selfish to confess a crush?
July 26, 2006 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Would confessing my crush be selfish?

I recently made an acquaintance with someone after spending time with a mutual friend. We discovered we had a lot in common and made a time to talk over some drinks. It was as friends, but after spending a few nights out with her I've developed a crush. She then invited me to spend three days at her house to do sound for a student short that was being filmed there by friends she had made during the summer session of her school, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pursue her, but to my dismay she seemed to have a lot of affection for one of the guys, as they would give each other massages, lie next to each other at night looking at the stars and talking, etc. She says she is single, and they never actually behaved with each other in a way that would indicate without a doubt that they are involved in any way, but she wasn't like that with anyone else.

Now, the members of that crew are all returning to their respective homes far away from here, and she's going to Los Angeles for a month in about a week. I return to school, which is also far from here, before she returns. Despite being 99% sure that I have no chance of anything happening, I would like to admit my feelings to her, as I would prefer to have a sense of closure.

My question is: would it be selfish to do so? Even if that 1/100 scenario took place and it turned out that she was just good friends with him and hesitant to admit anything to me (I don't think my actions thus far have communicated my actual feelings on any level), I still wouldn't be seeing her again for at least three months. If what I suspect is true and she doesn't have any feelings for me, then the awkwardness will be amplified by the fact that we won't have three months to spend together as friends to get over it. I'm not madly in love– should I keep this to myself?

Thanks for reading this screed.
posted by invitapriore to Human Relations (27 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
ya can't win if ya don't enter. if you do it in the right way, you won't burn any bridges either. Also, women often are flattered by this type of admission, so it's not necessarily selfish. good luck.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2006

Gotta wonder what good it will do. If you confess your crush, she says great and leaves. It's off your chest, but prolly not going to go anywhere in the future.

If you say something and it makes you feel better - do it, don't regret it. If you have a hope that maybe in the future something will happen, them maybe you should slow play.

In short - do what will make you feel best, but the odds don't sounds great for this going somewhere now.

posted by mogabog at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2006

Best answer: I don't think there is anything selfish about making a move. Whether it is the right strategy --- given the upcoming separation --- is another question. But I'd say go for it.
posted by alms at 11:19 AM on July 26, 2006

I've found there are two types of women:

1. The type you get by admitting you like them.

2. The type you get by pretending not to like them.

If you think she is #1, go ahead and give it a shot.

But from the way you described her, I suspect she is #2. The best thing in that situation is to stay partially aloof and drop in and out of her life like it's no big deal, but always acting sexy and cool. If she is #2, eventually she'll develop a crush on you and pursue you.
posted by milarepa at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2006

I've never regretted going out in the open with a crush. The only time I wouldn't is if I was certain that a more appropriate time might come along later. The only way I see this working is if you play up your humility in a smooth and embarrassed way and go in the direction of "I know it sounds silly", plus mention some low-key, noncommital thing that you hoped you'd do together.... plus there has to be some sense that you've got other stuff going on and are about to move on. That way she's a little charmed, isn't intimidated, and has an instant option she can take you up on. You're tantalizing her "what if" curiosity. Frankly I'd also have a shot of whiskey at some point beforehand as any nervousness on something like this will do you in.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2006

If it's recent, maybe you want to wait a little bit and spend a little more time with her. Then you'll know if you really like her or maybe it's actually more imcompatible than you think.
posted by clairezulkey at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2006

Wow, I've been musing posting almost this exact question for a few weeks now- thanks, invitapriore! Gonna have to monitor this thread...
posted by hincandenza at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2006

Cowards die a thousand deaths...

Death #472 coming at you.
posted by ewkpates at 11:48 AM on July 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

Why would it be selfish? I think confessing crushes is sometimes seen as selfish when one or both people are in a relationship, and the confessing is done to create drama, or because the crusher can't stand to keep their guilty secret a secret.

In this situation? It may not get you anywhere, but you aren't going anywhere now, so why not give it a try?
posted by crabintheocean at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2006

Say that you would like to maybe go out on a date sometime, but it seems like she's interested in this dude. Tell her if it doesn't work out with the dude she likes, to give you a call.
posted by onepapertiger at 11:52 AM on July 26, 2006

Also, to me it kind of sounds like she likes you and the other guy.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2006

Not selfish. Do it. You're both single, and have nothing to lose. She obviously at the very least likes you a lot, otherwise she wouldn't have invited you over.

