Sex + Love

My High School Crushes

A history.

Victor, Nate, David, Pablo, Rudy, Andre, Jesse, Nick, Marcus, Danny, another David, Zach, Matt, Dave, Mike, and Michael. These were my high school crushes. Statistically, you’d think that at least one of these people would have reciprocated my feelings, but none of them ever did. This probably wouldn’t have been such a terrible thing if I’d just kind of casually liked these guys, but I was fanatically devoted to each and every one. The following three crushes were the most intense of the bunch.

Name: Nate
Grade: Senior
Height: 5’11″
Most Memorable Trait(s): His exquisite little mustache
Year(s) of Crush: Freshman year
’90s Slow Jam Played on Loop During Crush:All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo
The Run-down: In middle school, I had an almost fetishistic attraction to boys in band, specifically trumpeters and trombonists. I played the flute, and I got my jollies whenever one of these preteen Casanovas released the saliva from his spit valve onto the back of my Adidas. But as soon as I started high school my attention shifted, and I suddenly loved basketball players (or the more colloquial “ballers” or the more colloquial-er “ball-uhz”). Though I’d been a fan of ’80s teen movies since I was 11 years old, I was somehow completely oblivious to how hackneyed this new preference for jocks was and pined for Nate—who was one of the stars of the varsity team and a local celebrity—unironically. Of all the guys that I’ve ever loved, Nate’s head was by far the most meticulously groomed, what with his perfect mustache and his even more perfect fade. He also had the calf muscles of a Ninja Turtle. I trailed him through the quad with my friends/apprentice stalkers and though I never did get close enough to actually confirm it, I decided that he smelled like CK One and baby lotion. Nate was so out of my reach that, despite obviously wanting him to return my affection, I was ultimately content with simply fantasizing about him.
Misguided Attempt at Flirting: While I was doing warm-up exercises with the rest of the girls in my P.E. class, Nate wandered around the gym. Just in case he looked my way, I made sure that my sit-ups and jumping jacks were flawlessly executed, because obviously people who excel at basic calisthenics are irresistible. I can only assume that he didn’t see me, because if he had we’d be married by now.
Crush Highlight: At the end of the school year, I plucked up the courage to ask Nate to sign my yearbook. Actually, I plucked up the courage to ask a friend to ask a sophomore girl she’d gone to elementary school with who was a friend of Nate’s to ask Nate to sign my yearbook. The sophomore took my yearbook to him while he was in the weight room at the back of the gym, out of sight, wailing on his abs or his glutes or something. I wasn’t delusional—I didn’t think that I’d get my yearbook back and find a declaration of love. I didn’t know what to expect. The two of us had never shared any meaningful moments, unless you count breathing the same air as someone who’s in the same general area as you as meaningful. (What would he write? “Dear Amber, you inhale oxygen and then expel carbon dioxide well. At least I’m guessing you do, since I don’t know who the hell you are.”) I waited about 15 minutes (15 minutes!) for the sophomore to return with my yearbook. When I opened it up, this is what it said:

Keep it real with your peeps.

Ah, the profundity! I can’t remember 75% of the advice that I’ve been given in my life, but these sage words are not only written in my yearbook, they’re written on my heart.

Name: David
Grade: Freshman (at the start of the crush) and sophomore (when the crush ended)
Height: Only slightly taller than I was
Most Memorable Trait(s): His large-ish nose
Year(s) of Crush: Freshman-sophomore years
’90s Slow Jam Played on Loop During Crush:Nice & Slow” by Usher
The Run-down: David and I were in the same grade but didn’t have any classes together, so all I really knew about him was that he was beautiful (for the entire first year of the crush I didn’t even know what his voice sounded like). He wore a gold cross around his neck, had this wonderful bump on the bridge of his nose that I dreamed of kissing, and there was a Robert De Niro mole on his cheek that I found very erotic. Our school had a strict uniform policy and, at least for me, that made romance kind of Austenian. I remember once seeing him at the end of the day with his polo shirt untucked and thinking that that was so incredibly sexy.
Misguided Attempt at Flirting: I wrote him a secret-admirer note. Exactly what I wrote, I can’t recall, but when I slipped the piece of notebook paper into his locker, my entire group of friends was with me, I guess for moral support. With my permission, a friend of mine teased David about knowing who his secret admirer was. When she told him my name, he didn’t know who I was. When she pointed me out, he was indifferent.
Crush Highlight: Desperate, I bought a “teen witch” book and tried to cast love spells on him. When that didn’t seem to be working, I asked my mom to take me to a metaphysical store called Ancient Ways to get a “come to me” candle. I burned that thing every night and eventually IT WORKED! Can you believe it? Well, you shouldn’t, because it didn’t work.

