there is a realistic future there! Do you have any mutual friends? Do you have any interests in common? How do you feel when spending time with them? 

As you figure all of these things out, it’s important to pay attention to how they’re feeling — do they like you too? If you’re afraid to ask the question directly, their body language or responses can usually give a lot away about their feelings! 

How do you get over a crush? 

Getting over a crush is no easy task… 

If you’re admiring someone from afar, it’s very easy to build up a whole world of fantasy around this individual. For example, if you have a library crush or even an office crush, daydreaming or fantasizing about them is usually the best part!

In this case, a crush is really just a lack of information, with the illusion shattered when you actually spend time with them… 

However, if you have a crush on a close friend (or best friend!), or even a co-worker it’s harder to get over it — especially if you’re hoping for reciprocation down the line. 

Healthy ways to get over your crush

Acceptance: Recognize that it's normal to have feelings for someone and that these emotions are a part of the human experience. Accepting your feelings without judgment can be the first step towards moving on.
Time: Healing is not instantaneous! Allow yourself time to process your emotions without rushing to get over the person immediately. Even though nothing might have happened between you, it doesn’t mean that you need to heal overnight.
Pursue new interests: Take up a new hobby or interest. Learning something new can distract you from your emotions and lead to personal growth and new social circles. Or, why not get back dating?
Get talking: Share your thoughts with a trusted friend or family member. Or, if you’re feeling brave, pluck up the courage to talk to your crush and discuss your feelings! If they turn you down, at least you can move forward with a clean slate.
Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote well-being and relaxation, such as reading, taking baths, or meditating. Self-care is crucial during emotional times.
Reflect on what you want: Use this time to consider what you’re looking for in a relationship. Remember that rejection provides time for reflection, giving you the opportunity for redirection!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it normal to have a crush when you’re in a relationship?

    Yes, it’s totally normal to have a crush on someone, even if you’re in a committed relationship. It doesn’t always mean that you’ve got one foot out the door, or that your relationship is doomed! We’re all human beings, and having a crush on someone from afar is perfectly normal and healthy — as long as you don’t act on these feelings.
  • Is it still a crush after 4 years?

    When feelings for someone persist for an extended period, such as four years, it often transcends the initial stages typically associated with a "crush," which is generally considered to be more fleeting or superficial in nature. This enduring emotional connection may indicate deeper feelings or attachment, potentially reflecting unrequited love on a deeper level.
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