Beauty & Fashion

Crushes Make Everyone Embarrassing, Not Just You

Once, I had a crush on a boy with an Italian-sounding last name. He and his family were English-speaking Americans, yet, in an attempt to prove my love to him, I taught myself (basic) Italian with Rosetta Stone.

This went over about as well as you’d imagine, but my questionable behavior persisted. Every phase I went through through my mid twenties was also a case of being too “down bad:” I rode my yellow beach cruiser around LA because I liked a guy who was into cycling, dyed hair dark and cut bangs because the next one I liked “was into French girls,” and moved to the same neighborhood to be closer to another after graduating.

If you’re thinking that some things are so cringe-worthy they can and should stay in the drafts, know that nothing I’ve described is unique. Regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation, almost everyone has done something foolish to get closer to a crush—and publicly admitting these acts has become a viral trend.

On TikTok, thousands of users are sharing their similarly embarrassing anecdotes of embarrassing or bizarre things they’ve done—and posted—because of a crush, such as pretending to be a dancer, dressing up like and lip-syncing to Ariana Grande, and going so far as to perm their hair. Intrigued, I asked my own followers, friends, and colleagues what they’d done in the name of crushes.

TikTok content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

“I pretended I was good at math and did my crush’s homework,” Lucy Weiss, a 25-year-old law student, says, while Chris M., a 33-year-old living in Boston, learned, lightly rewrote, rehearsed, and then performed the song “All I Ask Of You” from Phantom of the Opera in an attempt to ask his crush to be his girlfriend. “I thought it was the most romantic song I’d ever heard,” he tells Glamour. “It didn’t work.”

Jim S., on the other hand, was so committed that he learned origami. “With absolutely no background, I learned how to fold the Kawasaki rose, which is definitely not a form for beginners,” he says. “I folded enough to make a bouquet of them for my crushes’ birthday, which was equivalent to her new age.” Your move, Netflix.

Some people went so far they followed their crush to different high schools. “I begged my mom to let me switch schools because I heard a rumor my crush was going there after graduation,” Lily P. says. Clearly, crushes don’t discriminate and they drive us to do some questionable things. But why?

TikTok content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

According to psychologists, crush-induced brain chemicals mimic the feeling of actual intoxication. “When someone has a crush, they’ll experience the release of dopamine, causing people to feel pleasure and euphoria,” says Ashwini Nadkarni MD, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. “The release of another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, is also triggered, which causes people to feel alert.”

Since having a crush is not unlike taking a drug, according to Marcia Longley, PhD, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert at The Eternity Rose, they can “also cloud judgment and lead to irrational behavior, which can sometimes be quite embarrassing.” Hence the never-ending material everyone seems to have about our crush-induced decision-making skills.

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