I have a long-time boyfriend but I suddenly have a crush on someone else...
This is my first post. I actually joined this site just to say this, but surely I'll stick around now that I know it's here. I have a small problem that's getting bigger, at least in my mind it is. No one else really knows about it, and I'm not sure who I can safely tell, so I figured people who don't know me or anyone involved would be the best bet. Sorry this is so long, but I feel if I don't explain it all you might get the wrong impression and I need some real useful advice right now. I'm so afraid to even post this. I'm afraid my boyfriend will find it and get mad at me. But if I don't tell someone about it soon I'm going to go crazy.
First some brief back-story. When I graduated high school I had been with the same boyfriend almost two years. I know it sounds naive, but we really thought we'd stay together forever and were planning to get married when I graduated, but money was tight so I ended up going to college before that could happen. I didn't go away to college at first, but he did and it was already putting a strain on things. He didn't like the new people I had met and was always demanding they tell him what I'd been up to, always suspicious and jealous for no reason, and he didn't seem to have much time or interest for me anymore. That was very painful at the time, but somewhere along the way I met this other guy and he was so amazing. We became fast friends and my relationship with the other guy deteriorated just as fast, and before I even knew what was happening, I was in the middle of a bitter breakup with the old guy and a pretty intense physical relationship with this new guy. Well, it's been over three years and new guy and I are still together. We've lived with each other for a long time now and we have pets and responsibilities together. We do everything together and spend a lot of time talking about future plans and even discussing marriage. Sure, we have our moments. We have some pretty nasty fights sometimes, but doesn't everybody? There have been times when we just go for weeks or months without having too many pleasant moments with each other, but we get through it every time and the good times tremendously outweigh the bad, and it seems like things are really going to work out. We've already been through so much and made such a great team getting through it, and it's clear that we can really have a good happy life together.
In the past I've done a few things I regret, especially cheating on boyfriends. This was years before even the guy I was supposed to marry, though. I was just a teenager and trying to sort things out for myself the best way I knew how, I guess. Well my current boyfriend has always been very uneasy about my past. I guess I'm a little too open with him about things, and he tends to take things way too seriously as well. He doesn't like to hear that I've been spending a lot of time with another guy (totally non-romantic) or that I find another guy attractive or funny. He's very jealous and tends to overreact like crazy if he even suspects that I'm thinking of someone else or that I'm lying to him. I'm kind of the same way with him, so I can really understand, but it's still exhausting to deal with. In the past there have been guys, especially at the jobs I've had, that he's suspected me of flirting with or even wanting to cheat with. And that just wasn't true; I do get along better with guys than other girls, and it's not uncommon for me to find a guy friend to spend time with at work. Even during our bad times, the thought of being with anyone else was always the last thing on my mind. I've really grown out of all that cheating and lying crap I used to pull in high school and no matter what he thinks, I've been completely faithful to him every step of the way, in my actions and in my thoughts. And the worst part is when I get jealous of the female friends he has and the times he goes to hang out with them without even telling me, he acts like he doesn't understand why I'm upset and yells at me to stop overreacting. It's hard to explain, but it really seems like he's getting overly defensive about it sometimes when I bring it up, ya know? But as the years have gone by, I've come to terms with the flirtatious guy he is and I'm pretty sure he's not being unfaithful; he's just being a lot like me.
Well, things have been stressful between us lately. His parents have been making our life together pretty difficult. I'm not sure if they intend to, but they're acting like the stereotypical in-laws... We're busy all the time and are hardly ever home, and the house is getting pretty messy which makes me pretty irritable. And when I need to go to work and he'll be home and I ask him to get some housework done, that makes him irritable... Plus, his parents visit every other weekend and expect the place to be clean and everything to be exactly the way THEY want it. He's pretty submissive to his parents' demands and expects me to feel the same even though I don't, so you can imagine what it's like having to drop everything and do what they say so they won't be upset. We've had quite a few arguments over that, but he doesn't want to hear it. He just thinks I'm overreacting again and that the situation isn't that bad. It's not all bad, really. I have to show some gratitude. His parents do let us live in one of the houses they own, and they still pay the bills and occassionally bring groceries. But they still drive me so crazy sometimes I think about just walking away from it all. But all this is not the problem lately. Here it is:
About a month ago I started a part-time job at a local retail store. It was pretty rough for me to make the transition because it's been years since I worked any kind of steady job, since my old store closed and I was living on unemployment checks until someone would hire me again. Now suddenly I'm working almost every day around people I don't know. But towards the end of my first day at work I met this guy who was also new. No one else seemed too interested to talk to me, so I spent a bit of time chatting with him. I was so excited to find someone to talk to, I kind of ended up yacking about myself the whole time and not getting to know much about him. He was very nice though. We ended up working together a lot for the first few weeks and I really started looking forward to seeing him. Then one day I needed some help running errands before a trip and I was afraid to ask anyone for a favor, but I mentioned it to this guy one night at work and he was more than happy to do it. So every night I talked to him about it and visited him while he was working. He was always so cheerful about it; I was amazed because he always seemed so gloomy at work and doing this favor for me seemed to be cheering him up. Well the day came and he was so nice about it. And when I came back to work, he was there waiting and asking me how the trip went and how things were. I immediately started talking up a storm and catching up, and after that I seemed to be telling him my whole week's plan and whenever he'd see me, he remembered everything I'd told him and asked how it was going. He'd already met my boyfriend at this point and seemed not to be uncomfortable around him, so I assumed he had no romantic intentions and of course I wasn't thinking anything like that either.
