Admit It—You’ve Totally Had These Weird Thoughts When You Like A Guy

When I’m under the influence of love chemicals, things get a little scattered and strange. My brain overflows with “what ifs” and odd conditional situations. It’s exhausting, but I know my kooky thought process isn’t all that unusual. Casual surveys of my girlfriends have revealed that I’m not alone in my silly musings. Here’s what’s on my mind when I first meet a guy I’m really crazy about.

  1. Would I have had a crush on him in high school/ college? It’s fun to imagine him at age 16, with puberty throwing him for a loop and the whole future ahead still to be determined. Would I, in the throes of that same process, have been drawn to him way back when? Or would we have avoided each other in the halls? I’ll always wonder what might have happened if we met sooner.
  2. What’s he going to look like 30 years from now? How can I fantasize about growing old together if I don’t imagine his physical appearance? When I meet his older male relatives, I look for signs of what’s to come. Will his hairline recede? Will he acquire a little pot belly I can poke at to make him do that Pillsbury Doughboy giggle? I  enjoy forming the most accurate possible picture in my mind.
  3. What kind of dad would he be? Even though I don’t want kids, I’m still instinctively curiosity about a potential life partner’s parenting skills. And it makes a lot of sense. How a man behaves when he shares responsibility for a small human life speaks volumes about his character—and knowing that we’re theoretically on the same page about how kids should be raised is a good indicator of our compatibility as a couple.
  4. Will he still like me if…? Romantic love isn’t unconditional. I’m well aware he’s fallen for the specific current version of me. But I go through phases. I’m constantly reevaluating my life path and my goals. I make changes for the better. I also backslide like hell. I construct strange imaginary scenarios and spend too long predicting what his response would be. Like, what if I joined a mime troop or became obsessed with theories of alien abduction? Could I trust this man to grow with me through all the twists and turns in my life? Or would he fade out the first time I showed myself as a complex human being?
  5. What would he change about me if he could? No, I’m not going to reinvent myself to match his preference. And truthfully, I probably don’t even really want to know if he wishes I were different in some small way. From bust size to literary preference, I’m satisfied with and proud of who I am. (It’s taken a while to get to that point.) Still, I’ll always have some morbid curiosity about the areas where I fall short of his fantasy woman. As much as I ruminate, though, I’ll never ask. And if he’s smart, he’ll never let me find out.
  6. What’s he really thinking? Sometimes it seems so incredible when a guy I’m into is into me back, I can’t help analyzing his motives. (Why is it so hard to accept the simple explanation—that the dude is into me because I’m ME and I’m a pretty good catch?) What ARE his innermost feelings about our relationship? Well…probably that he’s damn lucky to have me in his life. But I’m going to continue doing my amateur-psychologist-with-a-pessimistic-streak thing regardless.
  7. How will he handle it when we run into an ex? Somebody’s former flame, whether his or mine, is going to show up at some point, and we’ll have to deal with that awkwardness. Does he seem like the type to make a fool of himself when we see his old girlfriend at the farmers’ market, or is he graceful enough to smooth that uncomfortable situation with a polite introduction and a quick, strategic exit? And when some fella I used to be cozy with winds up next to us at the bar, can he handle the situation without devolving into a jealous turd?
  8. Which of his “cute” habits is eventually going to drive me up a wall? When the rose tint wears off, a charming prince will start to look like a regular guy. I realize that this process is natural, so I don’t need to stress too hard. Nevertheless, I’m already trying to figure out whether his quirks will eventually begin to look more like inescapable flaws. A gal’s got to be realistic, right?
  9. What personal stuff does he wish he could tell me? A question can be a key, letting me access a level of his personality that passive observers never see. I sometimes wish I were better at asking about sensitive topics, but I’m eager to avoid giving offense. That’s all right. Trust requires patience. If he’s the right guy for me, we can take our time building the relationship and discovering each other’s layers.
  10. Is he my forever person? Romance perks you up just to pummel you again. I know all about disappointment. And I generally manage it with a stiff upper lip. I try hard not to evaluate relationships based on length and seriousness—sometimes a guy is meant to be in my life for only a brief time, and that’s okay. But the early stages of a crush are made for hopeful fantasies. So with every electric first kiss, swarm of butterflies, or unforgettable date, I find myself musing: Are you the one who’s meant for me?
Jackie Dever is a freelance writer and editor in Southern California. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and sampling craft beers.