Quote from jeffreymgibson
You know, I remember some of my first crushes from when I was a little kid and I never wondered what these weird feelings were. When I had my 1st crush, I knew right away that I liked her. I didn't walk around for six months asking myself why does my heart beat fast when she's near me. I never went to the nurse because I mistook a heartache for a cold. I just believe that when you like someone, you know it. You don't mope around for months at a time wondering what's wrong.
Bwahahaha! Now that you bring it up: yes, going to the nurse over lovesickness is rock-bottom bad. That's one of those "jump the shark" moments for me. If a series is willing to dumb-down its characters to the extent that they think a crush = a cold, then it's destined to keep making them unforgivably stupid.
But yeah, I totally agree. People figure it out pretty quickly when they've got a crush. If they're going to be in denial, there's got to be a pretty serious reason for it (like having feelings for the same sex when you don't want to admit you're gay, or falling for your best friend's boyfriend, or getting a crush on someone when you're already dating someone else, etc.) Liking someone who likes you back is not a reason for denial.
In my opinion, if a mangaka wants to drag a relationship out, the best way to go isn't to have the characters be in denial forever, but to come up with real-life plot complications preventing them from being together. (And something better than a love triangle, please!) Stuff I've seen that I liked was when the main character had family problems, so that took precedent over him/her figuring out his/her romance problems. Or when both characters no longer live close to one another, so the whole long-distance thing is an issue. In my opinion, those are the kinds of things readers can sympathize with because we've all dealt with them at one time or another. But I don't know anyone who's gone running to the doctor over arousal.