Name: Danny
Grade: Junior
Height: Medium-ish
Most Memorable Trait(s): Sincere smile, raspy voice
Year(s) of Crush: Junior year
’90s Slow Jam Played on Loop During Crush:Cupid” by 112
The Run-down: Danny used to say hi to me whenever we passed each other in the quad. When I was walking with friends, he’d single me out. “Hi, Amber,” he’d say. So, of course, I fell in love with him. But, really, the whole school loved Danny. He was on the junior varsity basketball team, but because he wasn’t an especially great player, he’d only be put into a game for the last minute or so. If the game was winding down and the coach still hadn’t called him off the bench, everyone in the bleachers—self included—would chant, “Danny, Danny,” until he got to play. It was like the movie Rudy. Inspirational stuff.
Misguided Attempt at Flirting: I revealed my crush to a close friend of his who thought Danny would “go for me.” Bolstered by that encouragement, I wrote Danny one of my trademark loose-leaf-paper love memos (I’d composed about six of these while I was in high school and none of them had been effective), concluding it with the imperative: “Score a basket for me.” That last line makes me ill for all of the obvious reasons, but also because I’d been on the women’s varsity basketball team since I was in the 10th grade, so I was perfectly capable of scoring baskets for myself. I personally handed Danny the letter—a sign of my growing maturity—and was certain that I was going to have a boyfriend by the end of the day.
Crush Highlight: Waiting for basketball practice to begin, I walked outside of the gym and was pleasantly surprised to see Danny standing there with Phil, his best friend. Neither of them had noticed me. Glee quickly turned to horror when I saw that Phil was holding the letter I’d written. “Score a basket for me,” he whined. Danny was laughing. Good timing, Amber. Smoooooth as usual. ♦


  • maureen7 February 9th, 2012 7:17 PM

    ohhhhhhhh I feel for you Amber. especially that last one.
    whenever stuff like this happens to me, I convince myself it’s destiny’s way of saying”Youre gonna be Mrs. Leonardo DiCaprio one day! Don’t waste your time with these CHILDREN”. it has worked for me thus far.

  • MissKnowItAll February 9th, 2012 7:18 PM

    The simple fact that you remember these guys is so sweet. I’ve been holding on to the secret of my crush for a while now, so in order to get it off my chest I will divulge it to all of Rookie.
    Name- Lets call him “Y”
    Grade- Sophomore
    Height- A good head taller than me.
    Year(s) of crush- Freshmen
    Most memorable trait- Awesome hair and equally sweet smile.
    Misguided attempt at flirting- I sent him anonymous rose and note for valentines day. He received about 25, all from different girls.
    Crush Highlight- I was standing outside of AP English with his friend when he walked by. I said hi and he gave me a full on bear hug. I still smile at the memory.

  • Giulia Lain February 9th, 2012 7:19 PM

    I feel so stupid because I never had a school crush or something. I never fell for some boy. I think that’s because all the boys I know are perfectly stupid, except my friends, but they’re my FRIENDS and I don’t feel anything for they. Sometimes I feel so cold or something, because I am 15, and I’m a sophomore at high school. I should have crushes, shouldn’t I? I don’t care if love hurts, all I wanted was feel that I can love somebody.

    • A.R. February 9th, 2012 11:55 PM

      Hi, you aren’t alone. I have exact same problem. I’m a sophomore and the boys at my school are pitiful, and friends are friends. When everyone out there seems to be having these crushes all the time it does feel kind of lonely. What I think is that I just haven’t met the right guy yet (or at least seen him in the hall or somewhere.) I guess we just have to wait a little bit.

