You Asked It

Just Wondering

What to do with a burning crush, an itch for independence, or a friend with a worrisome Tumblr.

I have a crush on this guy I’m in a club with at school. My crush is so bad that it’s preventing me from concentrating on my schoolwork and other important things. So, I think I’m going to tell him I like him. I mean, it’s just a crush, right? No big deal? I just don’t know if it’ll be awkward for us afterwards or how bad the rejection is going to hurt (because he has a girlfriend now). So, should I tell him? I’m afraid of getting embarrassed. —Cessily, 16, New York City

I know how you feeeeelllllrrrrrfgh!!! Love is exhausting torture and also the greatest invention of all time. Let’s ruefully/swooningly lie down on the floor for a while before we continue.

Now, then. [Plucking cat hair off of my entire body] I like how, in your letter, you go from “THIS CRUSH IS AN INESCAPABLE MIND-CONTROL CONSPIRACY,” to “Eh! This verkakte crush! Whaddaya gonna do!” Both of these reactions are totally natural, in equal measure. This is “just a crush,” but it’s also clearly driving you up the goddamn wall.

When I’m nursing a nuclear-grade infatuation, which I pretty much always am, I’m a broadcaster: Everybody’s gotta know about it. “Breaking: My dumb old heart is exploding! More news at 11.” I tell my friends, and my long-suffering cat (whatever, fur-face, deal with it as I do your floor-hair), and, yes, sometimes even the object of my desirezzz. Even if I’m fairly certain nothing’s gonna come of my seeping emotion-ooze, I still want to make something happen with this something that keeps happening, day in and day out, to my love-mauled brain. I think, If this feeling is such a colossus inside of me, won’t it have some kind of impact on the world outside my head if I do something with it?

And, yo, yes. Telling your human obsession-figure will make stuff happen, but you have to make sure you’re aware of what these often-dicey consequences might be before you make any bold and potentially nuclear-grade moves, my girl.

Cess, what are you hoping will come of telling him, really? Do you think there’s a chance he might reciprocate your moony feelings? Or do you just want to yank a release valve on your steamed-up head? There are other outlets for the latter, you know. Friends exist! Diaries exist. Maybe test out those methods first?

But, yeah, I guess confiding in those outlets isn’t quite as earth-quaking as actually telling the person you care about that you like-like them. You want them to explode like you’re exploding and then gage the impact. I got it. Break that valve the fuck off if you have to. But it might not go as cleanly as you’re perhaps picturing it will. I would be way more encouraging about broadcasting your heart-news if you hadn’t said that this guy has a girlfriend. I’m all for going for it if that’s what you wanna do, but bear in mind that this seems like a situation where:

1. You are pretty much setting yourself up for rejection. If you think that’ll give you closure of some kind, or alleviate some of the heart-fog obscuring the rest of your life right now, OK, but I just want you to be prepared for potentially having your misted-up ticker hurt. If you are an overly sensitive type like me, make sure to take that idea into thoughtful consideration, won’t you?

2. Yer crush might feel really uncomfortable about your giving him the full LOVE REPORT, since you’re in the same club and will have to see each other all the time. Also, he has a girlfriend, who might not be too jazzed about this, and that could put him in a rough spot. I once told a high school friend who was in a relationship that I had a crush on him, and he definitely stopped wanting to hang out with me for a while. Out of respect for her, and for me (since my crush was quite unrequited), he didn’t wanna put anybody in a weird situation. Based on these facts, I think you can guess whether my ardorous tell-all cost me that friendship, Cesstaurant.

If you do choose to tell this dude you’re into him, be cautious about how you phrase it. Most important: Don’t pressure him to respond! Just say something like: “Hey, I know you’re involved with somebody else, so I want to be very clear about my expectations, which are zero. I just wanted to let you know that I have feelings for you. It’s been on my mind lately, and I don’t want to keep it in anymore because I’m looking to move on. You’re rad, and I hope we can be friends.” Then, be respectful about his response—if he doesn’t want to talk or hang out afterward, honor that. You’d want someone to do the same for you, right?

So here’s the main question that I have for you: Do you care if any of the not-fun outcomes listed above comes to pass? Or if, as you say, it’ll be awkward between you two, which it totally might? Or are you feeling more like “Nah, I still want to do it, and DURN THE CONSEQUENCES”? In the last case, fine, tell him. Who am I to stop you? This verkakte love-hypnosis, it does whatever it wants! Plus, none of this will matter much in the long run—you’ll have a new crush before you know it, Cessiotone, believe me. It’s just how the wonderful, torturous process of having a heart goes. Good luck! —Amy Rose


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  • Emily June 3rd, 2014 11:40 PM

    I love Dazed and Confused it’s one of my favorite movies! I’m actually watching it right now bc it’s my last day of junior year, like it is in the movie.
    Also, I’m 16 and I have a car and honestly it’s not much more exciting with a car than without one. You can go places and do stuff but unless you’re super rich, you don’t really have the $$ to buy anything (even Starbucks–*cries*) because you’re using all of your allowance/paycheck/birthday money for gas. I read a lot of books before I had a car, and would do DIY crafts and make shrines when I was feeling bored or lonely.

