“Girl crush ko siya!” you’ve probably heard your girlfriend exclaim more than once. Your first thought was probably: that’s kinda hot. But then you start wondering what she really means. Is she attracted to other girls? Is it a harmless crush, like the one she has on Tom Hardy, or a potentially dangerous one, like the one you know she has on her manager, even though she swears on her life against it? Will she actually wake up one day and decide to leave you for this woman?
Celine Sugay, M.A., R.Psy., a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach who works with global organization The OneCORE, says, “having a girl crush simply means that a girl admires another girl whom she usually highly respects as well. This may be because the other girl is pretty, cool, smart, charming, talented, sophisticated, has a great body, or has a good sense of style.”
Sugay refers to an article by Jeffrey Davis, M.A., which explains how admiration is rooted in wonder, since the Latin word mira literally translates to wonder. “This makes complete sense,” Sugay says. “Because upon meeting a person we find interesting, we are intrigued by them and we start to wonder about who they are, what else they can do, and what other information they can teach us. From there, as we learn more about the person, admiration builds.
"In general, admiration is an emotion which is brought about because we experience a person who is clever, competent, beautiful, kind, and so on. Those we admire also often tend to be our role models. This is likely because when we admire someone, we tend to respect them as well.”
Expressing genuine admiration for the same sex is actually healthy—it shows that your girlfriend is not overly competitive or catty, and is a more ideal scenario than if she is constantly threatened by or hostile toward the idea of women she deems more attractive, intelligent, skilled, or accomplished than she is.
What would probably be a cause for concern, though, is if she starts mimicking how her girl crush speaks, dresses, and lives to the point of altering who she truly is. After all, in this day of followers, social media superstars, and intricately detailed updates, the lines between #girlcrush, #lifepeg, and #nothavingamindofyourown run the risk of blurring together, morphing real-life people into a hyper-curated amalgam of “pegs” culled from the internet.
Additionally, Sugay warns against girl crushes in closer proximity—the ones your girlfriend actually interacts with on a regular basis—who possess negative attributes that your girlfriend may end up unconsciously copying.
Sugay also points out the male version of a girl crush, the man crush. “Women are more comfortable and open with their admiration for the same sex, but that doesn’t mean men don’t feel admiration for other men. Have you ever admired a musician or a basketball player for his skills, or Channing Tatum for his humor, or Ryan Gosling for his fashion sense? That’s what a girl crush is like for women. They just express themselves differently.”