Auntie SparkNotes: I'm In Love With A Celebrity
I am in love with the most cute, amazing, handsome, witty, charming person and the only drawback is that he doesn't know that I exist.
It's Benedict Cumberbatch.
I realize that it's normal to have celebrity crushes but I'm afraid it's becoming an obsession. I'm not frothing at the mouth and performing voodoo rituals to make him love me or anything, but I can't stop thinking about him and it pretty much takes up all of my time. I even made a tumblr blog about him.
It's not taking away from my relationships (I'm not exactly a boy magnet) though I am afraid that I'm starting to annoy my friends. Part of me doesn't want to stop obsessing and part of me does: either way, unrequited love is depressing. Do you have any advice to get over him? Should I just wait to let it pass? (Which is what I'm trying to do - but it's not working.)
For starters, Sparkler, you can take comfort in the fact that you're so, so not alone. Not only is Sparklife home to an enormous, active contingent of Benaddicts (or Cumberbitches, if you prefer), but can I just tell you that I, too, once had the most horrible all-consuming crush on a famous dude? Only instead of Benedict Cumberbatch, it was Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, and instead of reaching bloggable proportions, the whole thing came to an abrupt and unpleasant end when I read a Rolling Stone profile of the band and discovered that my celebrity beloved was married with a newborn daughter, at which point I felt like a really gross homewrecker for all the rampant fantasizing I had been doing about making out with him backstage on the Dookie tour in a red velvet VIP lounge.
...You know, just in case you thought you were weird.
But if you want to get over your Benny obsession, you can start with the same adjustments as you would with a non-celebrity crush: you remind yourself, as often and in as much detail as possible, that the object of your affection is also a human being with flaws and foibles and bad habits. You shutter the Benedict love-tumblr and instead picture Mr. Cumberbatch farting under the covers, kicking his dog, and blowing his nose on his socks. You keep yourself busy and happy with non-crush-related activities, so that your brain has something else to chew on. And, if possible, you find a better person on whom to focus your romantic interests—preferably by introducing some local, accessible, and age-appropriate dudes into your repertoire of lust.
But the other thing you can do, in addition to being real with yourself about the humanity of your crush object, is to be real with yourself about the fantasy of the crush itself: namely, that it's one you can indulge in precisely because it will never be ruined by an actual interaction with the guy in question. You're totally right when you say that celebrity crushes are normal (they are!) but they're also silly, superficial, and not remotely based in the complicated and sometimes bleak world where real relationships have to live—which is the thing that makes them fun, and also such a perfect romantic outlet for teenagers who get the thrill of luuuurving somebody without all the mess of that somebody being a real, actual person. Benedict Cumberbatch is a very nice man by all accounts, but you aren't in love with him; you're in love with a man-shaped figment of your imagination who's based on Benny's carefully-curated interview highlight reel, his incredible acting abilities, and the inexplicably sexy visual phenomenon commonly known as The Cumbermouth.
And when you start to feel sad over the inherent going-nowhere-ness of your crush, reminding yourself that that's part of the fun—and giving yourself a loving but firm reality check, a la, "Are you seriously getting angsty over an almost 40 year-old actor who looks like an otter? GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF, GIRL! is the best way to keep yourself on the right side of the line between Happy Fantasy and Depressing Delusion.