Posted by: Margo Z
Topic: Is there anything wrong with a person in a committed relationship having a crush on someone else…as long as it isn’t acted upon? Can it even benefit a relationship?
You know that classic word association exercise where one person throws out a word and the other person is supposed to blurt out the first thing that pops into their head?
When I saw “crush,” the first thing I thought was, “innocent schoolgirl.”
But that’s not really what we’re talking about here, is it. We’re talking about a chemical attraction powerful enough that it COULD be acted upon, presumably at great peril to the relationship -- but the committed party, through sheer force of will, somehow manages to keep his or her zipper zipped. Or resists the urge to fall into an emotional affair, which can be even more devastating than a purely sexual liaison.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but a “close call” like that being beneficial to a relationship… ? I suppose if it makes you realize how blessed you are to have the marriage you’ve already got… and perhaps spurs you to find ways to make it more exciting and fulfilling… then it could be viewed as having been a good thing. Conversely, if the relationship has been on its last legs for a while now, and this is the “wake-up call” it took to help you see you truly are better off out of it, then I could see it being positive.
I experienced the latter situation in my first marriage. I developed a super-strong, mutual crush on a fellow I met online, and briefly contemplated taking it offline. But then I realized, hey – no matter how lonely and unhappy I’ve been, no matter how starved for affection or emotionally neglected I’ve felt, the guy I’m married to is kind, decent, trusting and trustworthy, and doesn’t deserve to be treated that way. It made me face up to a few hard realities, and two months later led to me screwing up my courage and saying to my then-husband one night, “We need to talk.” While it wasn’t beneficial to that particular relationship, we’re both far happier as distant friends in satisfying second marriages than we were together.
Ever since I saw that “Friends” episode Aly mentioned, I’ve kept a list. Currently, Will Smith occupies three spaces and Brad Pitt takes up the other two (the first sloppy encounter with a stranger rarely being all that memorable). But it’s more of an aesthetic thing – an appreciation for a particularly well put together lump of human clay – rather than anything I’d go for in real life. If Brad Pitt rang my doorbell one night because his car broke down not far from here and he was wondering if he could use my phone (have you seen the American Greetings card I got that scenario from? Hysterical.) – I’d hand him the phone, offer him a beer, get his autograph, and ask how in the WORLD he could ever throw over that sweet girl he was married to for “that other one,” who’s all skin and bones and seems so bossy… whereupon the tow truck would arrive and he’d bolt outa there before I could even contemplate jumping HIS bones. Because yeah, Brad Pitt is cute? But I’m too content with what I’ve found with The Greatest Guy Ever (aka my husband Josh) to even think serious sexual thoughts about anyone else.
And no, I’m not making that up, and yes, I fervently hope it stays that way for the next forty or so years.