So, lately I’ve been thinking about something that happens A LOT in YA books. Love from afar.
Let me give you an example: the sweet, quiet, somewhat socially awkward girl is in love with the star quarterback – who she’s never actually had a conversation with. She spends her school days staring at him from across the classroom (or the lunchroom or the football field) and watches him with awe – and quite a lot of drooling.
Of course, there are many variations of this. Sometimes it’s the guy who’s in love with the unattainable girl. Or even a girl with confidence and all sorts of friends who suddenly finds herself tongue-tied when the object of her affection is near, so she’s never actually spoken to him (this was the case in the book I reviewed yesterday). But the common thread is that the girl (or guy) is hung up on someone she’s never really spoken to. Often, this crush has been going on for an extended period of time – sometimes years.
Which brings me to my question: Is this really a thing? Have any of you ever fallen in adoration (I can’t call it love) with someone you barely know? I’m talking more than just a passing, “Oh, wow, that guy’s cute.” But, like a full-on crush?
See, I just can’t imagine it. I had plenty of crushes in high school, but they were all on guys who I knew – who I had some sort of relationship with, even if it was kind of fleeting. I never saw a cute boy across the lunchroom and suddenly felt myself drawn to him in some inexplicable way because he was just so incredibly attractive that I just couldn’t get him out of my mind.
And I never found myself attracted to someone who was just completely opposite me and totally out of my social strata. Honestly, I can’t remember much about the quarterback of my high school football team. I’m sure he was probably cute (isn’t that like a prerequisite, or is that just another YA stereotype?). In fact, if I push my brain really, really hard, I think I might be able to kind of sort of picture him, and yeah, I think he was good looking. I’m sure he had cheerleaders swooning over him all the time. But I didn’t know him, so I didn’t really pay him much attention. In fact, I can’t seem to remember any other guy who was even on the football team. The boys I drooled over were mostly involved in theatre (like me) – and the crushes that really lasted were the ones with boys that I knew pretty well.
So, is this concept of love from afar totally made up and just perpetuated through YA books? Or is this a real thing that happens more often than I realize? When you were in high school did you ever have a lasting crush on someone you’d never even spoken to? I want to know!