Wow, what a profound question.

It’s one many of us spend our adolescence wistfully asking ourselves,
and some, many years beyond. Scouring our psyches, as if searching for
the long-lost instruction manual to our minds, which might at last
provide the answers to our own tumultuous feelings.

As a writer on sexuality, I’m a great proponent of the value of
fantasies. But the trouble comes when the fantasy figure is a real
person, and you’re desperate for that fantasy to come true. So, this is what I know: you can not talk to your crush until you understand a fundamental aspect of your emotional self, and that is Limerence.

If you’ve never heard of it, read the entry on Wikipedia
now, then go back and read it again and see how many of the symptoms
you recognise. Seriously. It’s that important. Basic psychology like
this should be taught in schools.

Trembling, flushing, palpitations, fatigue. Awkwardness, stuttering,
shyness, confusion. Insomnia, loss of appetite. All the classic symptoms
of anxiety. Yet what are you being so anxious about?

A crush is an intense and (as yet) unreciprocated attraction. Some might even call it an infatuation.

The problem is, you’ve unilaterally decided that a particular individual is The One.
And now you want to talk to them. And you want them to like you too. That’s
putting a lot of pressure on yourself isn’t it? You might blow it, and
then The One might shun you. No wonder most people just fantasise
about their crushes from afar, unwilling to risk bursting the fragile
bubble of their dreams.

Yet you talk to people all the time. So
what’s stopping you from talking freely to this particular individual?
Limerence, that’s what.

So you can not talk to your crush until you
recognise, and master, your own limerence. And that means confronting a
fundamental home truth…

  • I have no right to another person’s affections

it down as an affirmation. Pretend you’re in detention, spank your
bottom and write it out a hundred times if you have to. Until you’ve properly understood that you’ve no
right to expect the reaction you desire from someone else.

Once you
truly accept that, and stop thinking in terms of success or rejection, you’ll be less emotionally invested in the outcome of talking to this
individual. After all, your conversation with them should be natural, playful and
mutually enjoyable. It shouldn’t feel like you’re giving a speech
entitled “Why I’m the one for you”, live on national television.

The late brilliant Professor Randy Pausch liked to say that obstacles aren’t there to block you, they are tests to force you to prove yourself.

are an important life lesson. They encourage us to master our own
emotions, but not to the extent we become cold and distant. A crush is
an essential rite of passage, an uncheatable test of your emotional

To pass you must accept that The One is not
an object to be desired or a trophy to be won, but an emotional being
with feelings every bit as valid as yours. Someone to talk with,
not be talked to – only then can you truly connect.

Mastering limerence is the doorway. But those who persevere will find an incredible world of authentic love lies beyond.

Believe me, I know.