Today, I come to you with a question. There is a proper post as well, of course, but it’s mainly a question.
Have you ever had a crush?
If you’re human and alive, my guess is you have – if you’ve never had a crush, please tell me, I’ll be interested in hearing your story!
A crush is defined as the object of infatuation (or the infatuation itself). The term normally carries some transience to it. I find the word chosen to describe both the feeling and the person that causes that feeling quite interesting. It could have been any other word, but no, we use the term crush, which means to break, to subdue, to overwhelm… And how overwhelming a crush is, isn’t it?
We’ve all had a celebrity crush at one point or another. I’m guessing men will feel slightly infatuated by Megan Fox, or Scarlett Johansson, or maybe some other women like Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence. Women will probably like the looks of Henry Cavill, or Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling or Matt Smith.
There are girl crushes and man crushes, which basically means something along the lines of: I am heterosexual, yet I feel slightly infatuated or obsessed with this person of the same gender and many times it doesn’t have an actual sexual connotation, being it more of an admiration.
Crushes are such interesting phenomena. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t need to be a physical attraction, it can be just a personality one. For now, I’m going to stick to celebrities, and when I mention my own crushes, I’ll refer to “he” and “him”, for no particular reason other than the fact I am indeed attracted to men.
Just but some examples of crushes I’ve had (or currently have): Gerard Butler, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Tom Hardy, Matt Smith…
Some of them are just hot men, hunks, and they are a physical attraction rather than an actual crush. Of course, seeing Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, for example, is going to make you develop a crush… Possibly for the film character, Noah. This is something I’m going to touch on later on (ha! I wish…)
I mentioned Matt Smith. He is not good looking by your typical standards, yet he has a sex-appeal that is difficult to resist (if you like that kind of thing, that is, which I do). Maybe it’s just that he is (just about) The Doctor…
Currently, I have two different obsessions (yes, I have two). One can be categorised as the hunk, attractive man, the other not as much (although he is very attractive as well!)
Charlie Hunnam is the first one. After watching all Sons Of Anarchy, I am truly infatuated with him. Of course, his is a very specific character (and the actor is not even a true redneck, being English and all that!) but the line is a bit blurred in between reality and fiction. I learnt that he had played in Queer As Folk as well, and it surprised me at first, but I think that’s such a cool change of characters that I’m not fazed at all. It doesn’t change the fact that I am crazy about this guy. Of course, I’ve recently learnt that he’s going to be in Fifty Shades Of Grey, which has made the film suddenly interesting in my eyes (pretty similar to when I learnt about Channing Tatum appearing in Magic Mike).
The second one is a more down to earth one. Again, I don’t know him in person, as he’s a celebrity. I only know what I’ve seen on TV.
Jon Richardson is this man that has hypnotised me without me even noticing it. Every time he’s on TV I find myself smiling, and not only because he’s a comedian and, well, he would suck at it otherwise, but because I keep wondering how this man can be so hot. His character is that of an grumpy old man, and he’s always self-deprecating, which somehow works, but then he says something grumpy or weird, like the fact that he likes the sea because it reminds him of death (what??), with a cheeky smile and dimples on his face, and I get the stupid smile back on. You, sir, are a genius!
Celebrity crushes don’t have much mystery really: you find someone (or the character they play) hot, and you infer personality traits into the real person, creating some sort of image of who that person is and how they behave. You can’t really love a celebrity, because you don’t know the real them.
Much more interesting is the real crush. Real as in, the guy you see everyday in the tube, or that friend you’ve never had the guts to tell how you feel about them. Even more interesting is how this affect us.
I consider myself an intelligent woman. Unless it’s computer related. Or Maths. Or politics. Or quantum physics… Other than that, I am curious, I always want to learn, and I learn fast. I read a lot, I write and I have many questions ready to be asked, some of them very clever, others not so much (and even more possible answers!) In my opinion, IQ aside, intelligence is to wonder about the world around you, and to solve the puzzles that life presents you in a satisfactory manner. I just made that up, entirely… I’m not even sure it makes sense! What I’m trying to say is that as long as you give your brain proper usage, and it all works, you are intelligent in my eyes.
A crush has the ability to render you absolutely dim-witted. Magic!
So how does this work?
Well, I’ve had many talks with friends, and I think the fact that we infer personality traits on the other person creates this illusion of perfection which, most of the time, has nothing to do with reality. That’s all well and cool, until we need to function as normal human beings… To think of someone as perfect is only going to make us fail.
I know, I know, there are some that would argue that you would rise to the challenge and try to improve yourself; how many times, however, have you felt crushed because you deemed yourself unworthy of his attentions?
With all the technology currently available, it’s just too easy to fall into the trap and start inferring. It’s like a Mr. Potato head, to which we keep sticking stuff, traits, that we think fit together and are our standards, until we build this unrealistic character that we suddenly are too scared to approach.
Some people, it seems, are able to act normal around their crushes, and to me that’s impressive. I can’t.
I’ve been too embarrassed to perform my job correctly (talking to clients) just because a crush could hear me and possibly judge me. Seriosly, what the heck?
For months I was into this guy I kept on seeing in the tube. We never talked, so for all I know he could have been an idiot, the kind that you want to slap across the face the second you meet them. Every morning I would go to the tube hoping I would see him, and with a great strategy in my mind, thinking today I’m going to talk to him, and every time I saw him, I felt paralysed and could not talk to him. He was my tube-crush. Why did I like him? Well, why indeed? I had never crossed a word with him, yet there I was, beating myself up for not being able to talk to a guy. It all started because I saw him reading a book I had read and loved (World War Z, if you’re wondering, and way before the film!) and then The Great Gatsby, and some others I found fascinating. Who was that guy?
