Butterflies, butterflies & even more butterflies!

Once again it’s that time of the year guys, where people give chocolate, roses and cheesy cards to their significant other. But for my fellow single pringles out there, we can’t seem to relate to this holiday in many aspects. But the one thing I’m sure we can all relate to is crushes: we’ve all had them and lost them. They’ve made us do questionable things and even given us memorable and embarrassing moments in our lives. Crushes have now developed with the help of technology. But what exactly is a crush in the psychology world? Is there an explanation for the butterflies you feel in your stomach when you see that one person you like? What if I like him/her today and then like someone else tomorrow? Well, I got you!

When it comes to romantic crushes, feelings unfold from an attraction. This occurs when you find someone attractive, but at a higher level than usual. An attraction comes from an interaction that can be physical or intellectual. You feel happy when you see this person. You want to be around them all the time! Well, Eva Hallstrom Conkright – a psychotherapists pointed out that crushes can be broken down into three sections: identity, romantic and celebrity.

Romantic crushes can develop into love because attraction is one of the stepping-stones for love; it has an interactive basis. While on the other hand, a crush is normally fleeting and happens from a distance. They can even fade away once we discover that the person we like isn’t who we thought they are. That’s the moment we’re like “what was I thinking!?”

Then we have the celebrity crush. While it is more irrational than other crush types, a celebrity crush goes beyond enthusiastic fandom. They are quite similar to identity crushes, but are based more on an ideal of the life that person lives: creating more fantasies than the other two. You want your crush’s life or be related with it in some way or the other. The outstanding difference is that usually there is no interpersonal contact between the celebrity and the person crushing.

And now, the most exciting type of crush: the brains. We sometimes project a variety of valued attributes into an individual and then connect strong positive feelings in that image that we created. However, projections can be complicated and illogical, often resulting in dramatic things. We don’t necessarily need to know the person in order to experience these dynamics; we tend to willingly give this person a tremendous amount of emotional power.

Ever wondered why you like Toby today and then like Andy tomorrow? “Crushes speak to what attributes we value and act as a statement of what we find attractive. They also illustrate our human desires to be liked.” This is a quote from Hallstrom-Conkright. It explains why we like someone like us one day and then someone the opposite of us the next day. We are admiring attributes we don’t have but would like to.

As for the butterflies, here’s one quote that sums it up scientifically: “We activate dopamine, which ignites bliss-craving;  Oxycontin which triggers bonding; cortisol, which manifests in stress and anxiety; and adrenaline.” And once all of these are released, get ready for unavoidable sweaty hands, reddened cheeks, and even more BUTTERFLIES!!!

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