So, You’ve Got a Crush …
Crushes are so appropriately named. In the beginning, realizing you like someone comes with a rush of positive feelings. This part usually doesn’t last. Crushes then take on anxiety as the weight of longing and the uncertainty of the other person’s feelings come crashing down on you.
On the one hand, it can be fun to have that spark. You can enjoy your daydreams and live in hope of a deeper, romantic connection. The fantasy alone can be enjoyable. To a point.
But if your crush isn’t a celebrity and is actually a person you could talk to, what in the world are you supposed to talk to them about? Clearly, starting with the daydreams of your imaginary relationship probably isn’t the best lead-in— although it would certainly be effective at breaking the ice. Let’s talk about topics.
Be Interested — and Interesting
This might not seem like a specific enough topic, but it does lay the groundwork for finding one. If you’re interested in this person, you’ll pay attention to what they like, what they talk about, and — because you’ve probably already found their social media accounts — what they post online. Either find a shared interest or pick one of their interests that you’re actually curious about and go from there.
If you’ve cyberstalked them, you might not want to ask them out of the blue about the hobby you could only have known about from said cyberstalking. However, if you’re hanging out and they mention something you find interesting, ask them more about it. It could lead to some interesting topics of conversation.
Topics for Talking to Your Crush
You want to have a conversation without sending the one you like sprinting to their form of transportation and burning rubber to get away from you. Here are a few ideas to help you out.
Notice the band shirt they’re wearing? Ask if they’ve ever seen them live. Be curious about their favorite music and the best and worst concerts they’ve ever been to. Allow yourself to be interested in what interests them.
As a side note: It’s equally important to be interesting. Don’t automatically agree with everything they say. Express an opinion. Talk about your own interests. Flash a little of your personality. If you hate bluegrass, own that even if they regularly attend a bluegrass festival each year.
Go for Broke — With a Joke
If you don’t know what to say, diffuse the tension with a joke. You’d be surprised at how successfully a silly pun or legitimately dumb dad joke can ease the tension. Skip sarcasm for breaking the ice. It can easily be taken the wrong way and come out as negativity. If you can’t be funny off the cuff, allow Google to be your wing person. What do you have to lose other than your nerve and self-respect? You can do this!
Before you skip this one, it can be fun to compare notes or even guess which Zodiac sign your crush might be. If you’re sitting by your crush at a sporting event and they totally lose it on the ref, lean over and inquire if that’s some fire sign energy you’re noticing. Whether you take astrology seriously or not, it could be a fun topic of conversation.
This is a great topic of conversation because you find out if they read and what they read. You can find out if they’ve loved or hated any classics, what they read recently, and even the authors they love to read most. This can lead to other conversations. Just watch out for red flags — yours and theirs. Don’t make fun of what they read, but also don’t let them make you feel bad about your favorite books. Teasing is different from criticizing another person’s interests.
Best Line in a Movie
What movies do they watch? What movies do they tend to quote in everyday conversation? This is an easy topic of conversation because while not everyone is an avid reader, most people like movies. If they don’t have the attention span for a feature film, you can pivot to ask what shows they’re streaming lately. Maybe they can recommend something you’ll like, or you can turn them on to something you like.
What Makes You Dateable/Undatable
This is a controversial topic, but I’ve had friends give this one a try to great success. If you’re chatting up your crush, particularly in forums like online dating, find out what dating dealbreakers they have and what makes them undatable — but reveal your quirks, too. What did they hate about their ex? What did their ex hate about them? You might find out some potential issues while admitting that we’re all flawed, and that’s okay.
This is another sensitive but revealing topic. If every ex they have was “crazy”, run. Seriously, do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Get the hell out of there, fast! A conversation about relationship history can identify your relationship status, how long you’ve been single, how accountable you are for your past choices, and how you view the people you once chose to partner. It’s a wealth of information — but will you reveal your own red flags in the process?
