A romantic crush can be exhilarating and exciting, but as thrilling as a crush can be, they are critical learning opportunities for an adolescent, advises clinical psychologist Mary C. Lamia, with the Psychology Today website. As a parent, you might have all you can handle watching as your teen navigates her first crush.
The crush a teenager develops about another person generally involves the teen feeling intense interest in and fascination with another person, according to Lamia. In fact, the crush might even appear to be obsessive from a parent’s perspective. The difference between infatuation -- or a crush -- and a more mature love is that an infatuation involves a superficial attraction without genuinely knowing the other person. A crush might center on a person’s appearance, status or even a devised fantasy about the person’s personality or character.
A teenager might display feelings of embarrassment about a crush or when he's in the presence of the other person, according to the Kids Health website. The embarrassment might stem from confusion about how to act or about the other person’s response. The embarrassment might even lead an adolescent to make an abrupt exit from a circumstance that involves the other person.
When a teenager is on a crush high, you might notice distinct elevation in the teen's mood, according to Lamia. The teenager probably feels excited, invigorated and happy from the psychological boost of the infatuation. A teenager might approach life with a more positive and optimistic attitude, with common annoyances suddenly seeming insignificant and unimportant.
A lack of solid connection with the other person emotionally is what makes a crush a temporary infatuation instead of a more meaningful relationship. This lack of connection enables a teenager to fantasize about the other person and let her imagination run a little wild. The teenager likely views the other person as perfect, without flaws, simply because the infatuation hasn’t progressed to anything deeper and more meaningful, according to the Sexuality Resource Center for Parents.
A teenage crush often doesn’t last long. When the crush ends, possibly because of rejection, a teenager might experience typical sadness and feelings of heartbreak, according to the Kids Health website. Feelings of disappointment and dejection are also likely as the teenager experiences the end of the infatuation. Parents can help a child through this heartbreak period by offering support and understanding.