“Rachel, you're not in a relationship. Who do you have a crush on?” is a question I am frequently asked. And I usually have no answer. I blank. No one comes to mind. I just don't have romantic crushes. I do, however, get an unbelievable amount of friend crushes. It's unbearable.
What's a friend crush, you ask? Well, it's like a romantic crush, but instead of wanting to kiss that person, you just want to hang out with them. Instead of long walks on the beach, we stay inside and bake brownies. Instead of pet names, we have nicknames. Instead of sexy time, we enjoy movie-watching-gossip time.
I've had so many friend crushes in my life. Sometimes it can be confused for a romantic crush, and in the past, that has hurt my attempt at friendship. I've asked people to hang out and they've turned me down saying, “I don't like you that way.” I want you to know, I don't like you that way, either. I just want to hang out.
I know it can be confusing to tell the difference between the two, and I don't want to get friend rejected anymore. Let me explain myself. The stages of a friend crush are very similar to a romantic crush, but there is a very different outcome.
Here are the four stages:
1. The First Meeting
We meet through friends, at a party or I see something you post on social media and I think you look really fun. It could be that your style is really cool, you like something I like, you make me laugh or you just are the epitome of a cool person. That's when I decide, then and there, that I really want to be your BFF.
2. Online Stalking
Naturally, I have to slightly stalk you on every form of social media. There's always that awkward moment of "Can I friend request you yet? Is it too soon? Do I look crazy?" But, this is the stage where I'm finding out if you're as cool as you looked when I first met you. And to be honest, everything I find on your page is something I relate to. Are we best friends yet?
3. The Meeting
This is the second time we've gotten the chance to hang out. We're hanging out through our mutual friends, but this time around, we're clicking much more than before. I try to act cool like you're just another human, but inside I'm thinking, “This is my future best friend.”
After a couple hours of clicking, I admit that I fully stalked you online and you respond with, "YASSS, SO DID I." And now, we're officially best friends.
4. On The Road To BFF
Now is the time for the real “getting to know you” part. We hang out every weekend, and before we know it, we're a package deal. I might have started out as a bit of a stalker, but hey, at least you were, too.
This is usually how I deal with my friend crushes, and I have a lot of them. Everyone I meet is so fascinating, and I just want to be their friend. But, it's overwhelming trying to meet new people. It's not like when we we're kids, and I could just go up to you and say, “Hey, let's be friends.”
We're adults now, and we have to casually get to know each other. Being best friends with someone is something you have to work on. So, if I'm acting weird around you, it's probably because I've thought about our future secret handshake, already planned our next mani/pedi date and have already decided I just want to be your best friend.