  • lip-stick February 9th, 2012 7:34 PM

    could write an entire 1000 word essay on my own Misguided Attempts at Flirting.

    great article!

  • queserasera February 9th, 2012 7:34 PM

    wow a secret admirer note? it must have taken guts to do that, I’d be afraid that they’d know it was me! plus my school is from 7th-12th grade and we have like 150 kids per grade. by now, (11th) we treat each other like brother and sisters. it’ll be like having a crush on my cousin eww hahah. so no school crushes for me, unfortunately. i feel like i’m missing out on an essential teen experience.

  • Nomi February 9th, 2012 8:05 PM

    I would write about all the crushes I’ve had since kindergarten, but there are exactly eleven and I don’t really feel like writing them out. However, I’m actually very glad none of them EVER liked me back because then I might not be dating the amazing boy I am now.

  • Kaetlebugg February 9th, 2012 8:07 PM


  • atticus February 9th, 2012 8:41 PM

    Name: Is it lame I’m too nervous to say his name?

    Grade: 11th grade

    Height: Short/medium-ish

    Most Memorable Trait(s): Electric blue eyes, defined muscles, and the belly button hair I can see when he stretches.

    Year(s) of Crush: Freshman-Junior (now)

    The Run-down: We’re both in a club focused on helping students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and he’s amazing: so accepting, tolerant, accommodating, and funny. just amazing. One time he asked me to help him with a take home test at Starbucks. Again, amazing.

    Misguided Attempt at Flirting: pathetic-middle-school-insult approach. ugh.

    Crush Highlight: Exchanging notes in math class about different ways we’ll die. Not in a weird way. Like being blast by a spaceship and then eaten by snakes. At one point I saw him doodling my name in his notebook. DROOL. but i guess he lost interest, i feel like he sees me as a sexless/vagina-less creature.

    • Sea goddess February 12th, 2012 3:08 PM

      aww he wrote your name in his notebook, I’ve always wondered if any guy has ever done that with my name

  • cherrycola27 February 9th, 2012 8:43 PM

    “I burned that thing every night and eventually IT WORKED! Can you believe it? Well, you shouldn’t, because it didn’t work.”

    Hahahahaha. Ohhh man, I’m cringing for you. I can’t say I’ve ever been gutsy enough to hand a guy a love note, but crushes are painful.

  • Tyknos93 February 9th, 2012 9:10 PM

    Daww this is adorable. I was so horrible at boys in high school. College isn’t much different -___- Puberty helped. *kanye shrug*

  • marit February 9th, 2012 9:23 PM

    this article is the best! wayy too relatable. sorry it never worked out with any of them, but i admire your confidence! unfortunately, that’ll never be me.

    faux style.

  • Bean February 9th, 2012 9:31 PM

    Psh, I had all of two high school crushes. One dated me because my best friend, who he was in love with, convinced him to and the other is just the darlingest boy I have ever known. Basically, we’re the coolest couple of all time and everyone should be jealous.
    Also, I just realized that I probably sound annoying most the time but really I write things like I’d say them and so I’m very sarcastic and like to use this one voice to talk about how awesome I am but I’m not really one of those people.

  • Jordy February 9th, 2012 10:27 PM

    I feel this. So hard. So hard that I have an entire blog of my own rejection stories from my many ~suitors~


  • mari February 9th, 2012 10:56 PM

    aw you guys are little angela chases. i’m glad i didn’t have many crushes. there was this one boy though, but everyone else was after him so i spent elementary school learning to accept i had no chance.

    i’m a senior now and there’s a really cute boy in my class but i wouldn’t call it a crush, idk. i feel really pathetic.

  • SweetThangVintage February 9th, 2012 11:43 PM

    I’ve had a crush on this guy for the past three years.
    Three years ago I started skating outside every day for an hour. Sometimes he would be sitting outside smoking and he’d say hi to me. The most beautiful boy I have EVER seen. Well skating outside for an hour a day sometimes got boring, so I would wear a sign that would say something like “free high fives” or “free compliments.” I remember he high fived me, and it was a freaking good high five too, but I rejected it just so I could have another one. Also I told him his hair was like Edward Scissor hands and that the only way I would describe it was wow. He said he got that all the time. :)
    I bought him a funny birthday card and wrote a little note in it saying he’d get a lot more of them if he stopped smoking. XD I addressed it to Edward Scissor hands of course.
    Then my little sister befriended his little sister on facebook and it opened a whole new world of stalking!
    I saw him yesterday when I was working at the mall. I considered saying something to him, even the thought of talking to him made me freak out. I started shaking, and I found it hard to breath. I think I actually had a legit adrenaline rush.

