Home > Dating and Relationships, Discover People, My First Time, Personal and Thoughts > Already in a relationship but attracted to someone else

Already in a relationship but attracted to someone else

I am writing this for all of those who are very much in love with their current significant others but are still occasionally attracted to other people. First let’s be clear with the fact that you do love your boyfriend or girlfriend, and that may exactly be the reason why you are confused. You almost freaked out because you are all of a sudden attracted to someone else, and you started asking yourself: what’s wrong with me?

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The fact is: it’s normal. It has happened and is happening to many other people just like you, and it is NOT a commitment problem. Chances are you will get over your crush pretty soon, though for some people it might be a little bit tough and you might want to run through the following exercises to figure things out:

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Distinguish Attraction and Love

You can be attracted to many people for different reasons, and a lot of the attractions may be very strong at the beginning. The problem about attraction is though: you started to have strong feelings for someone even without knowing him/her at all, which means the strong feelings END when you actually get to know him/her. Very few people in this world will keep you attracted consistently, and along the way, the initial feelings of attraction will probably turn into a more intimate and subtle feeling of closeness and comfort, and that is something much more precious, and that is something we call “Love”.

I would also like to argue that I don’t believe in love at first sight, though you probably need to be attracted to someone at first sight to be able to fall in love later. Love does not happen in a blink of an eye. When you can finally say “I love you” to someone, it should represent at least your willingness to fully commit (there is no such thing as partially commit). Those who can say those three words too fast, or display the willingness to commit too fast, are not supposed to be serious about you in the first place.

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Be Happy for What You Already Have

The grass is always greener on the other side. When you’ve been with someone for too long, you started taking things for granted and become less appreciative. This is normal most of the cases but if you don’t make an effort to reflect on this, it will not be healthy for your relationship or for yourself.

Then it is also normal to feel attracted to someone else, especially that other person has some quality that your current partner lacks. But the important thing is to distinguish thinking and doing. You can have all the fantasies in the world as long as those stay in your head, nobody can control them and nobody needs to know. But once you act upon them, it’s another story.

Honestly, just think about it this way: do you really want to give up the happiness you already have and someone who cherish you this much, in exchange for something that may or may not work out/and someone who may or may not make you happy? There is no such thing as “it’s okay to do both”. It’s one way or another. If you do decide the other option is better, let go of what you already have before you move on.

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Respect Yourself as a Good Person

And identify with those people who respect you in the same way. You probably had this experience before: As soon as she/he got to know you already have a girlfriend/boyfriend, she/he stopped talking to you, ever. First you need to understand this is normal because settling down means you have ultimately limited your options, from everyone in the world to one specific person, so fewer people will be interested in you, and this is the choice you made when you decided to commit.

You also need to realize those who turned away from you simply because you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend do NOT want to be friends with you in the first place, and I doubt if they even want a relationship with you. They may be attracted to you, but I am sure that is something other than who you really are as a person.

And finally, understand that getting attracted to other people is easy and it happens probably very often to some people; cheating is also easy because it does not require much thinking or discipline. On the other hand, being loyal and genuine is difficult and challenging and requires a lot of character and much discipline. But being able to do that, (even if you screw up everything else in your life), means that you are a strong and respectful human being.

I hope this will help you think things through and good luck with your relationship, or finding one!

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  1. aditi
    October 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm | #1

    thanks… u solved my problem.

  2. Jessica
    November 12, 2010 at 7:28 pm | #3

    perfect!

  3. yanbea17
    February 11, 2011 at 6:22 am | #4

    I have a question that I hope you can help me answer.
    It is obvious that there is a difference between love and affection. Is it possible to be with someone you love the MOST but not attracted to the MOST. You are attracted by her, but not the MOST. Would it be healthy for the relationship?

    And what if the other partner feels that if by theory, you could balance it out by having the person you love the MOST as you care for them the MOST but have someone else for your sexual side as she/he is the MOST attractive to you? If the partner agrees, to what his/her partner feels, would it still be called as cheating?

    • February 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm | #5

      Hey there. Interesting question. Bold question. Weird question.

      I think it’s normal to have someone you love the most but not physically attracted to the most. I think it’s much easier to get physically attracted to someone than to be deeply emotionally involved with someone. So by definition love is more precious than physical attraction. I am not sure how old you are, but I believe guys with different ages may value different things. At this point of your life you may not know how to control your desires where you’re really attracted to someone, but when you grow older, you may be focused on more important aspects of a relationship, like personality compatibility, emotional and intellectual connection, etc.

