Our attraction to others does not come to a dead halt when we get married or when we are involved in a committed relationship. Hormones and human chemistry can pique our attraction to another human being as long as we are still breathing.
Is It Normal to Have a Crush when Married?
Ladies, you may be wondering if it is normal to have a crush on someone other than your spouse if you are married. Unequivocally, it happens!
It is common in long-term relationships to feel infatuation and attraction for someone else, even if you deem it inappropriate. Please stop feeling guilty for your feelings. What you do with your ‘crush love’ is what really matters.
Studies indicate that women regularly experience attraction and feelings for people outside of their primary relationship, and the majority report that their crushes do not impact their relationship, and in fact, it often improves their desire for their partner.
The science behind attraction is what makes it feel so intoxicating. High levels of dopamine and the hormone norepinephrine are released during attraction. You can call a crush a mini-sized version of what we intensely feel when we fall in love with someone – with a familiar rush of giddiness and energy.
Who doesn’t want to feel that good? But most of us want to protect our committed relationships, so what can we do? Should we apply the brakes (step down from cloud nine) and evaluate our reality?
What You Can Do
Even though crushes are typically harmless, our attraction could indicate weaknesses in our current relationship. Our crush may give us a supply of much-needed attention. It could also relieve us from routine and what has become boring in our life. Interactions with the crush may also validate our sense of personal attractiveness. The crush may meet needs that are lacking, but this does not mean that we are experiencing a crush because our marriage is doomed.
Evaluate Your Relationship
When we experience a crush, it is a good time to step back and evaluate our committed relationship:
What needs to change?
- What are we getting from the crush?
- Are we getting ‘things’ from the crush that we are not getting from our primary partner?
- Am I sizing my partner up to my crush, and is that reasonable?
It may be time to brush up on open communication in the relationship. Open communication bolsters the ability to listen, to be heard, to make your loved one feel safe, and to bridge any gaps and strengthen your bond.
What You Should Not Do
To Flirt or Not?
Whether to flirt or not is all about boundaries. Are you shucking off tension and laughing your way through flirtation? It may be an innocent way to relieve stress. Are you hinting at meeting your crush somewhere and breaking the line of trust or fidelity in your primary relationship? You may need to back off from flirting if it feels like a risk.
Should I Tell My Spouse?
The ‘jury is out’ on this one – should I tell my special person that I am experiencing a crush on someone else? The answer to this question is that this is a personal choice – one that should be based on your relationship dynamics.
Consider these questions before telling your person about your crush:
- Do you have an open relationship where you both agree that attraction to other people is a natural part of life?
- Would you break any trust that your partner has in you if you confide about your crush?
- Would your partner feel offended or upset if he knew that you were attracted to someone else?
Should I Tell Anyone?
If you do decide to talk with someone about your attraction, consider someone unbiased and honest. You might even hire a counselor or a life coach if you feel trapped in your thoughts or feelings. Talk to a trusted friend – an accountability partner. This must be someone that you can bring your difficult questions to, but also a person that will tell you like it is for your own good.
Do not go to your crush! Remember, this person is not the one that you have built emotional intimacy with. This is not the person that has your back. This is not the person that knows all your ‘ins and outs.’ This is definitely not the person you have invested your heart, soul, and time into.
If you feel your marriage is in danger, I encourage you to seek marital counseling, either alone or with your partner. You do not have to discuss your crush in the sessions, but joint counseling will help you and your spouse gain clarity and support your relationship.
Get a Massage and Feel Good
A little bit of fun never hurt a soul. Your crush may be playful and enjoyable, with a dash of self-control added in, and it may make you feel alive. Attraction releases dopamine and hormones that lift a person up, but so does massage. The human touch of massage stimulates healing natural oxytocin in the body. Massage also reduces cortisol, our body’s main stress hormone.
We want you to feel good. We want you to feel stress and pain-free.
We can help you bring your anxiety level down!