Memes as a Love Language
If you’re at a total loss for what to talk about, try using the language of memes. It’s a legitimate love language these days. Share a meme. See how they respond. If they send one back, you can have a meme “war” to try to outdo each other or just to see what they think is funny. Just keep it classy. Sexual memes might not be welcome and can even seem forced and uncomfortable. Gauge their comfort level before sending them the meme equivalent of a dick pic.
Politics and Religion
The old rule of thumb used to be to avoid these topics with new people, but these days, it’s perfectly acceptable to evaluate if you share the same values with your crush. Go ahead: dive into politics and religion to see if you’re a match. With a heavily polarized political climate, it’s important to determine if the person you’re interested in has views that mesh with your own. Religion is more of the same. Better to find out your compatibility now than later.
So, you’re crushing on them and maybe they’re crushing on you. Want a good topic of conversation for a mutually shared crush? Talk about how you prefer to communicate. Do you want to text all day every day? Do you like late-night phone calls, or do you absolutely never answer your actual phone? Talk about how you like to talk — and when you prefer space. Clarifying this at the start can really help avoid misunderstandings later.
What NOT To Do
There are so many topics of conversation to explore with someone you like, but let’s talk about a few general rules about what not to do.
- If you’re crushing on someone who has been clear they only see you as a friend, do not — I repeat, do not — flirt, make sexual comments, or use sexual innuendos. This only serves to make other people uncomfortable. It’s not cute. They aren’t interested, and you acting this way is awkward and certainly won’t make you come across as more appealing or datable.
- Do not make fun of their interests. You don’t have to be a Swiftie to respect someone else’s mad love for Taylor Swift. You don’t have to like jam bands, concert festivals, or obscure indie music to be kind about someone else’s preferred entertainment. Making fun of it doesn’t make you fun; it just makes you an insensitive, judgmental jerk.
- Don’t make it dirty. I’m primarily talking to the men here. It’s possible to flirt, converse, and interact with your crush without making everything dirty. The fact that many men don’t understand subtlety, non-sexual intimacy, and flirtation that doesn’t involve references to genitalia is one reason why so many people are dissatisfied with dating.
- Skip the interview. There’s no need to interrogate the person you like. Your crush doesn’t need to give you a resume or references. Ask yourself this: do your questions sound natural, or does it sound like you’re interviewing them for the position of boyfriend/girlfriend/non-binary romantic partner?
- Get over yourself. Everyone deserves love and affection. You might have healthy self-esteem and see yourself as the prize, but that doesn’t mean it’s cool to treat other people in a condescending way. Do you look at them as if they should be grateful that you’re giving them the time of day? That’s no way to treat anyone — much less someone you’re crushing on. Relationships should involve equal parts gratitude — you should feel like you’re lucky to be with them while they share that sentiment about you. If you’re going into dating with your ego in overdrive, expect it to drive away far more people than it attracts.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself. If you totally act like a goofball around someone you like, admit it. Let them know you’re trying to be cool but being lame instead because you think they’re pretty great. It might be charming to them. If it’s not, maybe they just aren’t the one for you.
You, Your Crush, and What Comes Next
It’s great that you’ve found so much to talk to your crush about and a few rules of etiquette to follow as you make that love connection. So, what comes next?
It’s time to ask them out, ask them for their number, or take that next move? This isn’t gender-specific either. Don’t wait for the other person to take the lead. Just go for it!
Let them know you’d like to spend more time getting to know them over a drink, an ice cream cone, or a bout of axe throwing at the nearest gym. Think outside the boring dating box and suggest something you might both enjoy — a casual way to spend time together that could allow you to explore the potential for compatibility.
Don’t go into it as if this is obviously your soulmate. Go into it with the idea that you can enjoy a fun time with someone cool, and maybe it becomes something more. Or maybe you part as friends or friendly strangers. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Crushes can be crushing. They can be fun, too. It all depends on what you put into it. Sure, it can be awkward. Expect the occasional cringe moment. Just learn to laugh at yourself and take the whole dating scene with a grain of salt (and shot of tequila). It doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, it can be an adorable meet-cute fantasy that could be the start of your own happy ever after.
Originally published on The Truly Charming