what I’ve learned so far

[The ‘Yours in Armitage’ series is an introspective fan reflection of actor Richard Armitage, using excerpts from my past correspondence with fellow fans.]


I’ve now reached the end of the excerpts from 2013 and can confidently say that this introspection has already helped me. I plan on doing another handful of posts to cover the years 2014-2017 and then after that, this little experiment will be finished. when I set out upon this venture, I was hoping that the process of reading back through my fangirl related correspondence would help me get a clearer picture of not only the issues I seemed to be struggling with concerning Richard Armitage, but also my history with the fangirling hobby in general. as I finished writing each post and replied to comments, I then wrote a short summary of thoughts about what issue was covered, what may have caused it in relation to past experiences, and then how it relates to me. what follows is what I’ve learned so far.


subject: Calm

conclusion: fangirling calms me, it’s why I do it. building a framework of ‘things to know’ about the person: film work, popular interviews, basic biography information, etc. and then creating a routine within those boundaries. “routine” being what I do each day that involves the crush: checking Twitter for news/celebration of them, certain Tumblrs/blogs/forums, and just seeing them in some form every time I turn on my computer.

pattern: following a crush is an escape for me. I’m in it for the positive benefits


subject: Hollywood

conclusion: I am cynical towards ‘making it big in Hollywood’ because of things that have happened to past crushes. Robert Pattinson was constantly on display in the media; Christian Bale was used for his fame by people close to him; the hate from fans that is directed towards Jamie Dornan’s wife and the spouses of other actors who are part of a popular fan ‘ship’; how all of them have had to ‘play the game’ in order to remain relevant enough to pursue what interests them.

pattern: my crush must not fully give in to popularity/marketing. he must always stay a step removed


subject: Romantic Relationship

conclusion: most of my past crushes have been married and seemed to have a good relationship with their spouse. I enjoy watching them hold hands and talk about the support they receive from one another; it enhances my own relationship from seeing it.

pattern: I prefer my crush to be in a relationship that I can celebrate. this also helps guard against me imagining myself in that role


subject: Disappointment

conclusion: I have an ‘all or nothing’ issue in regards to thinking I have to find personal meaning in every project the crush does. if I don’t, it’s a let down, and I automatically start wondering if he’s really the one for me after all.

pattern: I must feel at ease with most everything related to my crush in order to keep the fangirl high optimal


subject: Traits

conclusion: I prefer a balance of traits that are like me vs traits that I’m not familiar with. if the scale tips too far in one direction, I will stack it in order to achieve my preferred ratio. this can result in an unfair perception of who the person really is.

pattern: I inadvertently shape the crush into who I want/need him to be


subject: Television Role

conclusion: creates more time with my crush, strengthening the parasocial bond as he takes me through the storytelling process.

pattern: crush becomes a ‘guide’ to help me through what I’m supposed to learn


subject: Sharing Opinions

conclusion: fan reaction (‘object of affection’ opinions included) greatly influences my feelings. when a majority of opinion is established, it can result in pushing my opinion into that majority or it can cause me to fight against the majority instead. either instance leaves me feeling restless because I know, on some level, that the opinion is not inherently my own.

pattern: the opinions of others color my experience. the risk is that it might end up ‘ruining a good thing’


15 thoughts on “what I’ve learned so far

  1. Re: traits
    I think we all do this as fans. And it can be a crushing blow when they don’t measure up to our ideal (reactions during the election). The bottom line is that he is just a man, albeit a gorgeous one, but still a man. He can never be everything we all want/need/desire him to be anymore than a father/brother/boyfriend or husband. We’d best not put him too high on a pedestal because we are the ones hurt when he falls off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wise words! and ones I claim to know, but then I end up putting him upon that pedestal anyway without realizing it. I do this is my personal life too though, so it’s a struggle that I’m familiar with :/


    2. I agree that we all tend to make our crushes into who we want/need them to be, sometimes need them to be at a particular time in our lives, or repeat a pattern. I liked reading your analysis of this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you have approached this really sociologically. Or psychologically? In any case, interesting experiment. What is your overall conclusion, though, at this point in time? Are all those subjects and patterns at their optimum? I.e. are you going to continue being a fan of Mr A’s?
    I really look forward to your next series of posts on your earlier fan writings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. not being a fan of Richard’s is not an option; I refuse to quit him! the question is rather why did my feelings change, to what extent did they change, and upon figuring that out, how will things differ as I move forward? I think now being aware of my ‘patterns’ it will help those knee-jerk reactions I experience when something he does/says doesn’t fit into my preferred ideal. I start out thinking that each of my crushes are the ideal, “this is the one that will meet all of my needs”, but somewhere down the line I realize that this is not the case. eventually my attention is captured by someone else and the ‘high’ I experience when discovering someone new usually causes me to leave the prior crush behind. in regards to Richard though, my crush on Jamie Dornan ran parallel alongside him for longer than had ever happened in the past; they both continued to fulfill different needs for me so that I didn’t feel like I had to leave one behind for the other. it confused me, which sometimes resulted in feelings of guilt. I felt guilty for the high that I got from Jamie, which had since leveled out with Richard. this introspection gave me permission, in a way, to just feel what I feel. as long as I’m still feeling a fangirl high from Richard on a regular basis, the fluctuation is immaterial 🙂


      1. That’s a really rational way of approaching the fan experience with those rollercoaster feelings. I totally get what you mean, and I share most of your feelings/patterns. Understanding the interrelationship between the source of the feelings and the resulting patterns, is actually really useful. (I am benefitting from your research here…) I’d love to be able to act with more principle – and stay away from the stuff I dislike in order to keep my fangirling mojo where I want it to be.
        I hope that fangirl high returns again and again and again for you. Maybe you can occasionally manufacture it yourself. A rewatch of VoD, maybe, when things are rough?

        Liked by 1 person

            1. like one of those watch parties where we watch at the same time? those are hard to coordinate, with time differences & personal commitments, etc. I was able to do that once but only b/c family was out of town & I was my own master for a few days! if it was more like “watch on your own time & then we’ll discuss”, that would work better for me 🙂


              1. No, more like the latter alternative. And not with concurrent tweeting etc. With time difference and potential issues with getting the material onto the screen, it would be easier to watch on our own time, and then discuss on blog – comparing what stood out to us, possibly focussing on a specific given detail (“watching for the plot”), recording our reactions. A shared experience “as if” we were watching together, even though separated by time and distance.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. hooray – great. I am on for it, too. Have you got something on your list that you want to re-watch first? Since I am kind of latching on to your plans, I’ll leave it up to you…


                    1. I didn’t have a ‘plan’ but I’d probably start with The Hobbit: an unexpected journey, since that’s the film that brought me to Richard in the first place. the next few days are busy for me (multiple family members coming into town for son’s Eagle Scout ceremony) so I couldn’t watch until after the weekend.


                    2. THAUJ it is then. And don’t worry about time frames. First of all, I am heading off for five days to Germany (back on Wednesday), secondly, we can give ourselves a longer time frame so that we can watch at our leisure *and* have time to write about it.


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