1. The lame jokes make you laugh.
2. You spend all your spare time analyzing possibilities and imagined intrigue.
3. Homework is rushed through or left undone for the slimmest chance of glimpsing the crush.
4. You collect and create notes on the subject.
5. Excruciating conflict beats comfortable lulls.
6. Your friends start getting a little annoyed hearing about it all the time.
7. Then they start to wonder where you are.
8. The braces don’t matter, the pimples don’t matter.
9. If things have gotten boring or cramped, you’re moody and broody, and itching to introduce a new character.
10. It is all-consuming, obsessing, perfect. A thrilling adventure. It feels “so right.”
Then, after enough time has passed, you start to see the flaws. Especially when friends chime in and help point them out to you. If the crush is worth your time and trouble, you work with the flaws. You revise, polish, slap on concealer when you have to, exfoliate like mad.
At the end, does the crush live up to expectations? You hope so. But if not, the experience was fun, and you’d jump on that rollercoaster again in a second.