But I started noticing that the other girls at work to like talking to him just as much as I do, and when I see them around him I get really jealous. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. Now our shifts don't seem to coincide as often anymore. He seems to be getting off work just as I'm coming in, or when we do work together we end up having to work on opposite ends up the store until our shifts are almost over. It's a little uncomfortable when I get done and punch out and then just walk over and stand next to him, butting into the conversation he's been having with someone else all night. It's even more uncomfortable, actually it seems only to be uncomfortable for me, when my boyfriend walks into the store so he can walk me home. A few days ago I was at my register and I knew this guy would be working that day but didn't know what time. Then after a few hours I got curious and looked behind me, and there he was opening up a register. Then came a feeling I haven't felt in years, utter joy at seeing him, butterflies in my stomach, the whole works... For my whole shift I was nervous and when I got a break I ran to buy my snack at his register. He asked how I'd been and we chatted a little but I had to hurry off to take my break, and since then I haven't had many chances to talk to him. But I keep thinking about him. I can't even help it. And some of the things that have been on my mind lately are things I should never ever think considering I have a boyfriend!
Meanwhile life with my boyfriend has been back to normal, except that we see each other less because I'm really busy. I'm always at work; he's always on the computer. We don't see each other except to walk to class or go food shopping. He's taken over the housework mostly because I'm never home to deal with it anymore, and he spends a bit of his free time out with a particular female friend I've been a little suspicious of lately. Occassionally when we get a moment to ourselves, he of course wants sex, and half the time I don't have the heart to tell him I'm not in the mood. I can't even really explain why. I'm antsy all the time; it's just when he offers it, I don't seem to want it. The other day I did give in and we had sex, and awful as it is I was thinking of this other guy half the time and the rest of the time I was just zoning off in my own little world. I feel so bad about it too; it's not like I'm bored with the sex or anything; the sex is great, and I can't think of anything that's been that terribly wrong in our relationship lately that I'd be seeking out a new love interest. This is not fair to my boyfriend, it's not like me, and it's not right to keep it a secret, but I'm afraid to tell anyone I have such a crush on another guy. Is it normal to feel like this all of a sudden? I mean, surely there are plenty of reasons something like this could happen, but I don't understand why I'm feeling so strongly all of a sudden. I mean, I didn't think anything romantically or sexually about this guy the whole time I knew him; I didn't even think he was good-looking or anything. And now all of a sudden I have this huge crush on him. I feel awkward and nervous around him and I'm always staring at him; it's like being back in high school again. All I want to do is hang around him and get to know more about him. I visit him while he's working and I feel uncomfortable because my boyfriend is with me. That's not right at all. Do you think this will pass? Surely I don't intend to act on it, but it's still awful to be thinking it. Consolation and friendly advice would be much appreciated... :-(
You will continue to be attracted to members of the opposite sex for the rest of your life as long as you are alive (it may taper after menopause). It's called being human, and it's why mongamy has an HUGE failure rate.
Since I've been married (7 years) i've had 5 different crushes. Acted on 2 (just a little play, no sex).
I suggest you fantasize about Mystery Man. Don't bother with guilt-it is a wasted emotion.
I think you should enjoy your crush. Decide that you are dedicated to BF, and flirt like hell with Mystery Man-be a tease!
Maddie, it sounds like there is a lot of problems, suspicions and distance going on between your boyfriend and you. It seems like you two share the same house, but each have lives of your own, spend time with other people more than with eachother.
Are you still truly connected to your boyfriend, or are you staying because you feel comfortable in the relationship, or are afraid to be single and living on your own again? Would you want to date your bf if you weren't living together? You need to ask yourself whether or not you want to be in this relationship anymore, and whatever you decide, you need to be honest with your bf about your feelings.
The crush isn't the big problem here, it seems more like a symptom of your unhappiness about your relationship. This other guy is giving you the consideration and attention your boyfriend currently isn't. People have crushes, and people flirt, it's not harmful as long as you realize that it's your fantasy and is not realistic. Maybe stop going out of your way to see or talk to this other guy when you're not at work, at least until you decide whether you want to stay committed to your boyfriend or not.
It sounds to me like you just keep re-living the same scenario...you have a guy, you meet a new guy, you get interested in the new guy, etc etc etc...
What you need to do is to learn boundaries. There really are limits to what you should discuss with someone who's NOT your bf/so. The reason is simple...if you cross those boundaries, you begin investing yourself emotionally with that person, as opposed to your bf/so. When you begin to do that, you naturally start to DECREASE how much your sharing emotionally with your bf/so. It becomes a self-feeding cycle. That is why you always have to use caution with opposite sex friends...or you'll constantly find yourself doing what you're doing now.
If you want to work things out with your boyfriend...you need to end your relationship with this other guy, since it's already gone beyond the "boundaries". Sounds painful...probably is. But it's your choice. Those boundaries include sex, any issues with your current relationship, deep emotions, etc... Basically, anything that you would/should share with your boyfriend/significant other. And it works two ways...you shouldn't LISTEN to someone else talk about these issues either...because that still has the potential to start creating that emotional bond with them, and lessening your bond with your boyfriend.
Your other option is to behave as Uberfrau suggests...with no regard to your bf/so's feelings. Uberfrau is one of those people who are insistent that monogamy isn't man's "natural state"...and so feels that it's not important, nor should we concern ourselves with it. The problem with that approach is that both you and your SO have to begin your relationship that way...and hope that neither one of you ever change your mind.
I'm of the opinion that shaving is also against man's natural state. So is brushing your teeth, bathing, and clothing. Oh yeah, and automobiles, houses, warm water, and toilet paper. I'd have to add in that all materials that are "man-made" would have to fall into that category too...so no more books, most medicines, eyeglasses, computer's, etc, etc.
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