The Psychology Behind Crushes

Jude Albader, Writer

Developing crushes happens to the best of us, whether it’s having five different crushes per month or five different crushes per year. Have you ever caught yourself sitting in class and staring at that one person across the room, or daydreaming about them before pulling yourself back into reality when you realize what you’re doing? Maybe you feel butterflies in your stomach when they look at you or you feel slightly excited. There are many reasons for why this happens and what causes your brain to make you feel like this. 

When someone has a crush or feels attraction, their brain releases dopamine and norepinephrine. When we do something that makes us feel good, like spending time with someone we love, dopamine is released to give us that feeling of satisfaction or reward. The release of dopamine makes us feel happy, but if too much is released it can cause anxiety. On the other hand, norepinephrine is a stress hormone that plays a big part in our fight or flight response. In this situation it can trigger a feeling of euphoria also known as extreme happiness. These two chemicals together are what causes us to feel excited and energetic. In some cases the feeling is so intense that it can lead to insomnia or decreased appetite. 

So, what exactly are the “symptoms” of having a crush? There are many signs that let your body know that you’re crushing and there are signs that you can look for to detect if anyone has a crush on you. As human beings, we naturally want to learn more about our crush. That could be the reason why we stare, remember small things about them, notice the little details in them, ask a few personal questions, and do other similar things. In fact, when we stare, our pupils might even dilate so we can take in more details. Thanks to hormones, you might also experience anxiety which is the reason why we stutter when we talk to them, play with our hair or sleeves, have a faster heartbeat, avoid eye contact, and maybe even avoid them all together. We also love to be connected with other people so if you find yourself mimicking someone else’s mannerisms, going out of your way to touch them, laughing more often around them, using open body language, or doing any of the other behaviors listed above, chances are you like them.