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A scientific theoretical framework designed through an exploratory study: How we successfully mastered the science of crushes in one week 

The other day, a friend of ours manically blurted out, “I think I have a crush on David*.” It stopped us all in our tracks. A crush? How long has it been since you’ve thought about that word? How long has it been since you’ve said to a friend, “Hey, I think I have a crush.” We bet the answer is a long time. We believe it’s quite regrettable that we all sub-consciously decided to drop the word ‘crush’ from our vocabulary once we graduated high school. Was this meant to be a mark of maturity? A step into the real cruel world of love? Whatever the reason, we’re here to demolish the stigma. We’ve developed a very legitimate scientific theoretical framework that has managed to encapsulate everything you will ever need to know about crushes (and then some). 

We have been tirelessly completing market research throughout the last week. We’ve consulted everyone from uber drivers, to scared boys at house parties, bosses, Maddy’s mum, anonymous crushes, and study buddies. Our efforts have been extensive and exhaustive, but it’s all worth it in the name of love. Marx and Engels didn’t write Das Kapital in a day, but they obviously didn’t have love pushing them towards the finish line.

You may say that Marxism has inspired many to overcome the vices of capitalism. Yep, we know all about it buddy. But hear us out, because this framework could quite possibly impact even more lives. For example: not sure if your latest fling understands that you don’t want to progress from ‘casual’ to ‘committed’? Simply point to the framework and explain to them that they are Mid Tier. Trying to drop hints at your bf to put a ring on it? Point to Top Tier. Want to break things off with someone? Simply point to The Abyss (arguably the harshest of insults). There really is something for everyone. 

Before any concern is raised, this is not a pyramid scheme. It’s just love, and if you’re not okay with that, then maybe you don’t deserve to have a crush. So, let’s battle love’s keen sting together and fall head over heels into it…

The Theoretical Framework: A Pyramidical Model for the Hierarchy of Crushes
TLDR: There’s tiers within tiers within tiers and then there’s tears. 

Top Tier:
There is 2 of these max here. These crushes are authentic, and they very rarely move. If they were to budge, something HUGE has to happen. You think about this crush for years, even if they get engaged. They could be wearing three quarter cargo pants and they’d still look delectable. Think of Top Tier as a podium of your two most long-term loves, but here’s the catch. These people must be accessible and achievable. For example, one of us has a crush on a hot local news reporter, but he is stuck in the Mid Tier for the time being as no physical contact has been made with him. (She’s not happy at us for this, but we’re sure she’ll shift him to Top Tier once the valley re-opens). This also means no celebrities. Your fifteen-year-long crush on Daniel Radcliffe may be impressive, but he is simply not a feasible option (sorry). We would also hope that everyone at one stage in their life has had at least one Top Tier crush. 

Mid Tier:
There is 4 of these here. Mad respect for them. You would hook up with them but you also wouldn’t break down in tears (in public) if you saw them hooking up with someone else– you’d just feel a bit sad, and maybe vomit. These are arguably the most dangerous because they have social mobility. They have the potential to sky-rocket to the Top Tier if they prove themselves to you, but one wrong move can send them retreating straight to the Bottom Tier (or even The Abyss). You’re in physical pain about how hot these people are, but they are yet to prove their value and longevity. 

Bottom Tier:
There is 14 max at the bottom. They come and go. They are transferable. They can be the boy that served you at woolies, the girl on the train this morning, or the hottie at UQ central library level two wearing birks and socks. Our Lower Tier is pretty jam-packed at the moment as we find ourselves giving heart eyes to anyone who makes us laugh. Don’t even get us started about how everyone automatically becomes a 10 in the library. However, these people better stay on their toes as they are on high rotation. Don’t get too comfortable sweetheart. 

The Abyss:
These are the floaters. The “I paid $45 to Uber to his house and all he did was touch my boobs” kinda guys. The “scratch you in the club” kinda girls. This can be considered the clearest distinction within the theoretical framework– you’re either in the pyramid (a crush), or you’re not and you’re floating through The Abyss for the time being, baby. 

We’ve taken the liberty to include some anonymous secondary sources to support our theory. Thank you to everyone for being brave enough to share. 

“In Grade 7 I broke up with my boyfriend via putting a letter in his school bag after we kissed because I had a Mid Tier crush on his Dad. He was a DILF.”  – The Girl Who Was Leaps and Bounds Ahead of the Rest of Us. 

“I just messaged 11 of my Bottom Tier Irish crushes from Tinder Passport that ‘I miss you so much it makes me feel sick’ and not a single one replied.” – Unsuccessful Bottom Tier Crushes

“After implementing the theory of the model for the hierarchy of crushes, I can now confirm that I do not have a crush on David* and I was in fact deprived of male company through COVID.”  – The Friend We Mentioned Earlier 

“I can quite confidently say that throughout my five years in high school, I had a crush on almost every boy in the grade.” – Some People Crush Harder Than Others, and That’s Okay

“I once walked into a house party full of boys and immediately developed a Bottom Tier crush on 11 of them. I wish I didn’t, but I did.” – That Damn Bottom Tier Strikes Again

“I’ve only ever had one crush on the same girl from high school for six years. Also, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, but apparently she’s married.”  – A Prime Example of Top Tier 


Are we bringing back crushes? We think we are. And for that reason, everyone should have (at least) a Mid Tier crush on us.

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons. 

Thank you to Heather Brennan, Caitlin Anderson and Jackson Morwood for their collaboration and contribution towards the Hierarchy of Crushes.


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