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Not long ago, I started an advice column project. Here's the flier I made for it:

Not very many people have responded yet, but maybe that's because I haven't been posting or publishing the results at all. So, now, the moment we've all been waiting for...


Dear Helen,

Major problems in the realm of totally helpless, hopeless crushes.  I have the most devestatingly overwhelming crush on someone whose former partner I'm involved in an accountability proccess with! I keep trying to pretend it's not happening but then they meet up with the accountability group to check in and I am overwhelmed with crushy emotions such as 'I would sure love to buy this person an ice cream cone and hold their hand,' or 'Omg! The way they are talking about consent is so articulate and awesome (and how did I not notice they're such a babe before right now?) Oh wait, I did. I always do. Oy vey.'

It's not like I become some googley eyed wolf in a zoot suit, but I just get bummed out whenever we meet up and then they leave and I have post-crushtime depression and am all 'this can never be.'

Because duh, obviously it is totally inappropriate for me to ask them on a date, and if they asked me out on a date (like that would ever happen), it would totally compromise the integrity of my involvement in this accountability proccess, and thereby potentially give the 'proccessee,' if you will, a possible excuse to distrust all of us and ditch out on the whole thing and never stop being a totally creepy jerk.

So I guess my question is: how do you make a crush that you can't help having and is totally intense and overwhelming but not feasible to act on go away? Or, do you have any suggestions on how to navigate being super crushed out on someone you have this sort of 'punk-professional' relationship with?

I hope I don't sound like a whiny baby all, 'waah, waaah! I feel entitled to smooch anyone and now I have to have boundaries! Gimme my bottle!' I just haven't had it this bad in a long time.

Help me, Helen!

Full Time Whiner

My Dearest Whiner:

It's cool that you know how ironic and potentially inappropriate pursuing a romance with this babely processor, but those thoughts might also be a tool for you to cease examining the origin of your boners in general. Example: it's easy to be like, "Oh I shouldn't have this crush because we're working together on sensitive material regarding this very topic. Therefore my feelings are inappropriate." This is not the end of the road for you and your own process!

However, could it be possible that you have this crush exactly for the reason that this person is engaging in a community process? A community process about romantic/sexual/emotional health that you have already invested a lot of your time and energy in? This person is already there, already cares about the politics you make an effort to apply to punk lifestyle, and you get to hang with them all the time and learn the serious things about them and show them, by being a useful facilitator in what is probably a difficult time for them. of course you have a crush on them. everyone's hot and they get even hotter when you know you care about the same heavy shit.

SO, basically you have two options: 1) just fucking go for it, engage in an over-the-top and heavily self-referential over-communication about possibly pursuing some level of romance with this person (because, after all, it doesn't matter what "the community" thinks as long as, and pardon my corniness, you're true to yourself and your love interest). You'll have to sort out your responsibilities to your process group, of course, while simultaneously preparing yourself for rejection and (hopefully not) humiliation). But whatever, right? Life's short or something...

...or 2) take a cold shower and get over it. there will be other crushes. I'm sure you've had crushes in the past and I'm certain you'll have more in the future. Maybe you should start a band or something so that you're mind doesn't try to confuse you by involving your shit in something that's so complicated and unnecessary.

Hope this was helpful, whiny baby!

Helen Degenerate