During Springtime, there are a few things you can count on: there will be more daylight, there will be less grumpy people, there will be the blossoming of trees, followed by bouts of hay-fever and your hormones are going to go into a slight overdrive. Or is that last one just me? During Spring, I always get Spring fever; it’s a reoccurring thing. And with Spring fever comes a crush. Now, I tend to fall for guys that are a) already taken b) not interested, which means I have quite a bit of experience with non-mutual interest. And I thought to myself: why not share the lessons I’ve learned whilst recovering from my past crushes.
First of all, you need to properly identify your emotions. For a long time, probably until my early twenties, I didn’t realise what the difference was between having a crush and being in love. I thought that having an interest in someone, and having them occupy your thoughts meant I was in love with this person. This is, obviously, not true. Although this is a part of being in love, there’s one important thing missing here: the butterflies. You’ll know you’re in love when the butterflies come flying in. And I don’t mean the little flutter you might get when you see that hot dude. That flutter has to do with attraction, not love. Two entirely different things as well, might I add.
I guess you could say there are different types of crushes too. You can be mesmerized by a hot piece of man candy and fantasize about him pushing you against the wall and passionately kissing you, for example. This means this guy is working on your hormones. He might not be the smartest tool in the shed, but you wouldn’t mind putting it to good use anyway. This is probably the safest crush to have, because it’s purely physical. You’re not interested in who this is as a person, you just want to think dirty thoughts. All I can say is: knock yourself out.
Then we have option number two, which is a bit more complicated. You’re attracted to this guy, both physically and mentally. He’s cute, and he likes the same music and films you do. Boy, oh boy, what are the odds?! So, your interest is triggered, and that’s when things take a turn for the worse. You start imagining things. You start filling in the blanks. You start creating an imaginary version of this person, who just happens to be perfect for you. And this is where you have entered a dangerous zone. In your head, you have created the perfect man, and probably the perfect relationship, when the thing is: you don’t actually know this person very well, or maybe you don’t even know him at all. But we still let this guy occupy our thoughts, until, inevitably, you find out he’s dating, not interested or not at all what we thought he would be like. In all cases, there is major disappointment to overcome. Now, I’m not a pessimist, there is a possibility that a crush can turn into a relationship. In my personal experience it just hasn’t happened, so I can’t really give you any information about this.
With the internet, there is also a third option; the one where you have a good mental connection but when you meet, there is no physical attraction whatsoever. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue, if you both experience it in the same way that is. This could actually be the start of an amazing friendship.
I guess we can conclude that there are two things that are going to make you suffer when you have a crush: a) filling in too many blanks and b) a non-mutual physical and mental attraction.
A crush is a lot of fun though, it usually puts a bit of a spring in your step, and it makes life seem just a little better. The thing with a crush is: it shouldn’t drag on too long. You need to decide for yourself if you want to make a move and get to know this person better, possibly ruining your fantasy but also the only way to know if your crush could turn into something more. Option number two: cherish the crush, and accept that you really don’t know shit about this person so, basically, coming to terms with the fact that nothing is ever going to happen between the two of you but that’s okay. You’re not going to do anything with it, so it doesn’t matter. Eventually, you’ll just evolve away from it.
Lastly, I want to mention this. I heard a line in a play not so long ago and it has stuck with me ever since: “A one way love is also love, but a two way love is complete”. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of getting stuck on a crush, which has probably distracted me from actual opportunities. I was so preoccupied with my imaginary ‘relationship’ that I wasn’t open to meeting someone else. That’s the real danger with a crush. It can close your mind off from other opportunities. Because we were to busy making something up, we missed something real. And that’s just such a shame.
So, dear people, when facing a crush, don’t be afraid to check yourself. Keep yourself grounded. Remind yourself that you don’t actually know this person. Admit that you’re filling in blanks. And don’t forget that, even if you feel attracted to someone on all levels and this isn’t mutual, it’s not the end of the world. In the end, you didn’t really know him yet, and maybe he wouldn’t have been for you anyway. Stop idealizing him and get those feet firmly on the ground. Someone else will come along. He’s not the only cute guy that likes the same music you do. And that is probably the most important thing I’ve learned over the past few years.