    Now I’m a speed skater, slalom skater, and jam skater. He’s the reason I kept skating. I kind of blame him. :)

  • Mags February 10th, 2012 1:11 AM

    None of my crushes ever liked me back either. Sigh.

  • timelady February 10th, 2012 3:00 AM

    This is why I’m glad I run in the other direction when I see signs of affection from the male gender.

    I thought this article would be swooning over Jordan Catalano, er, Jared Leto. I’ll do it now. SWOON.

  • Livia February 10th, 2012 3:22 AM

    I thought this was going to be about Jordan Catalano , turns out , it’s even better.

  • Raindrops February 10th, 2012 8:33 AM

    This text is so true..
    I’ve had tons of crushes in my short 16 year old life and actually ONE of them liked me back and it was a complete disaster. We never even kissed. My current crush is a rich, acting kind of arrogant and absolutely-out-of-reach guy and I can’t help being totally attracted to him, he has just that kind of look in his eyes (sigh)(damn it bitch stop it, it’s not gonna happen!!!).
    Even if no one reads it, I just gotta do this:

    Name: Philipp (It’s actually really strange to
    write that down here)

    Grade: in Germany, it’s 11th (17 years old)

    Height: much taller than me

    Most Memorable Trait: His face. I can’t describe this look in his eyes but it freaks me out!

    Years of Crush: Since one year (I’m now in 10th grade)

    The Run-down: He was new in my class and I just always had (and still have) the feeling that there is something between us, and everytime I see him and “our eyes meet” (I really don’t know how to say that!) he looks so…sigh, see above ‘Most Memorable Trait’

    Misguided Attempt At Flirting:
    Basically staring at him with big brown why-don’t-you-want-me-Eyes.
    I’m not that “no risk no fun” kind of girl (sadly)

    Crush Highlight(s): When he asked me on Facebook about the stuff we had to learn for our math-exam. And also when I looked athim one time in the cafeteria and I noticed he was already looking at me!! (Oh man what a success!)

    I just noticed I’m a desperate freak.
    I feel so dumb for still being in love with him but I still imagine that he secretly likes me too.
    Please someone tell me I’m not alone with my hopeless boy-fantasies?!!

  • Minnah February 10th, 2012 9:32 AM

    Ah, that last story rings true! For me it was on a grander scale, a multi-page letter read aloud (with voices, apparently) to the entire schoolbus.

  • CareyB February 10th, 2012 10:02 AM

    My crush in high school liked me back and I couldn’t believe it but I only admitted it and we only got together after we had both left school and were at University. He was also a basketball player, had soul, the deepest voice, best Scottish accent, was tall and was a really good dancer. He made my knees shake whenever I was around him. Obviously I always had to try to get him to look into my eyes so that he didn’t notice the knees! I couldn’t believe that someone I liked so much liked me too. We dated for two and a half months and then broke up because of massive life/viewpoint differences. I still dream about him sometimes :( but I still feel lucky that somebody I crushed on so hard felt the same way about me. I think it was maybe a once in a lifetime thing although I really hope not <3

  • isabellehungryghost February 10th, 2012 10:15 AM

    oh! I feel sorry for you! Danny was… not nice.

  • jess February 10th, 2012 12:43 PM

    I’ve had a crush on this guy in my class since Year 7 (I’m British, hence the ‘year’, and not grade), and 5 years later I still do.. Sigh.

  • Susann February 10th, 2012 1:40 PM

    This reminds me of my failed attempts with crushes during high school. I’m glad I’m in senior year and there are zero interesting guys!

