Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.

Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.
NCG 4631 "The Whale Galaxy"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anatomy of a Crush

A crush is not about the other person. A crush is about you. You, and your projected idealizations of what you ultimately find lacking in yourself is what you find so attractive in another person. A way to cover up your own shortcomings, you willfully fantasize of another person who you believe carries these attributes, and the fantasy manifests itself as love, or rather, obsession. Now sometimes, a crush can be a driving force to better oneself in hopes of impressing the one who fulfills this illusory role. More often, however, it is a self-perpetuating instrument of hatred of self. Because the inability of not only the smitten but of the desired to meet unrealistic expectations reinforces one's unchanging state of loneliness and low self-esteem.

A healthy relationship, on the other hand, still contains elements of fantasy in another but aims to have a deeper understanding of the significant other, warts and all, and still find beauty in him or her. At the same time, a certain vulnerability of allowing the other to see the inherent flaws in oneself, and still be desired is what characterizes a good relationship. A relationship is about self-acceptance and improvement. A crush is about self-hatred and denial of reality.

The new guy in my life may not know every pathology of mine yet, but what he has seen he takes in stride and inspires me to become a better version of myself. He cushions my sharp falls with humor and rationality. Similarly, I can tell his unspoken insecurities are soothed by my repeated presence in his life. It's strange for such a callused pessimist as myself to be with someone again, but I must say it is sweetly comforting in the darkness of my everyday troubles.

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