One day, spur-of-the-moment, I bought a pet bird to give my mom, sister, and I something to focus on instead of each other. We are all on the Highly Sensitive spectrum and possibly ADD. (I’m the most effected). Having something outside of ourselves/each others’ flaws has saved our little family.
It isn’t exactly what you are talking about, but having such a major hobby worked to keep my “crush tendencies” at bay. I would get crushes on boys, and later, men. Eventually I figured out that if a person “survived” my crush on them that we had good friend potential.
Beyond bird #2 (I’d had a parakeet as a pet before my sister was born), I bought #3 to keep #2 company. People found out and we started adopting unwanted birds. Lots of birds. No time for pretend romances for me- I was in love with the “babies”.