When A Crush Isn’t A Crush Anymore

man and woman holding their hands together while standing on top of cliff
Farsai Chaikulngamdee / Unsplash

I used to think I was better than this, but I’ll admit that it’s so easy for me to have crushes on other people. Then again, it’s easy for anyone to have a crush on someone. Crushes are usually fleeting and superficial; I have crushes on dudes at the airport who are in a completely different gate from me, scrolling through their Instagram feeds that are undoubtedly full of butts. In the perfect environment, I imagine that I’m the quirky lead in a romantic comedy, and he’s the person I least expect; sparks fly as soon as we make eye contact, and after a series of dramatic conversations and declarations of love, we end up together when the credits roll.

I’ll be dramatic for the hour or two I’m in the airport, but as soon as I board my plane, I’ll forget that that person even exists. He’ll meet his soulmate else – if he hasn’t met him or her already – and I’ll move on to other strangers whom I’ll never pursue due to my lack of trust and commitment to my career.

In the end, it was what it was.

Crushes are simple, harmless, and fleeting. They don’t require anything else other than my eyes and my shallow perception of what I think is physically attractive. It’s easy to move past without any long-lasting repercussions.

But sometimes I’ll meet someone – a friend of a friend, or someone I sat behind in history class – and I’ll run into him again and again, and I’ll keep running into him. I’ll think he’s cute, and find out that he’s sweet, funny, passionate about music or animals. Pretty soon, what I feel for him isn’t some fleeting emotion that’s going to leave as quickly as it came; it becomes something that I can’t really quite explain, not strong enough to be love, but. A Feeling.

The problem with having A Feeling is that it grows, and I won’t realize that it’s growing until I’m bringing this person up for the millionth time to my friends. They love me too much to tell me to do this, but even my self-awareness and mild anxiety know that I need to just do something about it instead of lamenting about it to other people.

If it were that easy for me to do, I’d definitely pursue something. If I were that confident and bulletproof, I would’ve asked this person out and not cared if he turned me down.

The thing is, though, is that I’m not. In fact, I’m so scared of rejection and humiliation, and I’d much rather let my feelings slip by than ruin my present relationship with this person.

I’ll do anything to talk myself out of it. I’ll say that I’m not his type, and that he would never see me that way. At a certain point in my life, I started making two mental lists, based on my knowledge of this person: reasons why I think it’d work out, and reasons why I don’t think it’d work out. I consider all possibilities. We’d work out because we have the same sense of humor, or because we’re both passionate about the same Coen Brothers movie. We wouldn’t work out because I don’t think I’d mesh well with his friends, or I don’t think he’d mesh well with mine. He’d probably be freaked out that I’m a feminist, or that I can’t regularly clean my room, or that my anxiety and depression constantly make feel like I’m not me.

The more I talk myself out of it, the more I’d start to believe it. And just like that, That Feeling would be gone.

I jokingly whine to my friends that I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life, but sometimes I let myself believe it because it’s a lot easier and less heartbreaking than having A Feeling. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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