You’re head over heels with your new coworker. He’s handsome, smart and funny. Instead of paying attention in a boring work meeting, you’re outlining the features of his face with your mind. You’ve stalked him on social media and know he’s single. The only problem is you’re his boss. Or perhaps he’s 15 years younger than you. Either way, you’re not looking to get fired and certainly not interested in being the topic of the office rumor mill. How do you get over this unhealthy crush before your preoccupation does some real damage?
Underneath the Crush
Crushes like these can happen as a result of feeling bored and looking for a change or simply being in the dating market and weighing your options. Underneath it all, you may not even be interested in this person emotionally; all you may be looking for is a physical relationship. However, the outcome is still the same. You’re infatuated with a potential love interest. But a real relationship involving the passion you feel for him coupled with intimacy and commitment, as Robert Sternberg describes in his seminal research entitled “A Triangular Theory of Love,” published in "Psychological Review," is out of the question. Infatuation may feel all-consuming to you because the desire runs deep. However, the first step in getting over an unhealthy crush is calling a spade a spade. What you’re feeling is nothing more than infatuation.
Staying Within Your Limits
According to Dr. Laura Berman, who spoke about “Why It’s Okay to Have a Secret Crush” on Oprah.com, having a healthy crush can be a good thing. Even if you’re married, having a crush doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, as long as you know you can stay within your limits. She says a healthy crush that is not acted on is more of an ego booster and more about you rather than the other person. Therefore, ironically, accepting that you have a crush can take away some of the power it has over you.
Bird’s Eye View
When you begin to look at the ramifications of pursuing your crush, he will begin to look a lot less appealing. As is mentioned by the managing editor of Lovelyish.com, Denise Ngo, in her article “How to Deal With an Inappropriate Crush” on YourTango.com, it’s helpful to measure the consequences of an unhealthy crush. If you have a crush on your best friend’s husband, understand that once this gets out your friendship is going to go down the drain. Unhealthy crushes can have dire consequences, so it’s helpful to be clear about what is important to you. This can help to put your crush in his proper place -- out of the realm of possibilities.
One of the best ways to deal with getting over a crush is to find something or someone else to give your attention to. Substitute a healthy crush for your unhealthy crush. Or perhaps you can start giving more attention to your work or your favorite hobbies. It is important that you find something more fulfilling to put your mind toward in order to overcome an unhealthy infatuation. This will help you come to terms with the fact that any future relationship was not possible and the consequences would have been undesirable. Once you understand that you’re actually better off without that crush or relationship, it will be easier for you to overcome it.
Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.
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