Crushes are always fun in the beginning. You can't stop smiling whenever you think of them and you get butterflies in your stomach when they're around. Having a crush just gives you something to look forward to each day. Ideally, your crush would feel the same way about you. But unfortunately that doesn't always happen. According to experts, knowing
when to move on from your crush can prevent you from getting even more broken hearted.
When you're really into someone, it's easy to hold on to hope that something will happen between you two down the road. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic. But when you hold on to someone for too long, it can mess with your sense of wellbeing.
Allison Duquette, a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships and shame-resiliency, tells Bustle, "We can be triggered by a feeling of rejection, which then sets off a shame-spiral leading to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior." When you realize that the person you like doesn't feel the same way, all the good feelings you get from crushing on them can turn into negative self-talk. It's not uncommon for those who feel rejected to question their self-worth and seek validation from the person who rejected them.
The good thing is, you can prevent yourself from falling into this trap. Here are some signs it's time to move on from your crush, according to experts.
They Talk About Dating Other People
If your crush is talking about the dating other people or they’re swiping through a dating app while you’re hanging out together, it may be time to move on. According to Susan Trombetti,
matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, they may just see you as a friend. “Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like you as a person, but it does mean you should start to move on,” Trombetti says. If they do this frequently, they may be giving you subtle hints that they’re not interested in taking things to the next level.
They Never Initiate Contact
Some people are just bad at texting and calling. You shouldn't judge someone's interest in you based on that alone. But if you're the one who's always initiating the conversation, you may want to take a step back for a bit and see what happens. People who like you will want to talk to you. If your crush can’t even check in with you after some time, they may not be interested in pursuing anything too serious with you right now. It may take some time for you to make this realization, but once you do,
Gabrielle Applebury, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle, “It's best to begin the healing process so you can open yourself up to other relationship possibilities.”
They Back Out Of Plans A Lot
When you’re interested in someone, you’ll want to spend as much time with them as you can. You’ll look forward to making plans and you’ll follow through because you want to make a good impression on them. If you’re in a situation where someone flakes on you a lot, it may be time to move on from your crush. As
Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle, they may be in a relationship with someone else, they may not be that interested in pursuing more with you, or they’re just not being honest with you about something in their life. “People who are genuinely interested, available, and authentic will want to see you in person, period,” Scott-Hudson says. “Remember your worth. Don’t settle from crumbs.”
You're Confused Over What They Want With You
If you would describe your situation with your crush as "it's complicated," it may be time to move on. As
Laurie Berzack, MSW, matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle, this usually means that you're not getting the respect, attention, and level of commitment that you're probably looking for. "I recommend you have some sort of ceremony, even if it's something small, to let this person go," Berzack says. "Picture yourself releasing this person into the universe so you can be free. Then forgive yourself and pursue the type of fulfilling relationship you deserve."
Your Friends Are Telling You To Explore Your Options
Your friends want the best for you. Chances are, you've vented about your situation to them. So if they're telling you that it's time to make a move or move on, listen to them. As
Cathryn Leff, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle, "They can often see what you don't." Waiting around in uncertainty is only going to hold you back from getting the relationship that you want. "Life is short," Leff says. "Someone is either interested in you, or not. Why wait around to find that out? Just express yourself and go from there."
You Try To Get A Reaction Out Of Them, But They Don't Respond In The Way That You Hope
Sometimes people will try to use reverse psychology to get their crush's attention. For instance, they try to play "hard to get" in order to get someone to work harder to win them over. But according to Leff, these types of mind games usually don't work. If you notice that someone isn't receptive to your advances, and you are feeling compelled to switch tactics and play these mind games, it may be time to reevaluate the situation. If someone likes you back, they likely will show it without needing the extra push.
You're Starting To Question Your Self-Worth
It’s natural to feel sad when their feelings aren't mutual. But it can become unhealthy when you begin to feel unworthy of love, as if there's something wrong with you as a person. As
Dr. Victoria Chialy Smith, licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle, "You should never feel as if you have to hustle for love or self-worth or change parts of who you are in order to be accepted by your crush." If your feelings for someone are making you question yourself, it's time to move on. If someone can't see how great you are, they aren't worth it.
According to Smith, the best way to get over a crush is to reframe the situation. "You are amazing and a crush not being interested could never change that fact," she says. "Allow yourself to feel the pain, but make sure to spend time in self-reflection. Use it as fuel and motivation for personal growth to become stronger, healthier, and wiser."
It's always painful when your feelings aren't reciprocated. Finding out that someone doesn’t return your feelings is a good opportunity to start fresh. If you keep moving forward, you're going to find someone who likes you just as much as you like them.