We recently wrote an article on oneitis the problem and cure for our companion website The Popular Man that explains this concept in more detail. However, in the language of teens, “oneitis” is a crush. You may not have thought about the scientific definition before, but a crush is having a strong and sometimes irrational emotional attraction to one particular person.
There’s nothing wrong with having a crush. It’s natural to be more attracted to one person than another. Attraction in many ways isn’t even a logical choice since it comes from the emotional and more subconscious areas of the brain. So, if you have strong feelings for the girl or guy sitting across from you in science class, it’s likely your brain at work in ways you don’t understand.
However, it is important to distinguish between strong attraction and an unhealthy crush. An unhealthy attraction would be when your emotions and entire life are totally consumed by another individual.
So, if you have a crush on a guy or girl and that’s almost all you can think about, that might be unhelpful for you. If you make all of your decisions based around that other person, including your sense of morality and life choices (such as skipping work to be with a crush), the crush may be hindering you from being your best self.
Basically, a crush is bad when you’re attached too much. It’s always important to remain independent and detached when dating anyway. Showing too much attachment, also known as neediness, for one, is counterproductive. When we get too attached, we aren’t our best selves. And, neediness isn’t attractive.
Think about how guys and girls act around their crushes. In most cases it’s sickening! They get all gooey eyed and seem to lose all sense of reason. In some cases, they do crazy or outrageous things like running away from home, transporting drugs, or causing harm to others because the other person tells them.
It’s because having a crush messes with our brains. It can literally make us sick. Lovesickness may not be an official mental illness, but we can get love sick. When we are “in love” our brains release chemicals that cause us to become addicted to another person, or at the very least we become addicted to how they make us feel.
So, we check for text messages every five seconds or get enraged when our crush hangs out with her friend. It’s just like a junkie trying to score his next hit!
So, if you have a crush, don’t be too concerned. But, if you have one and it’s dominating (or ruining) your life, you’ll need to back off. Start dating other people, hang with your friends, or take up a new hobby. You can still pursue the person, but back off a little and enjoy life. If it gets too bad, seek professional help. Love should be fun, not turn you into a mess.