I have a crush on a classmate who is very near and dear to me
There’s an age-old question in love that’s plagued humanity since the dawn of time: How do you get over a crush? Few things are more torturous than an unrequited love—it feels like your heart’s been shattered to pieces, but rest assured, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. (Yes, even Taylor Swift.) While heartbreak can feel like a form of never-ending torture, there is a way to get over someone you like.
Losing feelings is easier said than done, but moving on from a crush is possible. We talked to a clinical psychologist Jane Mendle, who specializes in adolescence, and licensed therapist Racine Henry, who specializes in marriage and family therapy, to get some of the best tips for how to get over a crush. Below, find the must-try cures for heartbreak and the secret to stop crushing on someone once and for all.
1. Give Yourself Time
It’s natural to want to get over a heartbreak as soon as it happens, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. And, honestly, sometimes you have to sit in your feelings for a little while before you can start to move on from a crush. According to Henry, the first thing you should do when trying to get over someone you like is to give yourself time. Don’t try to rush the process or pretend the sadness and disappointment you feel isn’t there. “You had hopes that what you felt for this person would be reciprocated and lead to an enjoyable relationship. It’s not realistic to expect yourself to feel differently overnight,” Henry says.
2. Talk It Out and Let It Go
Commit to a big ole vent session with your mom or best friend and get all your feelings out on the table. Talk about what you saw in this person, how much you're hurting, and all the details of your perfect imaginary dates. Get it all out in one fell swoop, and then commit to letting it go.
"Talking things through can help you understand more about why you feel the way you do, and also lets the people who care about you know what’s going on in your life and that you might need extra support right now," explains Dr. Mendle.
3. Validate All Your Feelings
An almost-ship can lead to an avalanche of emotions and insecurity. All the “what ifs'' and uncertainty can lead you down a rabbithole of possible personal shortcomings. But, questioning your sense of self can affect your future relationships—you might not be able to trust yourself or your next partner. Instead, take time to mourn the end of your crush and don’t run or invalidate your own feelings. Take it one day at a time by journaling or listening to Taylor Swift on repeat. It’s also important to respect the other person’s decision and their boundaries. Don’t discount their own feelings or attempt to coax them into a relationship.
4. Try Not to Obsess
While talking it out is good, don't let the pain be the only thing you focus on. Zoning in on the same sad feelings on repeat turns into what psychologists call “overtalking” and makes it harder to lose feelings for someone. This can make you feel like you’re stuck being sad all the time as you relive the rejection. Instead, take your mind off the situation by doing something fun with someone in your support system.
"When that happens, it can sometimes be good to ask a friend or family member to help distract you. Support doesn’t just have to be talking: Maybe there’s an activity you typically enjoy or a particular place you want to go, and it can be healing to share that experience with someone who cares about you," says Dr. Mendle.
5. Don't Haunt Them on Social
It can be all too easy to lurk on your crush’s social media accounts, but doing so can make getting over someone infinitely harder. Our best advice: Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. Sure, you might have to see the object of your affection in class, but why make the situation harder on yourself? Clearing your screen of your crush's presence can do wonders for your mental health. If you’re too scared to totally unfollow them (we get it, it’s a massive social no-no), try using privacy settings like “mute” to soft-block them. It's unfriending without actually unfriending, which is a great option if you're worried he or she will notice a drop in their friend count.
"Constantly checking an ex or crush’s social media keeps a relationship alive, and people often do this when they are not ready to face the end of that relationship,” Mendle explains. “It’s normal to want to stay connected to someone who means a lot to you, but it can also keep you in a state of grief, loss, or sadness. It takes a lot of strength and discipline, but most people find that they eventually feel better once they acknowledge that a relationship is over or that a desired relationship may not get off the ground.”
6. Delete or Mute Them
If you want to lose feelings for someone quicker, Henry suggests taking your social media hiatus to the next level by cutting off all contact with the object of their affection. “You will only prolong your healing process by feeding your hope through interpreting interactions to be more than they truly are. This means unfollowing on social media, letting friends know you don’t want to hear anything about or discuss this person, and it may even mean blocking their phone number.”
7. Know Your Worth
When we're getting over a crush, one thing our friends always remind us is, "It's THEIR loss." Which is true! This person is not the only person in the world. YOU, however, are the only you. Do something that will remind you of this — whatever you excel at that makes you feel amazing and empowered when you do it. If your next crush is truly worthy of you, they'll be attracted to all of your talents and encourage you to be the best you can be.
