I've enjoyed, ahem, numerous crushes throughout my life. From my school days until recent adulthood, there were people who, in their time, occupied about 80% of my thinking time. My crushes were large and sometimes unmanageable. So large that they often operated instead of real-life. I didn't just adorn my school exercise books with Hazel 4 whomever, I wrote poetry, I made up stories and *blushes* created mix tapes. However, my crush activities were largely wholesome - I did not Van Gogh my ear off or set up candle-lit vigils on the doorstep of my crushees. I rarely, if ever, worried those I fell for. Of those, that were aware, they were flattered and sometimes acted on that flattery (albeit in a very small way and only to encourage the continuation of my crush). Yes, my crush activities were pleasant enough from the crushee perspective.
Interestingly the majority of the men I admired were just ordinary men. They had not been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, they were not strident social activists nor did they creatively speak to the heart of millions. They became extraordinary because my imagination made them that way.
They were usually unobtainable and often talented in some way. They were almost always either romatically attached, geographically remote or emotionally disconnected. Their unreachability was the mainstay of their magic. And this is okay. Regardless of the reason for a crushees appeal, having a crush is absolutely an okay thing to have. It's okay to mentally date these people. However, once the crush stops being fun. Once it's painful. When your tears replace whimsical smiles of wonder. Then it is time to stop. The crush must be unpicked, untangled and surgically removed from your life.
A crush should be nothing more than a pleasant daydream. Of course, a crush can be goal orientated, that's part of the fun but don't expect the object of your affection to fall in love with you in real-life. It's true that unrequited can become mutual but that is very rare. Generally, mutual attraction starts from a place of balance, of equality and a crush is anything but equal. A crush should be your internal Cinderella meets her prince. Fantasy. Fairytale. Fabrication. A crush should never, ever take over and replace your real life.
I think that is important to remember that facts can be fun too. Real life can be absolutely fabulous, if you make it that way. Don't live in your imagination. Use your mind to enjoy what is, rather than what could be.