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(Crushing) realities taught by crushes

As someone who constantly daydreams about her happily ever after, I’m almost always waiting for the moment my real-life rom-com would begin. But the moment he walked into the party, Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble played in my head. I’m not sure what it was that made him so different from all the boys I’ve liked before, but something told me I wasn’t going to get the fairytale I’d always hoped for.

Maybe it was the timing of me moving abroad a few months later or his non-committal nature, but something told me there probably were other girls in line. Whatever it was made it easier for me to take the moment as it was and have no expectations. Although fleeting and admittedly a bit confusing, my happy crush on him opened my eyes to the reality that not everything has to have a happy ending.

And for the first time ever, I was okay with that.

Surely I’m not the only one who’s crushed on someone who challenged my belief system, so I asked others to share what that one crush taught them, and how their lives were changed for better or worse.

"He made me come out"

I had a happy crush on a colleague I thought was straight. When I found out he wasn't, I didn't do anything because I wasn't open about my sexuality yet. One night, I decided to just tell him because I wanted to shoot my shot. He told me he liked me too. Eventually, he told me he was talking to two other guys and wanted me to date around — I didn't want to, so I ended it.

When I couldn't keep the heartbreak to myself, I came out to my closest friends. It felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. — Marco C.

"You don't have to show up perfect to have the perfect date."

I liked my brother's best friend and he liked me, too — but we couldn't tell my brother. He asked me on a non-date to play table tennis, and because I suck at sports, I was nervous and showed up two hours late. We had so much fun and ended up playing for three hours. Through that, I realized there's fun in imperfections and letting your guard down.

Now, when I go on dates, I try to be more "me" than the version of me I think the guy wants me to be. — Bianca J.

"He revealed my red flags"

I crushed on a straight boy who gave me a chance. We ended up dating for three years and were each other's first boyfriends. Along the way, I found traits in me I wasn't proud of: I was unhealthily competitive, I misdirected how I communicated, and I didn't know my boundaries. A lot of my insecurities built up to me breaking up with him, and it was the first time I took accountability for my own toxicity. —Romeo R.

"He gave me motivation to be stronger"

I used to have a crush on a friend because he is such a strong biker. While he never really affected how I see life or relationships, he inspired me to change how I train. He gave me the motivation to focus on preparing for races and not care about what others think. — Oya B.

"He taught me to have faith in men again"

I was known to be a man-hater. Apart from catcallers, harassers and mansplainers, I also didn't have good experiences with close guy friends. I was really wary of guys who liked me.

And usually, when I like someone, my mind looks for negative qualities and I lose interest. But with my now-boyfriend, I tried hard but couldn't find any — so I knew I liked him for sure. — Nicole C.

"He showed me I was still capable of loving"

He was the first guy I had a crush on after ending a long-time relationship. I remember the moment I realized I liked him: he stayed up with me for six hours straight to keep me company before visiting a loved one in the hospital. I was rambling and apologized, and he said, "No, I like hearing you talk. You sound happy." He was the exact opposite of my ex, but in the best way. And I'm forever grateful despite us not working out. — Issa L.

"I learned to just be myself"

I didn't think I had a chance. I was more awkward, nervous, and shy; and I didn't try to impress him in any way. I was just me.

My crushes are typically surface-level only, but when I got to know him, I became even more attracted. He got to know me, and I found out he had a crush on me, too. Neither of us was intentionally trying to impress each other, so now, everything is just effortless. — Annika G.

"My feelings towards him changed how I handle my emotions"

I unexpectedly developed feelings for a friend. Because we've been good friends for so long, I didn't want to let my feelings hold our friendship hostage by leading myself on. Through crushing on him, I learned suppressing strong feelings would make it harder, so instead of getting over it, I lived with it and turned those feelings into gratitude for him and our friendship. Eventually, I confessed my feelings and he's been my boyfriend for six years and counting. — Abigail W.

"He’s everything good in life"

We were classmates in grade school and he liked me, but I found it annoying. In high school, he started playing the guitar and writing songs and poems, and that's when I started liking him too. Long story short, we were each other's firsts — we never broke up and we grew up together.

He really made an impact on my life and not one day did I regret saying yes to him in high school. During the pandemic, I felt my lowest of lows, but he was always there to make me feel loved. He made me so sure that he's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. He was the boy who had a crush on me, became the guy I crushed on too, and is now the man I'm happily married to. — Ellaine L.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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