In no way is this being selfish.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:04 PM on July 26, 2006

Which hurts more, rejection or regret?

These are potential costs of the two courses of action... i.e., doing something versus not.

Rejection at least, is final. Regret never ends.

Mind games, like "slow play", etc. seem infantile when there are approximately 3.1 x 10e9 women on the planet, several of which may not require mind games. Why screw around?

Reading between the lines and trying to divine the particular dynamics of your interaction with the lady is difficult, but it sounds like fertile territory for a positive outcome. If you are wrong about your interpersonal chemistry with her, even a bad interaction with her will serve as a 'calibration reference' for what you feel/think versus what really is. (This is the engineer in me!)

The romantic in me says 'How beautiful that you are attracted to this woman. What a wonderful gift to give her your honest feelings and hopes.'

I can't help but think she'd be flattered and at the very least, would quickly let you know where she stands.

But if you don't open your mouth (or somehow else communicate your feelings), all you get is regret. Knowing/trying/doing beats dreaming any day in my book.
posted by FauxScot at 12:05 PM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

I liked a coworker one summer in Seattle, and despite she having a boyfriend and myself going back to NYC in the fall, I told her how I felt. I had nothing to loose, and I don't regret it. Sometimes people confuse the extra attention for friendship, and while we think we are being obvious, it's not always perceived that way. Mostly likely she think it's really sweet and that'll be the end of it. It's not selfish and it may be complimentary to the other person.

And milarepa's comment reminds me of the Dan Bern song "Tiger Woods," which is generally good advice :
If certain girls don't look at you
It means that they like you a lot
If other girls don't look at you
It just means they're ignoring you
How can you know, how can you know?
Which is which, who's doing what?
I guess that you can ask 'em
Which one are you baby?
Do you like me or are you ignoring me?
And all you need to do that
Is one good pair of big balls
Balls as big as grapefruits
Balls as big as pumpkins
posted by yeti at 12:20 PM on July 26, 2006

Absolutely let her know you are interested in her in a clear, respectful manner.

Don't use the word "crush", though, because it's kind of creepy and over-involved. A crush is something you admit to on the 3rd or 4th date if things are going well, or after the first time you sleep together.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:24 PM on July 26, 2006

Best answer: Is it possible the other guy might be gay.
posted by robofunk at 12:36 PM on July 26, 2006

Best answer: If you don't desire any particular reaction from them (i.e. reciprocation) go ahead and tell them. However be prepared for your friendship to turn awkward. If she has no idea, it's going to be off putting if for no other reason than surprise. In addition, regardless of whether you tell her "you just wanted to get it off your chest," there is a good chance she'll think that this is your way of pursuing her so there is some risk.

On the other hand if you are hoping for some sort of reciprocation, there are ways to confess for feelings which can turn out well, however there normally has to be very special circumstances for it to work out well.

What I mean is somewhat complicated, but essential if she has no idea, and there is no particular characteristic of yours, which she already holds in her mind, which she finds appealing, your sunk. My reasoning on this is that typically, people who have "no idea" are instantly flustered and don't know what to say. This makes it especially hard to consider the idea in the 10 second which it would be to politely respond to such an admission. In addition, many people's first concern is not hurting their vulnerable friend, before even considering whether or not they are truly interested. This is hardly the romantic ideal (assuming romance is what you are after and not just a fling).

I believe one of the only circumstances which the admission of feelings like this turns out well, is when your actions have already made your feelings relatively clear. Honestly, in my experience (which is both being the admit-or and admit-ie) this kind of admission can only work when it's romantic in nature and that can only occur if people at least some idea of what is going on. This isn't necessarily difficult. Take her out some time to do something fun and then get something to eat. Since you seem to be friends you should be able to accomplish this without any "is this a date?" talk. Be forward, flirty, make physical contact by touching her arm, smile/smirk at her while looking her in the eyes, etc. By the end of the night she should at least have an idea your interested. Then, if you're not sure she got the picture, or you just want to know where you stand, with a joking demeanor, admit your crush/feelings, careful to make light of them to some degree so it's clear your not admitting love and it's not a friendship destroyer if she doesn't feel the same way. This will enable her to be honest about her feelings instead of the otherwise likely sparing your feelings.

This "technique" for lack of a better word, has worked for me and on me several times. Every other type of admission I've been involved in has ended very awkwardly. For the "no idea" reason illustrated above.

