Crushes History, or, Crushtory (If You Will) Part 1

Before actually entering (a more accurate description here would be pushed into the deep, dark pool of) the dating scene, I only had a few crushes. But the few that I had basically took over my life. It was like being in reciprocated love—the highs when we were together—with a sucker punch of Just-Kidding-you’re-a-crazy-bitch.

Let’s jump back through the time portal.

A few crushes here and there in Junior High and High School which were mostly me slapping a face onto my “ideal man.” Actually, it was me vomiting idyllic projections onto the guy without him knowing. Stalking Admiring from afar.

Give me this instead. I know exactly what to do…

But in college, boy did I wise up. Actual dating seemed weird to me my first two years of college. You didn’t even know them, how would that interaction even happen? “Hi, uh, I think you’re gorgeous so on the off chance that you have an awesome personality, let’s subject ourselves to an hour and a half of maybe-good conversation”? What if you don’t click at all? Then it’s going to be awkward the next time you see each other around campus. “That’s the girl I almost had a thing for. Thank god I found out she’s crazy…”

So, I friendzoned myself. All the time, with a side of Creepy.

That’s a step up, right? Going from admiring from a distance to actually talking to them? I think I deserve a gold medal. It’s not like I have to tell them I liked them. They’re going to fall for me first! … publicly… !

Mario and I met where any other couple meets: the badminton courts. If you’ve ever wanted to climb up the social ladder, I suggest you not look towards badminton. If you wanted a good recommendation for grad school, however…

He caught my attention because he was the first normal-looking white guy I’ve ever seen on the courts.  Usually it’s nerds of all colors in the yellow-brown family. But I dismissed him immediately because he was attractive. In my experience, attractive guys provide the least stimulating conversation.

During this time, it was my Lost Years at the university so I was jonesing for some close friends. Around the time I met Mario, I met Jonie, who was petite and fiery. We clicked on and off the court and were soon inseparable.The three of us traveled to tournaments together, stayed in hotel rooms together, and went out at night together. I wasn’t 21 at the time, so I was the Super Baby of the group.

My love for him grew. But I refused to hang out alone with him. Guys had to make the first move and at least I was getting SOME airtime with him, right? The fact that they hung out without me meant nothing.

A comic strip has never described my love life so well...

The one time we hung out it was at a dive bar indie concert. And it was clearly not a date, although I did treat it like one. I got a little too tipsy on pre-mixed margarita, stood awkwardly while I waited for him to pay cover (not part of the plan, but I made it so), and then bought him donuts afterward. I felt bad, so I paid him back during the ride home.

I was getting desperate because I knew Jonie, my only connection to Mario, was moving away at the end of that year. And Mario? He was graduating soon. But that didn’t matter as much because without Jonie, there was nothing.

So it continued. Nothing. Nothing. Something? Nothing.

Soon, it was summer and whatever small momentum we had was lost.

Anytime anyone asks me about what happened, I get snappy. And they’re confused because everything happened in my head. 

Mom: So, what happened to that Mario guy? Is he still on campus?
Me: I think he left. (Actually he didn’t, but explaining why we haven’t hung out is worse)
Mom: He left without saying goodbye?! I thought you guys were friends.
Me: HE’S JUST LIKE THAT, MA. Pull into McDonalds right now.

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The Fine Line Between Friendly and Creepy

We (hopefully) are all aware that there is a fine line between friendly and creepy when you’re first getting to know someone, be it as friends or as something more.

what we see when you're doing something wrong

A lot of it has to do with whether you dig the person or not. Has anyone seen the recent episodes of How I Met Your Mother? Well, in one of them, Ted hooks up with this chick who actually did stalkerish things to get him. The group decided that if you’re into whoever’s doing these stalker deeds (stalkereeds?), it doesn’t seem creepy at all, but sweet. However, if you’re not into them, then it comes off REALLY creepy.

Dr. Nerdlove agrees:

If a woman (or a man, for that matter) is attracted to someone, she is more likely to feel comfortable with them and more willing to accept certain behaviors… that is, her boundaries may be different for this person. This doesn’t mean that attraction is an all-encompasing passport to do whatever you want; just because somebody’s boundaries may be relaxed in certain areas doesn’t mean that they no longer exist. It’s very easy to shut down another person’s attraction to you in an instant, whether it’s by being an asshole, saying something rude or inconsiderate, or pushing at her boundaries.

Hear that, boys? This explains why we suddenly pull back someone even when we were feeling the vibe just a few moments ago. Don’t keep pushing at those boundaries. And don’t think that just because we agreed to hang out with you more than once that we’re committed for a real try. Especially when we’ve just met.

Now, I’m usually pretty open to people. I’m a friendly person. But if you’re pushing for more than friendship, my standards will go up for you. I have standards for friends, yes, but they’re even higher for people I would date. Most people, if they’re not douchebags, have an either/or clause.

Either you’re extremely attractive or your personality is the bomb. 

Now, these are the bare minimums for me. Like, friends-with-benefits bare minimums. Usually, I’d rather you less attractive but with an awesome personality. I’ve found that really attractive people usually haven’t needed an amazing personality because of their looks, so they haven’t been able to cultivate it yet.

I’m sorry for throwing all those generalizations out there. But in my experience, it’s true. I’m not saying it’s an end-all.

For me, I label someone as creepy and/or undateable if:

  • they don’t know how to converse
  • they seem really desperate
  • they don’t have a sense of humor

Conversation is a big one. Unless I just met you randomly at a party and we’re ready to get it on, people usually like other people they can talk with. For an extensive amount of time. In conversation, be interested but not so interested that everything you say is a GODDAMN QUESTION. That’s just strange. I want to hear your opinions too. I know dating conversation is different than normal conversation because it’s more about getting to know the other person rather than commenting on something together (the majority of the type of conversations I have with friends), so just try your best to have a balanced two-way information share session.

Don’t talk about yourself too much, because that just shows me you’re not that interested in me, you’re just interested in stroking your ego. Look into the person’s eyes.

Catch conversational nuances, like tone… 

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