Get a grip on your crush before it does damage.
By Kelly P. Crossing
Last updated on Sep 08, 2023
Photo: South_agency | Canva
Even those of us in monogamous, committed relationships can be physically attracted to someone else. But what if someone in a relationship starts developing an actual crush on someone else? What then? Does the relationship necessarily break apart?
Well, seldom is a relationship completely perfect — and if the right storm of circumstances blows in — then it’s almost predictable someone in the relationship will start having a crush on someone else. The crush might quickly end, or it might linger on. And yes, it can break up your relationship but it doesn’t have to.
Here are 3 uh-oh reasons you’re crushing on someone outside your relationship:
1. One (or both) of you are stressing about something in your relationship.
Maybe financial pressures boil over into personal arguments, or stress at work is killing your sex life. With the everyday stresses of a relationship, one of you might end up temporarily crushing on someone else.
When both partners in a relationship are feeling strained and under pressure, it can be harder to show positive emotions (i.e. love for each other). This doesn’t mean the love isn’t there, but it does mean the love is not being manifested to a sufficient degree — and since affection is lessened during tension in a relationship, people are more inclined to want the affections of someone — anyone!
2. You aren’t spending enough time together as a couple.
Sometimes life turns out that way. While a relationship might be fine and all on the surface, work or school commitments can mean the partners must spend more time away from each other than together. And guess what? That means more time is being spent with co-workers and classmates than with each other … providing the perfect brew for an innocent crush to develop.
3. You’re not satisfied with your relationship at the current moment.
Imagine this … you’re in a relationship with this awesome guy. He’s a loving partner, enjoys spending time with you, and both of you agree on a lot of important things. But you enjoy horseback riding quite a bit (insert the activity of your choice here) … and he’s not so thrilled about it.
In your mind, this lowers the “satisfaction rating” of the relationship — even if it’s just a tiny bit. Then you meet someone who genuinely loves horseback riding. What happens next?
You start to think: “Why can’t my guy be like that?” And you bond with this new guy over your favorite activity. Crushes tend to magnify the areas in a relationship that aren’t satisfactory, and of course, the less happy a relationship is, the greater the chances of one of the partners crushing on someone else.
And when it does happen, it can either wreck an otherwise good relationship — or it can make it even stronger. How it plays out depends on how these “crushes” are navigated by the couple.
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Kelly P. Crossing is an experienced counselor and relationship expert who specializes in helping women build the lives and relationships they want by understanding their driving needs and how to meet them.