September 8, 2015

Crushes—a Crash Course.

love note

To all the boys I’ve loved before,

Scratch that.

To all the boys I thought I loved.

Actually, this letter is for me. And for anyone who’s ever been crushed by a crush.

Lately I’ve been feeling strange: Stomach tied in knots, an inability to eat, muddled dreams and that shaky, dizzy sensation of an all-encompassing fever.

It could be the flu or another crush.

It’s funny how the initial onslaught of love feels similar to being ill. It’s ironic that the best and worst things share similar symptoms.

I try to fight the feeling, try to stop it before the intensely disturbing symptoms, but it never works. There’s no Airborne for love.

So it hits me, and I fall.

But it never works out.

I know the outcome before it starts and the recovery process is never a pleasant one.

There is perhaps no more appropriate phrase in the English language than the term “crush.”

Although it might seem strange at first that we use a word synonymous with “destruction” to describe our romantic pursuits, anyone who has experienced such feelings knows how accurate the parallels are.

In high school I literally fell for a boy (I’m quite clumsy) who turned out to be my first and most crushing crush. He was older: cute, charming, chivalrous and not at all interested in me. He allowed me to follow him around—bright eyed and bushy tailed—for almost a year, dropping breadcrumbs of compliments and gestures before finally explaining that we just couldn’t be together.

My young heart shattered like an iPhone meeting concrete. I later learned the reason we “just couldn’t be together” was that he was secretly dating my best friend.

Like any good tragic heroine, I vowed to never love again.

I’ve since had many crushes, and each one crushed me just as hard, just as thoroughly as its predecessor.

My old journals are full of long-winded entries exaggerating the depths of my emotions and the perfection of the object of my affection, followed by equally long-winded professions of my own destruction and despair. I spent la lot of time and energy lamenting the atrocities of the boys, their stupidity, their lack of compassion, their heartlessness, that I completely overlooked the fact that they never actually did anything to me.

I was the one who started the crush, without their knowledge and then blamed them when they didn’t magically know and reciprocate.

It’s taken me years and dozens of pity-parties sponsored by Hershey’s to realize this, but finally something clicked.

As I found myself once again careening down the path of one-sided heartache, I thought about the ending, the crush itself, because that was the only way that this situation could end.

But that was not what I wanted.

So why was I acting this way again? I was hurt, I am hurt, and will continue to be hurt, because I keep walking down the same path.

It’s safe. I know where it leads, and I know how it will feel when I get to the end. Choosing another path could get me even more lost, could have an even worse ending, so I’ll just stay the course.

Because really, crushes have nothing to do with the person we’re crushing on, and everything to do with us. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. Crushes are just another opportunity for us to crush ourselves, but with the convenient escape of being able to blame it on someone else.

There is something lacking—some love that we need in our lives—that we are choosing to project onto someone else.

What if, instead, we turned that love back onto ourselves? What if, when we find ourselves dreaming of that perfect someone, realizing our love and coming to sweep us off our feet, we got on our own damn horse and built our own castle?

Not to say we can’t admire someone, can’t like someone from afar.

But the next time we find ourselves falling hard and fast for a person, maybe we should pause for a moment and think.

Do I really like this person? If so, get to know them and see what happens, that’s how relationships begin, not by secretly coordinating wedding plans from afar. If not, maybe we need to look inside ourselves and see what we need, what we’re missing and how we can genuinely love ourselves instead of throwing our affections out into an unreceptive universe.
Maybe if we slow down and stop letting ourselves fall hard and fast for people we barely know, we can meet someone who doesn’t want to crush us. Because while we’re lost in daydreams and wishes about this boy or girl who seems so perfect for us, we might just be missing one who actually is.

So, to all the innocent bystanders of my affection, but mostly to myself and all of my fellow crushers, we’ve crushed and been crushed enough.

It’s time we stop crushing ourselves, and instead, try to build ourselves up.

Relephant bonus:


Author: Gabriella Sweezey

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo Credit: Lindsay/flickr


Relephant read:

How to Offer Your Heart


Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Gabriella Sweezey