Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When You Are Crushed by a Crush

Happy, healthy couple

My friend Rob had just decided to date a girl named Katie. It had occurred to me that they were going to end up together. I had known it for some time and I never thought twice about it. I thought Rob deserved a nice girl and I hoped Katie would be that for him.

Then one day I walked into class and saw Rob's arm around Katie. Yet it looked different than did most guys with their arm around a girl. Rob had a protective and appreciative gleam in his eye. I thought of how secure Katie must have felt.

After Rob and Katie got together, he and I continued our friendship as we always had. We even worked together on a few projects for school. Sometimes he would tell me about how Katie treated him -- which I did not think was very well. All the time Rob and I were working together I noticed the way he spoke of his family, the way he handled himself when a problem arose, and, most of all, how he earned respect from everyone around him. Over the months of his relationship with Katie, I began to admire and respect Rob even more than before.

One spring day, I was chatting with him when out of the blue he told me that he and Katie had broken up. I truly was saddened that both Rob's and Katie's expectations had not been met. Yet, deep down, I was also glad that Rob was single again. I knew that the bond between Rob and Katie ran deep and that there was a good chance they would get back together. I considered telling Rob how I felt about him but I worried that he would not have the same feelings toward me. I considered not saying anything, but I felt that if they got back together I would always regret not saying something. So I wrote him a letter. (I know, I know. I'm a coward!)

In the letter I said as delicately and gracefully as I could that I was interested in him. To my surprise, he wrote me back right away, explaining that he had wondered about me in the past but he knew that if God wanted us together he would put us together. He reminded me that we are ultimately not in control of our lives anyway.

In the end Rob and Katie did not get back together. Yet he did not pursue me, either. Sometimes crushes are crushing because the person does not want you. Sometimes crushes are crushing because you are left waiting without an answer. I am not sure into which category my story fits, but I do know it still hurts, years later.

Having a crush on someone is like putting your heart in a Ziploc bag and checking it at the airport luggage counter. There is a chance it will make the trip and come out unscathed, but there is a much greater chance that it will be bruised in some way.

Check "Yes" or "No," But Don't Check "No"

Did you ever send or receive one of those notes in junior high? Usually they came in the form of a folded piece of notebook paper that read, "I like you. Do you like me? Check yes or no." Now that I think back on it, I hope I received more than I sent! Sometimes as we get older and relationships become more complicated, we want to go back to that simple system.

One thing I learned from my experience in junior high is that checking "no" is an option. It is altogether possible that the object of our desire does not esteem us as the object of his or her desire. How devastating! A true crush means that we have admired, thought about, studied, and dreamed about someone. Yet, quite often, the desired relationship does not ever materialize. When the window of hope is shut in our face, it can be quite painful. The person that we have built all our plans around is suddenly gone, and it is as if a trap door was opened beneath our feet.

Sometimes we lose our crush because we are honest about our feelings and the object of our affections does not reciprocate them. We can also lose our crush if that person finds someone else in whom he or she is interested. Or circumstances may prevent us from getting together: one person moves away, parents won't allow one of us to date, or one or both of us feel like God is somehow saying "No," or "Wait." In all of these cases the blow is crushing. As in any disappointing situation, it is good to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Journaling is great, too, because you have the freedom to express any thoughts you want without worrying about the information getting out to those whom you don't want to know about it.

"This Too Shall Pass"

Although your crush and your feelings are as big as the world to you when they happen, it is important to realize that as time passes, so will these experiences. Maybe you are embarrassed that your crush found out how you felt, or hurt that he or she chose someone else. You will get past these feelings soon enough. Squint your eyes and try your best to look through your feelings to the other side of your experience. Look for a place where you will be happy and content without any girl or guy, or picture yourself in a healthy relationship with someone who treats you as well as you deserve to be treated; a relationship that comes about in God's good timing. In one of my favorite books, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Richard Carlson speaks about the passing of time and our feelings.


You can take great comfort in knowing that everything passes. Since there are no exceptions-none--it means that if you are sad, you won't always be sad. If you fail, you'll bounce back. If someone hurt you, that feeling will change. If you lose a love, there will be another. Indeed, there is something very reassuring in knowing that, whatever it is, however hard it seems, it too will pass.1


If it is in your heart to be in a relationship, know that God has put that desire in your heart for a reason and that he will fulfill it when the time is right. Perhaps right now you simply need to be focused on school, family, friendships, and your relationship with God, as well as on knowing yourself. When the right relationship is meant to happen, it will. You can't prevent God from bringing you good things any more than you can manipulate him into giving you relationships and blessings you are not meant to have yet. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jer 29:11).

