This article should be prefaced with a disclaimer. Crushing on people you don't know is not bad or good. If anything, it's natural. It's when those affections get obsessive that it becomes a concern. Also, this article will be superficial because it's main concern is crushing on people we don't know. So there's no talk of personality here. Take that well-meaning bull crap elsewhere.
You probably read the title and thought, "what kind of vain and superficial person could have a crush on someone without knowing them?" Oh, please. Do you mean to say that you've never had a crush on someone whom you have never spoken to? Lies.
First of all, there's the 'not so bad' crushing on famous people. It's really easy these days to practically know all the fundamental parts of a person (or feel like you do) simply based on their social media. Famous people are constantly updating, sharing, looking beautiful, etc. How can you not like them? I mean, of course, you don't know all their struggles, insecurities, fears, or experiences, but you know how much they can lift and you've watched a video of them responding to thirst tweets on BuzzFeed so you have a pretty decent grasp on who they are.
Secondly, there are the 'a little bit rude' crushes that spawn mainly from actors. Why? Because you'll love the character and not them. You love how they looked, acted, and spoke in the movie, but you are consistently disappointed with how they are in real life: married, not nearly as kind or caring, or they aren't actually the body type of the movie. Also, you feel super betrayed to see the actor in another movie playing a character that you despise or a character that contradicts what you already know about them.
Thirdly are the 'within reach' crushes. Not people distant and far away, but the girl you always pass on your way to class or the guy who comes in for coffee at the same time as you every day. These crushes are by far the worst. Partially, it's because the first two types of crushes are distant, and you know logically that you will likely not meet them and that there are thousands of others just like you. The 'within reach' crushes stink because it actually depends on you to do something about it. You have to take the grand leap of faith and say "hello." It doesn't seem like much but it's really scary. To think that you are the main character in your own movie, where you are the person the viewer yells at and says "talk to them!"
Alas, even if you introduce yourself, there's no guarantee that anything will happen. You may stop seeing them. Maybe they don’t care to get to know you. Maybe they look at you weird and you have a panic attack right where you stand and regret all your life choices that lead up to that moment. You may find out your crush is what you feared: married, emotionally unavailable, rude, or generally dislikable. But maybe you won't. Maybe you’ll find your crush is more than what you could have hoped for. Maybe you’ll build a friendship or a romantic relationship. Maybe they look forward to seeing you just as much as you look forward to seeing them. You never know.
Unless you try.