Being in a committed, healthy relationship can be great, but it can also come with some hurdles you have to overcome. We're human, and it's highly likely we're going find other people attractive, people that aren't our partner. I guess it's how we deal with that attraction or crush that's important. Here, 12 women who've fancied people other than their partners explain how they dealt with those feelings.
1. Don't nurture them
"I don't get them that often, but they happen. Crushes, by nature, pass. I don't nurture them, and they pass."
2. There's nothing wrong with flirting
"I perpetually have micro-crushes, and I’ve had one proper crush on another guy. It made me question my relationship a lot, but luckily the guy in question lives a three-hour plane trip away, and I knew him very briefly. I like my boyfriend a lot, and can always appreciate his objective attractiveness, but crush-like feelings come and go. I’ve always been the type to admire a few people at once and have crushes, so I don’t think the fact I like other people (at a reduced rate) is a bad thing at all for me. A little bit of flirtation never went astray if I’m honest! As long as it doesn’t become sexual or intense, it’s all good."
"About every one to two years. Try not to feed the crush. Don't fantasise, don't play scenarios in your head, don't give it energy to grow. It'll pass. There is some openness to my marriage, but my last few crushes were coworkers so acting on it wasn't an option. Maybe someday."
4. Distance yourself from it
"I'll say what is probably the unpopular answer, but it is my honest answer. In the seven years I've been in my relationship, I've had crushes. I met my SO when I turned 21, so I've gone through big life changes during our time together. Combine that with us being semi long-distance for literal years, and his job being one that takes him away from home for long periods of time, it happened.
"What you/I do about them is be honest with yourself, and distance yourself from the person. Unless you're planning to ditch your SO and be with that other person (which probably means it is more than a crush), nothing good comes from keeping a crush around. Being a mature adult to me is being able to see compatibility from an objective POV, and you're really screwing up if you are willing to play into a crush if the person you're with is truly a compatible match."
5. Let it run its course
"It happened once or twice during a previous six-year relationship. I crush on people easily [because] I’m the type that wants people to like me. Of course I never had any intention of acting on it. I’d just blush and want their attention, which I believe stems from my needing to feel wanted. I got over it on my own, and moved on because I didn’t want to have those feelings, and I [was] sure wasn’t ever gonna cheat or leave my ex. So I just let it run its course."
6. Don't let it be a source of angst
"I would say I crush fairly often, though my partner and I are polyamorous so it's never been a source of guilt or angst for us. Having said that, most of the time I can't do anything about the crushes, because most of the people I crush on are not available/not the right orientation/not poly/not compatible with me."
7. Make a joke out of it
"Every so often. They usually happen because the person reminds me of my SO in some way. I tell my SO about it, they roll their eyes and tease me about it, and a week later, I'm completely over it."
8. It could be a warning sign
"Actually during my last relationship I developed a crush on someone, and it was one of the signs that I no longer had romantic feelings for my ex. It only lasted six months though. The relationship was pretty bad, and I should have ended it much sooner, but that was one of my first warning signs that things were not going to last."
9. Use them to gauge how you really feel
"I had quite a few crushes during my 4.5 year relationship. Some of them were just me finding them attractive and flirting, some of them I was interested in and if they would've made a move I would've had some decisions to make, and the last one made me end my relationship. Not because I saw some brilliant future with this new guy, but [because] I knew if I felt like that about someone else, I didn't feel the right way about the guy I was with."
10. Looking at someone else is OK
"If I see someone attractive on the street then I can appreciate looking at them. What helps in my situation is that my husband and I are both bisexual, and for the most part are interested in the same kinds of people. It works."
11. It's only a problem when it lingers
"I've had sexual thoughts about someone. It's natural to be attracted to other people despite being in a committed relationship. But that's the thing. It's a thought, it passes. If it lingers and manifests into something else, I would think that's a problem."
12. It could mean there's something missing
"It depends on whether you are talking about feelings or physical attraction. A 'crush' sounds like something that involves unrequited romantic feelings. I haven't had any feelings like that since I've been with my current partner, so there's nothing to act on. I think in the past I had crushes on others because there was something really lacking in my relationships. Those crushes were more about making it clear to myself what I needed, not actual replacement relationship options."