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How To Attract Your Crush: Rabak Edition

Before there was WhatsApp, there was MSN Messenger. Before there was Facebook stalking, there was Yearbook flipping to find your crush’s picture. Before there were Instagram bios, there were ‘testimonials’ on Friendster.

Regardless of what you do, the year 2000 paved the way for ratchet first encounters. Here are 20 millennials who shared with us the worst thing they’ve done to get their crush’s attention.

Some names were changed to protect identities.

Playing mind games on social media

To gain my crush’s attention, I constantly signed in and out of MSN Messenger. Sometimes I subtly changed my MSN nickname to lyrics of some song I know she likes, hoping she’ll start a chat.
Chris, 26

I changed my ‘Last Seen’ preferences on Whatsapp to private, so others can only see me online if I’m using it. To subtly stalk my crush, I’ll make my friend scope out the situation first and get back to me on whether he’s online or not. Occasionally, I’ll put some cryptic quote on my Whatsapp status and it’ll start a conversation between us. But now the stupid update ruined everything and I can’t be ~mysterious~ anymore.
Amira, 20

I shared the annoying Facebook chain message/post of, “LIKE this and I’ll tell you if…” or “I’ll rate you” just so I could tell my crush how I feel about her and have her reciprocate my feelings. Everyone but her liked it so my plan failed.


Sid, 21

My modus operandi is to make my social media profile have as many similar interests as my crush’s. By joining all the same Facebook interest groups as him, I’d be bound to connect with him one way or another.
Priya, 24

Bribing them with food

Even after asking my crush out twice in 3 years and being rejected both times, I didn’t give up. One day on MSN, he said, “I would date any woman who made me bacon sandwiches.” So that’s what I did. I made him a bacon sandwich, placed it in a nice lunchbox and gave it to him the next day. When I offered him my present, he stared at it blankly and asked, “What’s this?”’ I replied, ‘A bacon sandwich!’ I said, smiling. He gave me a deadpan face and told me that he was joking the previous night. Guess I got rejected again.
Angela, 22

I noticed every little detail about him such as his preference for bubble tea and doughnuts so I’d buy them for him only to have him say that I’m “mummying” him. I also went to extreme lengths to lose weight when he called me fat (e.g. having only 2 skewers of fruits for a meal and puking whatever I’ve eaten or whenever I felt fat). It definitely wasn’t healthy.
Elle, 24

Stalking them virtually and in reality

Whenever I establish my newest source of affection (i.e. a crush), I immediately get a quick background check of them of Instagram to make sure they are worthy of my time. Of course, we all know what happens when we find ourselves 164 weeks in and accidentally double tapping the photo. I swear that one second of realisation is equivocal to death, but hey, at least he’ll notice you.
Gwen, 19

I used to skateboard under my crush’s HDB block so the minute the lift opens she’ll see me.
Kenneth, 24

When bidding for electives in school, I’ll always wait for my crush to submit his options first. Then after I get my ‘intel’ from other people, I’ll “coincidentally” sign up for all the same electives.
Annadine, 18

On CCA days in secondary school, I ALWAYS left school through one particular gate even though it took me a longer time to get to the MRT station. My CCA (hockey) always ended about the same time as my crush’s CCA (water polo) and I knew that he would always be waiting for his father at the exact same spot so I’d plan my route and timing down to a T. We were from different classes and there was no chance for our paths to cross apart from this regular post-CCA moment. Suffice to say, he always noticed me and smiled at me. We became classmates two years later so there was no need to do all that any longer. I just had to come to class later than him so that he’d notice me. I was such a loser.
Amirul, 24

Bribing them with gifts

I once gave the girl I liked an iPod shuffle in Primary school. Stupid move.
Randy, 25

I used to surprise a girl I liked in school by doing weird shit like Googling ‘What day is it today’ to find out those obscure events. One of the more vivid memories was when it was ‘Poem on your Pillow’ day and I essentially wrote W. B. Yeats’ ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ poem and left it in her room love-letter style. Other than that, sometimes I purposely swipe Tinder in front of them to passive-aggressively check if they are into me.
John, 26

Related: 10 Signs Your Boyfriend is Using Passive-Aggression to Get His Way

Being AA AF

I noticed this guy in school staring at me a lot but I didn’t think much of it at first. However, I eventually became obsessed with him because I thought he was cute too. One day, my friend told me, “YOU WON’T GUESS WHO’S IN THE COM LAB COME NOW.” I was resistant but eventually went into the lab like “HAAY GURL HAAAY” just to attract his attention, which was really inappropriate because everyone was focused on doing work. Basically, my mind told me “play it cool, be yourself” but I did the opposite.
Siti, 22

I purposely tripped on some staircase to get my crush’s attention in the lecture theatre but all I got were bruised knees.
Kuan Yung, 21

Acting cool

I was on a date with a guy once and I was really nervous. I agreed to watch the movie ‘Hulk’ with him because I wanted to act like a cool girl who could watch action movies. But at one scene, I got caught off guard and I ended up throwing the popcorn all over him—and the people behind us. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
Kat, 24

I made the first move by seducing him at the club with some sexy dance moves, only to realise he was my friend’s boyfriend. Oops.
Debbie, 24

Playing Sherlock by leaving clues

I once had a kiddy crush on a guy I met during a national sports competition. As he was from a different school, I could only see him during the annual meet. On one particular year, both of our schools’ sports days happened to occur on the same day at Bishan stadium, with his school’s celebration being right before mine. I was on medical leave that day but according to my friend this guy actually asked where I was.

Since then, I’d work hard every year just to make it to nationals and see him! However, back then there was no way for us to contact each other as we didn’t have handphones. So what my friends and I did was to place our neoprint pictures in the neoprint shop just in case he saw it and we somehow reconnected.
Lisa, 24

Manipulating school schedules

During recess time, I’d intentionally buy the same drink as him so that we have an unspoken connection better than Singtel 4G. I’ll also try to scope out our common breaks or rush to the canteen just so I can “casually” appear in his peripheral. I’ll also pretend to go to the toilet when I see him walk past my class through the window so that we can “coincidentally” bump into each other.
Emma, 18

A couple of months ago, my friend and I found my crush’s profile on a dating site and his bio mentioned that he liked girls with long hair. So last year when my hair was growing out I decided to keep it that way in hopes that he’ll notice; SO EMBARRASSING AND STUPID! However, I ended up liking my long hair which is why I haven’t cut it since! But that was initially the reason why I grew it out for the first time in 6 years.
Kim, 19

I got my crush’s timetable for maximum efficiency. I also bought a balloon in school for Valentine’s Day and wrote his Instagram bio on it. On the balloon, I wrote, “Please notice me… but also don’t.” I was clearly delirious and he never did notice me.
Layla, 18

Ratchet First Encounters

Our ways of attracting our crushes may seem weird/lame/embarrassing but these rabak experiences make the best stories to laugh about years down the road. Besides, these ratchet encounters with our crushes help us grow as a person and develop “thicker” skin, so we’ll know what to do if we do meet The One.