6 Ways You’re Pushing Your Crush Away Unconsciously

When you have your eye on someone you like and you want to pursue something more with them, it can be tricky navigating the will-they-won’t-they phase of your possible relationship. As psychologist and professor at Stanford University Dr. Susan Edelman said, “Dating can feel like walking a tightrope — one wrong move and you plummet…Unfortunately, subtle actions can sometimes send the wrong message and make (potential partners) run.”

Fortunately, psychology has helped us to take a lot of the guesswork out of dating. So to avoid falling into this trap of pushing your crush away without even realizing it, here are 5 of the most common subconscious behaviors you need to look out for:

1. Having unrealistic expectations

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly, having unrealistic expectations of your crush can do a lot more to hurt rather than help your chances with them. And while there’s nothing wrong with having high standards for your potential partners, you need to be careful not to overwhelm them with too much pressure to live up to an idealized version you have of them in your head. “In some cases, the inability to find a suitable partner is due to overly high expectations,” Dr. Manly says. “But if the bar is set too high in the hopes of finding the perfect partner, the right partner may be overlooked.”

2. Being too needy

In her book, “Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming the Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love,” clinical psychologist Dr. Randi Gunther wrote, “Insecurity is the emotional experience of anticipated loss. People who are driven by it often feel vulnerable, unstable, and uncertain of their worth…which drives them to desperation…Trying to soothe the terrible anticipation of being discarded, people often act in ways that rob them of their self-respect and destroy the love they want so much to give and receive.” Simply put, constantly seeking attention and validation from your crush will likely drive them away rather than pull you closer together. 

3. Not giving them space

Similar to the last point, I think we can all attest than having someone pursue us by not giving us enough space is a quick turn-off. And according to Sylvia Smith, expert blogger at Marriage.com, giving someone enough space to fall in love with you is key. “Neuroscientists have proven that we need to seek things and people because it activates the reward centers in our brain.” So if you’re always around and trying to spend all of your time with your crush, it’s more likely to cause them to distance themselves from you because appearing too available is actually making you less attractive to them, not more. 

4. Not being yourself

In his article, “5 Ways We Push Away Love,” psychiatrist Dr. Vinay Saranga says that, “Many times, people in a relationship let their fear of intimacy change who they are to their partner. This is a form of pushing away love because you’re withholding who you really are.” So by not being yourself and trying too hard to be someone you think they might like, you’re actually subconsciously pushing your crush away. They might get the sense that you’re not being genuine with them, and like most people, they can’t fall in love with someone they don’t even know. 

5. Not communicating effectively.

There are two ways miscommunication can ruin your chances with your crush: first is by not communicating enough interest in them; and second is by seemingly communicating interest in other people. While it might seem scary to let your crush know you have feelings for them, not being clear enough may cause them to feel uncertain about you and your relationship. Playing too hard to get might be misconstrued as rejection. 

Furthermore, acting too close with certain people (such as friends of the opposite sex) might make your crush mistake them for a romantic rival and back off altogether unless you clear things up for them. As marriage and family therapist Weena Cullins states, “What we can interpret from mixed signals is that the other person hasn’t officially chosen to be consistent or committed to you. If you decide that consistency or commitment is what you need, then it will be easier to determine how to move forward in the relationship.”

young couple in city at night

So, do you relate to any of the things we’ve mentioned here? Did going through this list make you realize you might be unconsciously pushing your crush away? No matter your answer, it’s ultimately a good idea to try to be more open and honest with the other person about how you really feel, especially if you suspect they feel the same way but are too hesitant to act on it. 

In the words of famous psychologist Carl Jung, “Until we learn to make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Hopefully, learning about these common mistakes will also help you stop sabotaging your chances at romance and invite more love into your life instead. 


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