The stages of infatuation and its downward spiral
We’ve all been there, he walks into your English class, blissfully ignorant of his beauty, and walks out with your heart, leaving you to drool all over your desk. Or his eyes lock with yours across the canteen, but it’s only to tell you that you have ketchup on your nose. However it starts, a crush is pure agony — there is nothing worse. Okay, there probably is, but a crush is pretty high up there on the “unbearable” scale.
In fact, studies (a bunch of 16-year-old girls) show us that there are distinct stages in this torture, and this is how they go.
1. The Meeting
This is when you first lay eyes on him. Maybe it’s his first day at school, maybe you meet him at tuition or maybe he’s a friend of a friend, whatever it is, this is the beginning of the end for you. He might say, “Hey!” to you, and you’ll probably be too in awe, too shocked or too heavily fangirling to reply. In which case (and ‘studies’ show this is most often the case), you will go home and mull over the fact that you didn’t say “Hey” back. FOREVER.
2. The Interrogation
You’ve just told your friends (who assume the roles of ‘detectives’ during this stage.) Cue the investigation. Stage 2 is a little messy, rumours, scandals and ex-girlfriends fly all over the place. One of your friends probably heard something about him once (was it that he was a cheater? Or that he cheated on a test once. Not too sure), the other heard that he’s not actually into girls, and someone once heard something about his brother’s girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend. After listening and taking notes of these rumours, it’s time to hunt for a picture of him in order to prove to your friends how totally crush-worthy he is.
3. The Stalking
After sifting through all Instagram accounts that share his name and finally finding his, you and your gal pals start assessing his feed, photo-geniality and caption game. Ew, does he always dress like that? No of course not, he’s perfect. Now y’all stalk every one of his social media accounts. Assign each of your friends an account: Shiara, you take Facebook, Dilani, you’re on Twitter, Thanisha, get your butt on Snapchat. The rest of us will comb through his Instagram, analysing his comments and scouring out any potential girlfriends!” Oh no, a heart emoji! They’re definitely in love. Kill me. Oh, wait no, she has someone else’s name in her bio. Phew, we’re safe. Judging by the last time she commented on his posts using a heart emoji, they broke up approximately 7 months ago. She was pretty, though. So pretty.
This discovery will be followed by your friends desperately trying to assure you that you’re prettier, even though she probably looks like a VS Angel in your eyes. At some point during this stage, you will find yourself on his aunt’s ex-husband’s son’s page, so be extra careful not to like anything, and if you happen to meet him IRL, do NOT ask him how his aunt’s divorce is going.
4. The Pursuit
After three days of staring longingly at his profile (and probably the rest of his family’s), you click the follow button and wait for him to follow you back. Meanwhile, you’re plagued by questions like, “What if he doesn’t follow back?!”, “What if he thinks I’m a creep?” and “What if he hates me?”. Once he does request to follow you back, send that screenshot to your friends, so y’all can all sufficiently fan girl. Now that you and your lover boy follow each other, and since you’ve stalked him literally every day since you met him, you know A LOT about him. So use that! Oh, he likes dogs? Let me take a picture with this random street dog real quick!
5. The Discovery
Get the tissues out, ladies, ‘cause it’s about to get real sad. You’ve been following him for a while now and you’ve started noticing some girl is getting a little too close to your man. Oh wait, he’s not your man. Still. How dare she? They’ve been commenting on each other’s posts a lot lately, with way too many hearts and smirky faces. A couple of weeks of this torture goes by and out of the blue and the depths of hell, he posts a picture with her – with a heart in the caption. What. Is. Happening. Oh no, his name is in her bio. It’s over, your Mr Right has a Mrs.
6. The Recovery
Stage 6, the end of the road. Gather all your girls and let the recovery commence. This phase involves a whole lot of ice-cream, dancing to 90s and early 2000s girl-power ballads and a whole lot of Woody Allen or Gary Marshall movies. The conversation will sound something like this: “He wasn’t that cute anyway”, “You could do SO much better” or “I bet he has like 3 nipples, or something.” This marks the end of your non-existent relationship.
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