The friend crush

Why not be open and honest about telling someone you want to be their friend?

Sophie Jarvis
3rd April 2024
Image credit: Unsplash, Jarritos Mexican Soda
When you think of the term ‘crush’, it’s hard to remove it from its romantic implications. Our brains are wired to assume that if we think someone is cool, we must be attracted to them; so when the term ‘friend crush’ started to circulate, I was delighted.

First and foremost, what is a friend crush? The ‘friend crush’ simply refers to just wanting to be friends with a particular person, whether it be by admiring them or seeing your own reflection in who they are and wanting to connect. It’s completely platonic. And it’s extremely wholesome. 

They are merely just a byproduct of human connection. 

You see, friend crushes have been even more prevalent throughout my life than romantic crushes have. They’ve consistently followed me around every space I’ve navigated growing up, from primary school to university and all the spots in between— and ultimately, I can relay the names of classmates, colleagues, friends of friends, and even people I’ve fleetingly met at parties where I’ve thought ‘I would love to be their friend!’ quicker than I can recall any crush on a boy I’ve had. 

This quietness led me to think that I was the only one experiencing these friend crushes.

But funnily enough, people seem to talk about the friend crushes they have way less than they talk about romantic crushes, which can seem counterintuitive given how frightening it is to tell someone that you like them. This quietness led me to think that I was the only one experiencing these friend crushes, making me feel uncool in my social sphere where everyone seemed to be laidback about everyone they met— until my late teens when I heard people talking about also experiencing them, which made me realise how truly natural they are. They are merely just a byproduct of human connection. 

Now, I consider myself a decorated veteran of telling people I have friend crushes on them, whether I’m stone-cold sober at a lunch date or a few too many pints deep in The Dog and Parrot. Why not be open and honest about telling someone you wanted to be their friend? 

So if you know someone you’d like to be friends with, get yourself involved! Find ways to chat with them or compliment them, keeping communication consistent to build up a bond, or invite them to join a night out or even a coffee run; easing into friendships in social or relaxed environments is always the best option to avoid awkward silences and build up a connection. 

And if this is any consolation, in my personal experience, if your friend crush opens up to your advances, the friend crush was usually mutual! 

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