Lyndsay Rush
September 10, 2014 2:29 pm

You’re just watching TV, minding your own business, when you suddenly spot someone on the screen who scrambles your brain and makes your heart drop to your knees.

Congratulations, you officially have a celebrity crush. But is it serious? There are a few ways to tell. As much as it seems like your feelings came on suddenly, there are some specific stages that occur when you develop a full-blown celeb crush. And because we want you to be as informed and aware of your fantasy love life as possible, we’ve mapped them out.

Step 1. You experience crush at first sight

You spy them in a magazine. You hear them sing. You witness them kiss someone in the street while the music is swelling (on television, of course). Whatever the scenario, the first stage of a true celebrity crush is always the first glance. You may go on about your life like nothing major just happened, but don’t be fooled, a crush seed has been planted and you’re about to discover just how beautiful the blossom will become. It’s practically science.

Step 2. You make excuses to check out their other work

The perfect example of this is an actor. You may have spotted them first in a rom-com, but playing a supporting role in a new crime TV show? You may or may not find yourself tuning in (and by may or may not, I mean you may. You definitely may). When asked, you will probably make up a lame excuse like, “Hey, whatever, I like detective shows,” but you will know in your heart that the only reason you’re watching his new show is to see more of this new crush of yours.

Step 3. You find yourself excessively IMDBing them

This is the stage where you know you’re in trouble. Not only are you watching their current new work, you’re now backlogging everything they’ve ever done. Including obscure made-for-TV movies that you will admit to NO ONE that you’ve watched. This stage includes at least one slip-up around friends where it becomes clear that there is no earthly way you would know that fact about them had you not obsessively googled them.

P.S. your friends are now onto you.

Step 4. You see if they are on Twitter or Instagram

I will say this. I became slightly enamored with a comedian this year and now I follow him, his wife, and his DOG on Instagram. Ain’t no shame in the game at this point. You have followed or liked or tracked their social media presence and now feel a freaky kinship with them even more. You know when they’re about to be on a late-night show, what they had for brunch, which celebs they hang out with, and when you plan on proposing.

Step 5. You stand up for them irrationally

Here’s a great way to know if your celeb crush has gone deep: if someone should dare diss them in your presence, you will instinctively—and often irrationally—defend them and their talent and their work. You know no shame at this point in your crush; only loyalty. Deep, undeterred loyalty.

Step 6. You surrender fully to the crushing crush

Much like the final stage of grief, this is when you admit openly that you are their #1 fan and they are the #1 thing you think about before falling asleep. Now your friends can openly tease you about him/her without you denying it, now you can openly buy expensive tickets to anything they’re doing live; now you can make dream boards featuring the two of you (just me?). This is a happy stage because you’re in love and you don’t care who knows it. Now, if only the celebrity crush knew it.

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