LaMonte M. Fowler

20+ Cringey Ways People Grabbed Their Crush's Attention

There's something twisted in nature that allows us to have hormones before we know what to do with them. Dating is hard enough even for grown-ups. Our preteen bodies, awash in love chemicals we can't possibly understand, are basically driverless cars, bound to crash and burn. Hey, life teaches some tough lessons.

The good news is that most of us actually learn those lessons and get past our awkward phase. But those cringey memories do stick with you, don't they? And it's good to know you're not alone if you have memories of a crush that still haunt you. Just check out some highlights from a Reddit discussion, where people shared their cringiest memories of things they did to get their crush's attention. It's all so very familiar.

"I asked her out by parking outside her house and writing it on the windows of my car in car chalk."

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"She sent the dog outside and said, 'You should leave. My dog is outside he's pretty mean.'"

"I had a crush on this girl that was a friend of mines cousin at his 14th birthday party and she had a helium balloon tied to her wrist. So I hatched a plan and not so subtlety untied it a bit while talking to her so it would float to the ceiling and only I could reach it for her because I was the tallest boy at the party."


"Except the ceiling was higher than I anticipated so I had to stand on something and jump and when I jumped I farted and when I farted it was a wet one and my jean shorts were white."

"I lived in a neighborhood with an elementary school smack dab in the middle of it. Most kids knew where every other kid lived. I once put a bunch of ladybugs into a Mason jar with flowers and poked holes in the top to provide air."

"I left it on her porch wrapped in a sock. All the lady bugs were dead by the time she got to it. Sorry, Erin."

"We shared a PE slot, and I found this out when I saw him jogging with all the boys in his class, being paced by the head of the PE department. So....I sprinted around the 400m track until I caught up with the class, huffing and puffing, before realizing that I was looking like a stalkerish loon."

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"Some of the boys were already turning around when they heard what probably sounded like an old man on the verge of an angina attack. Mortified, I sped up, forcing all 175lbs of me to sprint past his group, just to make it seem like I was trying to get past them, not chasing them.

"I heard the PE teacher tutting and telling them off for letting a girl outrun them. Yep. In retrospect, I'm just amused that chasing a cute boy was what got me to run."

"I liked a boy in the seventh grade. Every day I would buy a Gatorade and pretend I couldn’t open it and ask him to. One day I did open and panicked."

"I tried to close it again as tight as I could and give it to him to open it for me. He called out on how easy it was to open and looked like it had already been opened. I wanted to climb under the bleachers."

"Called crush's phone every 60 seconds for an hour (no answer, repeat). I figured she'd pick up once she got home and I wanted to talk to her ASAP."

"Unfortunately, she was on the phone with someone else the entire time, getting the 'you have another call' notifications about incoming calls, just wasn't responding to them. After about the 60th time she picked up and screamed WHAT!?!?!?!?! and I tried to worm out of it like it wasn't me that had just called her over and over and over. She didn't buy it of course. This one still keeps me up at night 30 years later."

"My crush was a kid who lived down the block from my house. I stole his dog from his yard and then went to his front door to return it and get to talk to him."

"He said he saw me take him out of the yard. I avoided him after that."

"We had a foreign exchange student my Freshman year of High school. She was French and absolutely gorgeous, so naturally, all of us boys were smitten with her."

"She was in choir and sang really well, so I figured since I was a musician as well, that was my 'in' with her. So, I learned a love song from a popular French opera. It took me a really long time to memorize and I thought it would be a bold gesture. So, I sang it to her flawlessly and asked her how she liked it, thinking that taking the effort to learn a love song in her language would be a great gesture.

"Well, that day, I found out that she was Swedish, not French."

"High school. I brought a mirror to school so I could stare at the guy on the down-low, except he immediately noticed and pointed it out to his buddies sitting next to him."

"Then at break time he told me to stop staring at him, and subsequently avoided me like the plague. Felt bad, man."

"In elementary, I went to school with a couple dudes that were very gymnastically inclined. They would do flips off the monkey bars, standing back flips, wall flips, you name it. The girls loved them, they would sit and be an audience for these guys every lunch almost.

"I got jealous. I practiced on my trampoline for a few days, tried some hand springs (which I got pretty good at, forwards not backwards).

"Then the next time they were showing off, I joined them. Boom guy #1 comes running through; hand spring, cartwheel, back flip, back flip. Guy #2 comes bolting behind him; cartwheel into aerial, into back flip.

"Here I come, cartwheel, into back hand spring.... oh wait, I don't know how to do one backwards, land on my neck, wind myself, start crying."

"In fifth grade I wore my winter coat with the hood up, sweatshirt covering my mouth and ski goggles on and made up a language of high pitch grunts."

"This is how I acted for two days straight at recess to impress my crush and convince her I was an alien, specifically a Martian. Fifth grade me thought that fifth grade girls would find edgy alien boys cute...dear god..."

"I had a crush on a guy who I had two classes with. It made sense in my 15 year old brain that intense eye contact would signal to him that I was all in."

"Every time we had to talk about something, I stared directly into his eyes without blinking. Also, I read that people like large eyes, but I couldn't do makeup (since mascara makes your eyes look larger) so I would make my eyes as wide as I could.

