What to Do When You're Crushing on a Guy Who's Not Your Partner

woman with man she has a crush oniStock.com/nd3000You think about him all the time. Fantasize about -- well, all kinds of things. And can't wait to see him again. Only small problem? The person in question is kind of sort of NOT the one you're sharing your life with.

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Realizing you're crushing on someone who isn't the person you're committed to can make you feel all kinds of guilty. Especially if you're happily committed. What the f*** is going on?

"To think that you're immune from your biology once you're married or formally coupled is fantasy," explains Paul Hokemeyer, JD, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist who works out of New York City, Los Angeles, and Telluride, Colorado. "Human beings are built to reproduce their species and mate. This is why attraction is deeply encoded in our genetic makeup and why you can't intellectualize your crush."

Those flustery feelings you have about, say, that man in your vinyasa class "bear no relation to ration, logic, or sound judgment," Hokemeyer assures. "They are natural and part of a healthy human being."

Whew, good to know. But now that we've been reassured that we're not necessarily some Madame Bovary in the making, what do we DO with these feelings?

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"Responding compulsively and recklessly is what gets people in trouble," Hokemeyer cautions. "The key is knowing you can enjoy being stimulated without acting on your feelings."

And of course, there's a good chance your crush isn't even someone from your real life, but a celebrity. Or a character in a TV show. In that case, just sit back and enjoy it.

"Celebrities exist so that you have someone to project your fantasies on," explains Hokemeyer. "Their existence makes your life richer, more exciting and enjoyable ... It's a wonderful feeling to know you can participate in a fantasy orgy with George Clooney. At the very least, thinking about it while loading the dishwasher is a heck of a lot better than whistling while you work."

So, should you clue your partner in to your crush? In a word: NO.

"I typically advise that people keep their secret crushes secret," Hokemeyer says. "Everyone deserves the personal thrill of a fantasy."

Especially if you're NOT acting on it. Hokemeyer adds, "Since the biggest and most important sex organ is your brain, there's nothing wrong with exercising it."

 

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