Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So, You Have A Crush On Me.

You're my friend, or perhaps a casual acquaintance. Or maybe you've just seen me at a bar or something. Whichever, something's gone awry in your brain chemistry, and now your feelings toward me are a little more than friendly.


Do not ask me out. Do not offer me a drink. Do not tell me you have a “thing” for me, as though telling me will somehow absolve you of the guilt you feel over mentally straying from your SO. Just don't.

I will not acquiesce to your advances. I am, with all the best will in the world, not interested. I do not need this information.

Prior to your outright telling me, I was not aware of your feelings for me. I have not picked up on your social cues. I cannot read the signs (and if I could I wouldn't believe them).

Your telling me changes things. Whatever stage of friendship we were at, whatever good thing we had going on, you ruined it. I value our friendship/acquaintanceship/strangership and I don't want it ruined by an aberration in your brain chemistry.

Repress those feelings. Squash them down inside. Turn it off like a light-switch. Your culture may tell you that it's healthy to get these things out in the open, but I'm telling you: if you just suppress it hard enough, it will go away. Or, you know, it won't; but either way I won't have to deal with it, and that's what matters.

In all seriousness, I'm frustrated by the concept that a close friendship will or must evolve into a romantic relationship. I think it's because our culture confers ultimacy on romantic/sexual relationships, and this necessarily entails devaluing friendship: think how many movies and TV shows you've seen where the protagonist throws over career, friends, and everything else for the sake of a romantic partner.

I wear flannel and dungarees and am pretty openly gay; and yet, even in this queer progressive community, my very close relationship with a male friend is constantly read as romantic (it honestly couldn't be less so). Thanks, wider culture.

In high school, I categorized my strong feelings for a (male, gay) friend as romantic, even though I had zero physical designs on him, because I'd internalized the cultural messages that any strong feelings I had for a boy must be construed as romantic. I didn't yet have the deconstructive tools to maintain a very intimate but wholly platonic friendship.

Now I do; and now I know that, for me, friendship – not romance, not sex, but real true friendship – is the ultimate in human relationships. And that, in essence, is why I don't want people crushing on me.


  1. I understand your point about not wanting your friends to change your relationship to one of romance, but why are you saying stop to the strangers?

  2. @Mark - because I'm not interested. Which I realize a stranger can't know, but I have to vent about the unwanted attention somewhere :)

    (Or take a good friend's advice for getting rid of unwanted romantic attention: "Just let them get to know you, and your personality will repel them." Thanks, friend.)

  3. I can see where you're coming from, especially in terms of being frustrated by this happening. I suppose I just feel a little uncomfortable with the notion of repression of honesty, communication, or feelings part of it.

    But perhaps I shouldn't read too much into it.

  4. I really love this post. I can understand our point perfectly. Its about having context and situations that are platonic . Not every relation must be romantic. This culture wants it to be npbecause it has equated romance with power and oppression and that romance is an uncontrollable force we must bow to even if we are not under it's spell.