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Ask a Teacher: Can You Tell When Students Have Crushes on Each Other?

Ask a Teacher: Can You Tell When Students Have Crushes on Each Other?

Q: Can teachers tell when students have crushes on each other?

A: Now this is an interesting question for several reasons.

First, it's not as if the interactions that go on in classrooms are completely unlike interactions in other social settings. Yes, you're not always sitting in lectures, but there are certain common themes and scripts to human relations across almost all situations. So it would seem that when two people are crushing on each other in class, they would display the same signs of attraction that people do in other places. And they do.

Second, your teachers—believe it or not—are human beings, and are typically as attuned as any other humans to the signs of new romance. In fact, and this may surprise you, your teachers have had crushes, and still do; they're not aliens from planet Tralfamadore sent here to burden the youth of Earth with assignments so they're distracted when the invasion fleets arrive. I don't know where you'd even get such a silly idea. The point is that crushes are common experiences for everyone, so we're all familiar with the indications of them.

Third, you're talking about teenage crushes here. Do you have any idea how unsubtle you people are when you're crushing? Right now, the hormones coursing through a single one of your bodies would kill a 43-year old. It's not your fault, but you're almost completely incapable of hiding the physical effects of what your hormones are doing to you. On top of that, you're just learning the social norms for interpersonal attractions and relationships, so it's not surprising that you might not be the sliest players in the world. Not to make you feel self-conscious or anything, but if you're crushing on a classmate, you may as well put up a highway billboard, take out a full-page ad in the local newspaper, and wear one of those sandwich-board signs, all of which say ATTENTION: I AM FALLING HARD FOR [insert name here]. Seriously—puppies are less nakedly emotional than crushing teenagers.

So, yes, we can tell. Don't worry, as we tend not to care as long as you keep your grades up and stay current with your assignments. As far as the Tralfamadorian fleet is concerned, you people do a much better job of distracting yourselves than all of the homework assignments in the world put together, so they'll be just fine when they arrive. If! I mean if!

Mr. Toche taught statistics, sociology, and human sexuality to college students for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He saw, learned, and experienced more horrors than you can well imagine in that time.

Got a question for an English, science, math, writing, special ed, sociology, or PE teacher, or a specific question for Mr. Toche? Send it to!

Has a teacher ever called you out on a class crush?

Related post: Love Thy Neighbor: Sitting Next To Your Secret Crush

Topics: Life
Tags: crushes, school, hormones, ask a teacher

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