OPINION: A guy’s view on the game of love

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Attention single people: this one’s for you.

When you meet people, you develop relationships. Having a social life is extremely important to having a positive college experience, according to an article on Globalpost.com. It’s not every day you get a large campus full of people you can interact with in your daily life.

In fact, interaction with other students is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in college. It always feels so relieving to make friends and be social. Sometimes, however, you may feel a stronger attraction towards someone that you wouldn’t with any other friends.

Things seem different when you’re around this person. You have this warm feeling in your gut and just being in their presence only increases that feeling. You feel like everything is all right, and you can’t help but smile. If the other person feels the same way, why not try coordinating a time to go on a date? Let nature take its course.

Here is where the danger lies, though. You like someone, but maybe they aren’t aware you have any feelings towards them at all. In simpler terms, you have a crush. Although this isn’t the formal term, a crush is an emotional desire for a romantic relationship with someone caused by being romantically attracted to someone, according to asexualty.org.

Oftentimes, a crush starts out as a simple physical attraction. It can lead to euphoric feelings of fulfillment, which creates a strong desire for closeness and contact with the person whom you’re crushing on, according to a study from psypress.co.uk.

When it comes to having a crush, many people handle it by strategizing situations like a game. They consider the moves they can make and how to address the feelings they have. Some take their time with their new found interest – like those entering a cold pool in the summer, a potential mate dips their toes in one at a time to see if their interest ripples the water. Others, however, dive in and make their move almost instantly; putting all of their cards on the table.

I usually appeal to the latter approach. But what is considered right or wrong, though, in this game? What helps you win, what helps you lose; is there any right way to approach someone you have feelings for who may not reciprocate them?

Crushes are not bad, but they can lead to dangerous relationship territory. In extreme cases, you may be setting yourself up for failure and heartache. So here are some tips to avoid getting crushed by a crush.

Get friendly

Start out as friends. Being friendly towards someone is so much easier than being flirtatious. You can develop a sense of reliance in the person, create your own pace for developing a stronger relationship, and you know you can have fun with them regardless if you’re dating or not.

Beware the friend zone

The friend zone is a situation in which someone wants to be more romantically and the other friend doesn’t. This isn’t always a bad thing, but if you feel as though your advances and hints aren’t being well-received, take the risk of asking that person on a date and see how they respond.

Again, don’t expect the response you necessarily want to hear. Communication is key to understanding your feelings as well as theirs.

Be real

Remember that nobody is perfect. You’ll be tempted to think this person is perfect in every way, shape and form. Keep in mind you may discover flaws later down the road that could make you refrain from admitting your feelings. You are more likely to be open and honest if you do not put the person you are pursuing on a pedestal.

With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, remember to keep these tips in mind and you’ll be just fine.

Matt Harrison is a senior in mass communications.

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