How to Have A Crush On Someone

Meet them at a house party, a grocery store, fighting over the last packet of sugar at a coffee shop. Give them that second look—the look that objectifies them and says, “Wait a minute here. I could possibly want to sleep with you, fall in love, and raise tons of babies together.” Have a few moments of nervous conversation. “Nice to meet you. Do you like sugar or do you prefer Splenda?” or “Aren’t you in my Politics of Psychology in Education class?’ Exchange these warm smiles that trigger a dormant feeling of excitement. Exchange numbers and promise to text one another. “Text me, k? SO SO nice to meet you. I’m going to go now. Like, not right now but soon. I mean…” That’s another thing. Lose the ability to speak with any degree of articulateness. Actually start to wonder if you’ve temporarily become mentally deficient.

Walk away from the experience feeling euphoric. Call your friends immediately and gush about the person who could potentially raise children with you. Fail to realize that you know nothing about them. Your chemical makeup enjoyed the way they looked and the way they spoke. That’s it. Regardless, hold them in as high of a regard as your best friend or parents. Like them, this person now has the power to make you either sublimely happy or devastatingly insane.

Begin the dreaded texting game. Text them knowing that you will spend every second obsessing over whether or not they’ll respond. Write a text that’s amiable but not too desperate. Make a reference to something you spoke of during your conversation, and propose a meeting for drinks. Consult an army of friends to make sure the text message is perfect. Ask things like, “Should I say “wonderful to meet you the other day?” or “it was great to meet you the other day?” Which sounds better, dammit?!” Press “Send” and be reduced to a puddle of nerves.

Have four hours pass without a response. Get nervous. Almost hysterical. Go out to eat with a friend to distract yourself, but end up obsessively checking your phone. Feel it vibrate and and get extremely hopeful. Discover it’s just a friend making a joke about Ke$ha. Text back furiously, “I thought you were my crush. WHAT THE FUCK? AHHHHH!”

Eight hours pass with no response. Start to make bizarre excuses for them. “Maybe they’ve been at work. Maybe they lost their phone at a party last night. Maybe they are trapped in a well somewhere. Maybe I wrote down the wrong number. Maybe!” Take Nyquil to go to sleep. In the morning, wake up in a daze and notice you have a new message. It’s from your crush and it reads, “Hey! Great meeting u the other day too. How’ve you been?” HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? Waiting for you to validate me with a text message, idiot. Get discouraged that they didn’t make mention of getting drinks. Write back, “Great. What is your schedule this week? Would love to get together!” Worry that you’re coming off too aggressive. Send the message anyway.

And so begins a very painful text message dance. They respond to your messages a day later with significantly less enthusiasm. Show the correspondence to your friends and be like, “Maybe they’re just really busy. Maybe they’re a bad texter!” Nervously laugh and make everyone uncomfortable. Have your friends gently tell you to calm down. After all, you don’t even know this person! Intellectually, you are aware of the absurdity, but it’s still a crush. Crushes trump logic. They trump a PHD. They trump old age. They trump an otherwise logical personality. Crushing behavior > Everything else.

Spend the next few weeks coming to the epiphany that the person you met briefly and chose to obsess over is probably not going to materialize. Begin to shake off the crush. Rub it out of your clothes. Get craniosacral therapy to cleanse your brain. Slowly become a normal person again.

A month later, find them on Facebook. They have their favorite bands listed as “anything but country!!!” Ew. Get over it completely. TC mark

image – AmyDeanne

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • brenna

    i had a shit-eating grin on my face the entire time i was reading this. cute.

    • anon

      like matt and kims?

  • azi

    ryan, you're like the whole internet's life coach.

    • Tori

      completely agree. i fucking love this article.

  • Alina Trifan

    God I hate having a crush. But I do have one. Right now.

  • Jen Lindblad

    “everything but country” is a total dealbreaker.


      It could be worse. It could be everything INCLUDING country.

  • Ray Straight

    Ryan, I hope you don't mind if I use “puddle of nerves” some time and mentally credit it to you.

  • SisterRay

    Or you send them a Facebook message, and while you're waiting anxiously for a response, that is when you get sucked into some “SEND ME YR NUMBERS PLZ” chain from a friend and then every time you log into Facebook, which is more than usual, you get a message and your heart & stomach jump and then it's just a message from someone you've never met, listing their phone number as part of your stupid friend's stupid phone chain.


  • Julian

    Awesome, man, I loved it.

  • Julian Tully Alexander

    The most recent time I had a crush on someone, I texted “wtf is going on with me?” to my friend and they responded with “You have a crush on them you idiot.” It caught me off guard.


    This is why I've never learned how to text.

  •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

    I h8 bad texters! you hear me bad texters!? F U!!

  • Kia Etienne

    this is so on-target it hurts.
    damn you Ryan, for knowing the secrets of my life!

  • Chaoscossack

    Lost me with the “and raise tons of babies” in the second sentence.
    Nothin' less sexy or endearing, let alone clever.

  • ariezee

    i started developing a crush on your words…. o_______O”

  • Melissa

    The worst part is when you become facebook friends and their favorite bands are yours…



  • David Ou

    love it. just text back already!!!

  • not john hughes

    I wanna know how you keep nailing article after article cause it is seriously driving me nuts.

  • Jordan

    you get my life, ryan, it's a little scary

  • Anon

    Whining, whining, backed up by a trite mock-witty ending that disparages people for some minor issue yet again. Maybe it was meant as tongue-in-cheek but really Ryan, you've done this type or article too many times for it to be funny by now!

  • cazador

    yr inside of my head.

  • Adanihels

    story of my life! you capture the essence of dating in this era PERFECTLY.

  • alice

    the sad thing is, when this is what interaction is like when you're actually dating, but it's still Boyle “vague.” dating in the modern world… for hipsters.

  • Ghantrey

    I have someone who doesn't text back for about a week, but when he does he's super enthusiastic and texts me about 10 times in a row, then just ignores me for days, then apologizes profusely for doing so, then suggests we meet up, then doesn't say when he's free. And the whole time I'm wondering to what extent I care, how much I'm willing to stretch my dignity, and my nerves. It's a particular kind of nausea waiting for a text from someone you've only met once. Good thing I only have a crush once a year…

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