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Sex + Relationships

Do Guys Get Crushes? A Crush from a Guy’s Perspective.

Those stereotypical butterflies in the pit of your stomach - we all know the feeling. Ever since that first middle-school “relationship” that lasted two weeks and consisted of several flirty AIM conversations and one lunch period spent holding hands, we’ve all become familiar with the language of a crush. My friends and I even expanded the parameters of the term in 7th grade, rating our feelings on a scale from “crinkle” (getting that slight tingly feeling when you pass by him in the hallway) to “smash” (a full-fledged, talk-about-him-in-code-names, giggle-every-time-you-see-him obsession). Now here we are, mature college women, and we still have those moments that make us feel like we’re back in middle school.
But what about him? You probably know whenever your female friends have it bad for some guy (and all about how that gorgeous blue sweater he wore to physics class made his eyes sparkle), but have you ever wondered what goes on inside a guy’s head when he’s crushing on you?

Her Campus is all about answering your most pressing questions, so we polled a bunch of regular college guys in an effort to find out what a crush is like from a guy’s perspective. Obviously, it can’t be divided neatly on gender lines. We all know it has a lot to do with individual personality – for example, maybe you tend to clam up when you talk to a guy you like, while your best friend is prone to babble at him for 10 minutes about the state of the ozone layer and/or what she ate for lunch. But there are some definite differences, and what we found out is worth noting.
Do college guys even get crushes, or are they just interested in hooking up?
The words “Oh my God, I have the biggest crush on ______” might not come out of his mouth, but crushing – in all its butterfly-inducing, tongue-tying glory – is not a gender-specific phenomena. Despite all the buzz about the college “hookup culture” slowly destroying relationships as we know them, almost half of the guys we talked to said they are frequently crushing on a girl. And that means actually liking the girl, not just thinking she’s hot. “I think a lot of girls are hot, but I only get what I’d consider ‘crushes’ on the girls who I like as a person, too,” says Max*, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill. 
What do they think about when they’re crushing on a girl?

But what about those telltale signs of a crush we’re all too familiar with? Yeah, guys know them too. Most guys polled admitted to worrying about almost everything we do – hair, clothing, what they’ll say (or if they’ll be brave enough to say anything at all.) “I mean, if I know I’m going to see [a girl I like], I’ll probably spend a few more minutes getting ready in the morning and making sure I look good,” says Andrew*, a sophomore at Virginia Tech. Almost 90% admitted to daydreaming frequently about girls they’re crushing on – and not just about sex, either. Guys said they fantasize about everything from flirting with their crush to the romantic date they’d like to take her on. (Though daydreaming about your wedding day and what you’ll name your kids appears to be a female trait.) Even those butterflies are a familiar sensation to the male gender, too –more than 50 percent of guys said they feel at least a little bit nervous when they unexpectedly run into the girl they like on campus, and a few admitted the experience can be more than slightly unnerving. Ben*, a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, remembers one incident when he ducked into the library just to avoid running into a crush. “I wasn’t sure what I’d say to her, and I just panicked,” he says.
Do guys act differently around girls they like?
Does a guy you know send you flirty text messages, but never sit near you in class? Or maybe he acts friendly when you run into him at a party, but barely says a word when you run into him on campus. Well, there might be a very simple explanation for his behavior. As it turns out, we’re not the only ones who tend to act weird around the object of our affections. Sam*, a junior at Colorado State University, says he’ll never sit near a girl he likes in class. “If I sit next to her during classes, it’s really hard for me to focus on my schoolwork,” he says. Most guys agreed that humor is the best way to a girl’s heart – and at least one swears by text-flirting – but some admitted that they’ll often find themselves picking on a girl or otherwise acting mean when they really like her. So even in college, it might pay to heed that advice your mother gave you in first grade: if he’s picking on you (or just acting really weird), it might mean he likes you.
Do they talk to their friends about crushes?
Best friends are wonderful for many reasons. One of the most important reasons being that they’re willing to listen – even feign interest – when you babble on for hours about your crush of the moment. Right? Not, it appears, for guys. While some said they often talk to their guy friends about a crush, more than 60 percent of they guys we polled said they rarely – if ever – turn to their friends for advice about a girl. For those of you who have ever spent an hour soliciting advice from all your suitemates on the exact wording you should use for the Facebook message you’re sending to the cute boy in your lit class, it’s hard to imagine crushing on a boy and not telling all of your friends about him. But 15% of guys said they won’t even tell their good friends when they really like a girl. “I don’t like…express my feelings to my guy friends,” says Sam. “That’s just not something we talk about. I would probably seek advice from my female friends over my guy friends.”

The bottom line
It’s actually pretty simple. Men are not, in fact, another species – even when it comes to crushing. They get nervous around a girl they like, just like we do, and are likely to spend a little extra time getting ready in the morning if they know they’re going to see her. Some of them even go to friends for advice – the whole experience, in fact, is pretty similar. Just with a lot less in-depth discussion of what exactly was meant by that “see ya later” text and the merits and risks of adding a winky face to the end of your reply. So next time you’re wondering if lit class boy might like you back, try flashing him a flirty smile for a little encouragement. He’s probably nervous too.
*Names have been changed
Source: College guys all over the country

Photo credit:
Man with flowers

Laura is a senior (class of 2011) at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in Journalism and French. She spent two years writing for her campus newspaper and interned at USA Weekend Magazine in D.C. this summer. She is also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and recently spent a semester studying abroad in the south of France. Besides reading and writing, she loves being outdoors (particularly hiking and backpacking, ideally in the N.C. mountains), traveling, coffee, and attempting to play the guitar and/or ukulele. Her major life goals include learning to salsa dance and swimming with manatees. Though the thought of entering the real world still terrifies her a little bit, she plans to pursue a career in the magazine or publishing industries.
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