15 Men Reveal What It's Like To Have A Crush When They're Already In A Relationship

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having a crush

One of the biggest compromises that many couples have to make relates to the opposite sex. This might be a revelation to some of you, but when you enter into a relationship, you don't magically stop being attracted to people with whom you want to be with intimately.

In polyamorous or open relationships, this is considered normal and natural; in monogamous relationships, this is something natural that we are all expected to work overtime in order to suppress. Plain and simple: when you're in love and in a relationship with another person, having a crush can be deadly because you cannot go astray or it is considered cheating.

RELATED: 4 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When You're Having A Crush

But we all know that we still get a little flutter in our hearts (or pants) when we spot an attractive soul, or begin having a crush on a person in the office or at the gym. If you ask your boyfriend or husband about this directly, chances are he won't exactly be keen to start spilling his guts about his feelings for any woman who is not you.

But haven't you always wondered how he copes with getting feelings for other people? It's a common enough thing that I wasn't at all surprised when I saw that on the AskMen subreddit on Twitter, guys were happy to open up and discuss (anonymously) what it's like to be in a relationship and still catch a case of lust for another person... or 7. Check out what men think about developing crushes while still in a relationship.

1. Attraction and desire are different. 

"It's difficult to be around other human beings and not develop some type of feelings. I've been with my SO for over 20 years now. I've never strayed and have never had the desire to actually do so. But that doesn't mean you stop meeting people. You meet an attractive person who you would have considered pursuing if you were single and that spark doesn't just go away. You just learn to tuck it away and say, 'that's just not the path I chose to take.'

I care about my partner and the bond we have far more than I care about a potentially brief fun fling with anyone else. It feels...wrong. I can't imagine actually cheating on someone. It honestly staggers me how common it is. People who cheat... I'm not going to say they disgust me, but I just don't understand. If you're unhappy in a relationship, break it off. Don't make life worse for three+ people, with yourself being one of them."

2. It can be freeing.

"It's so liberating to accept the fact that you are going to meet people you could have 'potentially had something with' in your life. I can usually tell who those people are fairly early on into our acquaintanceship/friendship. I don't believe in soulmates; there are way too many beautiful people on this planet for you to only be compatible with one.

Having said that, it's all about your commitment and choice to stick with one person until the bitter end. Whenever I start feeling some sort of attraction/crush toward someone else, I fully welcome that feeling and act with caution accordingly, whether it is limiting my time with them, or keeping the relationship only professional, and know that I have a loving and wonderful SO who I would never want to hurt."

3. The grass isn't always greener.

"I've met a handful of people in my life who I could absolutely have a good relationship with, and I struggled with the concept of 'the one' for a long time. I wish realizing this was more liberating for me than stressing. I tend to fall prey to the 'grass is always greener' mentality. But I love my partner and have learned that the bond is what is most valuable."

4. It's so Hollywood.

"This is going to sound super lame, but the biggest crushes I have when I'm in relationships... are on celebrities. I know, it doesn't even really count, but I don't know, I just crush less on so-called real people when I'm in a relationship."

5. It's not as satisfying.

"There will ALWAYS be someone that piques interest on a physical level, just like there is always someone stronger, faster, smarter. But if you are in the right relationship, banging that new hottie in the office will never bring you the same happiness and sense of belonging."

6. Every relationship has challenges.

"Like my wife says, the grass might be greener on the other side, but it still had to be mowed."

7. Then there are thoughts on seduction...

"I've thought about this a lot. At least some portion of it is just inconsiderate people. Some people just suck, and there's nothing we can do about that. For others though, it comes down to charm/seduction/charisma/whatever you want to call it. Most people will never experience the feeling of getting seduced by another because most of us are just average people going about our lives, so it's hard to comprehend throwing their judgment out of the window and ruining a long-term relationship for a one night fling.

