The ‘Brain-Crush’

Recently, I wrote about some of the unconventional types of affinity I feel for other people, and some of the unconventional bonds that sometimes bloom from them.  And a few months back, I was (warmly) approached by someone on social media after I used the term “Brain-Crush” asking me, with interest, to expand on that concept.  Tonight, I’ll deliver 🙂

 Because tonight, I’m awake once again, mostly because of histamine excess, which is actually an endogenous (made by the body) stimulant.  Honestly, it’s better than caffeine, in that histamine doesn’t come with that undesirable jittery effect (at least for me).  But I’m doing that “digressing” thing again…

Since I’m up, I thought I’d highlight a specific type of bond I’ve experienced that resides mostly in the “Innocent Crush” category, but sometimes dabbles in the “Fascination” category: The Brain-Crush.

In its mildest form, The Brain-Crush is amusing; in its strongest, it’s hilariously intrusive.  I can form a Brain Crush on just about anyone, of any gender, at any point in their adulthood (in other words, I don’t develop this bond–or any of these unconventional bonds, for that matter–with children).

Here’s the kicker: the person doesn’t even have to be real.  That’s right–I can–and have–developed Brain-Crushes on fictional characters in books I’ve read or fictional people I’ve dreamed about!  I’ll fall in love while reading, or I’ll wake up in love, with someone who doesn’t even exist.

What’s a “Brain-Crush”? 

For me (and as always, I can only speak for myself), it’s an innocent attraction of varying intensity to someone based on their opinions, viewpoints, thought processes, and activities.  I don’t even have to know what they look like.

The “Fascination”-Flavored Subtype:

The more Fascination-related Brain-Crush usually involves a rugged gentlemanly guy or an amazing intelligent woman–they’re equal opportunity candidates.  The few celebrities I can think of include Jodie Foster (such as in “The Silence of the Lambs”,) Jeremy Irons, and Bruce Willis (such as in the “Die Hard” series).  Or even (gulp) Mel Gibson (I’m thinking back to his days in the Lethal Weapon series, before he was revealed to be anti-Semitic and subsequently went off the deep end).  It has nothing to do with the fact that they’re celebrities, of course; I don’t give one iota about their celebrity status; my fondness for them has everything to do with their individual personality as projected in the roles they play.  It’s purely cerebral, intellectual in nature. 

To illustrate a couple of non-visual, lower-profile examples, the main characters in books (which are completely free of any illustration except for their covers) written by amazing authors such as S.E. Hinton and especially Richard Bach have ignited these types of feelings within my core.

I find myself attracted in this way to strong people who live just a little close to the edge, who are intelligent and assertive, maybe a little rough around the edges but have a soft core inside.  Protective males and androgynous females are prime Brain-Crush material.

The “Kindred Spirit”-Based Subtype:

The other subtype of Brain-Crush takes on a slightly more “Kindred Spirit” category flavor, and this is more likely to involve “ordinary” people who actually exist, although that’s not necessarily a hard-and-fast requirement in this case, either.  This bond-type could form in person or online, often when someone introduces an unusual topic, term, concept, dot-connection, trivial “FunFact”, or something similar that I hadn’t consciously thought of before, but once introduced, makes perfect sense to me.

The Kindred Spirit Brain-Crush seems to be a rapid response that is equal parts cerebral and emotional, to a particularly significant instance in which I find myself immediately immersed in a noticeable cognitive admiration for the person.  The other person, to me, seems to be one of a “special few” who “gets it”, and an understanding is immediately shared.  For me, this is most common in internet-based discussion forums or social media.  Not only did that person understand a relatively advanced or complex concept, but they expressed it in such a way that I understood it and reached a momentary flash of enlightenment.  I often particularly look up to someone I can learn from.

Just an Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Thing?

The Brain-Crush, especially the Kindred Spirit type, is also at least semi-understood by non-autistic people, I think, at least those who are more open and cerebral themselves.  It’s probably not exclusive to people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.  But then again, with so many adult Aspies/auties still undiagnosed/unrealized/undiscovered (I would imagine the majority of them are), it’s hard to tell how many of these people who share or relate to the Brain-Crush phenomenon are actually unknowingly neurodivergent.

Either way, it’s a rather fun brain-sensation.  I’m not sure what’s happening neurologically during the formation of this type of bond, but maybe the research community will nail it down in our lifetime, if they can shift their priorities just a little 🙂


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(Image Credit: Carne Griffiths; commercial site)



  1. I think this has a name – sapiosexual, when related to finding arousal from the intellectual aspects of a person. Maybe there is sapioasexual attraction? 😂

    But I have the same brain-crush happen too. And creativity-crush. Just not Mel Gibson. Being a fellow Aussie, its just nah mate!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. welp, i dont know anything else about you as a person except that ive noticed you commenting before, but this fact is enough to form at least some level of sapioattraction to you. voila… as for it can happen with fictional characters, i was always attracted to minerva mcgonagall. this was before i saw the first harry potter movie.

      i was surprised when they cast maggie smith (who was perfect– how could they have dreamed of anyone else?) though i always pictured the professor as younger than that in the books– so much younger than dumbledore, but not inexperienced. this extended from the books to the films to the actress, making maggie smith the oldest woman i was ever attracted to, unless you count dr. ruth (who im attracted to purely for her disposition and expertise, but also out of curiosity…) imagine my delight when i found out that smith also played jean brodie! *purrrrrrrrr*

      Liked by 2 people

  2. An interesting term, but for me it would be more of an obsession than falling in love. That’s something I don’t do, so a term like “sapiosexual” doesn’t apply. It’s far more likely to happen with fictional characters than real people because books can go more deeply into the person’s life and character than it permissible with real, live people. I’m fascinated by complexity of character and cognition, and a well-written character allows me to theorize and expand what that person could be all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I’ve experienced it that way, too 😊 I love the term sapiosexual, except that for me too, the sexual part is non-applicable 😉 Maybe just “sapio”? 💙


  3. OMG, yes! Riddick, not Vin Diesel – Aragorn, LOTR – I could list so many more. Do you ever daydream scenarios where you interact with these people/characters? It’s​ so relaxing for me to lay in bed with my eyes closed and play a movie in my head. Told ya I was a weirdo 😜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen to that! Absolutely, lots of trouble 😳. But it doesn’t stop me from having them ❤️🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Brain-crush” is a good word! I have them, mostly on fictional people. The way it works for me, though, is always two-fold. You know the thing that is sometimes said about action heroes like James Bond or whatever: “men want to be them, women want to be with them” – well, I always want to be both at the same time. I want to actually be my current crush and secretly impersonate them (men and women, makes no difference), but at the same time I also see them as some kind of soulmate and companion to me. It’s complicated to explain, but it brightens my life considerably!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I can honestly say that I know exactly what you mean! I get the same thing; I just didn’t realize it until you mentioned it; that everything’s-right-with-the-world “omg is this for real? Someone else has this too?” Thank you so much for that 👏🏼😊💚💙


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