  • golddustwoman February 10th, 2012 8:47 PM

    Name: “S”
    Grade: Senior
    Height: taller than me (i dont know how much, we’ve never been that close before :()
    Most Memorable Trait(s): His blonde hair and awesome clothes
    Year(s) of Crush: sophmore and junior year
    Jam Played on Loop During Crush:Not in Dog Years by Bratmobile
    The Run-down:Hes the new boy at my school. Ive never talked to him (but ive stalked him on facebook) so i know we like all the same stuff (music, tv, etc.) and i know we would be perfect together. He plays guitar and sings, he did covers of neil young and john lennon songs (Ahhh, dream boy).
    Misguided Attempt at Flirting: trying to get my friend to hook us up (but im not his “type?”>:() and adding him on facebook
    Crush Highlight: him adding me on facebook

    ughh, im such a loser.
    thank god i have this website to vent to.
    if someone i know happens to see this and some how find you this is me, i will die.

  • Geiko Louve February 11th, 2012 12:04 AM

    –My high school crushes were Joe Strummer and Noel Gallagher haha >__<

  • Vera February 11th, 2012 5:05 PM

    Name: Luke

    Grade: 8

    Height: 5’11

    Most Memorable Trait(s):
    His dark hair and converse. He was artistic and loved Bob Dylan.

    Year(s) of Crush:
    3 years

    Jam Played on Loop During Crush:
    I’ve Just Seen A Face – The Beatles

    The Run-down:
    He was a year older than me (I was in grade 8) and new at my school. I remember the first time I saw him I was walking into the fitness room…and well I didn’t see HIM I saw his shoes but his wonderful 1960s aura fell upon me and I was smitten. He painted (actually super well!), listened to old music and was scottish. Hello.

    Misguided Attempt at Flirting:
    Not talking to him *ever*, giggling when he walked by, playing Jimi Hendrix music really loudly hoping he’d noticed it coming from my bleeding ears and buying myself a pair of coveted converse. I know. I’m such a flirtatious vixen but I really just cannot be tamed, blame it on my zodiac sign. (gemini, what!)

    Crush Highlight:
    That one time he looked at me and him accepting my Facebook friend request even though he clearly knew I was a stalker. That’s love.

  • limegreensunset February 12th, 2012 11:39 AM

    why does this look like something i would do? because it probably is. i feel your pain, amber.

  • Mrs.Floyd February 12th, 2012 6:50 PM

    Name: We’ll Call him Z.
    Grade: 10
    Height: 6′
    Years of crush (1.5)

    Most Memorable Trait(s): The incredible things he could do with a guitar.

    Jam Played on loop during crush: Give a little love – Noah and the Whale

    Run-Down:We’re in the same grade, we’ve taken french together for the past two years and it’s the class I try my very best in because obviously anyone who speaks french like a boss is great in bed. At least that’s what I hoped he thought.

    Misguided attempt(s) at flirting: Trying to make sure we packed our bags at the exact same time to ensure that we would be walking out together so maybe I could slip in a word or two about the quiz. Only to receive a ‘mhm’ or two. Those ‘mhm’s would make my day.

    Crush Highlight: After a bad day when he asked me if I was feeling alright because I was usually much more cheery then I was now. My response: “adjfhskjI’mfinethanksfsfs’.

  • siberianbabes February 13th, 2012 4:40 PM

    Name- “B”
    Grade- Freshman and he’s a senior now
    Height- I have no idea, but when my 5’2′ frame puts on feeble 5 inch heels, I still can’t reach his shoulders.
    Year(s) of crush- 6th grade to current
    Most memorable trait- blue eyes and hair that was longer than mine and a body thinner than, again, mine
    Jam Played on loop during crush- “Alright” – Girls
    Run-Down- Despite that I’ve never talked to him, we both hang out in the same dingy basement where all the little misfits and outcasts of high school and middle school gang together. We’re meant to be, right? Yes?
    Misguided attempt at flirting- Loving staring at him during his choir concert. Maybe trying to ~seductively~ mosh at his band’s concert. How do you seductively mosh? I don’t know, but I’m doing it right.
    Crush Highlight- Eating Cool Ranch Doritos out of the same bowl as him. Or touching his hand three times during battle of the bands.

