By Rachel Wong
It’s the feeling of butterflies, millions of them. They start in your heart and begin to fly from your head to your toes and out towards them. You have dreams every night that center around them – from your first date to your first kiss, from their proposal to your wedding day. Every conversation comes back to them, every story is about them, and every spare moment is occupied with them.
Most people have felt something like this at some point in our lives, sometimes more than once. These crushes and dreamboats come in and out of our lives and take up residence in our minds as ‘the one’. But many times, when things don’t work out, we feel devastated and cheated – even though we know that we were never actually entitled to anything. And yet, this sadness eventually fades when suddenly someone new crosses your path.
When I was in the tenth grade I met Jason*. He was two years older than I was, and the only thing that we shared in common was the fact that we both wore glasses. Because of the age gap, we had no reason to talk to one another. Two years doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot when you’re in high school. But the universe had other plans for us, and within two months, he began talking to me in the halls and meeting me at my locker. He had the sweetest smile and such a way with words. I had recently experienced a difficult break up, and Jason instantly made me feel better.
I fell in ‘love’, hard.
I became that girl. The girl who would zone out in class and answer with his name. The girl who would feel naked when he wasn’t walking with me to class. The girl who spent her breaks wondering if he loved me or not. This love that I felt for him was so different from anything that I had felt before. Forget about my immature, 15-year-old ex – Jason was a man. Being in love with an older guy made me feel so much better about myself and made me realize what ‘true love’ was.
Of course, since hindsight is 20/20, I realize now that what I felt for Jason was not, in fact, true love, but infatuation. And this crush began to eat me alive.
It hit me one day when he was talking about the fact that he was going to graduate in a month. He was going to move on, go to university, and leave me here in this jungle called high school. We were going to be separated and it would be nearly impossible for me to see him again.
I spent the nights after that day bawling my eyes out, wishing that I was older so that we could be together forever. The age difference between us seemed to be a scary thing for my mom, so hanging out with him outside of school was a no-go. So again, the universe was conspiring, but this time against us. Jason eventually graduated and left me behind.
Fast forward two years and I was graduating, coming out of another hard break up. It seems that the universe wanted to make amends, because soon Jason had fallen back into my life after a two-year hiatus. We began hanging out openly – now that I was older, I didn’t have to hide it from anyone. He would surprise me and take me places, tell me that I was beautiful and breathtaking and hold me when I was upset. Just like when I was 16, feelings were building up inside of me and he knew it. I still wanted to know what it felt like to hold his hand, cuddle with him and kiss him. So when he asked if we could kiss, I said yes. But then he threw something at me from left field:
“You can’t fall in love with me.”
What was that supposed to mean?
I had no idea to expect, but without having the time to even begin processing what was happening, it was happening. The long-awaited kiss was happening.
And that was all.
There were no fireworks or bells ringing or slow-motion movements. It happened, and that was it. I had put him, and us, on a pedestal. All the expectations that I had were not realistic.
And now, after being given the one thing I really wanted, all I could think was, “Why?” Why did I spend so many nights wishing, hoping, and crying?
Telling me that I “can’t fall in love with him” really showed me who he was, and this was not the Jason that I thought I knew and loved. I want someone who wants me for me – someone who isn’t afraid to tell their friends about me, who is committed to me and us, and someone who is willing to work things out in the long-term.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jason is a fantastic guy. But if the universe really does have a plan for all of us, then I guess I tampered a little too much with it.
I realize now that everything I felt for Jason is something that I felt for any other crush before him, because in the end, that is all he was. A crush. I wasn’t in love with him; I was in love with the idea of being in love, and that is a dangerous line to walk on.
We are constantly exposed to pictures and posts online of “ideal” relationships, and if you’re not in one, it’s easy to feel bad about yourself and left out. But some people are single by choice, for some people it’s just not the right time yet, and some people simply have yet to meet the right person. All of those things are okay. So why rush it with a crush?
True love lasts beyond the crush stage. And true love requires sacrifice, time and effort. There are no games, no tricks, and no rushing.
Following through with a crush and jumping the gun will leave you crushed.
Rachel Wong is a Communications student at Simon Fraser University. She is a slam poem enthusiast, foodie, self-proclaimed music nerd and wannabe photographer. A regular contributor for Student Life Network, Rachel’s favourite thing to do in her spare time is write – anything from haikus to 6 minute long poems, posts on food or changing the world. Her goal in life is to make an impact and help to eliminate the social stigma around Depression and other mental health concerns, one word at a time. You can find more of Rachel’s work at http://rchlcwng.blogspot.com.