//Sorry I couldn't make this more concise.
posted by JakeLL at 12:59 PM on July 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

A crush is something you admit to on the 3rd or 4th date if things are going well, or after the first time you sleep together.

I've always thought of a "crush" as something you have on someone before you begin dating them- when maybe you don't know them as well, but just the thought of them makes your heart go clip-clop, clip-clop. I don't think it would be totally creepy to tell the girl you have a "crush" on her, as long as you don't say the word itself 1,000 times.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:00 PM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


You say that you suspect that she doesn't have any feelings for you and you seem to say it as if this closes the issue. I don't know about others, but I firmly believe that feelings develop and aren't typically instantaneous in nature. While crushes are common, many people have to be put in particular circumstances with the other person to develop anything, especially if they hadn't considered the person in that way.
posted by JakeLL at 1:12 PM on July 26, 2006

I've always thought of a "crush" as something you have on someone before you begin dating them- when maybe you don't know them as well, but just the thought of them makes your heart go clip-clop, clip-clop.

It is - but I think it can be a little too much for the person you're crushing on to have to think about how, although you don't really know them, they make your heart go "clip-clop".

I think the point is that although it's cute to hear on a 4th date "I had a huge crush on you months ago", it's a bit too intense before that. There are more casual ways of saying the same thing, you want to be saying "I think we might have a romantic /sexual connection" (don't say those actual words!) rather than "I have a hopeless one-sided thing for you".
posted by crabintheocean at 1:14 PM on July 26, 2006

Should you confess a crush? No.

Should you indicate your interest? Absolutely.

I suggest you think of this in a manner similar to the advice I always got (when dinos roamed the earth) about asking a woman out.

"Would you like to go out with me sometimes?" == bad.
"Would you like to go with me to the movies this Thursday?" == good.

Don't just tell her you have some burning feelings for her - unless she has similar pressing feelings it's just awkward and there's no appropriate answer for her to give you. What's she supposed to say to that? "I like you okay but I don't have those same feelings, though perhaps I'd be willing to go out with you sometimes and see what develops?"

You do have some time pressure, though, so why not tell her you've really been thrilled with the time you've spent together and gotten to like her better, can we go X on Y before you go? Make it clearly a date-like event and make a move.

I Nth the million other people who say they never regretted putting it out there but do regret the times they didn't. Failure sucks but not knowing is a million times worse.
posted by phearlez at 1:29 PM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yes, and so what? Go for it, dude.

(Really it's only selfish if, say, she did have a boyfriend, and there was zero chance for you. If, by doing so, you would hurt other people.)

It's life; live it. Embarass yourself. Make out with her.
posted by bozichsl at 1:35 PM on July 26, 2006

Keep in touch with her, see how you feel. I'd wait a bit to see how things play out before telling her. You can act like you are interested and let her know without having "the talk"

I don't think it is selfish to confess a crush, but I think waiting a bit and seeing how things go will garner the best results.
posted by necessitas at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2006

I agree, show your interest. maybe set it up so you can have email contact during the 3 month interlude. Be honest and non-creepy and see where it goes.

... or you could just post one of those silly 'missed connections' deals on craigslist like four bejillion other nutless wonders.

your choice.
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:45 PM on July 26, 2006

I would just ignore it - it'll be over pretty soon anyhow for better or for worse, and I think it does put her in an awkward place.

But what do I know?
posted by hoborg at 3:22 PM on July 26, 2006

In vino veritas, my friend.
posted by mullingitover at 4:41 PM on July 26, 2006

i think you should tell her of your interest. in a straightforward and certainly not self-humbling way. don't even mention the other guy - if you are going to get together witrh her, what does he matter? in any case, the third party never matters, it's always about the two of you. why tell her, even though you are 99% sure of failure? (1) you get the sense of closure, and sense you are not a wimp; (2) she may indeed have a crush on this other guy, but she may indeed get over it - next week, in three months' time, in a year's time - at which point she may think of you and get in touch. It's like planting a seed, it may grow, you just never know. fwiw i just confessed something like this to someone who i too was sure 99% would reject me. she did. but she said my forthrightness made her laugh, she said she likes my emails, she said she wants to be friends. let's say it stays like that: that ain't bad either: i've got a new friend.
posted by londongeezer at 6:40 AM on July 27, 2006

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