Now that we’re cruising along on the rules, it’s time to get into the next one…
I used to be the queen of secret crushes. When I say “secret crushes,” I’m talking about being mildly in love and just a tad obsessed with a guy who we know in a very non-sexual setting. Examples: your co-worker, your best guy friend. It’s not a normal setting where you can just start spinning game and flirtexting from the second you meet. It’s a more delicate situation than that!
When girls talk to me about their secret crushes, they are frustrated, desperate, delusional, and feeling crazy. But they won’t do anything about it. Why? Oh because they “can’t.” And then they have a million reasons and excuses: “There just isn’t a good time” and “It could be so awkward” are the root of most of them. Yeah, yeah. You’re saying “awkward,” but all I’m hearing is, “I’m afraid.”
Now, believe me, I get it. I’ve had quite a few secret crushes and I always took the “awkward” and “bad timing” cop out. I also took the, “If he’s into me, he’d tell me” route, which is a principle I believe in. But…there comes a point when you have to stop with the excuses. Because even if you believe that if he were into you, he’d tell you, and therefore he must just not be into you…you’re still a mess. You’re still hooked on him. You’re not interested in anyone else, you’re going out of your way to make sure he’s noticing you, etc. You’re still trying.
And that trying is exhausting. When I lived in the dorms my first year at MSU, I had a secret crush on a guy who lived a few rooms down. I was around him all the time; we were really good friends. So my plan was to just umm…make him fall in love with me. (As if I’m the first girl who has ever thought this way!) My awesome plan meant I always felt like I had to be on. It was ridiculously stressful! (And oh, how much I had to wash my hair!) I did it for five months before I finally told one other person how I felt…and a few more months before something finally happened! We could have been slamming it out in my loft for the entire semester, but no — I had to do everything in my power to make him think I didn’t like him like that. So then he’d realize he loved me like that.
Girls. Are. Crazy.
Eventually, I finally learned something that made me make this my second rule: knowing is better than not knowing. The way you feel after he says, “Gee, no thanks,” is nothing compared to the agony you feel during the months of wondering.
And I know how it feels when a secret crush says, “Gee, no thanks.” I had to confess my love to one of my best friends last fall, something I had been avoiding for months. It was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. And yeah, it got awkward and it cost me a friend…all the excuses I had given came to be and that sucks…but I don’t regret it! I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had continued to balk every time I had a chance to say how I felt. I’d probably still be miserable.
As much as I emote, I don’t like to have emotional conversations with guys at all. I actually used to avoid them at all costs. But I finally found the best advice for when you have a secret crush: “The way out is through the door.” (Gotta love it when Confucius helps us date!) Stop trying to come up with elaborate plans and ways to talk to him and ways to get him to notice you. Stop thinking that something will totally happen when you have to work late together five months from now. STOP IT. You’re trying to MacGyver out the window when you could just go through the door.
DBR, kids. You have to grow up, put on your big girl panties, and just own it. You have to have faith in yourself that even if it doesn’t turn out how you want it to, you are strong enough to handle any outcome. You have to believe that you can handle anything, even the not-so-great stuff that really hurts.
Knowing is better than not knowing.