It's an intoxicating feeling when someone's charm starts to take a hold of you. It very much feels like being under the influence of... something. Your thoughts change and there's a rush of emotions swirling through you and it's hard not to think of anything but the person that's charming you. It's an incredibly powerful feeling, and a bit terrifying how vulnerable it renders you for someone to take advantage of you.

In that moment, I think any person has the capability to cheat on a significant other regardless of how much they love their partner. The best driver in the world will still wreck their car if they drive drunk, and someone pulling charm over you leaves you just as susceptible to wreck your relationship in the same manner. The key, I think, is to just remove yourself from situations where you are vulnerable to being seduced."

8. It's an automatic reaction.

"I see attractive ladies all the time and it sometimes actually annoys me that I literally can't help but have a look; it's like an automatic reaction. That's about as far as it goes though, I couldn't give up what I have with my girlfriend."

RELATED: Why Crushing On Someone Other Than Your Boyfriend Can Legitimately Make Your Relationship Better

9. Acting on it isn't worth the sacrifice.

"Relationships aren't about finding that one person that is perfect for you. It's about finding someone who works well with you and who is willing to sacrifice as much for you as you are for them (or maybe just an appropriate balance that works out well). The value of a relationship is what you put into it and while there might be girls out there who are hotter or maybe even compatible to you in ways that are very tempting, there is no way to know what they're willing to sacrifice for you and to risk something that you do know is a great thing."

10. It can mean bigger problems.

"I've found when I start feeling feelings for other people while in a relationship, it's because there's something fundamentally wrong in my relationship that's not a fixable issue. Not saying one should cheat but crushes are usually a sign of a bigger issue."

11. Why act when you already have a good thing going?

"There are a lot of women where I live that I can't help but turn my head around for. That said, I've been hit on by attractive women in person and turning them down was always easy, because I know what I have with my girlfriend is better than anything they have to offer."

12. Sometimes, it's better to be honest with your partner.

"In 18 years, I've had 4 crushes I can think of. I never felt guilty about my feelings, but then I never did anything about them either. The first one got kinda serious, in the level of feeling. For reasons too complicated for here, I told my wife about that one a couple of years after it had already died on the vine. Also for complex reasons, not only did it not drive us apart, it brought us together.

The three since then never got that far, because as soon as I was aware that I was developing a crush, I told my wife about it. I have a saying: 'Foul things grow in the dark and wither in the sunlight.' Shining the light on them stopped them from growing into malignancies which could threaten my happiness or my wife's happiness. I could even allow myself to really enjoy the company of these women, and enjoy my feelings of affection and attraction for them  without worrying that it would turn into a temptation.

At the same time, I love my wife even more for the trust and respect I feel from her, that she can hear about these little crushes and not feel threatened. I would say we feel more emotionally intimate because we both feel like, if we can be honest about this sensitive topic, there really isn't anything in the world we would feel we needed to hide from each other. And I guess that level of intimacy makes us both feel safer and more secure that nobody could lure us away from what we've got."

13. Crushes are constant. 

"I'm almost always mildly crushing on someone who is not my partner. This is something inherent to my personality and very constant from partner to partner. Since I'm so used to it, I know I don't have to act on it in any way. I direct that sexual energy towards my partner. I think poly relationships would suit me fine, but they sound like too much of hassle. I barely have the social energy for a single romantic relationship."

14. It stops at crushes. 

"I get a crush on every attractive and cool chick I meet. But I know nothing is worth risking my current relationship and family, so I assign those feelings towards those people as they can be nothing more then friends and act accordingly."

15. It doesn't happen.

"Doesn't happen. When I'm crushing on/infatuated with/in love with a girl, my heart is occupied. But I once had a coworker as dumb as hay yet with a heart of gold, whose stance on the matter I approve of wholeheartedly. Crushes are fine, so long as you realize they're just crushes and get over them."

RELATED: How To End An Inappropriate Crush (That You Shouldn't Have Anyway)

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the love and dating advice show, Becca After Dark, on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.