Thursday, April 29, 2010

In which Facebook ruins my teenage crushes

I realized the other day that I know the current whereabouts of the majority of the guys I've ever dated or had a serious crush on.


There's something a little underwhelming about the reality of this.

There was that point, sometime after leaving my home town, where, in the midst of a big city where I knew such a minuscule fraction of its inhabitants, I would wonder "whatever happened to so and so" and if I would ever run into them on a random street corner again.

(Of course, the only one that this ever happened with was The Worst Boyfriend Ever.)

Then Facebook happened, and they all stopped being mysteries.

This really hit me when, one random recent Saturday morning, I received an email informing me that Russ had added me as a friend on Facebook.

Russ' and I's history can be summed up quite simply. I'd met him a few times. We never had much of a conversation, but he made it clear whenever we met that he thought I was hot. I had recently broke up with a long-term boyfriend, so I called him. We made out on a handful of occasions, and maybe went out on a date or two. He got annoyed when he discovered that my "I'm-not-looking-for-a-relationship" did not mean "I'm-looking-for-no-strings-attached-sex", and we quickly faded out, relegated to obligatory nods if we ran into each other to make it clear there were no hard feelings. I honestly never knew much beyond what movies he liked.

Yet, 10 years later, he adds me on Facebook. I'd noticed him on it before, but never saw much of a point of contacting him. What, exactly, would we have to say? Remember that time we made out during Sleepy Hollow? Or the one time we had coffee? Still, out of sheer curiosity, I accepted, wondering his motivations-- of which there seemed to be none. I said hi. He said hi. That was pretty much it.

Now, as it it wasn't odd enough that I know what my high school boyfriends are doing with their lives, I even know what the guy I made out with in college is doing on Friday night (apparently having a BBQ, if you were wondering).

Crushes who nothing ever actually happened with are even more surreal. It seems that when things never really developed the way you'd hoped with a certain person, or when your relationship with them never had a messy end point, you always wonder if they were really that special. And what Facebook has shown me is that, while they may vary on where they end up in life, they are all just so tortuously real.

I remember when I received notification that the guy I fiercely crushed on for the entirety of my 13th year had added me. He was the older boy who teased me mercilessly in the way that only heartbreaking 17 year old boys can, by throwing me into the lake with my clothes on and tango dancing with me in the middle of the street. He had brown hair that always flopped into his blue eyes. He was just so achingly dreamy. I eagerly clicked on his profile, to see what had become of him, more than ten years later. And while he hadn't necessarily changed... he was just so painfully average. Sure, he wasn't ugly, he seemed to be happy and he didn't communicate solely in text speak... but he just wasn't as magically special as I recalled. And he couldn't help but lose a little of that shine in my memories.

Sure, there are advantages to all of this. I'm not gonna lie and say I didn't feel a tinge of smugness when I discovered the lying guy who crushed my heart at 16 gained about 100 pounds. I've also gotten back in touch with many a lost friend, including exes or ex-crushes who are genuinely good people I'm happy to see. Still, I can't help but wonder if there was something to be said about certain people remaining a bit of a mystery.

12 comments:

Tigerlily said...

While I agree that reality is less shiny then memory, I wonder if it helps to know that ones "what if" guy really isn't so dreamy after all and what you have is so much better?

Princess Pointful said...

Tigerlily-- true enough. It could be that the comparisons are always bound to pale in comparison to the fellow I have at home!

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Oh yes, I haven't had this happen with old boyfriends but old guys who treated me badly. One found me on Facbeook and was being all sweet after treating me like sh*t and I was more than smug that he was also overweight now. Mean, I know.

Mean like you! Schwa!!!!

nurhogirl said...

oh yeah I have like old crushes and guys I use to date too. Out of all my crushes there was only one who is still the same decent guy--I wouldn't mind dating him even though I had a crush on like...I believe ten years ago.

But ugh...the guys I dated and dumped me to be with the other girl looking through his facebook why didn't I see he was he was a douchebag all along and I just feel sorry for the girl dating him.

Respectfully Yours said...

Although I am on facebook too, it scares me a little. I don't like some people knowing about me...great post, enjoyed it very much.

Mandy said...

I agree that sometimes things are better left to memory, like old high school boyfriends who were so dreamy that I dont want to see them now.

Nikki said...

There are some thing better kept in the past, the memory and the imagination.

I have got those dreaded notifications before too. The past crushes, the ones who got away. But I must admit I'm kinda happy to have seen what they're up to now - I wouldn't give them a second glance! No attraction at all. Meanies, aren't we?!! :D

Blaez said...

A girl that bullied me in HS and JR High requested to be my friend on FB. I asked her "why would I let you see my life now when all you did was tease and hurt me then? You don't even apologize?"

Her response: I don't know who you are ... just notice we went to the same HS and had the same friends on here..."

Well, she might not remember me but I sure as heck remember her and I did say no to her request.

On the flip side I have reconnected with many long distance family members, old pals and acquantances and I'm totally happy I finally gave into the FB craze!

I agree that seeing some of the guys I crushed on now to what I remember in my head then is a bit of a let down... BUT it also tells me I made the right choice by moving on from the crush/relationship to allow myself to eventually meet and fall in love with my fiance :)

Trust me the greatest one is when my ex husband's wife friended me on FB (i know right!) and I see how much of a loser and how gross my ex is now... She really deserves better!! I like her and she's a beautiful woman on the inside and out but seriously, she deserves better than him!!

P said...

I'm in the camp of quite liking being able to realise the guys aren't as special as I built them up to be in my teenage head. Sadly the one I REALLY want to knock off the pedestal in my brain doesn't seem to BE on facebook. If only...

sonrie said...

I'm thinking that the older the crush (i.e. the younger you were at time of said crush), the more disappointing/surprised difference in what you expected said person to be like.

Also fun on fb, discovering that the people you didn't have crushes on (i.e. despised or ignored) have turned out to be really good looking individuals with apparently great jobs.

Beth said...

I’ve discovered there are often very good reasons for certain people to remain in the past – reasons of mystery and otherwise. ;)

(and speaking of the past – it’s good to “see” you again…)

Tina Poe said...

Hmm, there are several guys that I hope never find me on facebook or anywhere else... it would be too awkward.