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What Exactly Is a Man Crush?

05/19/2014 10:52 am ET | Updated Oct 28, 2014

You have probably heard the term "man crush" before.  If you are a female reading this, chances are your significant other has a man crush on at least one male or more.  A man crush is something that a straight male has for someone who is usually a public figure, a recognizable name, a celebrity.  These crushes do not mean that your man desires his man crush in the way he desires you, though.  I like to describe the term as a deep interest in the work of a man, that sometimes borders on fanaticism or obsession.  

For the guys reading this, I encourage you to add your man crushes in the comments section.
Here are my own man crushes in no particular order:

James Franco

Sure, most people know him for his work in movies such as Spider-Man, Pineapple Express, This is the End, etc.  The James Franco that I crush on is the writer of a short story collection and his surprisingly ambitious debut novel, Actors Anonymous.  Also, for his deep desire to produce art over commercial success.  He has produced and funded more than just a few independent films.  He was remarkable in Howl as Allen Ginsberg, and he turned William Faulkner's classic novel, As I Lay Dying into a movie just last year.  He spends a lot of his own money to pursue his own artistic pursuits.  He has supposedly been noted to read War and Peace in between takes of Spider-Man.  Enough said, right?  James Franco is more than just a comedic actor.  His real talents lie in his passion projects that he does for the love of real art.

Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections and Freedom are arguably the two best novels written so far this century.  He has a pair of signature glasses that were once stolen and offered back for a ransom fee.  I love his glasses so much that when I went to get a new pair, I found the closest model to "The Franzen." He is the only novelist to appear on the cover of Time in the 21st century, and he was best friends with David Foster Wallace.  His words flow seamlessly together creating a symphony in the form of beautifully crafted prose. Plus he blocks off his Internet connection when he writes. Mr. Franzen means business and I envy that. His essays are fantastic as well. I could go on and on about my crush on Franzen, but I have to leave some space for my other man crushes.

George Saunders

Arguably the greatest short story writer alive and one of the best ever.  His stories are disturbingly funny and unrealistically realistic.  That's about all that needs to be said about him.

Ed Sheeran

I wrote an article about Ed recently.  He could sing the dictionary and I would be captivated.  The greatest solo artist alive in my opinion. I'm anticipating his upcoming album with the giddiness and excitement of a 10-year-old on Christmas Eve.

Tom Delonge

Most people know him for his work with the extremely popular band Blink-182, but I know him for his artistic genius of his lesser known band, Angels and Airwaves.  They have four albums, a film, a documentary, and every single song is necessary to each album.  Their albums tell stories and he writes all of his own music. I have attended two of their concerts and arrived hours early to both in order to be as close to the energy of Tom Delonge as possible.

Jim Parsons

The most annoying comedic actor on television, and I say that out of love. I love him as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. It is the only reason that the show has continued to succeed year after year. He makes the show. He is charming, funny, innocent, and one of my favorite television actors of all time. He says Bazinga. That is all.

Honorable Mentions:  The following would make my list if they were still living, but man-crushing on a deceased person seems a bit odd to me. I'm including the recently deceased because I was alive during their own lives.

Steve Jobs - Seriously?  No comment.
David Foster Wallace - The most brilliant writer of his generation.  He was too smart for this world.
Christopher Hitchens - The title of his absolutely compelling essay collection, Arguably, is unarguably ironic because arguing with Hitchens is a waste of time.  He will beat you every time, but instead of feeling defeated, you will feel smarter.

Potential Man Crush: Johnny "Football" Manziel. I have to wait till he takes the field in Cleveland to include him in my list.

Those are my major man crushes. However, men are not alone; woman have girl crushes too. Be proud of your crushes as long as they don't border on obsession, or become creepy or stalker-like. Then you need to tone it down a bit. Happy Crushing!