What Happens Every Time I Have A Crush

or

The Birth Of A Random Shipper

Don't look at him/her. Don't look at him/her. Whatever you do, don't look at him/her. If you do, you'll end up staring. She/He's sitting there across the room, don't even look in that direction if you can help it. Okay, you can look a little, but make sure it's peripheral. If you look directly, you might not be able to look away.

Don't approach him/her. Don't initiate conversation. If you do, you'll end up talking too loudly and babbling incoherantly and all the other stupid things people do that make it obvious they've got it bad. Okay, she/he's coming up to talk to you. That's fine. It'll be fine. Just keep it simple and straight to the point. School your expression, control your tongue, don't smile like your face is about to explode. Good. You did it. She/He's non the wiser. Great job.

She/He's talking to you again. Well, that makes sense, because she/he is a nice person. Don't be an idiot and think that just because she/he is smiling at you, that your interest is returned. Just stay calm, don't be rude, but also do not under any circumstances let your nervousness show. If you show your nerves you'll show your interest, and then if she/he is REALLY nice, they'll pretend they didn't notice and go on like nothing happened. If they're not quite that nice, they'll let you down easy, doing their best to disguise how disgusted and turned off they are by the fact that you are interested in them that way, but you'll see it anyway, and it will hurt.

Because rejection isn't a possibility, it's a certainty. You know all your many many faults intimately, physical and otherwise, and a great portion of them are self-evident enough that she/he is sure to know as well. And even if by some miracle that's not enough to get an immediate 'no', your other less obvious faults are sure to mean that any 'yes' or 'maybe' is only temporary.

Another opportunity to talk to him/her. You get a little thrill each time it happens, with the weird feeling of almost-hope that it brings with it. Not real hope, because you're not that dumb, but it's kind of like you can pretend for a minute that you believe that she/he'd be okay with you liking them. Well, at the least you'll try to maintain a respectable image. If you can't be likeable and desireable, the next best thing is to be worthy of respect, right?

Sounds like you've got a fear of rejection, doesn't it? With maybe a lack of self-esteem to go along with it. Well, that may be partially true, but that's not even close to the whole story. It's not really a lack of self-esteem. You esteem yourself highly. Really, you do. You just don't trust other people's standards. You don't think that other people will esteem you as highly as you do yourself if they really knew you. And as far as fear of rejection goes, there is a little bit of that if you're perfectly honest. No one likes pain, after all. But the truth is that the fear that they'll say no PALES in comparison to your true, deepest, darkest fear.

That they'll say yes.

Even though you think it's probably a .001% chance, the possibilty that they'll say yes is THOUSANDS of times more frightening than the near-certainty that they'll say no. If they say yes, you won't be you anymore, you be you and him/her. You'll be sharing your life with someone. They'll be a part of you, maybe forever, irrevocably changing you at your very core. And that. Is TERRIFYING! Yes, what you truly fear is not rejection, but intimacy, the very thing you crave! The irony is delicious.

So you keep everyone at arms length, especially him/her. Most especially him/her. She/he is the gravest of threats to your existence, but you're still magnetically drawn to him/her anyway. You are hyperaware of his/her existence, can unerringly point to his/her exact location in the room at any given time despite never looking, and thus you know each and every time she/he talks to someone else. And every time, you think, "She/he probably likes that other person. They're probably deciding to date right now, this very conversation." And each and every time, a stab of pain goes through you, even though you decided you were never going to make a move, were never even going to hold onto hope for anything to happen. Your brain knows, but your heart does not, and it hurts.

And eventually, you're right. One of those conversations, she/he does get asked out, or asks someone out. Of course it happens. It was inevitable. Because even if she/he was actually interested in you, no one is going to wait forever for someone who never even gave a hint that they might be interested. You see, you've managed to do your job flawlessly. You schooled your expression, your voice, your attitude, everything, to conceal your feelings, with perfect success. And later, much later, after opportunity has come and gone, you realize that you were so, so stupid, because they were dropping hints left and right, they were totally into you, and you had your head too far up your own butt to see it. And then, now that it's too late, you think maybe you'd have been okay with intimacy after all. You were dumb, you were stubborn, you threw away your chance. Well that's high school for you.

Except that high school came and went many long years ago, and now you're quickly approaching the 'too late' zone. You can look back and regret for all the mistakes you've made, and curse all the significant others who gleefully took what you refused to, but you don't. You don't regret, and you don't curse. Rather, you take joy in the love that every person you ever loved found instead. Really, it's nearly certain that they're happier now than you could've ever made them yourself, and that's something to be proud of. Why regret, when the results were so good for everyone involved? Maybe not so great for yourself, but that's okay, actually.

Because what you really love...is love. When two people love each other very much, it's a lovely thing. You don't really feel the need to be one of those two people so much anymore. Just observe, take joy in the joy of others, ship it. Don't be a creeper, but ship it hard.

It's enough.