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What is a Crush?

Most teenagers begin their romantic lives with a series of crushes. Crushes are sort of easy entry-ways into the world of strong emotions and relationships, without having much of the scary risk involved in really dating someone. People have crushes on their teachers, on actors, on band members, on scout leaders or pastors. Sometimes people have crushes on fellow students, but usually it's on a student that is several grades older.

A crush involves admiring someone from a safe distance. You feel a hugely powerful emotion, stronger than anything you've felt before. You obsess over this person. You would die for them. You think about them constantly. You are thrilled when you are near them and miserable when you are away from them. You desperately want to tell the person how you feel - but are frightened of it at the same time.

If you're involved in a crush - enjoy it! We have ALL had crushes over the years and they're something you look back on with great fondness. Look at what makes your crush special. Those qualities that you admire in your crush are qualities that are very special to you, and it's very important to learn what those are. It helps you when you look for a real boyfriend or girlfriend to date, to know what you are drawn to.

Also, learn how to handle your feelings. Most of what a crush is about is learning that you get POWERFUL emotions in relationships - and that you need to deal with them. Just like you learned in earlier years how to deal with strong anger and strong sadness, you're now learning how to deal with strong feelings of attraction. You're learning that it's a nice feeling - but that it's a painful feeling if you let it take over your life. You need to be able to balance those feelings with the rest of what is going on in your world.

As hard as it might seem right now, your feelings for your crush will even out over time. It usually takes a few weeks to a few months, but you will learn to bring them under control. And as you learn more about life, you will find someone that is your own age, and actually someone you can *date* to start to become interested in. When that's the case, you can work to be their friend, and then their best friend. And it's at that point that your interests change from a crush to a real, meaningful relationship.

Quiz: Is This Really Love?

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