Dear Auntie Seraphic,
I thought you have probably answered this question before, but I perused a few of the archives and couldn't find it. Surely I'm not the only one with this problem...
There's a NCB that is pretty popular around my town, and I've begun to see him more frequently -- at Sunday Mass, diocesan events, etc. I always knew he was one of those NCB that seem too good to be true -- a great man of God who goes to daily Mass, makes a daily Holy Hour, pours out his life for the Church, and is always friendly and full of joy. But I've recently had several chances to talk to him, went to a party at his house, etc, and now I'm beginning to get a little crush -- the first in many years.
I know I'm supposed guard my heart -- he's a very busy guy, I'm sure a million other NCG have the same crush, and we barely know each other -- but I'm wondering how concretely I do just that. I've been praying about it, but praying about it makes me think of him, which just makes the situation worse...
I've told myself that I'm not talking to any of my girlfriends about it, except for the one who was with me [somewhere where he was]. (I just couldn't contain myself on the drive home and spent most of the evening afterwards gushing to her about him...)
I know this reticence will help, but beyond that, is there something I can do? I know intellectually what I have to do -- don't chase him, don't daydream, be patient and guard my heart -- but just how do I do I guard that little heart of mine? A friend once told me to imagine putting the crush in a box, wrapping it up, and placing it on the altar. That's great.... but what if he keeps getting out?
Wanting to Guard
Dear Wanting to Guard,
Getting a crush is like catching a cold. No matter how warmly you wrapped up, someone on the bus or (especially) airplane sneezes at the worst possible time, and hey presto, you have a cold.
My mum says colds always last for a week. You have to drink a lot of fluids, stay out of draughts, dress warmly and put up with the cold for a week.
Crushes can last longer than a week. However, you can downplay their impact on your life by minimizing their hold on you. You've had crushes before and they've petered out. This one will peter out, too. Sure, you'll suffer in the meantime, just as you suffer when you have a cold and you have to blow your nose every minute and your nose gets red and flakey. But it will pass.
As you say, you don't know this guy. You know only his reputation, which for all you know is undeserved. But you are certainly right to admire the characteristics he is said to have. So don't think about HIM, think about the characteristics. Thinking about him (whom you don't really know, anyway) is like standing in front of an open window in February when you have a bad cold. So don't. Distract your mind away by saying (out loud, if possible) "I don't know HIM, but I know I admire devotion to our Lord."
If in dire straits (or even before), it is helpful to ask God to take away your crush. Here is a sample prayer you might try: "Dear Lord, I know You love me and know me better than I know and love myself. I can't get rid of this crush, but I know You can do anything. So please take away this crush. Also, help me to admire best those people who know and love me. Thank you, Lord, for Your great mercy and love. Amen."
I hope this is helpful. Life hurts, but no hurt is forever.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Hit the little search word "CRUSHES" at the bottom of this post, and you'll find posts galore.