Hitched: Is it OK to get crushes…when you're married?Our married blogger gets real about checking out other guys when you're taken.
I met a guy the other day. He was seriously hot in the way only a man who rocks a long-sleeved flannel in the summer and plays banjo in a bluegrass band can be. (I know. I have weird taste.)
We chatted for a bit in passing and then went about our lives. And I can't say that I didn't text three one of my girlfriends about the fact that I'd met what could quite possibly be the hottest-slash-coolest guy ever, aka Hottie Banjo Player.
Did I mention that I'm happily married with a toddler?
Don't get me wrong: I have zero intention of cheating on my husband, Chris, but every once in a while I'll get these teeny crushes. It could be on an NHL player with wild-man hair or the local barista who welds sculptures in his spare time (seriously, what is with my taste in men?!). I'll take note of their attractiveness, maybe tell a friend or two about it, and that's it. Does this happen to anyone else?
A little nervous about whether I'm crossing some kind of line here, I checked in with my friend Julie--who is the person you want to call when you need a pep talk--to see if these little crushes are normal. "Um...yes, "she said." It would never cross my mind to cheat but it's sort of a fun distraction from regular life every once in a while."
Sweet! But in the back of my mind I know that calling Julie is kind of cheating. She's so supportive, she'd fly across the country to help me pack if I told her I was thinking of dropping everything and moving to Alaska to study caribou poop.
With that in mind, I reached out to licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. Luckily, she also says that having little crushes when you're married is perfectly normal. "It's just like in high school," she says. "Crushes are passing fancies that don't pull us off our path, but may catch our attention for a second."
Durvasula says that having a little crush here and there can actually mean that you're confident in your marriage. You know that things are good at home, so you allow yourself to occasionally look and, uh, appreciate. As long as I'm not having crushes on the regular, hiding anything from Chris, or treating him any differently because of another guy, it's fine.
That said, she encouraged me to appreciate what I already have and to mentally note things about Chris that make him worthy of a crush, too.
I felt a little guilty about the whole thing, so one morning I mentioned to Chris that I sometimes take stock of how hot other guys are. And he was completely cool about it in a way that I'm not sure I'd be: "Well yeah, that's just human nature."
Totally unfazed that his wife thinks other guys are cute? That's hot. I also started to try to look at him more often as if we haven't been together since we were 22. One day, when he was telling me a random story about work, he laughed and I noticed how gorgeous his smile is. I swear my heart skipped a beat.
Now that I think about it, my little crushes are more about being attracted to something that's different from what I have. Chris is the kind of guy you want to marry: He's sweet, loyal, and supportive. His job as a chef will often keep him up until the wee hours of the morning, but he'll still wake up early the next day so that we can get some quality time together before I go to work. (Reminder: He's taken.) Now that I think about it, the guys I tend to form crushes on don't seem to have any of
those awesome traits--at least, not that I can tell up front.
And, really. In the back of my mind, I know that I wouldn't want to be with a guy like Hottie Banjo Player anyway--even if I was single. While playing a banjo is cool, all that brr derr derr derr derrnt would give me a headache after a while.
love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage
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