Based on a psychological study, a crush only lasts for a maximum of 4 months. If it exceeds, then you are already in love.

I call BS, and I’ll tell you why:

I’m not sure how many of you read actual peer-reviewed journal articles, but those of you who do know that “crush” isn’t a very scientific word. In fact, as I look through the American Psychological Association’s database, every single article—except for one—use crush in the literal sense. These articles discuss “nerve crush” or “crush injury,” nothing remotely related to the what teenagers have in mind when they hear the word crush. 

The one exception, an article written by Bowker, Spencer, Thomas, and Gyoerkoe (2012) does talk about the crush being referred to in the quote. However, the article only mentions that, based on their data, 56% of the adolescents they surveyed had at least one current other-sex crush. Another finding was that physical attractiveness, relational aggression, physical aggression, and popularity were significantly associated with other-sex crush scores. At no point in the study do the authors attempt to measure how long a crush lasts.

Which brings me to my third point. The concepts of crush and love, just like the concepts of happiness or sadness, are not always measured the same from study to study. Suppose you were asked to measure the amount of sadness of 5 people. How would you do that? You can’t just take a device and measure sadness the way you would measure temperature. You would first have to formulate an operational definition, or a definition that attempts to make the abstract word more concrete.

One operational definition of sadness could be “The amount of times a person cries during the day.” This definition enables you to measure something—the amount of times a person cries during the day—and label it as sadness. A different researcher may use a different operational definition of sadness, one which may or may not be better than the one used here. So to say that the words crush and love have the same exact meaning from study to study, or person to person, is not always correct. The subject gets a bit more technical from here, so I’ll leave you with the original point of this post: the quote is complete BS.


Bowker, J.C., Spencer, S.V., Thomas, K.K., & Gyoerkoe, E.A. (2012). Having and being an other-sex crush during early adolescence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111(4). 629-643.

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