A Word Of Wisdom On Crushes, And The Revealing Therein

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I am, if you will recall, a fan of the no-obligation crush.  Which is to say that in the unlikely scenario that I have a crush upon your totes adorbs self, you are in no way obliged to return it.
My crush is my own.  It’s nice if we share a mutual attraction, but even if you show no interest in my pudding-like physical form, I will still hang out with you.  This isn’t a contract where I will only do nice things for you unless you promise to smooch the hell out of me; no, we are friends, and while my friendship may be laced with a bit of intoxication over the idea of smooching you, I value your actual presence over my daydreams.
Tl;dr: I’d rather have you in my life as a buddy than reject you for the crime of not crushing back.
And I often do reveal crushes, just to get that out of the way.  “Hey, I crush on you, this is a factor to be considered in our relationship, like the weather or traffic jams.”  I do it not because I intend to arm-wrestle love out of them, but because they should probably know that if they choose to, say, complain to me extensively that there aren’t any good men out there who like them, I may get a bit huffy for reasons that might seem mysterious in the absence of this crush-visibility zone.
Yet if I do crush on someone, there are five words that are fatal to any good crush-revelation:
“So…. do you like me?”
Trust me on this one: if you tell someone you’re crushing on them, and they like you back, they’re gonna tell you.
And if they don’t, pressuring them into a revelation of mutual crushitude transforms this from the “no-obligation crush” and into the “you’re gonna hurt my feelings if you don’t reciprocate” territory.  And that’s a pretty terrible place to be, on both ends.
Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with revealing a crush in the hopes of unearthing a mutual attraction.  But there is something wrong with pretending to be all “Oh, this crush doesn’t matter, I’ll like you either way” and then immediately follow that up with a subtle pressure of “LIKE ME BACK, DAMN YOUR EYES, I WANT TO KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING.”
If you truly have the obligation-free crush, this isn’t going anywhere.  Even the revelation of a mutual attraction may not necessarily lead to hot bedside smoochenatings, as all mature adults understand that “Attraction does not equal automatic coupling.”  I’m attracted to any number of people who, in a vacuum, would probably warm my nethers… but they’re not in a good place to fulfill those needs and neither am I, so we just keep a good friendship and occasionally flirt with a sharper edge than normal.
You can like like someone and have it not turn into anything deeper.  They can like like you back and have it not change much.  Not every makeout session must be brought to fullness, and I think your life gets a lot better once you realize that.
Especially when you’re a flighty crusher like me.
(Originally written on FetLife, cross-posted here.)

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