By Joshua Kalenga
Your crush is perfect. Each sight of them brightens your world. Every word they say sounds like poetry. Everything they touch turns to gold. The only problem is that they don’t (yet) love you the same way that you love them.
Or is it?
The School of Life, a popular YouTube channel, argues that the problem with this type of “love” is that one does not truly know the other person. We mistakenly believe that our crush is perfect, that they have somehow transcended the human condition to which the rest of us are bound.
In fact, it is for this reason that the infatuation one feels for their crush is often incredibly intense. We are, in a sense, in love with the idea of the other person, as opposed to the person themself. Ideas can be as beautiful as we hope them to be, as flawless as our purest desire, but they are not real — at least not in the same way that one’s crush is a real human being.
At Colorado College, the Block Plan makes it particularly easy to develop a crush. You meet a cute person in your biology class, talk to them a few times, maybe even study together for your finals, and by the end of it, you believe that you’ve found the love of your life.
The only problem is that the block is over in less than a month. You move on to a psychology class while your crush opts to do some coding. You rarely see them on campus anymore and all you are left with is the sweet memories of your block together: that one time they laughed at something you said, the beautiful smile that always accompanied their “hi,” or those quirky yet intelligent comments that they made in class.
Like a dead star, you may no longer talk to your crush anymore, but their light still shines brightly. Your three-and-a-half weeks with them was certainly not enough to truly get to know them, but it was more than enough time for you to fall in love with the idea of them. How, now, do you deal with your feelings for the most beautiful, flawless person ever?
Scrolling through the comments on The School of Life’s YouTube video about unrequited love, I found some unconventional advice.
YouTube user PaperGamer wrote, “Like my friend used to say, just imagine [them] taking a huge dump.”
Some might dismiss such advice as nothing more than a joke, but there is certainly more to it. When you imagine your crush defecating, you remind yourself that they are human. They are not that angelic piece of art that you have painted in your mind. They are a person — a real person that takes (possibly huge) dumps.
The cure, then, for that burning infatuation that you feel for your crush is awfully simple: get to know them. Stop chasing that perfect ideal that you have constructed in your mind — it will always elude you. Instead, take some time to truly learn about the person, about their strengths as well as their flaws.
In doing so, you will likely realize one of two things. The first is that you do not truly love your crush. The second is that you do love them — but this love is much more profound than the infatuation that you previously felt. It is love for a real person: breathing, defecating, but still hauntingly beautiful.
Having a crush is not necessarily a bad thing. The ideas we create can be beautiful and often reflect our deepest values. Perhaps you developed a crush on that person from your poetry class because you see beauty in the ability to build complex puzzles of meaning from little letter pieces.
Your seemingly innocent crush only becomes a problem when it starts to define your life. If you are spending hours at a time alone in your room, listening to that “love” playlist of yours (the one with the Bruno Mars songs), you are missing out. You are missing out on potentially finding the real thing, on getting to know and truly love that special person – the one for whom you would actually “catch a grenade.”
In fact, I believe that as far as ideas go, loving a person — even when you know how annoying, disgusting, or dumb they can sometimes be — is actually the most beautiful idea of all.