The 7 Stages of Having a Crush at The Office

1. Realising your crush

You’ve been sitting mere metres away from this person for 6 months without even the slightest hint of lust. Dammit you didn’t even know their name until today when you were (like any good office worker) eavesdropping on a nearby conversation and they just happened to respond to their name being called out.

But today you notice something that you hadn’t noticed before and suddenly it’s official: you have a crush. Instantly you’re sent into a mild panic as you wrack your brain for anything you might have said or done in the last 6 months (as you’ve sat in your cubicle swaying violently between coma-inducing boredom and extreme fatigue) which might have been humiliating or caused your crush to perceive you in a bad light.


2. The Subtle Changes

Doing anything silly like getting a new haircut or buying a whole new wardrobe would be totally over the top and besides, with the wage you bring home, a complete change in style would mean not eating for the next 8 weeks. That sounds do-able, you think to yourself until realising that alcohol, cake and coffee make up the vast majority of your weekend activities.

Instead, you start getting up 15 minutes earlier so as not to rush into the office dripping with sweat. You start shaving daily instead of every other day. You wear nicer clothes to work instead of just throwing on whatever falls out of the wardrobe first and you start paying more attention to your hair. You wonder if your crush likes your hair. You do something different with your hair and wonder if your crush notices. Stop obsessing, you tell yourself, it’s just hair!

You think no-one has noticed your out-of-character together-ness until your flatmate sees the giddy look in your eyes before you leave your apartment one morning and pulls you up on it during work-time emails.


3. Watching your mouth

You’re suddenly very aware of every utterance you make within the confinements of your cubicle, knowing that your crush is sat within earshot. You start cursing less just in case they hate people who curse and then curse yourself for even caring because you just want to be loved for being you Goddammit. You answer the phone, paying special attention to pronounce your name clearly so that, if by some miracle your crush actually wants to ask you out, they’ll at least know how to address you in person.


4. The fantasy life

Every waking moment at work is now spent fantasising about the life you and your crush would have together if they’d just open their eyes and notice you. You imagine having to keep your relationship secret from co-workers and then making out in the elevator for a full three seconds. You imagine showing your crush your apartment for the first time, waking up next to each other for the first time. Hell, in your mind you’re even playing out your first argument. You start wondering whether you’re on the verge of an unhealthy obsession or if you’re just having a minor meltdown.


5. Exhaustion

Watching what you say on a daily basis when usually your mouth runs a mile a minute becomes exhausting to the point where you find yourself breathing a 6pm sigh of relief on more than one occasion as you leave the office for the day. You’re tired of looking amazing at work. You’re tired of your crush taking up some much room in your head when, duh, you have an actual job to do. You’re tired of waking up on a Friday morning after one too many drinks the night before and pretending that you don’t want to spend the entire day vomiting into your trash can and napping on your keyboard.

You just want your crush to talk to you! Dammit, even just having them acknowledge your existence would suffice! You toy with the idea of actually speaking to your crush but decide against it, it’s a Friday and showering your love interest with the remnants of last night’s happy hour is not what you had in mind for your first encounter.


5. (Finally) speaking to your crush

Fuelled by the free wine at the office party (which you may or may not have been drinking directly from the bottle) you finally pluck up the courage to speak to your crush. In fact, you’re so thrilled to have actually conversed with this magical person of mystery that the next morning you’re damned if you can remember what you actually said and hope that you didn’t embarrass yourself too much.

You’re even more thrilled that your crush actually wanted to swap numbers with you and for once you’re actually looking forward to going to work on Monday because you’re certain that talking to your crush will occur on a weekly if not daily basis. And not just in your head.


6. Self-Doubt

Suddenly you’re filled with self-doubt. Your crush hasn’t spoken to you since the night of the office party (that time at the printer does not count) and to make matters worse they definitely, definitely haven’t texted you.

I’m the ugliest person in the world ever! you wail silently. I was stupid to think they’d ever like me, you tell yourself. Every time your crush gets up from their desk you make sure not to look at them, convinced that they’d be able to read your mind just by glancing at your face.

You dismiss all former fantasies involving your crush making you eggs in the morning and hanging out at their apartment on a Sunday afternoon and instead you sit at your desk seething, wondering what the hell is wrong with you and what you could have done differently.

You begin to resent your crush for making you feel this way; for making you feel like you’re 15 years old again. You start freaking-out a bit less when you go to the bathroom at work and realise how much of a disaster you’ve looked all day because, what the hell, you’re a disgustingly ugly person anyway and no-one’s ever going to love you.


7. Finding someone else to crush on.

Joy of all joys, you’re over your crush. Were you ever really under them? Unfortunately not. The time has come to find someone else to crush on. Or not, whatever. At least you can start turning up to work in whatever falls out of your wardrobe first again now.

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