more about crushes

Reader H. C. writes:

I’m in a steady, stable relationship with a great guy. However, I have developed a crush. I admit it. I think about this other guy all the time. I’m not interested in breaking things off with my boyfriend or anything. But do you think I should tell him about the crush? Or what should I do?

Dear H.C.:

A friend of mine in college once surprised me by saying: “Just because I’m in a relationship, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost my ability to have crushes.” This surprised me because until that point, I had always considered thinking about someone else as tantamount to wanting to be with someone else, which was tantamount to actually cheating on your significant other. (Good ol’ Judeo-Christian values: thinking = acting.)


Get it? Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For many people, I think that my initial hesitation concerning having a crush when you’re in a “serious” relationship would probably ring more true than my friend’s non-chalance . If you’re thinking about someone else, it could be a sign that you’re not getting what you need out of your relationship. It means there are elements to your current relationship that you need to address, but instead of doing so, you’re just finding someone new to feel good about.

At the same time, I think there are people out there who are capable of being interested in someone else in a “crush way” without wanting to do anything about it. This was how my friend in college was. Was he deluding himself? I don’t know. But he stuck with his GF for quite a long time in spite of his other crushes.

Obviously every relationship is different. Depending on how much you and your boyfriend share with each other, you could tell him all the details of the crush. In some ideal relationship I have yet to see on this planet, you two could talk about it and it’d get the whole thing out in the open, out of your head, and away from any possible danger of it happening. And you’d be closer for the sharing.

But for the most part, I’d advise against it. First of all, you’re going to make your BF jealous. Probably. If he’s magical, maybe he could stand hearing that you’re thinking about someone else. I know very, very, very few boys (if any) who are capable of that kind of circumspection.

I think you should tell someone about it, though. One of my high school teachers advised me that the best way to get rid of a crush is just to talk about it until all the magic is gone. Have a friend sit with you and talk to you about the guy. He’s probably not as great as you think he is. Find his flaws and focus on them.

More importantly, address what it is you may be missing in your relationship that you find in this crush. If you’re really thinking about this other guy all the time, is it because you really want to be with him? You’ve got to decide if you’re fooling yourself into thinking the relationship you have with your BF is what’s worth saving.

Chances are, if you’ve got this crush as bad as you seem to think, your boyfriend already knows about it. Boys can be very intuitive sometimes. Unless you want to end the relationship (which you say you don’t), I think you have to find a way to get over the crush, and find a way to make it up to your boyfriend. In this situation, you may actually have to tell him about the crush, although the key here is that you’re telling him because the crush is over. You’re recognizing you may have hurt him and that there are issues you need to work out, and that you’ve chosen to work them through rather than just crushing on the new guy.

If your crush isn’t that serious, and you haven’t been overtly obsessing over the guy, you’ll probably get over it soon enough, and you won’t need to tell your boyfriend anything. Of course, I still think you should figure out what your underlying issues are and find a way to sort them out.

And if you can’t get over the crush? It may be time to admit that your relationship with your BF isn’t right, and you’re interested in something with this new guy. It may cause a lot of tumult, but better to be honest with yourself and both these boys than to keep leading a life of lies, eh?


1 Response to “more about crushes”

  1. 1 jayem
    March 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I have been in this very position before. I assessed the situation. Discovered what I was missing from my BF and in turn getting from my crush. I went home and expressed to the BF that I needed more of (whatever… fill in the blank). To which he said, “I know” and did nothing. We broke up a couple months later after me trying very hard to get him to give me what I need. So… crushing on Johnny Depp is one thing. Crushing on someone you see everyday is an entirely different and dangerous animal.

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