Story Time: I Confessed to My Crush Through a Meme So He Thought I Did It For Laughs

by Kate Detoya   |  Dec 11, 2022
Image: Pexels Art: Andre Rafael
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Never in my wildest imagination had I seen myself making the first move on someone I liked. I was simply content in believing that the right guy would come into my life at the perfect time and that his feelings would conveniently align with mine. Since I was afraid of experiencing rejection, being a woman in a country with traditional courtship customs worked for me.

As much as I would like to think that I'm not marupok, the fact that I fell for a friend after initiating deep talks with him would prove otherwise. At the height of the pandemic, I found myself messaging my crush from midnight until dawn, eagerly anticipating his replies. Most nights, we would talk about philosophy and share past memories. Other times, I would open up about my anxieties, and he would calm me with assuring words. And if I had nothing in particular to say, I would send memes to make him laugh and ease my loneliness. 

Soon enough, he became my takbuhan. The green dot below his Facebook icon would remind me of his presence, and reaching out to him became a battle of wills. 

Like any other shy person with a crush, I resorted to subtle ways to get noticed. I would casually mention movies with the friends-to-lovers trope, recommend songs that described my heart's longings, and make sure that I look extra good on my Facebook My Day. But just when I started becoming more certain of my feelings, he mentioned some girl he was one-sidedly crushing on. I was hurt, but I knew I had no right to feel that way. Still, I found small comfort in knowing that I wasn't the only one who couldn't seem to teach my heart what was good for it.


As stupid as it was, I secretly hoped that he would someday notice me. However, this fantasy shattered when he told me that he almost fell for my friend because of how often she teased him. When I heard it, all the buried frustration from being friend-zoned had suddenly burst.

At the time, I felt that confessing was the only way to let go of the heavy baggage I’d been carrying. When I saw a silly meme that I could relate to just a day later, I took it as my sign to convey how I felt. "Ilang Milo pa ba ang ititimpla ko para maging champion ako diyan sa puso mo?” the meme said. After I hit send, my heart was beating so fast, and I couldn’t help but think about how gutsy I was.

My crush reacted to the meme with a laughing emoji, playing along by suggesting Swiss Miss over Milo. I then broached the subject by stating that he probably already knew about my feelings, made obvious by my sudden cold shoulder after reading what he disclosed. When he told me to say it straight, I forced the words out: “Okay, fine! Crush kita.”

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Almost immediately, I told him that I wasn't waiting for a response and that I just wanted to get it off my chest. He was kind about it, telling me that he just didn't want to assume, that he was sorry if he ever acted insensitively, and that he would understand if I needed time away from him. I replied that even though I sometimes felt like he wasn’t sensitive enough about my feelings, he wasn’t actually at fault. He said I should tell him if I ever felt that way again.

His sweet words made it so easy for me to fall back into the friendship we'd had—too easy, in fact. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I hadn't given myself the time I needed to heal. When Christmas Day came, I got irrationally upset over being left on read. It was then that I knew I had been deluding myself into thinking that I was moving on, when really, I was still looking to him for comfort and attention. So I decided to keep my distance. 


In my efforts to avoid contacting him, I looked for ways to keep busy. If I wasn't attending classes or doing school work, I was writing poetry, watching series, and reading self-help books. I also joined a school organization, where I poured my relentless energy. Doing all these things made me feel in control, and eventually, I finally felt like I was in the right headspace. It wasn't easy, but I was able to bounce back.

I keep a low-maintenance friendship with him nowadays. Although we don't often talk like we used to, I'm happy that this memory is something we can now laugh about. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing because even though I didn’t end up with him, he still played a part in making me realize my worth.

TL;DR: To the guy who had once seen me at my most vulnerable, thank you for making me feel accepted.

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Kate Detoya
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