Is Having a Crush a Bad Thing When You Are in a Committed Relationship?
If we look back at our younger years, we can all remember what it felt like to have a crush on someone you liked. Maybe he was the cute guy in Algebra class who knew all the answers, or maybe she was the girl who was in the school play with you who had the sweetest voice. For no apparent reason, you were drawn to this person.
If you were lucky, your crush was reciprocated and a relationship was born. If you were unlucky, you just admired your crush from a distance because s/he did not know that you were alive and this person was the fodder for all of your angst ridden teenage poetry.
As you became an adult, you settled down and got married or stayed in a serious relationship. There was no need for a crush because you were getting the love and attention you needed.
But then, all of a sudden, a person you know somehow creeps into your mind. You find yourself smiling at the thought of them and hoping that your paths will cross sometime during the day. You are happily involved in a relationship, yet, here you are, finding yourself having a crush on another adult!
Is this a bad thing…or can there be something positive about it?
The Difference Between a Crush and Love
There is a huge difference between crushing on someone and truly loving someone. With a crush, there is a physical attraction to the person, even if you do not know him or her at all. You feel giddy with anticipation at the thought of locking eyes across a room or even having a conversation if this is someone with whom you work or have regular interaction. You may even feel your heart beat faster when they are near.
A crush is a superficial feeling, as you like a person for what you see on the surface. If the person does something that you find unappealing (say, picking his nose), the crush can instantaneously fade just as quickly as it began. The fantasy you built up in your mind does not live up to the reality that you see.
Love is much deeper than a crush. Although your relationship starts out with a high level of physical attraction, over time, this subsides, but the feeling of wanting to be with that person does not go away. Even with his or her bad or quirky habits, you put up with them because you are sharing a lifetime of ups and downs together. Seeing him pick his nose will not turn off your feelings, although you may yell at the person to stop and wash his hands! Love grows where an infatuation diminishes. There is something more to love…you would do anything for this person, even if s/he never wipes up the morning toast crumbs left behind on the counter! Love is a two-way street.
But does loving someone mean that you will never, ever feel attracted to another person for the rest of your life?
The Benefits of a Secret Crush
You are married, not dead!
At some point, everybody has had a crush on some celebrity. It does not have to be the most handsome or prettiest actor, but for some reason, you get all excited when his or her latest movie or CD comes out and you just have to see or hear it. This person is unattainable and your spouse will probably not be jealous of someone you will never meet.
According to Andrea Syrtash, a dating and relationship expert, having a crush is not only normal, it can benefit your self esteem as well as your marriage. These feelings are just a part of being human and make you feel like an empowered sensual being. Your feelings can then be used on your spouse, who is a part of your real life and the one whom you love.
Beverly B. Palmer, PhD., is a college professor who has weighed in on this matter. Crushes are harmless, they make you happy, and put some pep in you step. Sharyn Wolf, a therapist and author, says that the biochemicals a crush releases helps to remind you of why you fell in love with your significant other in the first place. Your body reacts to the crush the same way you do to your partner. There is a change in your brain chemistry. Bottom line, they can turn up your heat and you can share it with your partner.
These crushes are safe, as long as you do not act on them. Some experts believe that if you are open with your crushes and your partner is as well, then it is fine, as you are both not harboring any secrets.
These feelings are not meant to last and if they do, then that may signal an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
Staying in Love With the One You Love
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Quick Tips to Keep the Flame Alive
When Secret Crushes Are a Bad Thing
Is it an accident waiting to happen?
While a crush may get your hormones going at home, if not kept in check, it can turn into something that can harm you relationship.
You may find yourself spending too much mental energy thinking about this person, to the point where you are ignoring those at home who are actually there and are a part of your life. The person with whom you are in a relationship is the one you should be focusing on and sharing the details of your daily grind, not the person you are secretly admiring.
Your feelings may become too intense the more you think about the other person. Although you think it won’t happen, you may find yourself in way too deep with this person and common sense flies out the window. It is a slippery slope from a casual glance to meeting somewhere for lunch.
And think about it…if you cannot tell you partner with whom you are dining or feel the need to keep you actions a secret, then this crush is becoming more than that and it needs to stop.
If you find yourself looking for more opportunities to be alone, or if your secret crush begins flirting with you, then it is time to step on the brakes. It is no longer a harmless fantasy that excites only you, but a reality that can ruin or destroy your relationship, the crush’s relationship, and innocent bystanders like your children.
When Feelings Get Out of Control
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The bottom line is that we are human and that having a secret crush does not make you a bad person or an unfaithful one. These crushes can indicate where there is a void in your relationship, and from there, you can take steps to fill it with your partner. You should discuss what you feel is missing-your needs-and see how things can change between the two of you so they are fulfilled. Things between you do not have to be humdrum-do something different and new to keep the sparks alive.
Secret crushes can bring some excitement back into your personal world, but they are also dangerous if you act upon them in reality.