      So the weird part of your situation is what you are suggesting seems to be agreed upon by your partner. By definition since both of you agreed on something, this has nothing to do with cheating, anymore, because it supposed to mean both of you are comfortable with the situation. But REALLY? Dare I ask you WHY your partner would be comfortable with you having a physical relationship with someone else? Do you think this is fair for her? Does she even have a physical need for you as well (if not, isn’t it weird?) And do you even want to know the intention of her saying yes to what you have suggested? It sounds to me that either she is crazily in love with you so she doesn’t know what she’s doing (which still is very very rare), or she thought it’s a joke and she never expected you would actually do that (and when you actually do it she will feel as hurt as you have never discussed this with her), and finally, is she secretly doing exactly the same thing with another guy? And you tell me if you would call that a “healthy relationship”!

      Either way, I feel you are going down a rocky road. It’s not sustainable, and it can get really ugly. But I do like the fact that you and your partner can communicate this way. I mean I would imagine this to be a very difficult conversation to have for most couples, so it’s amazing you can openly discuss about it. At the end of the day, the decision is to be made between the two of you, and I am not in a position to tell you what to do. My only suggestion is that you should find out if she’s REALLY comfortable with it, or if she’s merely pretending to be okay with it.

  4. Diamond
    July 18, 2011 at 3:46 am | #6

    I have a question.

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for sometime now. 6months later we stared to tell each other that we love each other and so forth. About two weeks ago an old friend of mine came back into the picture and i started to have strong feelings for him. I mean im in love with my boyfriend but I have strong feelings for my friend. Im lost and confused. Please help me. What should i do???

    • July 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm | #7

      Hum, as I said in my article it is normal to attracted to other people even if you are in a relationship. It may be confusing but I would suggest to just give it some time. I still think there is a major difference between “love” and merely “being attracted to”. If your “being attracted to” ends up turning into “love” through time, then maybe you should evaluate if you should explore a different relationship (and end your current one). But before that, I wouldn’t want to harshly give up all what I already have. Does that make sense?

  5. GFconfused
    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm | #8

    I like your perspective. Would you say the same is normal if the ‘other’ person you are attracted to is a non-physical attraction?

    I’m in a long term relationship but recently met a guy I work with that I have a lot in common with and like talking to and I find his personality attracting. I find myself confused by my feelings towards him cause usually I will ‘crush’ on someone that is unattainable like a hollywood star, but this a a real guy. And he also seems to be the guy that a lot of people talk to so maybe our connection isn’t what I think.

    I find myself noting his qualities that my boyfriend lacks like you said. Have any other advise to help distinguish between liking this guy and loving my boyfriend? Do you think it’s possible to just be friends with this other guy (he knows I have a bf)? Do you think it’s helpful or hurtful to tell your bf/gf about your attraction?

    • August 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm | #9

      I think it is fair to connect with different poeple in different ways and various dimensions. It is impossible to find all the qualities you want in just one person, it all comes down to your priorities and what you value the most. People define love in many ways too. For me personally if it’s just someone I enjoy talking to, spending time with, and I feel we have a lot of things in common, I would call that friends, or close friends, or really close friends. To many people a huge differentiator between a relationship and a friendship is whether or not you want to get physically intimate with someone. But I guess it depends if this is someone you can “live without”. Are you madly missing him when you haven’t been in touch for a few days? Do you get jealous when he is doing the same with other girls? At this stage, I would probably not worry too much about it and just to give it time and see if it heads to one direction or another.

      Whether or not to tell your boyfriend, it depends on your relationship with him. In some relationships you can talk about anything, but most relationships there are things you don’t want to touch unless you absolutely have to. If you want you can try to describe that you have recently got to know this person and you found him very interesting and you’re happy to find many things in common between the two of you. I wouldn’t say anything like an attraction because you don’t even know if you should define this as an attraction so I wouldn’t want to scare your boyfriend already. But see how he responds to you. It’s good to know if your bf trusts you and is happy to give you more space too.

  6. guido
    October 14, 2011 at 11:27 am | #10

    Hi, I found this post’s ‘must-keep-monogamy-alive-at-all-costs’ approach quite narrow-minded and unjustified. If people are emotionally connected and intimate over a long period, they can get comfortable with other expressions of desire for other people, and don’t need other people to label it as ‘weird’.
    And why on earth would ‘fantasising in your head’ be less disrespectful then acting on it?? I think that life throws many challenges your way, and one thing to REGRET may be that you didn’t challenge yourself with a different type of love and life experience, and instead took the ‘comfortable’, society-approved route.

  7. Kateri
    November 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm | #11

    Hello! I thought your article was interesting and I am having this problem myself. I only started college a few months ago and have been going out with my boyfriend for about 7 months now and I really do love him and I would call it the most serious relationship I have had even though I’m young. But there’s this guy in one of my classes I find really interesting and I have this sort of uncontrollable attraction to him and always want to talk to him and get to know him more and I’m also a little lustful at times too. But I look at him realistically and don’t see what I am normally attracted to. I like confidence and direction in a man but he’s sort of a floater and doesn’t really have a dead-set direction. He also smokes and I absolutely hate that, but I’m still attracted to him for some reason.

