I had an epiphany a few weeks ago during a late-night text message conversation with one of my girlfriends.
"Maybe my new crush will be there."
"Whoohoo! You'll have to come over tomorrow and tell me all about it!!"
"Ok. But he might not even be there. Or like me back. (I can't believe I just said that. I am 36 not 13.)"
"You want me to write a note that says: 'If you like me check yes or no. Or maybe -- to have that wishy washy option?"
"Just ask him if he likes me in study hall."
Lucky for all of us, we've graduated from leaving notes for our crush in his or her locker, but that text-message conversation made me realize that dating keeps us 13 forever.
No matter how old we are, the same questions plague us about a new crush.
"Does he like me?"
"Does she just want to be friends?"
Honestly, it seemed a lot easier in junior high when you could pass your Crush of the Month one of those "will-you-go-out-with-me?" notes with the multiple choice answers during American history. By the end of second period, you'd know if the answer was yes, no or maybe. It was nice and simple and direct. If the answer was "no," you could quickly go on with your life and on to your next crush.
Then we all grew up to an adult dating reality that's a lot more complicated. A reality that involves a great deal of psychoanalysis in addition to an understanding of psychology, sociology and anthropology. And the ability to read body language as a second language.
It doesn't matter how long you've been dating. The questions we all ask ourselves at the beginning of a new relationship are always there like a bad yearbook picture.
But even though we're all supposed to be serious grown-ups, I think it's kind of sweet to recapture a feeling from a time when we were all a little less jaded, a lot more carefree and didn't have a worry beyond the weekend.
While I'd rather not relive the horrors of my Ugly Duckling Years (especially the scary '80s hair), I don't ever want to lose that junior-high 'high' that comes with a new crush.
And for those wondering what happened with Mr. Crush from the epiphany-inducing text message convo: I think he checked "maybe."
Gina Bever is a local public relations professional and woman-about-town. She's known for providing her friends -- male and female -- with thousands of hours of free therapy and (asked for) relationship advice.
ASK GINA: Send questions about relationships to Gina at firstname.lastname@example.org.