What Causes Women to Have Crushes?

Women may crush on strong, athletic types.
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He walks down the hall, and all the girls stop and stare. You can see the giddiness in their eyes -- it's clear they're all crushing. What makes women have crushes? There isn't just one factor that makes a guy crush-worthy. From looks to an intelligently witty personality, girls can find a variety of qualities attractive enough to form a crush.

1 Intense Attraction

The major cause of a crush is intense attraction. Feeling an electric spark or physical pull toward a guy is typically behind a woman's initial infatuation. Attraction isn't the same across the board. Sally may think that Blaine is the cutest guy in the class, while Jill completely disagrees and thinks that Tommy is hot. While attraction is an essential part of a crush, each woman feels this in a way unique to her.

2 Social Status

If it seems like all of the girls have a crush on the captain of the football team or popular fraternity brother, your assessment is most likely right. During your younger years, it's common to have crushes on people with higher social status, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. For example, a woman might develop a crush on the popular class president in hopes that he'll lift her social status or that dating him will make her better liked at school.

3 Admiration and Attraction

In some cases, women may develop crushes based on intense admiration. This type of identity crush comes from an attraction to the other person's internal or personality traits, according to psychologist Carl Pickhardt in the article "Adolescence and the Teenage Crush" on the Psychology Today website. For example, a woman might develop a crush on her boss because she admires his stellar managerial style or the success that he's had in a profession that she aspires to excel at.

4 Idol Behavior

Having a crush isn't the same thing as being in a real relationship. A relationship includes closeness and commitment, as well as attraction. On the other hand, a crush doesn't include a close bond or in-depth knowledge of the other person. When women crush, they often idolize or idealize the object of their affection. Instead of knowing the guy, they pick one -- or a few -- attributes that they super-size. For example, even though Dawn doesn't really know Bill, she thinks his model-like good looks and athletic ability put him on a super-human level above everyone else.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.