    So I guess my question is: am I only attracted to this guy because he is NOT the norm of what I usually go for? I am totally into my boyfriend and I can see a good future between us, but like everyone, he does have flaws and they’re in the areas where I am more prefficient in, am I just in a phase?

  8. M
    November 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm | #12

    This said it perfectly!!

  9. November 18, 2011 at 4:33 am | #13

    well if m in a long distance relationship wid a guy for past 2 years …..and its not sailing smoothly ……in between i met a guy …and i have developed a strong feeling for him ….maybe itz more than atttraction ……i donno hat to do ….

  10. RB1961
    December 18, 2011 at 11:05 am | #14

    Good advice, but there’s still temptation for me to cheat, because… well, I don’t know… any ideas?

  11. pipsters
    December 20, 2011 at 2:49 am | #15

    To comment on Guido’s remark– I don’t think the original ‘fantasies’ comment was even about respect or disrespect. Danye’s point was that fantasies are mere ideas. Ideas are pointedly different than actions. People have silly thoughts, harmful thoughts, stupid thoughts, primal thoughts, hurtful thoughts– the point is, most thoughts are passing thoughts. We let them go. They do not have to affect anybody around us. I also do not think it is effective for Guido to reference any sort of ‘society-approved route,’ as if Guido stands outside of society where it counts. A good thing is to be mindful that society affects humans; an ignorant thing is to attach this inevitable fact with any sort of judgment call.

    I think that both monogamous and polyamorous relationships have the potential to be in-depth and functional, and at its core this is a matter of preference. There is no right answer. But I do know that a too-simple way out is disregarding all of the pros of monogamy by calling all who choose this relationship type cattle and people pleasers.

  12. jefa
    January 18, 2012 at 6:08 am | #16

    what if you are in a long and serious relationship but just can’t pass up a young hot guy who’s coming onto you? You know it’s not gonna be anything serious at all, not even physical. But even as friends, there’s always sexual tension between you two. Is that even cheating if you keep him as a friend?

  13. January 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm | #17

    thank you, your article opened my eyes. I was a fool :) but well, I have to be crazy to give up a 4 years relationship for a “unknown”. really thank you :)

  14. March 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm | #18

    Having had similar experiences myself you no doubt feel alone, like no one understands, or that no one could possibly relate to your situation and you want real, relatable direction.

  15. luc
    April 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm | #19

    I have a question, I was with a boy for about 2 weeks but he ended it because he thought it wasn’t working and we didn’t really know each other, but then he found someone else and has been with her for over a year now, however that’s not the problem, while he was with her, we made up eventually (as we have classes together) and really got to know each other, he’s still with her and says he loves her, and I can tell he has strong feelings for her, however he is sexually attracted to me, at first we would only joke about us having sex but now its getting serious we have sent naked pictures to each other and I know we would eventually do it, but he’s still with his gf and he wouldn’t leave her because he’s happy with her but what he’s doing isn’t right and I’m starting to get feelings for him all over again, what do I do???? I’m 17 by the way, nearly 18.

  16. Michael
    April 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm | #20

    Those who give others advice, on how to live their lives, do so from a structure of belief, which is their own.

  17. nina
    January 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm | #21

    Omg thank you sooo much!!! I am currently going through a rough patch with my boyfriend of 2 years and it seems like when ever we have a dissagreement i tend to “look around at my options” and its a reallllyyy bad habit. I have gotten better and just decided not to look at anyone in the hallways during these times. But lately there was this guy on my bus and of course i am attracted to him. He texted me saying he wanted to kiss me and i said i wanted to too. During this whole conversation i flet so gulity because my boyfriend has been nothing but faithful, loyal and honest. That is why i couldnt take it anymore and i knew i had to look for some help at least on the internet and im veryyy happy your site popped up! Thank you sooo much!!! I couldve just ruined 2 years by one kiss from a guy i was just strongly attrated too.
    p.s. im a senior and hes a jr

  18. nina
    January 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm | #22

    I just realized this also helped me letting it all out. :)

  19. susy
    February 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm | #23

    thank you! this is such a big help!

  20. MissSunshine
    February 9, 2013 at 5:39 am | #24

    Hello there. In your article you said that it is normal to feel attracted to other people while you are in a relationship. I liked your article very much of course, but can you please tell me how is such thing normal? You clearly stated the difference between thinking and doing… but imagine..doing starts from thinking. I think that even everything is still just in your mind and no one else knows, you are still cheating to your partner mentally. And if one has such fantasies and desires how long before they just break and let them become reality? Besides what about the enormous guilt one feels whenever they find themselves attracted by someone other than their partner? I think that keeping such thing in your head has big chances of messing with your mind in general… So to come back to my topic question, can you support your statement that such thing is really normal?

  1. November 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm | #1
  2. November 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm | #2
  3. March 3, 2011 at 1:04 am | #3
  4. May 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | #4

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