Your middle-school self probably only dreamed of the independence you currently enjoy as a grown-ass woman. But, if you told your 12-year-old self you'd still be stressing over three-word texts from a crush well into your 30s, you might not have been in such a damn hurry to grow up.
Crushes don’t just magically disappear from the emotional spectrum once you get a 401K. And unlike the wine you might guzzle to deal with that sad fact, crushes just get shittier with age. Here are just a few reasons why they're not as fun as they used to be.
1. You've Got Fewer Options
As a teenager, it was totally OK to crush on a dude solely because he owned a Sublime shirt, or drove a yellow Jeep Cherokee. But you get pickier as you get older, and your crushes become more specific and harder to find. When you don't meet many people who set your genitals aflutter, you’re going to be more invested in the ones who do.
2. It's Not a Logical, Solvable Problem
Maybe you’re a kick-ass-take-names boss in the office (or at the gym, whatever), but those skills don’t always translate to the crush scene. And that’s frustrating! You pay your bills on time, you call your parents regularly, and you can cook between three and 17 different edible meals—so why can’t you control your crush?
3. Your Fantasies Are Kinda Boring
When you’re young, even a cheek-kiss on a basketball court seems like a Disney-level love affair. As adults, we might fantasize about steamy bedroom scenes—but practical fantasies creep into the mix, too. Like when you see a guy and think, “That looks like a man who could read a map.” Hot.
4. Competition Is...Complicated
Because you’re not a child, you might hesitate to vilify the other women lusting over your (potential) boo. Clearly, your competitors have good taste! You might even have a few things in common with these ladies, beyond who you collectively want to bone. Part of being a grown ass woman is respecting other grown ass women, which makes sharing a crush a compelling exercise in restraining your inner 12-year-old.
5. He Could Be Married
In some situations, a married crush might be preferable. (Like, when you’re also married but still enjoy crushing, because you’re not dead.) But nothing kills a real crush like a wedding ring. Give your younger self a pat on the back, because she (hopefully) never had a crush on someone who’s ostensibly off the market for the rest of forever.
6. You Feel Like a Teenager
Gushing over someone like they're God's gift? Less cute when you’re in your 30s. There are only so many times you can ask for help crafting a text, before you start to sound like a kid asking her friend to pass a “Do you like me? Yes or No” note to the boy in Earth Science class.
7. It's Hard to Stay Cool
Tween-you probably got away with no-chill murder in the crush department. You may have made feeble attempts to mask your throbbing, ridiculous crush, but tween tactics are straight up transparent and thirsty. As adults, we've got to play it cool. We have to make our intentions known without appearing like we’re all in (even if we most certainly are). It’s a fine balancing act that possibly no one with a genuine crush has ever really mastered.
8. It Still Hurts Like Hell When It Doesn't Work Out
Yes, we should be accustomed to romantic disappointment and failure by now. But finding out your crush doesn’t like you/is taken/has unseemly political beliefs still has the potential to make you sob like the hormonal wasteland you once were back in the day. But here is what’s great about being an adult: Instead of taking to bed and writing grand declarations in your diary, you can call your friends, hit up a bar, meet someone new, and start the whole bloody process over again.
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