Liking someone and puppy love are blissful feelings to experience.
That feeling of being infatuated with and completely head over heels for a classmate, a friend, a stranger, or even your new partner can be beautiful to experience, and you might want it to last forever!
However, like everything in life, nothing lasts forever, even those crushes that feel as if they will always last for a lifetime.
While you might still have feelings for your partner, you might ask yourself, how long does a crush last?
A crush, which is the stage of being infatuated with someone, can last from anywhere between 18 months to 36 months!
This is the stage where you might feel butterflies in your stomach, see no flaws in someone’s persona, and want to pursue a relationship (either sexual or not sexual) with them.
However, this stage can last longer, or be cut short, depending on a variety of factors, either by your doing or because of the person you are infatuated with.
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Did you know that having a crush is actually a very real state of being, and it even has a term known as “limerence”?
Limerence is being infatuated with someone, obsessing over them, and wanting to be with them every second of the day. Sound familiar?
That’s because many people use the term limerence and having a crush interchangeably.
Having a crush on someone can be a thrilling experience. However, it’s important to know the difference between having a crush and being obsessed with someone.
In fact, being obsessed with someone is actually a less-than-ideal situation, and it can cause significant amounts of distress for people, according to scientists.
Nevertheless, limerence is a blissful situation for many people, and it can be a stage that many people want to experience time and time again.
According to American Psychologist Dorothy Tennov, limerence is predicted to last anywhere between a couple of weeks to even years or decades, with the average duration being…wait for it…18 months to 36 months!
That’s around a year and a half to three years. Does it feel like your crush lasts that long before you make a move? Probably not.
You might find that you have a crush on someone, begin to date them, and still experience feelings of limerence with your significant other including:
- Nervousness and stuttering
- A heightened sexual desire for them
- A yearning to be with them
- Wanting to grow closer and learn more about them
- Loving the way they look, smell, you name it
- Wanting to think about them or thinking about them throughout the day
- The feelings of butterflies in the stomach
If you feel like having a crush makes you feel a little bit crazy, you’re not wrong. There’s actually a scientific reason behind developing crushes.
People might develop a crush because they like someone’s personality or looks.
What it boils down to is you find this person to be the perfect mate, and your body lets you know it.
When someone has a crush, hormone levels including serotonin and dopamine begin to surge.
These hormones are like feel-good chemicals that activate the reward system in the brain.
When someone experiences a crush, sure they might be nervous and feel butterflies in their stomach.
But they also tend to smile more, be in a better mood, and experience a boost in their emotions!
It’s good to know that these types of reactions aren’t just in your imagination but are very real feelings with science behind them.
Of course, having a crush doesn’t last forever. When you have a crush on someone, you might idealize them and feel as if they can do no wrong.
This can cause you to experience a sudden decrease in feelings for someone else if they suddenly betray your idea of them.
For instance, if you love the fact that your crush seems fragile and dependent on others, but find out she’s actually an MMA fighter, this might lead you to turn away and stop liking them.
Or you might feel a man is masculine and completely fearless, but then find out he’s scared of mice.
These gender roles and expectations are sadly normal in our society, and they can lead you to be in love with a false version of someone.
True love is learning someone’s true personality and still loving the person they are.
Other things that can cut a crush short include:
- Finding out they’re actually mean and not as friendly as they make themselves out to be (cue narcissist card)
- Finding out that they’re in a relationship (sigh)
- Finding another person to have a crush on
- Knowing that a relationship isn’t possible with this person and moving on to more serious ventures
- Witnessing something you don’t like, such as a nasty habit
- Learning that their opinions differ from yours
If it seems like it’s pretty easy to stop having a crush on someone, the truth is that…it is!
Once you start dating people, you might find that the ones you get into a relationship with are those that you continue to be interested in and still have an infatuation for.
Similar to things that can harm your limerence phase, there are also certain situations which might lead to your prolonging of a crush. This includes:
- Having the other person flirt
- The other person becomes available to date
- Seeing that person day in and day out, such as at work or with close friends
- Going on dates with them
- Finding out they are more and more like you
All of these can not only prolong your crush but can also lead to you loving them more and even dating or starting a relationship with them.
Having a crush on someone can be a bit of an uncomfortable experience. You might even find yourself wanting to limit interactions because you feel so uncomfortable.
If you find yourself having a crush on someone and want to know what your next steps are, take a look at the following:
- Ask them out. Plain and simple, if you like someone and aren’t scared of rejection, there’s no harm in asking them out on a date. If they also have a crush on you, this can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
- Avoid them. Yes, if you really don’t want to date right now, and you really don’t want to have a crush or be uncomfortable, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to avoid someone. More power to you!
- Take deep breaths. If you have to interact with someone you have a crush on, taking deep breaths before meeting with them can help reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Learn to see their flaws. It’s never a good idea to fall in love with the idea of a person. This leads to unhealthy relationships and expectations. If you really like someone and want to date them eventually, learn to accept their flaws and know that they’re just a regular person!
Having a crush can last from just a few weeks to years, with most people having a crush around 18 months to 3 years.
Enjoy it while it lasts and take steps to either date someone or simply learn to let the feelings fade over time.