Advice Forum: How to Talk to a Crush

Photograph by Tiziana Gualano

Dear Tigress,

I like this boy but whenever I’m around him I go all socially awkward. I’m usually a confident person who loves interacting with others but I can’t even walk past said boy without totally avoiding his eye contact. I think he might actually like me back, but whilst he’s also confident to others he seems to be pretty shy. I want to talk to him but I feel like I’ll ruin everything, that maybe he’ll stop seeing something in me that I don’t see in myself. What do I do? Before I liked him, we talked but now it’s too hard.

Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to write in to us, it means a lot and we hope we can help a little!

I know this situation all too well, I’m 26 and this still happens to me all the time. Having a crush is the best; racing heart, red cheeks, your whole body comes alive, it’s electric.

I’m actually writing this in a cafe while I wait for a guy I had a huge crush on when I was 17.

I’ll tell you our story, it’s short (ish).

So I met this guy while we were performing in a play together, let’s call him Jet, he was a couple of years older than me, really kind, cool and handsome, I was head over heels pretty much immediately. We spent a lot of time together and I thought maybe he liked me back but we just kept dancing around one another. Eventually I decided that nothing had happened because he actually wasn’t into me, though I neglected to ask him. Another guy working on the play told me he was into me and we kissed, even though I wasn’t super into him. The next day everyone, including Jet found out.

At the end of the play’s run I got a piece of paper from Jet telling me I was the most wonderful person and giving me his phone number. We chatted a couple of times but Jet now thought I liked his friend and I was still unsure about his feelings so never spoke up about mine. We grew apart and didn’t speak for 8 years. Now I’m sitting in a cafe waiting to catch up, and you know one of the things I’ll be talking about non-stop? My partner, a man I love with all my heart. Yes I am in love, but not with Jet. I don’t know what it’s like to be with him and I never will. Also I don’t want to and I don’t wonder what if, I did for a while but that stopped a long time ago.

You mentioned being worried that this guy might lose feelings for you if you start talking. If he stops seeing something in you when you chat, you’re still amazing. If he’s constructed you into a blissful fantasy, which is shattered by talking to you then he is not a guy you want to be with. You are not a fantasy, you are right here, you have eyes that see, hands that feel and a mouth that speaks. You are the most incredible construction of atoms this world has ever seen and you’re too good to just be someone’s imaginary ideal. What is amazing about you doesn’t disappear because someone doesn’t have feelings for you. Sometimes people just aren’t meant to be, your worth is no less because of that, you are an incredible, beautiful and talented unicorn regardless.

There is always the potential that you will chat with a crush and realise you’re not into each other, this sucks, but the one thing worse than losing a crush is keeping one and wondering what if. The one who got away isn’t always The One, they’re just an unknown. Which is enticing but it’s not real, and ultimately it won’t make you happy.

So now you need to ask yourself a few things, do you mind losing this person? Is the you now comfortable with the idea of not even caring in 8 years time whether you got together or not? Because you may lose them if you say something but you definitely will if you don’t. Are you into the heat of occasional eye contact and the fantasy of being with this guy or the opportunity to be with him? Do you want a crush or a relationship?

If you decide you want to try and chat I’ve always found hi is a great place to start. If you’ve talked before maybe you could bring up things you both enjoy like classes, books or movies. You don’t need to jump right in and say you like him, maybe just try and rebuild your old rapport and see how you go. But if you want more of this person, eventually you’re going to need to go for it, look him in the eyes or straight at your feet and say “I like you”.

I can’t tell you what will happen next, but he can.

Isobel & The Tigress Team xox


Tiziana Gualano

Tiziana Gualano is a 23-year-old italian photographer who started photography when she was 16. She was born and raised in a town called Foggia, in the south of Italy. What fascinates Tiziana the most about photography is that with it she can be whomever she wants to be. Find her on Tumblr.

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