7 Signs of a Crush Gone Bad

At one point or another, you’re going to have a crush that goes from light and fun to downright dark and destructive.

It happens to the best of us, no matter how well we know ourselves, no matter how hard we try to keep it form happening. It’s just part of the process.

The important thing is to, in those moments of clarity that always pop up in such a situation, to be able to recognize you’ve crossed a line. Once you’re aware of that, then you can pull yourself back before you get totally squished by an obsessive crush.

Here’s seven warning signs to look for.

1. You think about the object of your crush all the time.

Obsession is one of those things that sneaks up on you. If you’re not aware of your own normal patterns, you may not notice it at all. But if you do pay attention to where your mind wanders, you should be able to catch it drifting again and again to the same person. The tricky thing here is that there’s a fine line between fond daydreams and obsessive thoughts. Know where that line lies for you and, if you feel you’re crossing it, stop yourself.

2. Your crush starts to get in the way of your everyday life.

When you start to seriously change your patterns of behavior just to catch a glimpse of the object of your affection, you could be in trouble. If those pattern changes get in the way of your job or interactions with friends or family, you’re crossing into a danger zone. Rein in your obsession before it takes a chunk out of your life and livelihood.

3. You find yourself doing things you swore you would never do.

Sending five e-mails to the same person in a row. Incessantly calling and hanging up. Staying up all night in your car, parked across from her apartment building. Yeah, things like that. Things you once looked at and said “Gee, that’s ridiculous!” Check yourself and your actions. Have you become that creepy character you used to make fun of in movies?

4. You’re not working to mesh fantasy and reality.

Even if you do start slipping into all three of the things mentioned above, it can still be OK and part of the normal progression from crush to relationship. The key to that? Making an effort to reconcile the fantasy you have going on with what actually is. If you’re working up the nerve to talk to your crush, it’s OK to balk a few times. But if it becomes a constant thing, or you lose sight of where that line is between fantasy and reality (see below), you’re in trouble.

5. If asked, the object of your crush would either not know you or be afraid of you.

Part of moving from fantasy to reality is actually interacting in a productive way with the object of your crush. If he or she doesn’t know who you are or–even worse–is being totally creeped out by what you’ve been doing, stop and give him or her some space. If you haven’t crossed the line into obsessive stalker territory, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. A little time and breathing room can go a long way to clearing up misconceptions. Most of the time.

6. Your friends have told you you’re taking things too far.

The simple fact of the matter is that we’re often blind to our own actions. Even if you’ve spent years getting to know yourself, there’s always something you can’t see. This is where your friends become important. Good friends will let you know when you cross lines. Great friends will go out of their way to pull you back into safe and sane territory. If you’re keeping your crush and what you do in relation to that crush a secret from even your closest friends, you’re treading on dangerous ground and may already be in a very bad place. If you’re not sure, get a second opinion from someone you trust.

7. You can’t distinguish reality from fantasy.

If someone asks if you have girlfriend and you say “Yes” and start telling stories about all the dates you’ve been on, the person you name should be able to corroborate those stories. If they can’t you’re either lying on purpose to the person asking or you’ve lost your grasp on reality and gotten stuck in a fantasy world. Chances are you won’t realize this. If you’ve made it this far into destructive crush territory, it may take some serious intervention (and a whole lot of trouble) to get back on the right side of the fence. Depending on how far astray you’ve wandered, there may be legal action that happens (restraining orders are not good things, being picked up for attempted murder due to imagined jealousy is even worse). It is much easier to not let things get to this point.

Crushes are wonderful and useful things, but they can also lull you into a fantasy life that has no real connection to the rest of the world. Keep at least one foot on the ground at all times, no matter how high in the clouds your head may be and you’ll be able to avoid the worst of the problems above. Be open and honest with yourself and those around you and you won’t have to do that alone.

  • jem

    that was awesome.

  • Pingback: How to Crush Without Being Crushed » Rules of Engagement: 5 Checks and Balances()

  • Monika

    During my puberty , the crushing has gone too far. Luckily I knew it and I realized that all those damn hormones need to calm down! Even that didn’t help so it all got only worse, soonly I would make several pages long list of the people I’ve had a crush on and the list would expand all the time but I am happy to still be alive, the crushing is a really hard time , for the first it was really kind of fun stalking and so on but after the fun part when the number of crushes became big af it all started the dark and hurtful period of my life the only thing that can help you is to wait till that shit stops ruining da life.

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