The first signs of a crush are unique for everyone, but most would agree that a crush brings warm, butterfly feelings. You feel you’re walking on a cloud, and everything is that much cute and giddier. A crush opens your mind to a lot of confidence, excitement, and daydreaming.
However in my own experience, being South Asian and living with strict cultural and religious parents, my crush had to be maintained with the utmost precise secrecy.
Here are four ways that I learnt on how to crush under strict rules.
CUTE CODE NAMES
First thing’s first, code names. The best way and most fun way to keep secrets but talk openly about them was creating a code with your besties.
The names flipped gender and the conversation was innocent. Michael became Michelle, Olivia stayed as Olivia. My parents were none the wiser.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Another issue to work around was dress code. The usual dressing rules I was under as a teen, were sleeves that go to the wrist, necklines that went to the throat, legs always covered, hair tied back in a braid. One had to learn to be a little inventive to feel pretty around a crush.
My first trick was the broken bobble. Worked at least once a week, telling my mum my braid was loose, I opened it, tried to re-do it and the bobble broke. For a short time I could be rapunzel with letting down my coal black hair.
Sometimes it would get too hot to cover your legs. Quick trip to the bathroom, carefully remove the tights, make extra sure you don’t get any ladders and slip them back on before the end of the day,
THE ROADS HAVE EYES
Next was avoiding the road with eyes. Walking home with your crush can be a special, intimate moment. Just you and them, walking and talking with no pressure of anyone watching.
Or so you might think.
I learnt that the hard way when using the route home passing my nosy aunty’s house. It was long before I reached my own street that my mother was informed of the “strange boy with long hair” I was walking home alone with. We took the long way home after that.
BE OUR GUEST
In my household, boys were a no-no! Girls were ok-but-not-too-many-we-just-had-the-carpets-cleaned! When it came to other houses though, that’s when we had to be creative.
House parties were disguised as double cinema trips, we’d be gone for hours and come home late without a hitch.
An extra set of clothes were packed secretly, ones with more revealing necklines and shorter skirts.
Our bags were so big we said were full of cheap popcorn and haribos.
These are just some of the techniques I have used when crushing under strict rules. It’s not easy growing up with strict parents, especially in a religious and cultural environment but I would not have changed for the world.
With a lot of trial and error and perfection, my four rules were able to let me crush in freedom. I hope they serve you well in your own future endeavours, and don’t ever be ashamed over who you crush!
Prishant K Jutlla
UNICORN Social Media Coordinator | She / Her
Prishant is a social media coordinator for UNICORN, story-writer and copywriter. She loves horror movies, collecting notebooks too perfect to use, and discovering random historical facts for fun.