Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The Single Life, part 1

Recently Wombat brought up the concept of crushes. Basically, a couple of years ago his heart was stomped on when the perfect woman flirted with him...he fell in crush, had visions of planning a future, skipping through fields of poppies, etc., and then he found out that she had a serious significant other.

The comments section ranged from enamored sighs over the loveliness that are crushes, to the vitriolic ranting that only unrequited love can ignite.

This was a bit of a puzzle to me. But then I thought about seemed as though there was a clear division. All of the taken people love the crushes, while all the single people are waving their fists in a unified chorus, damning them to hell.

(and yes, it's dangerous to say things like "all," "never," "always" when writing, so take "all" with a grain of salt and dash of poetic license.)

So. And why not? To a taken person, a crush is an innocent escape from the occasional doldrums of coupled life. There is a little flirting, some smiling and light touches, but no real damage is done, and an ego is boosted along the way. The person has still got it. It's all in good fun.

For the single person...crushes are a possible portal to a relationship. It's a way to escape the gray shackles of lonely Friday nights for the sundrenched fields of picnics and tumbling, slow motion embraces into the meadow. A joking matter it is not.

So it's especially cruel to find that lines have been crossed. Both types see the crush as a ticket, but they have entirely different destinations in mind.

For that reason, I despise crushes - they encourage nothing but confusion and misunderstandings. If you like someone, go for it. Crushes are a waste of time, and a purgatory for the heart.

My biggest hope is that everyone is as brave as you and tells people how they really feel.

That's my optimistic side. My more realistic side though, says that if things like that were easy to do, we wouldn't all have stories about past crushes.
TC + Rem: to say that I practice what I preach might be a bit of a stretch...

Also, just want to state here that I'm not some bitter single person - my writing may indicate otherwise, but I didn't want to put this in the entry...would totally ruin the flow!
No harm no foul, I say.

Let me have a crush on the new girl on my floor if I want to!

Uh... not that I actually have one or anything... yeah...
Meg... I agree - most of the time crushes do just what they promise - they "crush" you. Its SO easy (maybe more so for girls, than guys?? - I'm just guessing here) to put the cart before the horse. And I know that in our apartment we're all experts at this. Maybe its not to much the crush itself that leaves us feeling the way it does, maybe its the way we react to the crush - getting our hopes up a little too high - that brings us crashing down....

Sorry that was so long I think I'm still a little drowsy from the NyQuil...

and PS - for those of you who read the comments here Meg is the furthest thing from a bitter single person I know :) so her saying that isn't just her writing that for kicks!
i-66: crush if you want! I'm not voting to disband them. ... Or am I?

c-note: thanks for the vote of confidence! :-) I thought it had been an example of "the lady doth protest too much" so it was nice to have your backup. You're right, the name "crush" is very telling - I'm not sure if I've yet had a crush that didn't do just that.

*plays tiny violin*

On the other hand, Cam just had a crush that turned out very well...inspiration for us all.
Sorry Meg - another thought I had as I was reading the MC on CraigsList... since when did smiling at someone or walking down the street looking your best become grounds for someone to to feel as tho they can:
a) Freely assume that just because you were polite that you two had "a moment"
b) Let the whole world know about it by describing you in detail online...
I was addicted to the MC on CL at one point -- now I'm just starting to think that it is creepy and promotes people not saying how they really feel...
bravo, meg, for making the distinction. as an "older" folk i can say that crushes usually suck: you know why? if they don't lead to anything, they give false hope, as you intimated. if there is genuine albeit surface interest, the person interested is not really getting to know the crushee, to see if there is grounds for a real relationship. take it from grannie, relationships based solely on physical/social crushes (i.e., superficial attraction) are destined for failure.
I think that crushes play into a double standard. For example, I am in a wonderful relationship, but of course there is the occasional office flirtation or crush. I would never follow through and cheat on my boyfriend though. I think it is innocent, fun, and does boost self-esteem (just like you said in your entry what a "taken" person would say).

HOWEVER, if I knew that my significant other were engaging in office crushes or flirtations, I would be furious, jealous, and hurt. By no means am I right in feeling this way, just bringing another perspective to the table... So crushes can be negative for "taken" people too.
You've got this right I think, Meg.

An attached person has the luxury of imagining fun with the crushee. It's a diversion.

A single person is imagining their life and fun with the crushee. This is their life (however fanciful.)

Maybe CL should have an "Unannounced Crushes" listing.
c-note: yeah...MC and I have a love/hate relationship. Let's face it...we've all had those "we made eye contact and had a moment!!" moments. But some people are just totally creepy. People should ban MC and talk to people in real life!

claud: good point. Crushes can lead to idealization of people and not getting to know in a fantasy world. Then nothing will ever happen!

CP: So TRUE! Remember the old adage...ex-boyfriends aren't allowed to date anyone ever again. Same thing goes for significant others having crushes. :-P

Wombat: Thanks for the inspiration!
Innocent crush = fun
hardcore crush = heartache
Well, at least you are admitting you have something to work on. :) I say good luck, and perhaps if you have success stories you can share them with us and we'll all find inspiration! (though I agree, Cam's story was pretty inspiring :))
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