  • oriana February 13th, 2012 8:39 PM

    Oh my god this post is hilarious, “Keep it real with your peeps.” is such eloquent and wise advise… if only I’d had the courage to ask my high school crush to sign my yearbook! Sigh.

    My high school crush was a horribly consuming experience, it lasted for all 4 years, and I dealt with it by overdosing on the albums “Blood on The Tracks”, as well as “Loaded” by the VU as though high school love was some sort of dramatic experience that required intense musical therapy. But I guess at the time, admiring someone from afar truly was as real as any other sort of emotional torture, so I don’t feel *that* dumb for being a so dramatic.

    And honestly I could write a novel about all of the times I was embarrassing in front of him, so I shall spare you all!

  • fishies February 14th, 2012 9:28 AM

    I feel like I fit in so nicely here x) Everyone’s stories ring so incredibly true!

  • Elleeen February 19th, 2012 6:34 AM

    Talking about crushes… I got 7 crushes since I’ve in 5th grade of primary school. But I think the best crush I ever had was the guy who I love right now. And well, this post really hilarious!

  • Eva February 24th, 2012 9:57 AM

    lucky you, crushing on guys who were actually around your age! :D

    my friends and i are obsessed with a married 30-something-year old math/physics teacher. (he’s obviously noticed)
    nevertheless, seeing him in school still makes us giddy *-*

  • Daltrey April 1st, 2012 6:11 AM

    Not only does this article make me exceedingly happy, but so do all the comments about everyone’s own crushes!
    Crushing in high-school was so much fun/terrifying; I miss it!
    But having a steady partner also has its perks!

  • mouse-yme April 16th, 2012 12:05 AM

    The first story made me laugh so hard, thank you so much for posting these stories, they make me feel a lot better about my complete obsession with a boy at my school!

  • smarty April 20th, 2012 9:38 AM

    Oh, high school. If it weren’t for crushes, I don’t know what I would have done with my time.

    One of my stories:

    There was john* in grade 9. I was in love, we’d chat on msn everyday. Secret: I didn’t have internet at my house for a good portion of our “relationship” so I actually called up a friend and she logged in to my msn and chatted with him for me. I felt bad later when I found out she actually liked him and it tortured her to do that for me. At least she was trust worthy enough, she could have easily sabotaged the whole thing! The relationship ended when he came to school after a long weekend with an announcement that he was now dating my best friend. That lasted a whole 6 days.

    Other crushes included a loner boy that I found extremely sexy who rode on my bus. He failed several courses it seemed because I’m pretty sure he was 19. There were also the usual suspects, the guys that every girl had a crush on.

    Oh the endless nights spent writing in my diary, charting my progress with each of these guys…1 point for eye contact, 2 for a “hi”…

    I’m almost 24 and still see some of these guys around. Most of the popular and attractive guys in high school are not that amazing now. I see them at bars sometimes still hanging out with their old high school gang.
    Really does seem like the high school days were the highlight of their life.
    Makes rejection feel that much better when I see their beer guts.

  • SaraMel91 May 4th, 2012 5:24 PM

    I have a list like this as well, and it’s so embarrassing. I think I’ve got it all figured out now though – hold out until I can make Ryan Gosling meet and fall in love with me. Ha :)

  • trassel April 10th, 2013 12:53 PM

    Hahaha, I was just the same! Haven’t changed that much when I think about it. Tragic.
    Once I was in love with this guy who was a drummer in a sort-of-punk band and always wore a read and white knitted hat. He went to a school near mine and I used to see him in the shared cafeteria. I called him “the hat” and stalked him for a year. God, I have so many stories like this.

  • EqualDemise731 April 10th, 2013 11:41 PM

    This must be done, and to get it off my chest!

    Name: ‘E’
    Grade: 11th
    Height: Taller than me
    Year(s) of Crush: Since 8th grade.
    Most Memorable Trait: His voooice and his eyes…
    The Run-Down: Him and I are both very socially awkward… Antisocial… And we are stuck in the ‘friend’ catagorey…
    Misguided Attempt at Flirting: I never got around to actually flirt or do anything about it. I get really nervous when we make eye contact.
    Crush Highlight: We became friends… Or best friends!