Noun - Informal: an intense but usually short-lived infatuation.
Verb - (used with object): to press or squeeze with a force that destroys or deforms; become injured, broken or distorted by pressure.
I had this oddly interesting conversation regarding the definition and/or nature of crushes a couple of weeks ago and for some reason it has resurfaced in my mind today. The gist of my friend's opinion was that a crush can easily be viewed as negative (as opposed to harmless and flirty), even destructive, to both parties involved (the crusher and the crushee). Putting unrealistic expectations on a person, building them up in your head, planning a future and then not having those expectations met is emotionally devastating. Well, sure. But, that scenario seems more like obsession rather than an innocuous little crush. When you start naming your unborn children, it has probably moved beyond the crush stage!
For a thirteen year old girl, a crush is cutting pictures out of TeenBeat to tape to her bedroom wall. A crush is pretending to be really interested in stamp collecting so you'll have an opportunity to talk to him. A crush is finding out his class schedule so that maybe you'll accidentally bump into him in the hall.
The idea of a crush has always seemed very innocent and sweet...not all-consuming and obsessive - more of a secret admirer rather than a secret stalker. My insightful friend then brought potentiality into the equation. This was in response to my rather flippant, "well so what?" So what if a person has an obsessive crush - that's their prerogative, right? We're responsible for our own feelings. Well, if the crush stems from a place where there is absolutely no potential, then it will result in unnecessary pain. So, the trick then (if you are the crusher) is figuring out if there's potential or not (hey, there could be potential with me and JT - you don't know!). Or, (in the case of the crushee) if you are perceptive enough to detect that someone has a crush on you and know that there is no potential, then do you have a responsibility to tell them so? Yes, it's all very complicated.
Therefore, I plan to steer clear of crushes from now on just avoid any inherent complications or presuppositions. So when my phone rings and I see his name on my screen, and my stomach does a little happy flip... and when I see or hear something that makes me think of him, and I break into a smile... and when I look forward to seeing him. This is not a crush...this is a...what? A like? An admire? A respect? An enjoyment? A non-obsessive crush? Hmmm...I'll have to come up with an appropriate title. Or maybe it shouldn't be labeled at all.