So of course, in my mind, he was amazing. I’ll never know, as I never actually talked to him, but well… There I was, sticking eyes and noses and moustaches on a damn potato head.
There are people who follow, who call and hang up, who do all kinds of stuff just to get their crush’s attention. I wonder if it’s really because they try to make the step, and fail, or if it’s just because they have some issues… Ahem. Some people go basically nuts, scary nuts, even ending up with restraining orders!
I believe the worst scenario is if you happen to have a crush at work, or in your class, if you’re a student; any place where you have to spend a ridiculous amount of hours stuck in, with your crush.
The advantages might be that you get to see them often (eye candy!) and that there are plenty of opportunities for interaction. If you’re good at your job, you can also shine (a bit of a nice peacock display doesn’t hurt anyone). You might even be friends with his friends, or work in the same team as that person he once talked to, but who doesn’t talk to him any more. I don’t know, some weird stuff like that.
A great disadvantage would be the fact that it’s work, and you need to be careful how to handle the situation. Also, an even worse con is that, well, you get to see them often.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you look or where you go, he seems to be there. You try to forget about him, but dammit, does he have a radar or something? He walks past, or he sends an email to a distribution list you belong to, or you meet in the kitchen. And all you can think of is leave me alone!, alternated with thoughts of OMG, he’s so cute!
I remember I had a crush on someone from work many years ago. I worked in a shop, and he was in a different section. Every time I had to walk past him, he would smile, and that would make me forget the reference numbers I was trying to remember to bring some lady a dress in her size. In the end, I did get to snog him, but reality was different from how I had imagined he was, so it definitely did not work.
How does a crush start?
I don’t think it’s just by someone looking hot, or being generally attractive. There has to be something that makes click in our minds and turns off the thinking system.
It might start by someone making a joke, or acting in certain ways. Maybe he rescues you in a similar fashion to Mr. Knightley asking Harriet to dance (Emma, Jane Austen) and sparking admiration and love from her.
Sometimes, however, it might be someone you already find attractive, but suddenly one day gives you a compliment (you have a great smile, you smell very nice, good morning… ahem)
For some reason, just the thought of that guy actually liking you makes you go from a yeah, he’s cute to a I wonder how our children will look like. Trust me, (many) women do this.
After that, you will forever look for excuses to bump into him, to talk to him; or small signs that he feels the same (a sideways look that was totally in my direction, and not because there was something happening just behind me…) and lots of self-doubt (who am I trying to fool? Of course he wasn’t looking at me! He was probably looking at that girl from that team who seems pretty, but who I’m sure is stupid anyway, OMG, he’s such an idiot!) and mentally stabbing the potato with even more traits. Inferring, inferring!
Why can’t we just enjoy the fact that we are attracted to someone and, you know, enjoy the view?
I know you’re thinking that the actual solution would be to ask him out. That would be easy, wouldn’t it? Our minds generally never work like that with a crush (again, if yours do, I would love to hear your story!)
You have a speech prepared, or you think you do (so, um, how was your weekend?, have you seen the last Spiderman movie?) and suddenly the doors to the lift open and he’s already there (Wait, what? I’m not ready yet!). You feel the rush, adrenalin shooting up your spine, and despite you not believing in anything in particular, you suddenly find yourself praying to everything you can think of to please not let him see you’re actually blushing. He, of course, gentleman as he is (inferring), smiles at you and asks you how your weekend was, and automatically you think damn, he stole my question, I cannot ask him the same now, or he’ll think I’m stupid, so you draw a blank. He looks at you, expectantly, waiting for an answer, and only then you realise you’ve been quiet for a full minute. You open your mouth to speak, trying to remember the question, and a croak comes out, making you cough nervously. So… yeah, right, you? you managed to say, stuttering. Note to self: repeatedly hit head on desk as soon as he’s out of sight. He starts speaking, and you panic, trying to gather as much information as you can (pub, run, trip somewhere, pub, birthday, barbecue…) mostly looking for signs of a woman in his life. It doesn’t seem t-hold on, what was that? Ah, he visited his mum… That’s OK, then, only it really isn’t, and you really want to ask him if he has a girlfriend. It would all be so much easier if you knew that because, well, you’re not going to make a move without knowing, right? Note to self: check his Facebook as soon as at a safe hidden computer (of course, chances are his profile is incomplete, or he has hidden parts, so you will never know. Ha-ha! The universe laughs at you…) – Even worse is when you know the girlfriend, and you actually think she’s a nice girl, and you get invited to their dinners, and parties… Can’t they just disappear from your life and, you know, move to Antarctica or something already?
He leaves when the lift doors open to his floor and you’re left there, brainless, just admiring him from the distance, and possibly even drooling a bit. Someone else comes in, and suddenly you’re miss congeniality, chatting away and being your true charming self. Oh, how you hate yourself and your stupid, useless fear of rejection…
Does the above, or some version of it, ring a bell?
My guess is that we’ve all had been in similar situations… Why do we do that to ourselves? So much pressure!
It would be so much easier if embarrassment and fear of ridicule didn’t exist, right? I wonder if there are people who genuinely don’t care, who are confident enough to try and if it goes wrong, to go on about their lives as if nothing happened, not letting it bother them. I wonder if there are people out there who don’t create perfected versions of a person…
So, here’s my question again, and a few more: have you ever had a crush? How did that work out? Did you do something (anything) about it? Did you have unrealistic expectations of that person? Did you idolise them, giving them personality traits you thought they had?
I, personally, had a whole Potato head family to play with when I was a kid, so go figure…