8 Rules for Navigating Your Crush

It’s hard to type with your thumb soaking in lemon juice, so I hope you appreciate how painful it is to write this post. I chopped a jalapeno earlier without the presence of mind to use gloves, and my fingers have burst into flames since then. (Don’t ask what happened when I touched my nose!)

I caught up with a best friend of mine last night, and we did what all twenty-something girls do when they get together after a long absence: eat ice cream and drink sangria while talking about their lives. It was so nice to receive some encouragement and be able to give some as well. Most of our conversation was about how frustrated we are being single. None of us have ever had any serious relationship, and it’s really starting to get annoying. I know the only reason we feel this way is because society tells us that we “should” have had a relationship by now, so we assume that because we don’t there must be something wrong with us. Even though I know this isn’t true, that doesn’t help those feelings of inadequacy and loneliness go away. We sort of started an informal “singles support group” so we can remind ourselves how awesome we are and how fun it is to be single. Yeah…I know that’s kind of pathetic and I don’t care.

Hearing some of the horror stories with guys my friend has gone through led us to create a list of eight “rules” to use when interacting with guys we have crushes on. Hopefully, we can stick to these and avoid situations like having a first date at Golden Corral with a guy and his little brother.

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  1. Maintain the illusion. Most guys secretly know that girls do all the disgusting things that they do, but that doesn’t mean they want to witness these events. Squeeze those cheeks, ladies, until you can get to a bathroom. It will also prevent a lot of embarrassment if you do not do things like burp, pick your nose, or snort in front of them – just a suggestion!
  2. Don’t get wasted. It is fine to show guys that you like to have a good time, but you shouldn’t drink so much that you can’t control your behavior in front of them. This is a good way to become “just one of the guys” or even worse, make them a babysitter. Stick to one drink per hour. Also, do not under any circumstances drunk text your crush! Trust me on this one.
  3. Moderation is key. Something has happened to the guy-girl dynamic that has resulted in many guys feeling insecure in front of assertive girls (#me). For some reason, (and I’m completely generalizing here, so don’t get upset), guys don’t like to pursue girls they see as too aggressive or “forward”. If you think your crush is one of these, turning it down a notch or two may not be a bad idea. I realize this sounds like coddling the male ego, and…it kind of is. The superiority guys learn through socialization and gender roles is an illusion, but letting them down easy isn’t the worst thing you can do. (I’m not saying it’s right; I’m saying it’ll most likely work.)
  4. Open up slowly. I hear a lot of stories about girls who overshare information about their lives in order to develop trust with a guy faster. I think this can backfire as guys could think you are self-centered, annoying or boring (this works the other way too). So, try scaling back on how much you share about your life, especially the everyday details. Wait for them to ask questions, and be genuinely interested in them too. People love talking about themselves, but they love a good listener even more.
  5. Give adequate encouragement. Guys are dense and usually can’t figure out if a girl likes them or not (even though you are clearly doing everything you can to show them you’re interested). “Encouraging” your crush to pursue you will look different for every guy. This rule is really about picking up on visual cues and reading between the lines so you can gauge how your crush really feels about you. (This is where girls also come up with misguided ideas that a guy likes her when he doesn’t. If you’re unsure, consult your girlfriends and provide evidence.) If he is “making a move” and you misinterpret it, that’s a lost opportunity to show that you’re interested in return. However you give encouragement, remember not to overdo it; again, moderation is key.
  6. Be consistent. Sending mixed signals is a great way to confuse guys that you like. If you like a guy but don’t necessarily trust him yet, you can do a few things: 1. Create opportunities to get to know each other, so you can develop this trust. 2. Figure out why exactly you like this guy. If your gut is telling you not to trust him, there’s probably a good reason not to. 3. Decide to trust him and go from there. This is a high risk option, but sometimes our own insecurities can prevent us from acting on our feelings and we can miss out on opportunities.
  7. Be upfront. At some point, the flirtation and verbal jousting need to result in something; a date, a relationship, a friendship, etc. If someone doesn’t say something definitive about your relationship status, you risk finding out years later that he used to have a crush on you. If you think your crush likes you too but doesn’t want to have “the conversation”, you owe it to yourself to bring it up. If you don’t, you risk being led on by a guy who doesn’t want a relationship. Asking him out on a date may not be the end of the world; he could say yes, but be prepared for the worst. Use your discernment to figure out the right time for this. It doesn’t have to be awkward, but if you’re like me, it will be.
  8. Move on. Most of your crushes won’t result in a relationship. If you ask a crush out or talk to him about your “status” and he rejects you, move on. Don’t be that girl who pines for a guy that doesn’t want her. No guy is that great if he doesn’t realize how awesome you are. You deserve to be with a guy that knows how cool you are. Moving on from your crush is the only way you’re going to find him.

What do you all think? Are these rules helpful? Did I miss something?

Beck

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