The Crush/Friend Transition
It may or may not involve a lot of lying.
By Sofia Rivera, Simmons College
They probably sit perpendicular from you in your Wednesday morning class—so close yet so far.
They have an amazing name, like Zelda or Serendipity, or Finn or Phoenix, and they’re really into pottery or bungee jumping, or something else ridiculously cool and unique.
You wave hello to them as they ride by on their unicycle, but when it comes to having a full-blown conversation you always get tongue-tied. Sound familiar? If so, you have a friend crush.
This is a very real term, as proven by the Internet’s most reliable authority on vocabulary, Urban Dictionary. According to the top definition, a friend crush is, “Experiencing a strong desire to become friends with a person you don’t know very well.
They have a separate page for “man crush,” which is stupid because ‘friend’ is a non-gendered word—man or woman we can all have friend crushes, and adding ‘man’ in front of a word doesn’t magically make the concept über masculine.
The friend crush is even deadlier than the classic romantic crush, because being upfront about a friend crush will ruin everything.
But fear not— there are some subtle steps you can take and avoid taking to win over your future best friend.
Determine how serious this crush is.
Level 1: You see this person maybe once a week and have thought, “That seems like a nice person.”
Level 2: It’s always a nice surprise to run into this person and every time you think to yourself, “They seem really cool.”
Level 3: “Like, really, really cool.”
Level 4: Your mouth gets itchy when you try to talk to them, your tongue swells and your heartbeat quickens— and you’re not having an allergic reaction.
Level 5: You start accidentally screaming whenever you agree on something. “WHAT?! Yes! I hate that class too!!” *Laughs maniacally*
Level 6: You alter your schedule to fit theirs, just so you can chat for two minutes in line for coffee and wave as they’re leaving class—after you’ve been waiting outside the lecture hall for half an hour.
Level 7: You wrote a note that said: “Wanna be friends? Circle one: Yes/Maybe/No.” Then got too nervous to give it to them and crumpled it up.
Level 8: You’ve started doodling on the back covers of your notebooks, anagramming your names together. Somehow they magically rearrange to spell “best friends forever.”
Level 9: The notebook filled up so you bought a scrapbook instead, and have started photoshopping pictures of all the beautiful memories you’ll share together one day.
Level 10: You bought two concert tickets for a band they once casually mentioned they liked. Front row, obviously, because only the best for your friend crush—even if it means you’ll have to forfeit buying textbooks this semester. You were going to buy two plane tickets to Paris, since you both “LOVE!” croissants, but you’ll have to save up a little longer.
If your friend crush only registers as a level one or two, it’s not that serious. More than an actual friend crush, they’re probably just a friendly person. If you’re more in level nine or ten territory, no judgment but that’s pretty concerning.
Much to the chagrin of my sister who I mimicked endlessly, I learned at a young age that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Take a page out of the book of the lady and gent guy who got surgery to look like a human Barbie and Ken doll, respectively. They’ve garnered copious amount of daytime television attention, so clearly their methodology is effective.
Maybe don’t take the cosmetic surgery route, but find out which stores your crush shops at and go buy some of the same outfits. They have curly hair and yours hangs straight? That’s what perms were made for.
The next time they see you it’ll be like looking in a mirror, except the mirror is their new best friend.
Be yourself. Oops! If you already went and got the perm just jump in the shower before it’s had 24 hours to set—thanks to Legally Blonde for that bit of trivia.
While being yourself might feel counterintuitive, if you want this to turn into a real friendship, constantly keeping up with the charade of a foreign personality—and the perms—is going to be exhausting.
And the moments we really feel closest to our friends are when they let their true crazy, dorky, immature, gross selves show.
I’ll never forget seeing one of my best and oldest friends in full head gear in fifth grade; she’s now crazy gorgeous with perfect teeth, but she still wears a retainer at night and seeing her wear it reminds me of the glory days of the awkward stage, and all the years we’ve been friends.
So why not expedite the process with your friend crush? Just be totally repulsive. Hold nothing back, literally. Feeling gassy? Let it go. Haven’t showered in a week? Admit your filth. You hate chocolate or have an outie belly button or something else socially frowned upon? Get all your garbage out on the table now.
Seeing how comfortable you are with them will help your friend crush feel closer to you. If Carry from “Sex and the City” is right, and friends really are our soulmates, your friend crush slash soon to be friend will accept and embrace you for all of your imperfections.
Tell them that you want to be their best friend. You know that alternative, lesser-known Golden Rule: never express your true feelings? Now is the time to implement that.
Everyone likes to know that some likes them, but unleashing the extent of your admiration right off the bat might be a little off-putting. Once in high school, *humble brag*, this girl told me she thought I was really cool and really wanted to be best friends, basically in those exact words. After realizing I wasn’t the protagonist in an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” I was really flattered.
She was super sweet and I’d actually have loved to be friends, but knowing that she had some pre-conceived notion of who I was felt like too much pressure to live up to. For the rest of high school we were friendly, but alas, never best friends. Since a friend crush is all about idolizing someone you don’t actually know very well, to allow them to become a real friend you need to take them off the pedestal and approach them at ground level.
Take an interest in their interests. I’m not saying drop your major and switch to theirs but…is it too late to do so? Maybe just pop by the registrar’s office and see what your options are.
If it’s too late in the game to change, no worries. Rather than alter your academic pursuits, you can integrate some new interests into your life. If they do yoga on the quad most days, try dragging your yoga mat out of its dusty corner and joining one day. If their band is playing a gig this weekend that’s the perfect opportunity to stop by and say hello, or if they’re vegetarian you can invite them along to try out a meat-free food spot.
An awesome part of being friends with someone is sharing experiences and interests, and finding ways to spend more time talking to your friend crush will allow them to see how cool your personality is, too.