Thought Catalog

What Happens When Your Crush Doesn’t Crush You

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You know the drill. You meet; you fall in ‘like’. Maybe you develop a romantic history (drunk sex, a date, a dance floor pash), or maybe you just admire them from afar. You feel like if they were a pop star you’d put a poster of their face on your wall and blow it kisses before you fell asleep to dream about them all night. If you were in high school you’d write their name on all your folders and do love equations with both your names. And if they liked you as much as you liked them you’d be the happiest little Vegemite that ever did live.

But—and here’s the dramatic twist—the person you crush doesn’t always crush you back. Most of the time, they don’t even know you crush them because you’re a massive pussy and don’t want to tell them for fear of public shaming. Sometimes, they do know, but they might be a bit of a dick or an attention whore who leads you on without ever following through. Or maybe they’re a massive pussy too, and genuinely want to retain a friendly relationship with you, so they don’t say anything about it either. Enter elephant, stage right.

And this is how it feels: when your phone vibrates and you see your crush’s name announcing a text message you hold your breath—you don’t mean to but it unconsciously gets caught in your throat—while it opens. Sometimes you wont be able to bring yourself to look, and you’ll push your phone aside and attempt to distract yourself with something else but the phone will be there, glaring at you, making it so you wont be able to think about anything else. You’ll read the text message and every word will be like candy; you’ll eat it up, ravenously, looking for hidden meanings that most certainly are not there. A simple “how are you?” will become loaded with the weight of a thousand hopeful hearts and depending on your level of crazy this will read as anything from “my crush cares about me, how nice” to “OMG my crush totally crushes me too and by the end of the weekend they’ll be licking honey from my nipples while I read love poems in a field filled with daisies!”

When you finally see your crush you won’t be able to take your eyes off them but you won’t be able to look at them either. It will be very confusing for your eyeballs, and you’ll wonder if your eyes will look as frantic as Joey’s always did in Dawson’s Creek. You’ll laugh at all their jokes and try to say smart things you think they’ll like, but in the end you’ll probably just get really drunk because you’re so nervous and make accidentally racist jokes instead. Every time you accidentally or drunkenly brush arms you’ll feel electric and quietly obsess that maybe it was an intentional touch on your crush’s part, and wonder if they felt electric too. You’ll feel compelled to be near them the whole time but also like you should be aloof and unavailable—in short, a thousand, very confusing, contradictory thoughts will be racing through your head at once, and you feel like you’ll explode with your neurosis. Meanwhile, they will have no idea of the insanity taking place in your brain, which will make it all the more frustrating.

You will play a heavy friend card to throw them off your scent. You’ll think it’s working, but most times it’s probably not working the exact way you want—you might end up making yourself looking like a giant slut or an emotional mess. You’ll also have to deal with hearing friend-type information from your crush which might make you feel like you’re dying inside, but you’ll have to receive it with warmth and impartial advice to maintain your façade.

When you’re alone you’ll stalk their Facebook and fantasize about what it would be like if you were a couple while you play songs by The Cars. You’ll be a bit sad, but it’s only a crush so you’ll get along with it, maybe even flirt with other people and indulge in the odd hook up. Your crush will always be in the back of your mind, compartmentalized neatly into your “too hard” box and pushed right to the back of your head. Eventually, something will click into place and you won’t bring that box out anymore, not even on rainy days. Maybe you’ll just naturally forget about it with time, maybe you’ll fall into bed with someone else, or maybe you will change and subsequently allocate your desires differently. Whatever—you will always be able to look back at the feelings of a crush, even unrequited, and indulge in a private smile. TC mark

image – Kate Ter Haar

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    • A.

      perfect/my life/couldn’t have written it better myself

      • A.

        UH, way to steal my nickname on here. NOT okay.

    • A.

      perfect/my life/couldn’t have written it better myself

    • http://twitter.com/Kelsey_Ellefson Kelsey Ellefson

      yep. (thumbs up). 

    • http://twitter.com/alinatrifan Alina Trifan

      Who are you and why are you living my life? …
      This is neat.

    • http://xtothequ.tumblr.com xq

      ugh, the thrills and agony.

    • http://www.dmlynn.com DM

      So true. Everytime I see a message from my crush, my heart drops like dubstep. 

      • diane

        hahaha i love that simile.

      • BOOOOOOO

        sounds like you’ve got a heavy heart

    • Asdf

      My crush actually does crush me. I like big women.

    • Jordan

      I’ve been reading a blog by this Australian chick so I know what a ‘pash’ is now!  So cultured.

      • Anonymous

        what blog is it?

    • Jordan

      I’ve been reading a blog by this Australian chick so I know what a ‘pash’ is now!  So cultured.

    • Jordan

      I’ve been reading a blog by this Australian chick so I know what a ‘pash’ is now!  So cultured.

    • fake name

      I once had a crush on a guy for three years who acted just like the television character Archer from the show Archer. He would say things like “see that girl? she’s a lot hotter than you” or “wanna go on a date? jk, why are you so obsessed with me?”. good times.

