What Are the Dangers of Obsessive Crushes?

It's easy to lose your focus when you have an obsessive crush.
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He's been on your mind ever since you met him at your friend's birthday party. You're not sure if he even knows you exist, but nevertheless, he's all you can think about. While infatuation is usually harmless, if you suspect your crush is crossing the line into obsession, it's a good idea to think about the hazards that lie ahead before you allow your mind to wander too far down that path.

1 Losing Track of What's Important

When you're obsessed with someone, you become distracted and lose the ability to focus on anything not connected with your crush. This is bad news when it comes to buckling down and tackling algebra homework. You may limit recreational activities, neglect your other relationships and in extreme cases, even become unable to function at work or school, says psychiatrist Roxanne Dryden-Edwards in the MedicineNet.com article "The Difference Between Healthy and Obsessive Love." The end result is that after your obsession has run its course, you look around and realize you've failed algebra, alienated your friends and forgotten to try out for the softball team. For long term happiness, it's always best to address obsessive feelings before they reach this point.

2 Clouded Judgment

You may only be able to see the good things about the person you're attracted to when you're in the grip of obsession, says Dryden-Edwards. If you're blinded by your attraction for the girl who sits next to you in French I, you might fail to notice that she's inconsiderate and has an IQ that's about on par with that of your goldfish. When you're obsessed, it's impossible to make a well-reasoned decision about whether or not the person is in fact someone you'd truly enjoy getting involved with.

3 Appearing Foolish

A sure way to lose the respect of your friends over time is to lose the ability to have a conversation about any subject other than your crush. When you're obsessed, you becoming boringly one-dimensional, as you may no longer enjoy connecting with people over shared interests that don't have to do with the object of your desire. Also, your obsession may lead you to make decisions that you might later regret, such as calling your crush too often or altering your schedule to take shop class instead of choir so you can be closer to him.

4 Going to the Dark Side

Sometimes obsessive attraction is more than a mere crush, says psychologist Laura Berman on her personal website. Limerance, the word for a crush that has turned pathologically obsessive, happens when a person can think of nothing other than making the object of his crush return his affections. In this case, his mind may become so clouded that he may not even realize the person he yearns for does not feel the same way. This sort of obsession can lead to behaviors like stalking. If you suspect your obsession has gone this far, cut off contact with the object of your crush immediately, says Berman. If you're not able to do so, seek psychological help immediately.

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.