How can I deal with a “crush” in a relationship?

I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for just over a year. This past week she admitted to me that she has feelings for another guy. She says it’s “just a crush” but I don't know how to cope with it.

How should I deal with this?

Kevin Mimms
Kevin Mimms
Building Better Connections

Those words must have been extremely difficult to hear or read. It sounds like you are both having difficulty with the distance, and I can only imagine that you have both been coping with this distance as well as you can. There are a few scenarios that I think would have pretty radically different paths for your own mental health, and I would like to explore them separately. 

The first scenario is that she has this crush, but still chooses you and wishes to stay with you. Keeping the value of her choice in mind, and the bravery she has shown in admitting this crush, handling her gently in that vulnerable place will pay off. You may find it worthwhile to explain your feelings about it, to share how it is hurting you to know of this, and what she means to you. Explaining those feelings will help you to not act out in your with emotions to cover up by becoming angry or withdrawing. Acting in this way will help assure her of her choice in you, and sharing these emotions and feeling supported by her may help you cope with this.

The other scenario is that she has a crush on this man and she is wanting to leave the relationship with you to have one with this other person. As before, it would be useful for you to share your feelings with someone. It can be difficult to process through these emotions, as they are intense and often overwhelming. In this scenario, it may be too difficult to share these feelings with your girlfriend, but it is still important that you acknowledge this loss and allow the associated emotions to have its place. Grieving the end of this relationship could be a great source of personal growth.

I hope this has been of some help.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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