"This also meant that if I was talking to another boy, I should look away as much as possible so he didn't think I was into them instead. So the guys in the class thought I was really stand-offish and I'm sure he thought I wanted to murder him. Sorry, Jack."

"Leaned over in English class every day and copied his handwriting until ours matched. I had this theory that if our handwriting looked the same he would fall in love with me, but he turned out to be mean, and I wound up with pretty handwriting."

"He noticed and made terrible fun of me in front of his friends on one of the last days of school, (Grade 7) and i was_crushed_. Oh, Kaleb, you were so handsome in your Monster Energy hat, how could you?"

"I was maybe 14 at the time and saw my crush riding their bike down my street so I ran to grab a blanket, dashed outside, laid out on the lawn and pretended to talk REALLY loud on the phone."

"Had to pretend to have a conversation because had no friends to actually call."

"As a dumb little kid I got on a swing near her and her friend group so that I could jump off. That wasn’t the impressive part though."

"I’d first act like I had a rough landing (not a botched one, mind you! That wouldn’t be cool) and kinda scrape myself up on the wood chips. I’d then act like it was really devastating but I could easily walk it off because I was just THAT GOD DAMN TOUGH."

"On summer break after my 6th grade, I saw the boy I had a crush on at a festival in my hometown. Had no idea how to get his attention, so I deliberately placed my foot in front of a woman pushing a baby buggy so that she’d run over it."

"Made a big scene out of it and started to yell and pretend that it hurt really badly (it didn’t). Poor woman looked traumatized.... that’s one of the stories that keep me awake at night. Oh and btw, he did notice that and proceeded to laugh at me with his friends. What was I thinking??"

"In high school, I learned tuba just to impress a girl cause she said she likes tubas."

"Turns out she only said that cause she was currently dating a tubist.

"Also, in 8th grade somebody left me the lyrics to a love song by the Beatles but changed all the names to mine, even the ones that didn’t make sense."

"I was like 8 at a rollerskating rink, and there was a really cute boy there who maybe was like a year older than me, and I thought that if I kept pace with him he would eventually talk to me. Well it turns out he was the most horrible rollerskater I have ever seen, and he fell over like almost every 30 feet."

"I was so determined to keep pace with him that every time he fell, I decided to fall too. I was really good at skating then, so when I came home my mom was very concerned that I had bruises all over and thought I must have gotten into a fight or something. She died laughing hysterically when I told her what actually happened."

"For some reason or another, I had been bragging about my ability to spit a watermelon seed with deadly accuracy. The young woman to whom I had made these claims – which probably should have sent her sprinting in any direction other than toward me – challenged me to hit her textbook as a show of this alleged skill."

"My first 'shot' went wide, sailing far off to the girl's left. She said something akin to 'Hah! and took to lightheartedly berating me for overblowing the scope of my abilities. As she was speaking, I fired my second shot... and against all odds, it landed directly in her mouth.

"Needless to say, we were both shocked... and in an effort to evoke some humor from the situation, I said something to the effect of 'Well, hey, since we've sort of kissed already now... want to make it official?'

"Just in case you were wondering, it's definitely not the best idea to suggest tonsil hockey when your intended paramour is already suppressing gags."

"Back in high school I had an absolutely massive crush on a boy in my English Lit class. Let's call him Jim. So, what did I do? Did I initiate a conversation to ask if he wanted to go to a movie with me? Of course not!"

"Instead I decided to write Jim a...get ready for this...Harry Potter fanfic. In the story I was, smack-in-the-face obviously, Ginny and he was Harry.

"I realized my mistake almost immediately, but short of yanking it out of his grasp (and I was really considering it) it was too late to do anything. After that I made it my mission at school to avoid seeing him as much as possible. There was no eye contact and definitely no conversation.

"There is a happy ending to this story though. I actually started dating Jim a year after high school. We have been married for 9 years now. He still has the story. Whenever he wants to tease me he will bring it out and read it; I still turn a beautiful shade of tomato red just like I did 14 years ago."

"I hoarded a bunch of stuffed animals I won from a local arcade throughout the summer for my crush. One day, I decided I would walk to my crush’s house unannounced a few miles down the road and present her with a garbage bag filled with said stuffed animals."

"She was completely confused as to why I was at her doorstep at night and she was even more confused when I presented her with the garbage bag. I didn’t really explain why I brought them to her because I felt the romantic gesture would do the talking. I got the most awkward '...thanks' followed by the door being shut in my face. I thought I was such a romantic..."

"What stands out to me the most was back in middle school, I had a crush on this girl.I decided to do some half assed research on pheromones and came to the conclusion that BO emits pheromones that attracts the opposite sex."

"Armed with this knowledge, I proceeded to assault the poor girl's senses every single day, with my BO, never wearing deodorant and following her everywhere with my premium stank. You won't believe how surprised I got when it wasn't working. I even remember rubbing some armpit sweat on my neck like cologne."

"Back in elementary, I saw my crush while at the park and I decided I would show off to get her attention. What did I do? I started bragging loudly to my brothers about how big my Pokemon collection was."

"My brothers knew exactly what I was trying to do and they have not let me live it down."

"Back when I was in middle school I had a crush on this girl. I was into writing at the time so I put her in a fantasy story I wrote, where she was a warrior."

"She hated it and told everybody, and showed them the copy I gave her. This did not help my bullying. I still die from thinking about the cringe."