I have a crush on every boy!
April 16, 2010 7:03 PM   Subscribe

I just want to be friends with guys, but I keep getting crushes on them! How can I stop it?

I am a woman in my early twenties. I have a boyfriend who I like very much. I have lots of "manly" hobbies and so while I have female friends, many people I have lots in common with are men.

So have have quite a few male friends that I enjoy spending time with. The main problem with me is that every so often I get a crush on them. I start getting all these romantic feelings and fantasizing about them. Usually it goes away, but not before I feel quite guilty about it and get other annoying feelings like jealousy if my male friends mention their girlfriends.

I often wonder if it is because I grew up a repressed sheltered fundamentalist Christian and maybe I don't know how to deal with the opposite sex. Is this normal? How can I stop crushing on my friends?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You can't. This is the first step to learning to cope with your feelings -- you can't change them. Eventually, you'll be able to sigh and say to yourself, I know, I know; then just ride it out with yourself. It's normal, honest, nothing to give in to but nothing to panic and feel ashamed of, either. You can control your actions, of course, and that's the moral aspect -- your feelings are your own.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:17 PM on April 16, 2010 [12 favorites]

enjoy it... :)
posted by HuronBob at 7:18 PM on April 16, 2010

But... be sure that you're being honest with yourself and your bf about how you feel... ...
posted by HuronBob at 7:19 PM on April 16, 2010

Stop feeling guilty about it, that's most of your problem. I crush on people all the time and it's not really a big deal. Laugh about it a little bit.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:19 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Befriend physically unattractive males.
posted by mnemonic at 8:28 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

HuronBob: "But... be sure that you're being honest with yourself and your bf about how you feel... ..."

Yeah, it's the repression of it that *really* gives this stuff juice, good to vent it before it gets way out of hand. I don't know that I'd give everything to your BF though, other than in a general sense; if you can deal with it in conversation with someone else, another trusted person in your life -- it could sting your BF to know about every jiggle in the line. Depends upon your relationship of course; I had one that we could talk about ANYTHING and I surely do miss that, most aren't willing or able to deal with whatever comes down the road.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2010

Say "hey, self, here come those feelings again", laugh at yourself, forgive yourself, don't obsess or avoid, wait it out, and the feelings will pass. It took me over a decade to figure out how to do that. So be patient, and try not to do anything with permanent repercussions.
posted by matildaben at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

It is normal, but it might not be something you'd want to do forever. You're young, so don't worry about it too much now but focus on developing yourself, who you are and what you love to do. When I was in my teens and early 20's I found myself flirting with guys because it was kind of a "fast track" to friendship. Having a crush on a guy makes getting to know them better a lot more exciting, even when it's just "as a friend". It's also a little extra security to know that that guy will never argue with having the cute girl hang around. You're really in dangerous character-testing territory, though, and the potential to hurt someone with those feelings is involved. I'm not sure if that's what might be going on here a little bit, but I thought it couldn't hurt to mention since it had such a huge impact on my life. I'll always have guy friends, but as I've gotten older I've slowly been figuring out how to connect with some really great women that enjoy tomboy hobbies, too.
posted by belau at 8:44 PM on April 16, 2010

Crushes are perfectly normal. When in a committed relationship, it's whether we act on them or not that matters. Assuming we are talking just about thoughts and feelings and not actual advances, let go of the guilt and you may find that these crushes will lose their power even sooner than they do now.
posted by katemcd at 8:48 PM on April 16, 2010

Along with what everyone else already said, it probably has nothing to do with growing up a repressed sheltered fundamentalist Christian. The ability to be attracted to others doesn't turn off because you have a boyfriend. Unless you're thinking of actually leaving your boyfriend for any of these other guys, don't worry about it.

And mentioning it to your boyfriend is probably not a good idea. If you tell him, you'd either find out that he's got the same problem with other girls he spends time with (do you really want to know?), or he'll be hurt and jealous and think about that whenever you're with other guys. Or possibly both.
posted by wondermouse at 9:42 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Join a card gaming group...like Magic the gathering or something similar. If you continue getting crushes on guys...there is no hope for you.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:47 PM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]

As you get older you are going to find fewer and fewer people to crush on so I say enjoy it while you can. Crushes are not meant to be acted on anyway.
posted by fshgrl at 10:03 PM on April 16, 2010

Sleep with them all, once, and then again, maybe not. You're in your early twenties? Do what you want. Just be nice about it, and safe. Love, mom.
posted by emhutchinson at 10:14 PM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]

Similar situation, and I've been way happier since I stopped crushing on my guy friends. Basically the idea is to not encourage it. If you find yourself daydreaming about one of them, think "ew, stop it!" Draw hard lines for yourself about behavior - if you're wanting to sit near one of them on the sofa so you can lean against him, go sit near your boyfriend instead or pull up a chair or sit on the other end of the sofa instead. Figure out what the activities are that give you that crushy thrill instead of just that friendly happiness, and stop them.

Not flirting with your guy friends any more also has the nice benefit that they stop flirting with you and you can stop having the concern that "what if he's only friendly because he's attracted to me?" There's a price, of course - you don't get that nice crushy thrill, and you have to deny yourself the warm fuzzies of feeling irresistable, and there are a few guys who are going to be way less helpful/friendly/interested if your actions reflect your "not looking" status.

That said, I totally get "friend crushes" on every new person I'm getting to know and I don't really feel like there's anything wrong with that. It's just a matter of keeping to friend crushes and not turning it sexual/romantic. Find something about them that's unattractive to you and hold on to it.
posted by Lady Li at 11:54 PM on April 16, 2010

Crushes don't just grow. They have to be fed. And part of the problem with a crush is that you're looking at an idealised image of the individual. The fact that they fart in public or pick their nose and eat it gets left out of the picture entirely.

Firstly, recognise that you're looking through rose tinted glasses at the individual. You're not seeing "Tom", you're seeing half of an image of "Tom". You're not seeing all of the bad stuff.

Looking at all of the bad stuff isn't fun at all, but it is effective in destroying the crush. For every wonderful thing about Tom that you think of, think of two terrible, awful, horrible things. Make sure that they're realistic and could actually be applied to him. Bonus points for recognising actual bad behaviour and remembering it when you start to fantasise.

Finally, look at the crush and see what it is that your crush involves. Does Tom like to go hiking, and you'd love to too? Do you imagine yourself and Tom going hiking together? You might find something about the crush that leads you to realise something that you feel is missing from your own life. Writing down a few bullet points in a logical manner about each fantasy might help you pinpoint a theme. Don't write down what you're feeling, though. Only write down your actual thoughts.

This kind of behaviour is pretty normal, but it can get in the way of real life, and it's really good that you're realising that this is a problem before you let it get out of hand.
posted by Solomon at 2:40 AM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

"I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me." - Jimmy Carter in an Interview in Playboy magazine (1976), while a candidate for President.
posted by DaveP at 3:47 AM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

That said, I totally get "friend crushes" on every new person I'm getting to know and I don't really feel like there's anything wrong with that. It's just a matter of keeping to friend crushes and not turning it sexual/romantic.

That is, using this knowledge and awareness to discover, identify and hold on to your boundaries. This will be increasingly important as you grow older and are in more professional situations than you may face now.

Btw, you don't outgrow it either ... Lady Li's words are good advice on how best to address this aspect of appreciating the men you spend time with and enjoy doing mutually interesting activities together, without making a mess of your own and their personal lives.

(speaking as someone who now tends to crush on 'men' young enough to be her sons *and* internet axe murderers on MeFi)
posted by infini at 4:43 AM on April 17, 2010

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