- Is being attracted to others while in a committed relationship normal and unavoidable?
There are basically three kinds of crushes, friendly, admiration, and romantic types, and for the most part being attracted to others is unavoidable. When you look at another person your brain quickly processes the visual information your eyes see, and you nearly instantaneously (within the first one fourth of a second) make a judgment concerning the other person’s attractiveness. You can’t really help making these judgments; it’s automatic. However, when you think about the others’ attractiveness more purposefully, you can revise your original reaction.
- Are crushes harmless if not acted on?
Well, it’s not exactly harmless because after all you are expending emotional attention towards someone other than your partner. Consider these things:
- Wouldn’t it be better to spend energy on your partner than on someone else?
- How would your partner feel if they knew about this? How would you feel if your partner had a crush on someone instead of you?
- It may be okay with you, but what if your partner feels like it’s cheating?
- If you’re in a relationship and attracted to someone else, then is something missing in your relationship?
There is some good evidence suggesting that this is true. Being attracted to someone other than your partner, or even being more inclined to notice attractive others is what we call attention to alternatives in psychology. People who have great relationship satisfaction and commitment pay less attention to alternative partners.
Take Home Message: Crushes are common even after you marry, but in order to prevent divorce or conflict, a crush is a good reminder to:
- Spend more time with your partner (dates).
- Don’t allow yourself to become involved in a work crush or with someone you and your partner interact with daily.
Engage more in your relationship doing fun things or having adventures together. Join a sailing club, yoga retreat or anything that has you and your partner experiencing things together. The heart follows where your money and time go. For the most part, the more you become involved in your primary relationship and the more fulfilled your relationship needs are, the less you will be likely to crush on someone else. –Mary Jo Rapini