the crush factor

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do try it once and then you know. it’s your move. settle for less again. again.

i was thinking about the concept of crushing. you know, having a crush on someone. and, though i understand some of the psychological benefits of getting a crush on someone, i realllllly can’t get past some of the icky effects of having said crush.
so, we have all these chemicals in our brian that make us blissfully sheltered from the harsh realities of life. they allow us to ‘be happy’ and see things positively. actually, they say that, simply put, clinically depressed people see the world with more of an accurate lens. these chemicals don’t allow them to float through life thinking that there are good things where others do. now, those of us that are not depressed, or are taking supplemental chemicals for it, see things as generally good. people as generally good. life as generally good.

so, back to a crush. why is it that crushes seem to ALLOW us to blatantly ignore anything real that is not one hundred percent positive. it seems that when we crush, our crushee can do no wrong. we get dressed with the anticipation of the first time our eyes meet that night. we arrange our schedules to allow for the maximum amount of possible hang out time. maybe we see them and get butterflies. we talk to them about all the things we have in common. and sooner or later this crush becomes the next persn we want to date. and efforts move forward in that direction.

but. these feel good chemicals that incite all the previously mentioned behaviors sometimes do us a total disservice. they allow us to spiral into wanting to date someone, without ACTUALLY knowing the whole story about them. we only know the good things. s/he is cute. funny. charming. intelligent. and that is all we need to know to swoon.

so, there was this boy. and he was cute, and we had so much in common. we knew some of the same groups of people. we had similar interests. interesting conversations. and i had a full blown crush. now this crush, thank goodness, didn’t last because of one awkward dating situation or another and i was able to get a more accurate view of who this guy was. and from that awkward moment on, everything he did and said kind of annoyed me. so i immediately started beating myself up for ever crushing on such a stupid boy. and become mad about the crush induced things i did. thinking, ‘why couldn’t i have seen all these things before so i didn’t waste my time on that boy.’  (so i don’t feel the need to berate myself for NOT seeing those things.)
not to get all academic geek on you, but i get the evolutionary psychology perspective on why the tendency to ‘crush’ is a positive thing that helps us survive. relationships are hard work. and we would not actively get into them if we had a realistic vision of all the good AND bad things about a person. it’s the same as the concept of romantic love. our brains trick us into falling for someone, so that once we get into a relationship and this romance fades we are already too deep in to abandon ship. and as cognitive dissonance theory suggests, we as humans would much rather change our beliefs than our behavior when the two don’t match up. so, our brains give us a nice chemical cocktail of happy love juice so that we fall (crush) for someone that we don’t know too much about. we act like we’ve fallen (see previous list of ‘crush’ like behaviors) and then when that cocktail wears off we are in a relationship and have to deal with the hard, honest, and real parts of that relationship. and the only way to rationalize what, in retrospect, we see as something we maybe would not have gotten into (actively) if we knew these things earlier is to change our belief about the not so positive things that we are feeling. because we can’t change the behavior (it’s already done!). so we then enter round two of happy juice lies and tricks our brian plays on us to induce all those ‘crush’ like feelings again cause we were happy then. and we change our beliefs about the things we may not like, to thinking positively about them. and the cycle continues.

but here’s the thing. what we REALLY need is not a happycrush cocktail of illusions when we meet someone, but a realistic person preview. like a realistic job preview. we need to know what we are getting ourselves into. i mean, what if that awkward dating moment had not snapped me out of my crush and i started dating a guy that thinks he is way more important than he actually is?! THEN i’d be in trouble. so my request to you, brain- i want to see accurately and clearly, and if it takes a few times before accurate and clear equals actual things in common, intelligent conversation, mutual attraction, and so forth then so be it. i’ll deal with meeting some not so great guys, just don’t trick me into falling for them. please! thank you.


like a breath. take in restraint like a breath. my lungs are so numb from holding back. eh, from holding back.

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