Please Help: Girl Crush

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’ve been working as an intern at a big organisation and in a new city- it’s my first professional post and I’ve been assigned a supervisor with whom I have a close professional relationship. I’ve really loved the work and my supervisor has been really good to me, but I’ve noticed I’ve developed a real girl crush on her. She’s about 10 years older, married with children etc, so neither of us is gay (and it’s not sexual from my end anyway) but I am really really embarrassed. I’m in my mid 20s and I really thought I was too old for this stuff, seeing as I haven’t had any girl crushes since high school! Does this mean I have something wrong with my self esteem? Do I need therapy? How can I deal with this so it doesn’t affect my career? Thanks very much for your help!!

A. A crush implies romantic love which generally involves a sexual attraction. You mentioned however that for you, your “crush” is not sexual. If you were in my office, I would ask you many questions regarding what then you meant by the term “crush” because generally, as I mentioned, a “crush” implies some form of sexual attraction.

If I met you in person I would also inquire about your history of relationships with females. Would you consider yourself bisexual? Have you dated other females and if so, how long did those relationships last and were they serious? What was the outcome of those relationships? Have you had sexual relationships with a female in the past? Are you commonly attracted to females? What is your history with males in relationships? Are you married? With regard to your specific question, I would inquire about your attraction to your co-worker, what exactly you mean by the expression “girl crush,” what are your interactions with her, how does she respond to you, how likely are you to act on your attraction to her, and other related questions. All of these questions and your answers would help clarify this current situation.

It is difficult to give you a definitive answer to your question but generally, I do not believe that having a “girl crush” indicates that you have low self-esteem. Low self-esteem probably has little to do with your attraction to her.

Also, just because you are attracted to her does not mean you have to act on it. Many people are attracted to others, married people find other people attractive but they do not act on that desire.

You also asked whether you need therapy. Generally speaking, you would only need therapy if you could not control yourself because of your attraction to her or if you displayed some sort of abnormal behavior that put your job at risk. As long as you are realistic about the situation, realize that she is married and that your attraction should remain only an attraction, then you probably will not need therapy. Consider therapy, however, if you feel that your “girl crush” is not something you can easily let go.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Nov 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Please Help: Girl Crush. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/17/please-help-girl-crush/