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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

We are told to never judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t stop us from imagining what could be written within the pages. Even a simple title or summary can motivate us to conjure up endless possibilities as to what could happen throughout the story, adding significance to any small detail we can get our hands on. We begin to build on our own ideas and may even grow attached to them. Of course, this happens before we sit down to actually read the source material. This process of drawing conclusions based on what we can perceive from afar and accepting them as reality can also be applied to crushes. The less you know about the person, the more creative you can get while daydreaming about them. Sure, social media might allow you to learn even their great aunt’s name, but getting to know your crush often destroys any preconceived notion you had of what it would be like to be with them. Most of the time, the romance trope you had so dreamily crafted in your head is simply destined to become dust in the wind.

There’s a certain magic that comes with having a crush or multiple crushes (this is a safe space!). We look forward to seeing them, and any minimal interaction turns into a full-blown story time to share with our friends. It doesn’t matter how old we get, it’s always exciting to be crushing on somebody. Exploring how these relationships could pan out feels like alternate endings, the ‘will they or won’t they?’ of our personal imagination. A little script that keeps us entertained and starts to write itself the longer we linger in such thoughts. On occasions, we wish to make a live action adaptation of a story that should stay in our drafts. What sustains most crushes is our idealization of the object of our affections. The blanks we fill in for them, adding imaginary attributes that they might not have, but we want to believe they do. That person you saw wearing a Marvel t-shirt once and you’re already thinking about having an MCU marathon with them?ーit turns out that they just liked the design. This is just an example out of infinite possibilities, but we tend to assume that the small things we notice about people at first glance are enough to capture a sense of who they are.  

Reese Witherspoon Cheers GIF by Apple TV+ - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hello Sunshine / Giphy

I know that we can crush on people that we’re already close to, but it still leaves enough space for us to idealize them romantically. In a sense, we don’t really know them that way. We might have heard certain details from their past experiences, but it can never really ensure that things will go the same way if our little alternate ending were to become official. I’m not saying that being in a relationship with your crush is going to disappoint you, but the longer we hold these feelings inside, the more we depend on our own creativity  to ignite that connection we yearn for. As a result, we obsess over a version of this person that is tailor-made for us. There’s a fine line between who they are and who we want them to be. You can try to balance yourself on it and run with your ideas, but reality will be hot on your heels. 

Crushes pave the way into infatuation, a road defined by the fragments of an individual that we hold dear to our hearts; a person that checks all the boxes in our heads. They might be the complete opposite of your wildest dreams, but even then, there will come a moment where squinting your eyes in refusal just won’t change the picture to your liking, no matter how much you look at it. Although their faces are crystal clear, the details that you’ve latched onto are merely an echo of your own desires. There’s nothing bad about that, but we need to understand the importance of staying in touch with reality. This means that no matter how appealing a person may seem, if we truly want to be with them, the task of facing their most honest expression is essential. Nobody should have to struggle under the pressure of our assumptions.

Season 5 Nathan GIF by Insecure on HBO - Find & Share on GIPHY
HBO Entertainment / Giphy

Realistically, we’re not meant to be compatible with every person that we are attracted to. We pick up on the aspects that we like about them and simply focus on those. That’s not to say that we don’t observe how they interact with the world around us, but the details that we do notice ultimately serve as bonus features, further character study to craft the role we hope to cast them for. This is normal and that’s what makes these attractions so crushing. When we hit the wall, we have to see our circumstances for what they are. Eventually, we are forced to let go of these comforting scenes that play within the privacy of our minds. The rain kisses go back to the Netflix original show we stole them from, the songs that remind you of them don’t sound the same, the strangers-to-friends-to-lovers arc has run its course before it even started because we projected them into a fantasy. What a lovely one at that.

Each crush we have sends us on the journey to construct the best rom com in the history of cinema. Hey, it’s fun from time to time. It can get draining, carrying the weight of a production that might never see the light of day. The rush of emotions that course through us when we have a crush can be incredibly special. This person makes us feel so much that our brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out the best way to secure a happy ending even if we know it’s doomed. They might be the worst possible match for us, but who am I to tell you not to be a little delusional? We’ll probably have many moments like this in our lives, where we detach ourselves from what our eyes can perceive and we begin to dream up a love story for the ages. Dreaming’s all fun and games, but when it comes to idealizing crushes, remember to keep it real.

Elisabet 'Elisa' Ramírez is an Education in English major, with a minor in Acting. An artist at heart, she enjoys writing short stories, comedy routines and scripts. Her articles are mostly reflections on the process of coming of age. She aspires to make art that offers understanding not only towards her but to those that engage with it.