Don’t get down on yourself if you have a habit of obsessing over crushes—Page notes that we’re all susceptible to it.
“When we’re obsessed with somebody, they become the source of our worth and our lovability, so it becomes hugely important to us,” he explains, adding, “They’ve got something, whether it’s beauty, or intelligence, or confidence, that we feel we don’t have, so we need to get their approval, their love, and their interest.”
And usually, Page tells mindbodygreen, we wind up here because of our unique “myths of lost love,” which are the myths we carry from our earliest years, when we didn’t receive love the way we felt we needed to from parents, caregivers, or the world.
In the people we obsess over, we are seeking a way to prove our worth, to find that “lost love” we think we don’t have or never got, but it ultimately leaves us wanting, because self-worth can only be given to ourselves by ourselves.
And if it’s any consolation, you can, in a sense, be “addicted,” or at the very least dependent, on a person. In one small 2010 study, subjects who had just gone through a breakup but were still in love showed just how true that is: When they saw photos of their ex, the brain’s reward system released dopamine, the neurotransmitter that plays a big role in the early stages of love and addiction.
All that to say, obsession is real, but so is recovering from it.