Crushes are always super awkward, but this is doubly the case when you’re gay and the object of your affections definitely isn’t. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, you’ve probably progressed through these 13 stages.
You start to feel unwanted butterflies. It all starts with those freaking butterflies that creep in. They might start when the two of you are hanging out, or when you finish laughing over a hilarious text that they sent you. It might build up slowly over time or hit you all at once one day. Either way, your insides will never be the same.
You want to hang out more and more… but just as friends! So you want to hang out a lot. That’s normal, right? You are friends, after all—maybe even best friends. Best friends hang out a lot and feel ecstatically happy when seeing each other. Best friends want to grab each other’s faces and make out. Oh wait, that’s not right!
OK, now you’re actively trying to squash your feelings. So you’re finally done denying it. It’s undeniable: you have feelings for them. But this can’t work, it just can’t, so it’s time to suppress your emotions and push them down into the deepest crevasses of your heart. You keep telling yourself that you can totally be just friends, and you start to think it might be working.
You get jealous when you see them flirting with other people. You see them being super charming and flirty with other people and even though you’re not together, it kinda kills you inside. You find yourself wondering why that isn’t you that they’re flirting with, though of course you know why. Worse still, your crush might even already be in a relationship, which makes it even worse.
You try keeping your distance for a little bit. Predictably, trying to repress your emotions doesn’t work. Maybe it’s time to take a step back, yeah? Stop hanging out with them so much, stop replying to all their text messages immediately. Try to give yourself a breather to let your romantic feelings drift away. That should work.
Of course, it’s still tough because you’re still friends. They’re still inviting you to things and still texting you because you’re friends! How do you explain why you’re suddenly ghosting them? Do you seriously say, “Hey, sorry for the inconvenience but I really want to make out with you and we need some time apart so I can get over that”?? I’m a pretty good communicator, but that conversation would be a tough one to swing.
Wait, maybe they could be gay too? Welcome to the true danger zone of speculating about someone else’s sexuality! This is absurd and kinda tacky part of this process, but if you fall for a straight person, it’s absolutely inevitable. It would be the perfect way out of this whole situation! Maybe they’re just gay, or at least bicurious! Hey, it’s possible.
Oh God, now you’re in too deep. Once you start trying to turn someone gay with your thoughts, you’re in the emotional danger zone! You’re starting to get to a place where you will set yourself up for some intense heartbreak if things don’t work out. By the way, there’s a 99.9% chance that they won’t work out.
You decide to talk to one of your friends about your feelings before you go crazy. You’ve been repressing this unwanted crush to such a degree that it might actually be tough to choke out the words you want to say, but emotionally, it’s extremely cathartic. It might be good not to talk to someone who’s super close to both of you unless you know them well and think it will be fine. Ideally, talk to someone who knows your crush but isn’t that involved.
You try to decide: should you tell them? Perhaps the most over-repeated piece of advice in the world is, “You should talk to them about it!” It’s good advice because tons of issues can be solved with an honest conversation. That doesn’t mean it’s always the right answer, though. Admitting you have a crush can have big effects on a friendship no matter what the sexual orientations involved. If you want to talk about it, you should, but also be aware there could be some serious consequences to that conversation.
You consider staying in silent torment forever. There’s something very unsatisfying about never bringing up your crush to the person and confessing, but there’d also be something very unsatisfying about bringing it up and having it confirmed that they’re just not into your gender, or worse, having it impact your friendship.
You hate yourself for having feelings. Yeah, there’s definitely room for a pity party through all of this. Of all the eligible people in the world, you had to fall for one that you have no chance in hell with. What gives?
Ultimately, you find a way to get through it. It’s always hard being attracted to someone who isn’t attracted to you. It’s even harder when it’s someone who physically cannot be attracted to you. But you’re strong. You’re a badass. You’ll find your way through this. If you need to, wash away your sadness with a few shots of tequila and find someone else to crush on.
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