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The Nature of Why We Crush

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Hands hold binoculars and look through them. Eyes with red hearts full of love. Vector illustration for dating application or valentines day. Outline vector element for web, ui or application design.

We tend to like people at random, or that’s what we assume. Our hearts pound and stomach crowds with nerves that make you feel like throwing up. It’s one of the most breathtaking and breath-taking feelings in the world. But the most insane knowledge I’ve dealt with is the one that crushes actually have a system. 

So, what is a crush? Technically, it is the attraction that we feel to another person. The way they become the sole focus and recipient of our actions, and the way it makes us feel. It is the general concept that begins the desire for something more, such as pursuing a relationship. It’s the interest we feel towards someone that allows us to explore them as a person on a deeper level, but it often comes with its own misconceptions. It tends to be misconstrued; being someone’s friend because you like them makes it seem like the friendship was an ulterior motive as a whole, and although I agree it can certainly feel that way, an intrigue is intrigue; an interest is interest.

This sort of interest tends to happen in the most random times when you least expect it. Oftentimes, you’ll hear talk going around of someone’s crush being totally not their type. Honestly, it happens to the best of us. Denial is a striking phase where usually when you like someone, you start off not wanting to like them, though it depends on the circumstances.

However, what doesn’t depend on the circumstance is the psychology behind what actually happens when our first crushes develop, because truth be told, there’s a reason behind everything. 

General psychology suggests three main factors to attraction — disregarding the common bar of decency — which consist of this: mere exposure, proximity, and similarity. To start, mere exposure theory implies that people tend to like things more the more they are exposed to them. In contrast, proximity suggests that people tend to like, or begin to like, someone they are physically close to often. Similarity, in this context, is what it sounds like; liking someone who shares features that are similar to yours. All those couples or dating Instagram accounts actually have a reason!

All to say, the closer we are to someone, and the more we see someone, the more likely it is that we like them. That may seem obvious, but the formulaic nature of crushing when laid out this way tends to be mind blowing, especially if you have someone to relate it to. You may not want to like who you end up liking, but there is a reason, and that’s what makes it hard to get over the people that you must learn to let go.

Although it is a system, when you understand it, at least you can suspect it just a little. As much as we romanticize having a crush in high school, it could be one of the craziest feelings in the world. It opens you up to the pain and double edged sword that is love, and teaches you how to let go.

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Samia Shara
Samia Shara, Co-Editor
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