This is a carefully curated set of instructions for me, a future me, a sillier me, a more foolishly-in-love me.
I need to refer to this when I get drunk off my feelings the next time, and hopefully a rational letter from my past self will contain the dangerously sappy, gushing, gooey monster I usually become...
We've all been there.
One day, we're doing alright, living our lives, and suddenly we're hit with an order of one truckload of emotions.
"Um it says side effects include heart palpitations and chronic inconvenience, who ordered this?"
So there's them. It could be an old acquaintance you now see in a new light or someone entirely new and exciting. Bottom line is that you have a crush, and your life will never be the same again. But it's all about them now. They are the gravity of all your thoughts and you can't stop bringing them up every chance you get. You don't see it, but ask your friends. They are tired of hearing about this. You have the goofiest smile on your face every time they text, be it at lunch, or at work, or at the gym. You will take the time out to make that goofy smile.
You also have so much energy about you. A natural jump in your step. Your life is exciting again. You're even delighted to do the weekly paperwork, you can't stop smiling, you'll do it right away, everything has suddenly become interesting and full of color. You are deeply passionate about even picking out new curtains for your mother, or helping your friend move furniture because honestly, life is worth celebrating again.
You scream at the skies, "Guess what you little bastards, I have feelings again! I thought my heart died and turned to dust after the last time, but looks like it is still working!"
Ah, life is so good I could cry!
And that lasted for a good 10 minutes. I really cherished it. Thank you. Forever grateful.
Now you're checking your phone every 12 seconds to see if they've texted back.
The classic trap.
"Should I double text?"
"Did I say something weird?"
"Of course they don't like me! I'm a potato fry at best on a good day, and I don't even look good in hats, and most 14 year old's are funnier than me!"
But we all already know this, and I won't bore you with more pedantic details about the excruciating, exciting, exquisite pain that is having a crush. Let's dive right into how one could start attempting to try to handle it effectively, maybe...
1. They may not be single.
That's the thing about people who are usually crush-worthy. Someone else may have had the same thought earlier, and may have snatched them right up. Such is life. While it is extremely difficult to break your bubble of fantasy and butterflies by actually confirming your suspicion, the sooner you verify this, the better. Else, all of this will be a complete, total, utter waste of time, as opposed to being a moderately sufficient waste of time instead. Just ask! Find creative and subtle ways to ask.
"Being single gives me a lot of time to pursue my hobbies and other experiences. What about you?"
subtly lets them know you are single, and also an interesting well-rounded individual with several interests which we could talk over dinner, hint hint, and incites a response from them.
"Does your boyfriend/girlfriend like hiking? There's this great trek coming up you could take them to."
now they have to address their existence of a significant other, but it also does not put you on the spot and make you seem over-eager or flirtatious.
It's important to keep these boundaries and be respectful of people's relationship status. Yes, a crush is very exciting, but what's more exciting? Being respectful and backing off when it's not your business. Ah well! Plenty of fish in the sea.
2. They may not be interested.
Even if they are single, they just may be not that into you. And while this might sting, statistically it's the most logical and reassuring thing ever. Think about it, you only ever find a handful of people attractive, and usually it is triggered by not just their conventional attractiveness. It's not always about chiseled jawlines, or abs, or an hourglass figure. It's their sense of humor, or take on politics, or their voice, or the way they play guitar, or the way they dance. There's really no equation you can fit into who you will find attractive, it's just brain chemistry. So, in a class of 100 people of your sexual orientation, you may have found 3-5 people you really liked and could date, considering their looks, their personality, their opinions, and their chemistry with you, and their ability to carry on a conversation with you. That's ~4%! What are the odds you might fall in their 4%? Quite low. So, there's actually no point in taking it so personally. It doesn't mean you're un-dateable. You're just not their type, tough luck. It's just math. You'll find someone soon enough when you're both in each other's 4%, that's where the magic really happens anyway. So, when they clearly say they aren't interested, it's best to move on and put eggs in other baskets, so to speak.
3. Be brave enough to flirt.
If they're single, and haven't explicitly or strongly hinted that they are not interested, then you've successfully crossed hurdles 1 and 2, congratulations, we've come to a very exciting part of the game.
Now it's time to put yourself out there and flirt away. I have few rules while I flirt.
Keep it classy. Turning everything into an innuendo is severely un-classy, and quite a bit of a turn-off. Also, pretty much anyone can do it, so there's nothing special about it. And it takes away from seeing them as a full, interesting human being who you are trying to get to know. Compliment them respectfully.
Keep it witty. This is the time to fully flex your creative muscles! Send them a quirky text, try to feed off of each other's chemistry, put effort into keeping that banter interesting. Try to make them laugh, if possible. Compliment them playfully.
Keep it authentic. In the end, if you do start dating, it should be with the real you. Be as honest as you can, let them get to know the real you. Don't pretend to like things you don't just to please them. Be brave about revealing who you are. They should like you for you. Compliment them sincerely.
4. Try to go on that first date.
Before you start planning your wedding, let's try to get you that first date. If the flirting is met with reciprocation, our next mission is to successfully convert it to a date. Whether you want to ask them out or want to be asked out instead, both are valid options, and it's certainly your choice. Here are few things you can do to catalyze the situation.
If you want to be asked out:
Drop hints. "This restaurant I went to last Saturday would be perfect for a date." "I found a painting workshop that would be great first date idea." … 20 minutes later "Hey, you said you like painting, right?"
Casually list all the activities you'd be open to. "I like going dancing after a couple of cocktails." "I love cafes where we can just relax and read a book."
Partially reveal your personality on dates, but keep it mysterious enough that they want to find out. "I love everything leading up to that first kiss on that first date. Oh but I guess it just has to unfold naturally." "I love the drive back home at midnight after a date. I like playing music we both like, but oh yeah, I guess there's a time and place for that." "I bought this gorgeous outfit! I'm saving it up for a date." "I just like making the other person feel special and comfortable on a date."
Invite them to group events. Maybe they need to see you in person, in your element and see how charming you are to give them the motivation to ask you out. Invite them to board game nights or café hang outs with your friends. And if they fall in love with your best friend instead, whoops, sorry! But more likely they will get to see you and like you for real.
If you want to ask them out:
Ask them what kind of dates they like. It's great if you can find out what they like doing on dates and find something that works for both of you.
Find common interests. If you find common interests, that's a great in. You can take a baking workshop together, or go attend a gaming convention if that suits you. You can even attempt to learn a new skill that is important to both of you. Or a jazz concert at that new restaurant, maybe?
Be sincere about your intentions. No need to rush all in, and no need to act extra aloof either. Having feelings for someone is a beautiful thing, so let's try to keep our intentions raw and clear. "I think you're really interesting and smart and funny and also quite beautiful. I'd love to get to know you better, if you'd like to get to know me too? Let me know if dinner on Saturday sounds good to you." "I really dig your sense of humor and I'd love to see it in person. Let me know if you want to bring that handsome jawline to dinner with me on Saturday." This makes it clear that you're romantically interested and it's not just a "friends" hanging out. And it also is humble and sincere, to show you're not just looking for a fling and you actually like them. But it also steers clear of freaking them out if they're worried about things getting too serious. It's a date. Just a date. You can figure out what comes later, when the time comes.
End it with "It's a date." (if they say yes)
DISCLAIMER: If you still fail to get a date, again, refer to that flimsy 4% argument I made earlier. Maybe it's time to move on?
I hope this helps, friend.
I hope that was effective enough for you. Let me know what works and what doesn't. I'll edit this document.
I'm rooting for you, kid.