Figuring out what to do when you have a crush is a situation that I’m sure almost every human being in history has dealt with at one point or another. What’s unfortunate is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this!
It depends on you, your circumstances, your crush, their circumstances, and probably a whole lot of other considerations too.
Let’s start with you and your circumstances.
First and foremost, make sure it’s safe for you to be potentially outed (if you’re not already out).
Safety is paramount and, especially if you’re not yet able to financially support yourself and/or if you don’t have a safe place to go, it may be wise to wait until you have more security.
Otherwise, assuming you’re already out and/or it’s not a safety issue for you to be out, then think through the possible outcomes of confessing to your crush and whether you’re equipped to handle those scenarios.
For example, what if your crush doesn’t feel the same way? Or what if your confession negatively impacts your friendship or results in a change in your friend circles?
Alternatively, what if your crush does feel the same way, but they start interacting with you differently than what you would prefer?
Or, even in the best case scenario, let’s say they feel the same way and want to enter into a relationship with you -- are you prepared for that? Will your relationship have to be secretive if you both don’t want to publicly be out?
If you’re not ready to deal with these various possibilities, will mentally preparing yourself give you enough courage to let them know your feelings? Will it be worth it?
Next, put yourself in their shoes.
Try to understand your crush’s circumstances and where they’re coming from as well.
Having a crush on someone can feel all-consuming -- you may be hyper aware of their reactions and read deeply into everything they write or say to you.
Consequently, you might be overly picking up hints or suggestions that they feel the same way.
I can’t count all the times when younger me thought, “Her hand just brushed against my hand! Is she hinting that she likes me too?!”
However, is it possible that your crush is just acting as they would with any other person? After all, could you sometimes say or do things that could be interpreted in multiple ways without meaning to?
It can take a lot of pressure off of yourself and allow you to maintain objectivity by assuming that your crush is not treating you preferentially.
At the end of the day, you can’t control how they feel, but you can manage how you react to their response and being empathetic can really help.
Just imagine if someone you cared for, but didn’t have romantic feelings for, told you that they liked you -- what would you hope to be the desired outcome?
What kind of person is your crush? How do you think they would react if they didn’t feel the same way?
For example, during college, one of Poppy’s guy friends told her that he had a crush on her. Not surprisingly, Poppy didn’t feel the same way and didn’t want to be in a romantic relationship with him. While she wanted to stay friends and keep things the way they were, he needed some space to process.
It was a difficult conversation to have for both parties but ultimately, after a bit of time had passed, they were able to rekindle their friendship and have remained friends ever since.
Shoot your shot when you’re ready.
Finally, if you’ve thought through all of the possibilities and you’re ready to deal with the potential consequences of telling your crush how you feel… then, what are you waiting for? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. :)
From our perspective as older lesbians (okay, we’re not that old, but we do feel like grandmas after being together for 6+ years), we usually look back with regret on the chances that we didn’t take with our past crushes (especially ones that we thought likely would have been reciprocated).
That said, we have the luxury of hindsight to know that it wasn’t the end of the world that we didn’t make a move and also that many of these crushes would not have worked out in the long run.
Most relationships start with one person taking the initiative to ask the other one out, which is an undeniably daunting thing to do. After all, you’re revealing your desires to the one person who has the most power to hurt you, therefore putting yourself in a very vulnerable position.
Poppy mustered up a lot of courage to ask me to be her girlfriend but, to be fair, I did give her a LOT of obvious hints that I liked her.
Again, if you know that you’ll be safe, you’re either going to develop thicker skin to overcome rejection (which is a major life skill) if they don’t return your feelings or you’ll find out that you both feel the same way (yay!).
As long as you’re prepared and have the right attitude on handling the worst case scenario and (I’ll keep saying this a million times if I have to) if you can be safe, then what do you have to lose?
Keep us posted, we’re rooting for you and are excited to hear what happens next!
This post was inspired by the great questions we've gotten from many of our readers. If you have a question about dating, relationships, coming out, etc. submit them here.
Other Posts You Might Like:
- Answers To Your Common Dating & Relationship Questions
- 4 Things That Will Help You Become Less Shy and Awkward Around Your Crush
- What I Learned From My Two Failed Lesbian Relationships