I’m Talking Butterflies and All….

I have a girl crush. On the saleswoman at an overpriced-but-fabulous boutique in my neighborhood. She’s tall and thin and pretty. She has great clothes. When I stopped in her  store the weekend I went wedding dress shopping, I showed her a photo of myself  in the top contender—I needed an outsider’s opinion—and she said I looked like a ballerina. It was love.

Has it occurred to me that she’s nice because I’m shopping at the expensive store of which she is the manager? Clearly. But I choose to believe she’s into me.

I’ve had many a girl crush in my day. Some women are just so together-without-even-trying, so confident-and-witty-without-being-egotistical, so I-quote-Dumbledore-and-Modern-Family-in-the-same-breath that I fall in friend-love at first sight. Besides the boutique lady, there was my NYC yoga teacher, my  magazine editor mentor, and  Robin Scherbatsky.

A 2005 New York Times article on the girl crush sums up the feeling nicely: “That fervent infatuation that one heterosexual woman develops for another woman who may seem impossibly sophisticated, gifted, beautiful or accomplished. While a girl crush is, by its informal definition, not sexual in nature, the feelings that it triggers – excitement, nervousness, a sense of novelty – are very much like those that accompany a new romance.”

The great thing about girl crushes is that they can blossom into actual friendships. The sound of two women mutually crushing is often really the click of two potential BFFs. And, um, when a drunk sorority sister confessed  I was her girl-crush in college? I was uber flattered. College girls are more discerning with their girl crushes than the boy kind. It was no small thing.

So I’ve been working up the nerve to ask this saleswoman to grab lunch or a drink with me one day. To take our relationship outside the walls of her store will be a big step. But there’s one nagging concern: What if she doesn’t live up to my expectations?

A former coworker of mine (whose new book you should check out) recently wrote a hilarious article about meeting her literary hero. The reality of the dinner date, she explained, fell far short of the dream. That’s a risk with any relationship where we’ve built up the other party. What if beneath her well-dressed, perfectly-coiffed exterior, my girl crush is a dud who brings nothing to the table aside from her stellar style recommendations? It almost makes me want to hold tight to the dream rather than officially introduce myself. I said almost.

Have you had a girl crush? On who? Has any one admitted a girl crush on you? The Times article says that while girl crushes sometimes bring women closer, other times the admission just makes things awkward. Thoughts?

(Tune in tomorrow for a report on all my new Vegas BFFs…)

21 Comments

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21 responses to “I’m Talking Butterflies and All….

  1. I have become friends with so many of my “girl crushes” and I love that term! Thanks for the article, too — it was fun to read about the scientific side.

  2. No crushes here. I am very particular.
    As far I know no one has ever had a crush on me.
    ; (

  3. Ris

    I once had someone confess that I was their girl crush and I was blown away. She said she thought I was quirky, collected, and interesting–things I all aspire to be but rarely feel I am. I was so flattered!

  4. Lynda

    That New York Times article is on the dot. Thanks, Rachel. I’ve had some girl crushes in my day. I know it’s “romantic”, but not “sexual”, because I’ve had one on an older lady, too. There’s something so attractive about a comfortable, confident, and warm woman. They make me nervous– I’m constantly obsessing, and hoping they’d like me. I do feel the butterflies! I love finding a new “girl crush” (esp when it’s mutual), which is rare for me, to get giddy over. Most of them turned into beautiful friendships, too.

  5. san

    Girl crushes are fun… I think they can bring out the best in you, if you can clearly adore another woman instead of just being jealous or something.

  6. Lee

    Great post, Rachel! I have a girl crush right now too, but I haven’t found a way to start up conversation yet. I know what you mean about “holding on to the dream” – also, I’m afraid she won’t find me as interesting as I find her. But I think I will give it a try anyway….

  7. I had a girl crush on older girls in my soririty in college. They just seemed so sophisticated and put together and funny. I then went on to become great friends w/ some of them. I was always so intimidated by them at first, but once we started hanging out & chatting, I realized they have as many insecurities as I did.

  8. I do form girl crushes. I’m totally crushing on Danielle LaPorte right now.

  9. vanessa

    I just wanted to say that I adore your blog, and completely identify with what you are writing about – the stories are identical. I actually moved to Chicago (from NY!) to be with my boyfriend after long-distance for several years. I’ve been here for almost 2 years, and have still not been able to find that BFF to click with (almost happened, but not quite :). It is so difficult, especially in my position where my work situation doesn’t provide many opportunities to meet anyone in my age range.

    I co-author a blog about living as a couple for the first time….I hope you check it out! http://2birds1nest.wordpress.com/

    And good luck for the both of us in the future!

  10. I have had many girl crushes, and recently a girlfriend of mine, who used to be married to a woman, told me that if she was still interested in women, she would be totally in love with me and then she told me why. Who wouldn’t want to hear that? So much fun!

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  12. Lau

    My best friend and I pretty much just crush on each other all the time, since the day we met. Everything I say is brilliant and hysterical, everything she says is brilliant and hysterical. We’ve been best friends for four years and she’s moving to a different country next month, and I can’t imagine that we’ll ever stop being friends because we like each other too damn much.

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  15. A few of my best friendships began with girl crushes.
    I laughed out loud when I saw Taylor Swift on “SNL” do a sketch where she and her bff would ignore her friends’ boyfriend because they were so into each other in a pure friendship way.

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  17. Lyndsay

    I definitely identify with this. I have had several girl crushes and they are just like this. Quite uncomfortable but some have blossomed into great friendships. It gets quite annoying sometimes because it messes with my head and my identity a lot even though they are purely non-sexual crushes. It has also been a long time since i’ve had one of these crushes on the opposite sex, although i’ve had some experience and I also have some trust issues as well. Great guys are hard to come by these days, especially while your in college and all they want is sex.

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  19. You'reGorgeous

    I’m so glad you wrote an article about this on the internet! I had a massive girl crush like this at work, and it really did bring out the best in me – I was so happy and I worked extraordinarily hard. But eventually it came unstuck – some colleagues spread rumours that I was a lesbian and my crush disappeared and wouldn’t speak to me any more. I was devastated, I cried for months and years later my career is still not quite back on track.

    So I hope articles like this on the internet will help people understand girl crushes and see that it doesn’t mean you’re a lesbian but in fact that a girl crush is a really powerful tool to help someone grow up and be a better person, and something we should all enjoy!

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