09 March 2019 Posted By : Administrator

How To Navigate Crushes When You're Married

Sometimes, it can be as overpowering as an earthquake, as unrelenting as an obsession. Virtually nothing surpasses the heady, all-consuming rush of a crush. And if you're currently married or in any other type of serious monogamous relationship, chances are those thrilling feelings of attraction and curiosity likely also come with pangs of guilt and maybe even fear.

Don't worry. The next time you experience one—since the odds are, you will—follow these tips from couples' therapists, dating gurus, and clinical psychologists on navigating having a crush without compromising your primary relationship.

First off, it's important to understand that crushes are incredibly common, regardless of the nature of your current relationship. "You're married, not dead," jokes Rachel Wright, M.A., LMFT, co-founder of the Wright Wellness Center. "One study out of the University of Vermont revealed that 98 percent of men and 80 percent of women have fantasized about someone other than their current partner in the past two months," says sexologist Jess O'Reilly, Ph.D.

Crushes are particularly a dime a dozen in the workplace. In a recent study conducted by SimplyHired, 74 percent of full-time employees in committed relationships revealed they were attracted to an office colleague.

As to why such attachments are so intoxicating, there's a solid scientific reason. "Intense chemicals are at play when you first experience attraction: serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine," O’Reilly explains. "This cascade of hormones can result in feeling a degree of obsession and idealization of a new partner."

If you feel yourself falling for someone, take a step back—it'll help you protect your committed relationship and evaluate the crush in a logical way.

First of all, know that "feeling excited by or attracted to someone else doesn't mean there is something missing in your relationship," O'Reilly says. "One partner cannot possibly fulfill every single one of your needs—the practical to the sexual—so it's common to look for other sources of excitement and fulfillment."

That said, your attraction could reveal potential weaknesses in your current relationship—and it's your job to prioritize and protect that relationship. For instance, does your crush give you much-needed attention or romance, whereas you feel your partner does not? Do you have deep conversations with your crush but more surface interactions with your significant other? If so, consider how you can infuse your current relationship with these absent elements. For instance, brainstorm ways your partner can provide you with more validating attention, O'Reilly suggests.

"Our fantasies show us what we're attracted to," says Gal A. Szekely, a licensed marriage and family therapist and co-founder of a San Francisco–based counseling group called The Couples Center. "They're about wanting to have a certain experience more than they are about the real other person. What you fantasize about is a compass leading you to what's important to you… So, you should ask yourself: In my fantasy, how do I feel about myself? What experience does it provide for me? Then, see if there are other ways you can invite that experience into your life, especially with your current partner."

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