There are two main channels of romantic interest for adults. First, there are the people you meet at a bar, at a party, or through an online dating site. In these scenarios, the mutual attraction and interest is often instant: you immediately ask each other out, or hook up, or date, or whatever.
Then there are the times when you meet people and mutual attraction is not assured. Your new co-worker, a friend’s roommate, your roommate’s sister, the guy who works at the coffee shop next door. Do they like you? You have no idea. But what you’re left with is what in high school parlance is referred to as a crush. Because of whatever complications, you don’t feel like you can just ask this person out. But you’ve got it for them, and you’ve got it bad.
As adults, we’re beyond doodling in notepads and feverishly writing diary entries — but we can still get a little weird about our crushes.
I asked a group of female friends to brainstorm how, exactly, they behave towards someone on whom they have a secret crush. Nobody does all of these things at once, but chances are, if you’ve ever had a crush, a couple of these bullet points will sound pretty familiar. (You could call some of these behaviors “creepy.” I prefer the adjectives “diligent” and “enthusiastic.”)
“Life would be so much easier if you could just be like, ‘YO. I’m in love with you,’ with no consequence,” one contributor said via GChat. Preach.
So, here you go. A no-holds-barred list of the things we do when we’re secretly in love with you.
- “I laugh really hard when you’re within ear shot, and make sure I look superengaged with who ever I’m talking to.”
- “I send you a link to an article about something we talked about once, in passing.”
- “I get really dressed up when I know I’m going to see you and then act surprised/dismissive when you say I look nice. (‘Really? Huh. I just came from work…’)”
- “I listen to songs I think you’d like on Spotify and hope you see them on my Facebook feed.”
- “I all of the sudden get buddy-buddy with your friends.”
- “I tweet about things that aren’t directly about you, but that I know will interest you.”
- “I never leave the bar before you do — I don’t care how early I have to work the next morning.”
- “I live in fear that you will somehow learn how often I visit your Facebook page.”
- “I text you something random or ‘funny’ my coworker did, just to start the conversation.”
- “I go out of my way to not seem jealous of other women, going so far as to force you to say tell another girl how pretty she is.”
- “I change my GChat status to something I want you to see.”
- “I find out everything I can about you and then pretend to be surprised when you tell me something about yourself in person.”
- “I stand in the same circle as you but avoid eye contact and only talk to the person standing next to you.”
- “If we’re sitting at a table, booth, or bench, I will sit closer to you than to the person on my other side. I will make sure our arms accidentally graze each other.”
- “I take advantage of every possible opportunity to “@” you on twitter.”
- “I go out of my way to walk by you on the way to the bar.”
- “I spend parties standing in your line of sight.”
- “I dress inappropriately for events because you complimented that outfit another time. (‘Aren’t you cold?’ ‘… no.’)”
- “I google anyone I found out you dated/hooked-up with/were interested in, just to see how I measure up.”
- “I make up a ‘work question’ that we need to have coffee/lunch/drinks to discuss, because I’d really like your professional opinion on the matter. (Ideally, I’d also like to make out.)”
- “I have Skype, gchat, and Facebook chat always up just in case you sign into oneof the three messaging platforms.”
- “I invite you to a party I’m throwing. And then quickly invite 100 other people so you won’t suspect I singled you out.”
- ” I will remember a random fact or opinion you expressed a year ago, even whenyou don’t.”
- “I Google myself so I know what comes up in case you randomly decide to google me.”
- “I bring up a movie/concert/activity that I think you would like, in the hopes that you will express interest and that I can then casually say, ‘Oh, do you want to come with?’”
- “I reply all to a group email that you’re in just so my name comes up in your inbox to refresh your memory that I exist. I will labor over this reply for at least an hour before hitting ‘send’.”