8. Learn Whatever You Can
Hindsight is always 20/20. Now that you're back to feeling like yourself, think about what qualities your old crush had that you'd like to find in a new one. Did they have a great sense of humor? A killer smile? Did you like the same music? What did you not like about this person? You most certainly don't need to dive right into a new romantic situation, but it's helpful to figure out what you're into — and what you're not — for the next time you find yourself having feelings.
9. Seek Clarity From Your Crush
Closure can do wonders for people in relationships, situationships, and almost-ships. It can be incredibly difficult, but seeking clarity can help you stop crushing on someone quicker. Whether it’s through a private DM or an in-person conversation, it’s important to make sure to validate and respect your crush’s decision during this conversation. But, before you reach out, make sure to check in on yourself and see what would bring you closure. Is it knowing why they rejected you? Is it something you could do better in future relationships? Come up with a clear way to communicate your needs before opening the floor for a direct conversation.
10. Get It All Out in Your Journal
Journaling has been proven to reduce stress, clear your mind, and help you move on from negative thoughts. How? Well, first, it allows you to take a moment and focus solely on yourself, and be present in the moment. With this focus comes clarity, and you're able to get some respite from your emotions and thoughts. Even the act of journaling itself is healing — if you want, you can throw out the paper after you write down all your feelings (we get it: sometimes you don't want to keep a record of your innermost thoughts).
11. Meet New People
When you feel ready, consider meeting and hanging out with new people. There's no pressure to start dating, of course, but even putting yourself out there and being open to new possibilities can do wonders for healing your heart and giving you hope that you will be able to develop feelings for someone else (even if it might not seem like it right now). You can try apps like Bumble BFF to connect with people on a platonic level or even join a local club or volunteer group to meet new, like-minded people in your community.
12. Stay Busy
Sometimes all you need to do is distract yourself. If you’re tempted to DM your crush or feel overwhelmed by sadness, bury yourself in a good novel, scroll on TikTok, or even set the vibe with an upbeat playlist to completely change your mood. The busier you are—with work, friends, or school—the less time you have to get in your feels. But, don’t discount your feelings, you can still be sad while out mini-golfing with your BFFs. Sometimes it’s better to be sad with your close friends than alone in your room with nothing but Netflix to keep you company.
13. Know That This Is Temporary and You're Not Alone
No matter how much your heart is hurting, know that the feelings won't last forever. You will move on from a crush. "Feelings — even very negative ones — are actually temporary. There will always be times when you want something intensely and it just doesn’t work out. It’s normal to take a while to rebound from that. But learning that feelings can and do pass — even when it seems like you’ll feel sad forever — is something you can remember the next time you feel down," says Mendle.
14. Put the Relationship Into Perspective
Henry explains that putting the situation into perspective can not only help you learn from past mistakes, but also help you to better understand your feelings as a whole. “Even though your feelings may have been deep and meaningful, honestly ask yourself if the situation was as significant or real as you may have thought it to be. Did you get carried away? Did this other person mislead you? What, if anything, are you truly losing by letting this go?”
15. Treat Yourself
Being busy with all the things you like doing is a great way to not even have time to dwell on a lost almost-love. Treat yourself to a day at the spa or an impromptu shopping spree. Keeping your mind distracted with things you like to do—and giving yourself room to treat yourself with kindness—will put you in a better headspace for your next relationship. And it’ll remind you exactly who you are and what you want from your next crush.
“While healing, this is a good time to be indulgent. Buy yourself things you like, eat foods you enjoy, be around people that make you smile, but in moderation. Don’t spend all your savings or engage in unhealthy behaviors just because you’re hurting. Enjoy yourself without creating another, potentially more complicated, problem,” Henry says.
16. Listen to Sad Music
While it may seem counterintuitive, studies have found that listening to sad music can help a person feel better. It turns out a playlist filled with melancholy Lana Del Rey and Joji songs can act as a cognitive reward for your brain. While distracting yourself from your emotions can help, so does listening to your heart and really delving into those sad emotions. Plus, music acts as a great distraction for a busy mind.
17. See a Therapist or Counselor
If you've talked it out, blocked your crush on social media, and tried to move on from a crush, but just feel stuck in an inescapable cycle of sadness, it’s time to consider seeing a counselor. How do you know if you should see someone? If you've been experiencing any of the following for a month or more, it might be time to see a mental health professional:
"The most important thing when visiting a counselor is that you feel comfortable with that person. It’s hard and scary to tell someone personal things. You should have the sense that whatever you share will be respected and valued," says Mendle. "There are many different types of counseling. Some just involve support and listening. Others are more active. The counselor will still listen and support you, but you will also work together on ways to boost your mood or to help you feel more control over your life and feelings."