Is it just me, or does the word crush, when meaning having a romantic interest in someone, have a somewhat juvenile ring to it? It seems like having a crush on someone is something we did back in middle school. As we get older, we tend to describe having a romantic interest in someone in other, perhaps less cutesy sounding ways. We might say exactly that, “I’m interested in him/her,” or the simple, “I like him/her,” or, you know, the slightly more explicit “he/she is on my f*ck-it list,” or any variation thereof. Whether our choice of words in such instances has changed or not, the obvious truth remains that throughout our lives, a majority of us continue to take sexual or romantic interest in others. We continue to develop what we so affectionately used to refer to as a “crush,” and may or may not describe in different terms nowadays.
For the purpose of this article, I’m just going to throw it back a bit and refer to the development of a romantic or sexual interest in a person as a crush. I’d go further to argue that in addition to such an interest being nearly universally experienced, the types of crushes experienced by a majority of people can be classified into 3 distinct groups, in my oh-so-scientific opinion: a crush on someone we know well, a crush on someone we kind of know, and a crush on someone we don’t really know at all (hey, we’re all guilty of this one, even if at first glance it sounds odd). Allow me to dissect and explain the three, focusing on what they have in common and what makes them different, apart from the obvious. Over-analyzing anything to do with crushes is a task as old as time, after all.
A Crush On Someone You Know Well
This is arguably the most common type of crush. I really mean it when I say “arguably,” because, let’s be honest, it’s also pretty common to start to crush on someone we only sort of know, or don’t really know at all (but more on that later).
A crush on someone you know well is definitely the most authentic or meaningful of the 3 types of crushes. When you know someone well, you project less onto him or her. You imagine less about his or her life or the kind of person he or she might be, because you are aware of the kind of person he or she actually is. In this way, you love the positive aspects about said person’s personality or physical appearance, but you are also accepting of his or her flaws (at least initially). As such, this type of crush is more meaningful than the others.
Although more meaningful than the other types of crushes, a crush on someone you know well has the potential, I think, to be less exciting than having a crush on someone you kind of know, or hardly know. When less is left up to the imagination, in terms of making assumptions about what a person is really like, how or he or she spends his or her free time, etc. the potential exists for things to be a little less captivating. That said, I guess you could argue that on the flip side, knowing someone well in the context of having a crush makes things all the more exciting, as there is obviously the greatest chance, compared to the other types of crushes, that it will develop into a relationship of sorts. So, in conclusion, this type of crush is definitely the most authentic of the 3, and has the potential to be more or less exciting than the others, depending on specific circumstances and your personal take on it.
Also, just as a side note, acting on this type of crush, compared to the other types, is probably the least likely to leave you branded as a weirdo or a stalker, so there’s that.
A Crush On Someone You Kind Of Know
Alas, the middle child gets some attention. In other words, let’s talk about the type of crush you have on someone you *sort of* know, the kind of crush that is right there in the middle between liking someone you know well and liking someone you don’t really know at all.
When it comes to this type of crush, you are probably relying a lot on others to tell you about whomever it is you are interested in. There’s a good chance that you have mutual friends with this person, and so you take to asking said friends all about your love interest, with varying degrees of subtlety (some of us have mastered the art of discretion, some of us are still getting there). This type of crush is exciting in that way: you know a good amount about the person you like, while still able to imagine a lot about him or her. All such information has the potential to inform what you might be imagining or projecting onto your love interest, which can be interesting and exciting.
It all reminds me of that Hannah Montana song “I Wanna Know You.” Give it a listen if you’ve never heard it. You’re never too old for Hannah Montana, or to read an article about crushes.
A Crush On Someone You Don’t Really Know At All
A crush on someone you don’t really know is nothing to be ashamed about. Haven’t we all had a crush on a celebrity at one point or another? Haven’t we all run into a handsome or beautiful stranger at a coffee shop time and again, left unable to stop thinking about him or her? What is life if not a near exact replication of a romantic comedy, after all?
This type of crush involves a lot of imagining what a person is like, what his or her interests are, etc. and so it offers up a ton of potential for excitement. We can imagine whatever we want, envision great or attractive qualities about whomever it is we like. At the same time, we are left unaware of said person’s flaws, and are most likely not choosing to imagine what they might be. In this way, these types of crushes are exciting, but they’re certainly not especially meaningful. However, you can learn about yourself based on the people to whom you are drawn from afar. Whatever grips you or catches your attention the most, whatever you continually find attractive in those who are basically strangers, is telling of what you will most likely seek when it comes to future romantic interests and relationships.
Oh, crushes. However we might refer to them or describe them, they never get old. Well, they’ll eventually literally get old, but here’s hoping you’ll grow old with them, as a happy couple. Happy crushing for the rest of time, or until you tie the knot with that lucky someone, who started off as one of the three types of crushes.