      • Kelsea

        Oh my god there are actually people like that in real life? And, chicks actually dig them?
        Actually who am I kidding I’d probably want Archer so bad in real life.

        • giiist

          Negging is an art.

    • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

      Story of my life, except for this line:
      “licking honey from my nipples”

      I just never thought of that until now….

    • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

      “compartmentalized neatly into your “too hard” box”

      YEAH it is

      ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

      the crush box never disappears, it merely shuffles its contents

    • http://twitter.com/amertume Christiana

      Perfect from title to tags, +10 internetz to you.

      • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

        I didn’t even look at the tags. So true!

    • Mr Shankly

      Am I the only one here who doesn’t know what it feels like for a crush to like them back?

      Also last time I was on TC everyone hated Kat George. What happened?

      • https://unemploymentisnotsexy.wordpress.com/ To

        i guess everybody ran out of haterade

      • lonely

        My crushes never like me back. I don’t even know what it feels like to get a text from my crush because he never texts me.

        • http://flipsideofamemory.tumblr.com flipside of a memory

          same here.

    • genina

      “Whatever—you will always be able to look back at the feelings of a crush, even unrequited, and indulge in a private smile.” Perfect piece.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kalenbrest Kalen Brest

      So true:(…ah the heartbreak!

    • benk

      Big gigantic sigh. Least i’m not alone :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Timberman/922794 Steven Timberman

      I’ve generally been a bit cold on Kat’s earlier work, but this one really sings for me.

      The reality is that a crush means “one who dominates our thoughts”. So of course we overthink, overact, over-laugh. I had a friend tell me that he’s been crushing on this girl for over a year – she tells him to jump and he asks how far and would you like flowers with that.

      He asked me for advice, and I told him the God’s honest truth – actively pursue other women. You’ll either find out that your crush wasn’t all that special, or that she’s actually worth all the effort you’ve been putting in. Plus, you’ll probably get some sex or emotional intimacy from other women, which is always a plus.

      Of course, I was called a chauvinist for saying all this. 

      Also, I really love the idea of the crush box, and how its parts have moved around and shift over time. I let go of my crush a while back and thinking of her as a “someday girl” – that girl that one day may be perfect for you, once you both go through a shit-ton of experiences and growth and time.  (a concept pulled from Cougar town, of all places)

      And so yes, there is the occasional private smile, and for now that is more than enough.

      • Guestar

        so if someone has a crush, you’d advise them to sleep with people they don’t even want to sleep with? oh. good advice..yep..

      • Guestar

        so if someone has a crush, you’d advise them to sleep with people they don’t even want to sleep with? oh. good advice..yep..

    • Bcoates

      “you might end up making yourself looking like a giant slut”

      Oh hey there slut-shaming. Glad you could make it.

      Cause god forbid you should have sex with someone you desire.

      • Kannibal <3

        wait so here you’re implying that USING the world slut implies automatic slut-shaming. Which makes the word ‘slut-shaming’ sort of slut-shaming in itself? Why don’t you call it something like ‘woman-shaming’ or something? Why does ‘making yourself look like a giant slut’ a bad thing to say, when the term ‘slut shaming’ sort of implies that you are defending the use of the word slut?

        • Bcoates

          That’s not what I’m implying at all. I use the word slut all the time to describe myself in a positive manner/to take power away from those who use it in a derogatory and hateful manner. The way it was used in the article seem to imply that being a slut is bad, something that might dissuade your “crush” from liking you back.  It’s not about the word, it’s about the way it is used. Slut has no distinct definition. A woman in high heels can be called a slut. A woman in a sweatsuit can be called a slut. A woman in a burqa can be called a slut. Just yesterday I was called a “stupid slut” while crossing the street because I did not respond to a catcall. It meaning fluctuates so easily, created by whoever wishes to use it and in this article it seemed to be used in a way that implied you should feel shame for acting on casual sexual desires.
          I hope I answered your question enough.

    • giiist

      I will never stop hating your writing. NEVER SURRENDER. Also, in Amurrica, we say “crush on,” not “crush.” It sounds like you want to obliterate the one you like.

      • Anonymous

        to “crush on” implies the same thing as “crush” if you read it in that context – also, if you hate kat’s writing so much, stop reading her work and then you’ll stop hating. geezus. 

        • giiist

          But I’m a masochist and I just can’t stop.

        • giiist

          Also, I am aware of the context, but it doesn’t make it right. When my dumb-dumb friends misspell shit in their texts, I still know from context that “teh” means “the.” It doesn’t make it right.

    • AliceW

      damn story of the last 9 months of my life. haven’t reached the private smile stage yet. but I will.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

      Feta cheese, Kat. Feta. 

      I’ve always thought it was ‘crushing on’ someone… Guess it was just me? 

    • ...

      This article. 

      Nail head + Hammer + Hit = My Life

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