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?

Tamara Powell
Tamara Powell
Anything But Ordinary!

I can only imagine how hard that must have been to hear. On one hand, most of us would say we want our partners to always be honest with us, but on the other disclosures like this can lead to feelings of worry and inadequacy if we're not careful.

So let me first of all say that it is very normal for human beings, even very committed and happy partners to have moments where they notice an attraction for someone else. Quite honestly, the brain can't help it. It sees something good looking and it pays attention. And when we pay attention to something good, our brains send out neurochemicals associated with that happy thought...and we get a rush of what your girlfriend is labeling "a crush."

The difficulty here is deciphering whether she was just attempting to honor her commitment to you by sharing this feeling OR if she is continuing to feed those feelings.

I would encourage you to thank her for being honest if you haven't already, and ask her to further describe the nature of these feelings and what she'd like to do from here.

As weird as it is to say, at the end of the day, what helps the most is typically reassuring yourself that you WILL be okay not matter what! That it is worth it to invest in your relationship and give it your all and if someday, god forbid, this woman chooses to walk away, then she is not the one.

Will it hurt? Of course. But is it the end? Hell no! There are 7.5 billion people on the planet and I firmly believe statistically speaking alone, there are at least several hundred thousand that could be AMAZING partners for you.

Cheering you on,

Tamara Powell, LMHC

P.S. You might enjoy this excellent book by Esther Perel for further inquiry into the fascinating world of love and mating behaviors: "Mating in Captivity

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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