- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 14 October 2015
- Written by HANNAH DUMAS | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Do you remember the first crush you ever had? The boy in your kindergarten class or the girl you sat next to on the school bus in the second grade? Your first love. He or she was probably messy and sticky, with glue in their hair and jelly on their face, but what more could a five-year-old ask for?
It was so simple. You could go up to the person you liked and simply state, “I like you,” giggle, and suddenly you were dating and madly in love. The crushes you had when you were five didn’t seem to have much rhyme or reason, they kind of just happened like most things in life.
As we grow older, things become more complicated. Life suddenly isn’t as simple as it was when we were little. When you start to mature, getting a crush isn’t just based on one thing, like looks or personality; many factors play a part when it comes to liking someone.
Dr. Hettie Williams, a lecturer in the History and Anthropology Department, who teaches a course titled “Love and Marriage in Historical Perspective,” explained, “My immediate response would be that attraction is biocultural in that the laws of attraction are shaped by biological factors such as hormones (oxytocin) and other body chemicals such as dopamine.”
Williams continued, “While at the same time, cultural beliefs also dictate to us ideas about who we should love, who we should not love, as well as other ideas about attraction in general.”
Williams clearly is well versed in the subject of crushes and love, and from her perspective there are a lot of different aspects that play into having a crush on someone.
She explains that when we were younger we would just like someone based on them being cute, but as we mature we notice that there seems to be the idea of social influence and cultural obligations that dictate who we should like.
Of course there will always be that raw human instinct that draws you to someone simply based on your attraction to them, but that isn’t everything.
Julie Dwyer, a freshman social work student, commented, “When we were younger, our crushes were basically on someone we thought was cute, and we would do nothing about it. Now, when you have a crush it’s either someone that you want to date or sometimes a crush can be sexual chemistry between two people.”
She focused more on the idea of lust as we get older. Our hormones can get the better of us as we mature and suddenly we can like someone simply because we are sexually attracted to them. It is almost the parallel to when we were little and had a crush on someone because they were cute, instead now it’s more sexualized because of our hormones.
Michelle Gerstle, a freshman social work student, had a slightly different idea about how crushes change as we grow older, “When you’re younger it’s just sort of an innocent crush and you get butterflies in your stomach whenever you see each other. Now when you’re older you get a different feeling when you see them, it’s still a nervous feeling but not butterflies.”
Gerstle added, “When you want something more than that I think that’s when you start to mature and really love the person. It all depends on the person and when this change happens and when you feel like you want to be a serious part of this person’s life.”
She thinks that when we get older, the crushes that we have on people are more for looking to have a relationship. We aren’t just looking for a cute girl or boy any longer.
As we mature we look for signs in people that show they would be there for us, take care of us, and love us in our relationship. The consensus seems to be that crushes are ultimately ten times more complicated as we get older.
Whether it’s social influence, hormones, or looking for a long-lasting relationship, you don’t get crushes based on one factor, they are complex and confusing but can be worth it in the long run.
PHOTO TAKEN from stemjobs.com