  • sadie lidji June 4th, 2014 1:03 AM

    Cessily, I know just how you feel. that oscillation between “it’s just a crush lol!” and “this is ruining my everything” is the worst, and, at least for me, what really helped was not keeping it a secret. also, yeah the rejection is hard, but I know you’ll pull through. like a friend said to me: “a couple of months post-rejection, your natural instinct will not be to keep going after the one person who doesn’t want to get with you. it’s darwinism! it’s biology!” u can do this girl

  • Roohie June 4th, 2014 1:13 AM

    Cessily, I hope whatever you choose to do, you’ll have no regrets! For the first time, I confessed to my crush by messaging him (lame i know right) about my feeeeels while explicitly reassuring him that I wasn’t expecting anything happening between us. Turns out everything did feel better after i pressed the “enter” button; he got a confidence boost that a girl other than his girlfriend has feels for him while I can finally move on without wondering “what if..”. (: You can do it!
    LILY ARE YOU ME BECAUSE I FEEL YO PAIN. I’m on summer vacation right now and I can’t stand staying at home. When my parents are home, I ask them to take me to the local library. Books? People who actually enjoy reading books in their spare time? Yesss. If you wanna meet new ppl, try exchanging letters with a pen pal, there are lots of reliable sites that have people from around the world just as eager to learn about another culture and to be friendly with you. If your parents are like mine and are very cautious of letting you out of the house, start with baby steps and let them know that their capable of taking care of yourself while still having fun.

  • Flossy Mae June 4th, 2014 7:09 AM

    Cessily, I was pretty much in your exact same situation! I told him, with a 100% chance of rejection, and it was actually one of the best desicions I’ve made because now if I’m ever freaking out about a boy – who doesn’t come with a 100% chance of rejection! – I’m super confident about telling him because the worst possible outcome has already happened! So if you tell this guy, sure it’ll be awfully horrible for a while, but next time you wanna tell your crush how you feel you’ll find it all so much easier :) xx

  • sarahsky June 4th, 2014 8:37 AM

    Hey! Great! What about the girlfriend? Don’t hurt her feelings or make her feel it’s a competition. Really. Friends are better than boys anyway.

  • RatioRae June 4th, 2014 9:43 AM

    Amy Rose, that was the best advice I’ve ever read.

  • darksideoftherainbow June 4th, 2014 12:32 PM

    oh, cessily. i’m in the same boat as you except i just turned 27 (yesterday!) and the boy i have a crush on is my co-worker. we’re about the same age and watch the same shows and have great conversations that flow really easily aaaaaand…he has a girlfriend. i’m not going to tell him how i feel bc that would make me feel very awkward when i see him at work, but it’s super easy for me to feel awkward. i have told boys that i like them before, tho! it’s nice to get closure. i totally agree with everything amy rose said. i hope you do whatever feels right to you! i will continue to dream of my own super cute crush and keep trying to act normal when we talk instead of getting all googly-eyed haha :)

  • goodgodlemon June 4th, 2014 12:43 PM

    Lily: I also recommend getting a job! A lot of people put stress on getting a super cool job, but I worked crappy positions in restaurants all through high school and I loved it. I wasn’t really into the ~high school party scene~ or whatever, so it gave me something else to do, and I got to meet and hang out with new people who were a little older than me and acted as mentors. It will also give you some experience and resume fodder for when you need a job in the future.

  • beyoncetears June 5th, 2014 12:43 AM



  • sockmyshoe June 5th, 2014 2:07 PM

    Cessily – I know just how you feel! I’ve crushed out HARD, and keeping it bottled up inside can feel immense. I’ve often told my crushes in the past – with mixed results – and I’ve usually felt better for it.
    However, I want to give you some advice from the point of ‘the girlfriend’. I’m in a long term relationship (5 years), and my boyfriend plays in a band. Recently, one of his bandmates confessed she has a big crush on him, and they drunkenly kissed. Not cool! This made my boyf very confused and things got awkward – he was confused about his feelings as he really likes her as a friend, he felt guilty, and it became weird at their band practices. He feels unnecessarily guilty for the times they partied until the wee hours with the band, and as they still have to tour together, it’s pretty awks. As for me, I felt betrayed by her (she knows me, and knows we’re in a monogamous relationship), and it makes it hard for my to trust my boyfriend when they have band hangouts – such a shame, as it was totally cool before. It basically became a lot of heartache for all of us.
    My advice is this, and I’m sorry if it sounds harsh. If he’s single/open/available: tell him! Go for it,girl! Why not! If he has a girlfriend: leave it. It’s not your business. Write in your journal, listen to specially made playlists, make cheesy artwork about him (all tried-and-tested crushing methods of mine ;). But leave it for what it is: a fantasy.

  • flaminhottamale420 June 5th, 2014 10:36 PM


    as i read this i FREAKED out bc i am doing the SAME apprenticeship this summer!!!!!!! today was my second day! and you’re one of my fave writers on rookie so hearing that i’m following in your footsteps was crazy!

  • emlyb June 11th, 2014 12:24 PM

    LILY WHAT ARE YOU HAVE YOU READ MY MIND?!?! i literally could of written exactly that. omg. you’re not alone and I FEEL YOU! love ya