Think About It

Since crushes affect all of us at one time or another, and we are disappointed by many of them, here are a couple of things to consider.

Sibling Factor

The apostle Peter wrote, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood" (1 Pt 2:17a, KJV). Think about what this means. If you have asked Christ to forgive you of your sin and come into your life, you have become part of the family of God. When you are attracted to another Christian, remember that he or she is also your brother or sister in Christ. We are to honor one another in all we say and do.

If you have an earthly sister, you should love her unselfishly. You should want what is best for her, no matter what you want. Now, let's apply that principle to a crush. If we have a crush on someone who is our brother or sister in Christ, we should also want what is best for that person. Sometimes what is best for that person -- and for us, for that matter -- is not what we want.

Amy, one of my best friends in high school, was totally obsessed with a boy named Matt. If she had a class with him, she would sit near him and watch his every move. She would ask other people questions about him and try to get closer to his friends. She even collected pictures of him. Amy was a great friend to me, but she had a slightly wrong perspective on Matt.

One day, we heard that Matt had asked out a nice girl from another class. Amy was totally devastated. All of her work and all of her hope was for nothing. She was angry with Matt and swore to break up his relationship with his new girlfriend at all costs.

Amy had a selfish desire for Matt. She wanted him, no matter what. She had not even considered what was best for Matt. She thought she was showing love toward Matt, but she wanted what was best for her, not what was best for him.

As hard as it is, we need to change our perspective when a situation like this occurs. Have you ever ordered dessert at a restaurant only to have the waiter tell you that they are out of the dessert you ordered? When this happens I usually choose something else. Every now and then, the dessert I receive is better than the one I originally ordered. When a crush gets away, you are guaranteed to get a better life than what you ordered. It is difficult to keep the right perspective, but with God's help you'll eventually be able to smile when you see the new couple walk by.

Valerie, one of my best friends at college, had her eye on a boy named Kevin. She had been friends with him for over a year and truly appreciated Kevin's relationship with God. She could have easily become obsessed about him, but she did not allow herself to do so. She treated him as a beloved brother. When he needed help on a school project, she eagerly volunteered. She loved him unselfishly, even when there was no hint of a romantic relationship on the horizon. One day, for no specific reason, Kevin realized how awesome Valerie is. He soon asked her out and they enjoyed a great relationship. Yet Valerie's genuine affection for him did not depend on her hopes of a dating relationship coming true.

There is a difference in how we can choose to treat our crushes. We can view them selfishly, as objects of our desire, or we can view them as brothers or sisters we should care for and serve unselfishly.

Who's on First?

There was another difference between how Amy and Valerie dealt with their crushes. Amy left God out of the picture; Valerie clung to God even more closely during this time. The psalmist gives us good advice for this situation:


My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him (Ps 62:1).


God must remain our focus, no matter what the storm or what the distraction. When our attraction and appreciation turn into obsession and selfish desire, we make it virtually impossible for God to bless us in any way.

I believe that God loves us so much he does not want us to leave his side. When I think about that, I picture a three-year-old child clinging to her father's leg. Crushes can either lead us away from our Father or keep us right beside him. We have to decide which it will be. Maybe one day that three-year-old child will peek around her Father's leg to see a little boy clinging to the other leg. Or perhaps not. Yet if she allows her Father to meet her need for love, she will be happy either way.


He [God] alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge (Ps 62:6-7).


While we wait for the day when we find someone with whom to serve God, we need to remember that God himself is enough.

Prayer Starters -- Answer These Questions

What is the hardest part of having a crush on someone?

When you talk to God about your crush, how do you feel?

What do you think God has been teaching you through this experience?

Scripture Assignment

Psalm 33:18; Psalm 73:23

A Prayer for When You Are Crushed by a Crush

Dear Father of my spirit, I know that having a crush isn't a big deal to many people, but it is big deal to me. I just like _________ so much, that I cannot quit thinking about __________ [him or her]. I don't know if _______________ will ever like me, but help me remember that you want the best for me. I have to keep the right perspective on this situation and keep in mind that I don't need anyone but you to be happy. Father, help me keep my feelings in check and keep you first in my life. Be with me as I deal with this crushing crush. In your name, Amen.

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