Ask James: How do I stop Idealizing people I have a crush on?


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Rose colored glasses are often used to symbolize seeing things as better than they are. And in romantic relationships, idealizing a partner can have consequences.

James Newman, Advice Communist

How do I stop Idealizing people I have a crush on?

– Struggling Teen

Dear Struggling Teen, 

I am back from my hiatus, and what’s a better way to start my return than helping someone out? 

Idealization can be defined as the generation of positive illusions by maximizing virtues and minimizing flaws. This can happen when we are overly infatuated with someone, generally; in cases I’ve seen, especially when we don’t know the person and have limited interactions to go off of. 

I mean, we’ve all been there, checking their snap score, seeing if they’re active, walking the halls in hopes that you’ll bump into them and make quick eye contact, which means they like you. I have often dealt with this and seen my friends deal with it. After all, we’re all human and deal with struggles and mistakes. 

But here’s how we deal with idealization and not drive ourselves crazy for people we may not like or care for and might not like us back. You shouldn’t give more energy to someone than they give you; anything between two people should be equal. 

First, idealization isn’t all bad. We tend to do it when we try to look on the bright side of situations or reconstruct memories in a more positive light; however, there is a thin line between idealizing to a good degree and idealization to delusion. So how do we understand when idealization is occurring and how to stop it, try and look at the situation objectively and perhaps confide in someone you know will tell you the truth, like an adult or someone more experienced.

Another way to stop idealizing someone is to think of THEM, not the version of them you have constructed in your mind and the one you envision when thinking of what dating them would be like. Next, get to know them, like their hobbies, likes, and dislikes, and learn about who they are. Maybe you’ll find out that you guys are a good match, or you aren’t. 

Try not to always read into and dissect every single small interaction you two have together.  But remember, you’re not perfect and not a psychic or mind reader; you’re bound to make mistakes and have to continue learning and growing. Growth is not always linear.

 I hope this helps you. See you again, XOXO,