Is it Ever OK to Have a Crush on Someone Other Than Your Partner?
We’ve all had them. Crushes. Sometimes it’s from afar like my on-going crushes on Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and shhh Salma Hayek. And sometimes it’s closer to hand with a work colleague, friend or neighbour.
These crushes that are a little closer to home can feel wrong and even dangerous, particularly if you fear the feelings might be reciprocated and acted upon. But are they always a bad thing?
Goop’s resident psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed wrote about it here and she doesn’t think so.
“If you’re already in an intimate relationship, a crush isn’t a reliable indicator that something is wrong with your relationship. Far too often, when drawn like a meteor to someone other than their partner, people rush to the conclusion that the partner is not fulfilling them. More accurately: Crushes reveal parts of ourselves that we have not courted for a long time. They signal unlived aspects of our full and embodied expression.”
She writes, “if there is someone in your life who you can’t stop thinking about, reflect intensely on the way you feel around them: What parts of you come alive, as if from a coma? What characteristics or behaviors of that person knock you off your feet? How are those things like you or unlike you?
The person who captivates your imagination and perhaps even sets your body on fire may be pointing to parts of yourself you wish you were more in love with/in touch with. The feelings of emotional arousal a crush evokes strike us like lightning, awakening us to repressed memories and longings—indeed, to our very life force. This is why we may feel like we literally cannot live without the object of our affections.
“Being in the thick of a crush can make us feel sexy and beautiful, and can inspire us to enhance our self-care, which in turn makes us feel more appealing.”
Sometimes crushes serve the purpose of enlivening an otherwise committed, devoted domestic life. My friend Laura talked about her three-year crush; how a day was made euphoric if she had contact with him, and so dull if not. Looking back, Laura realized that the sheer energy of the obsession had animated her life with vivid color during a particularly challenging period in her family and professional lives. She was walking the safe sidewalks of home and family in the outer world…and riding the cascading rapids of lows and highs in her fantasy world.
The world can seem more alive—music, nature, sex, and food all become more sensually stimulating when we are awash in the emotional high of a crush. It can point us toward parts of ourselves that want more attention and development.
As far as your romantic relationship with your significant other goes, Freed says there’s no moral wrong-doing in harbouring a crush,” so long as you don’t act on it. Instead she recommends entertaining the libidinous charge and the heightened energy, but keep directing it back into your own self-exploration and development. If you have a committed romantic partner, bring your sexy back to them and fold it into your partnership. It may dramatically improve—even transform!—your relationship with yourself and/or a current partner.”
What do you think? Is it still wrong to be thinking of another when your heart already belongs to someone? Or is this OK?