There is nothing sweeter or more soul-destroying than the agony and the ecstasy of a crush. I always assumed that, as an adult, I would get over the whole crush thing — but, sadly, it seems that it never goes away. Whether I'm drooling over the sexy guy I met on the bus or the strong jawline and totally hot leadership skills of Captain America, my crushes are still as all-consuming now as they were when I was scribbling about them in my diary back in high school. Here's the thing about crushes, though: they come in stages. And, luckily for us all, I have a song for every stage of your crush. From the first blush of attraction to the moment when you finally realize the bag boy at your local grocery store is not the man of your dreams, these songs will carry you through.
While crushes vary somewhat based on proximity and reality — a crush on your friend is a little different than a crush on a fictional character, for instance — the same rules apply, and ditto the music. You need songs full of longing, and jams that could definitely be played at your wedding — and, of course, a song that's just the right musical sendoff when you "break-up" with your crush. Hey, mental relationships are hard work, and they deserve soundtracks too!
The Moment You Realize You're Crushing: "You Belong With Me," Taylor Swift
It's not pretty, but the first part of any crush inevitably involves telling yourself why you are more perfect for them than your crush's significant other/the hot person flirting with them/Emma Stone. I mean come on — you're awesome. You have interests, they have interests. You are super sympathetic and clearly the underdog in this story. It's destiny!
The Afterglow Of The Crush Formation: "You And I," Ingrid Michealson
Now that you have a crush, it is time to start planning for your future. There will be adventures, maybe a wedding, buying joint Christmas gifts for your families... in your head, it's all fabulous and totally attainable. Now, if only you knew your future spouse's name...
The Second Sighting: "You Are the Only One I Love," Jaymay
Excuse the coffee house vibe, but after confirming that it wasn't a fluke and your crush is still as flawless as you remember, your heart will sing like all those Starbucks lovers. It is time to declare (silently in your heart) that you will love this person and only this person until they realize you exist.
The 24/7 Daydreaming: "Blue Jeans," Lana Del Rey
The melodrama starts to set in at this point. It's not enough to dream about you and your crush's beautiful future together — you now have to give the story a few twists and turns. You are now star-crossed lovers, destined to be pulled apart by some obstacle you will define at a later date. What is important is that until the end of time you love this one person.
The First Flaw Discovery: "Bloodsport," Raliegh Ritchie
Maybe you found out they don't like cats while you were scoping out their Twitter feed, or you overheard them say something colossally stupid. (Or, if they're fictional, maybe they just killed your favorite Game of Thrones character.) Whatever the case may be, your one true love has revealed their fatal flaw... but still, you have a lot of fantasy hours invested in this crush working out. For now, you are going to ignore it.
The Waning Period: "Ocean Of Noise," Arcade Fire
The daydreams are starting to fade and you are starting to notice all the ways this crush thing just isn't working out. Maybe you actually went on a date and immediately realized you weren't as compatible as you thought, or time has just taken its course. You're still holding onto a few shreds of affection because having a crush is thrilling, but you know in your heart there is an ocean between the two of you and this crush is on its way out.
The Breakup: "Someone Like You," Adele
How did people breakup before Adele? Even crush breakups are made better by the beauty of her voice. When it's time to let go, you are allowed to be as sad as you want to be. It was your crush, go for 100 percent heartbreak for an hour or so. You've earned it.
The Post-Crush Life: "Good Feeling," Flo Rida
Let's be real, as much fun as crushes are, it is a huge relief when the fruitless ones are over. It's like a weight has been lifted. Suddenly, you no longer feel Adele sadness, you feel a sense of Flo Rida freedom. Embrace it while it lasts because there is always another crush out there waiting.
At the very least, the playlist will always be here to help you through it.
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