What it means when you're attracted to someone other than your partner.

The standard narrative about love claims that when you find “the one,” you shouldn’t be drawn to anyone else.

But here's the truth:

Just because you’re attracted to someone else doesn’t mean you don’t love the person you’re with. And just because your partner is attracted to someone else doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you or with your relationship.

When you’re attracted to someone other than your partner, you might wonder, “What does this mean about me? What does this mean about my relationship?”

Maybe those are useful questions you need to ask yourself to grow. But maybe they are rabbit holes of lonely self-judgment and one-sided speculation. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that humans are social animals who are wired for interconnection.

We do not have a finite capacity for love. We do not have a finite capacity for attraction.

There is nothing wrong with you or your partner if you’re also drawn to other people. And you don’t have to deal with it alone.

Instead of either stuffing down your feelings, privately worrying about them, or acting on them in secret, think of your and your partner’s attractions as opportunities to get closer to each other. You and your partner don’t have to act on your feelings for others just because you’ve admitted that they exist.

Simply sharing your true feelings with each other is a radical act of emotional intimacy that normalizes your humanity and helps you more deeply love, accept and see each other as your authentic selves.

Reflection Questions

  • How would you feel talking to your partner about your attractions to other people?

  • How would you feel if your partner talked about their attractions to other people to you?

  • What would help you feel safe sharing this with your partner?

  • How would you want the conversation to go and how would you NOT want the conversation to go?

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