Sex researcher reveals what it means if you’re attracted to people other than your partner
While we all like the idea that once you enter a relationship with someone, you'll only have feelings for them and no one else for the rest of your life, this isn't really the case. The truth is, you can never tell what's going to happen and it's more than likely that at some point in your relationship, you will get the hots for someone else. It might a co-worker, someone behind the bar or even your best friend's new spouse. Whoever they are, you can rest easy knowing that you're not alone.
Yes, unsurprisingly, it turns out that wandering eyes are a fairly common issue in relationships. In new research conducted by Indiana University, 70 percent of women in relationships admit to having crushes on other men.
As one participant in the study put it:“[I] tried not to show anything outwardly, but did think about it a bit when masturbating.”
In the study, women who had been in a relationship for at least three years were asked to answer open-ended questions about their crush. The research showed that it's normal to have feelings for other people says study author Margo Mullinax, Ph.D., who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.
“Crushes can continue throughout your lifespan,” says Mullinax. “You don’t just stop having them because you’re in a relationship. It’s natural, when you’re around someone a lot, to develop feelings.”
Although this phenomenon is yet to be studied in men, I think we can honestly say that the same more than likely goes for guys. Of the women who took part in the study, many of them described their crushes as casual and of a purely physical nature: “Oh my, he was beautiful,” says one respondent. “It’s just a physical reaction when I’m near him,” said another.
Others in the study said that they felt an emotional connection and chemistry with their crush with a quarter of them saying that they were on a co-worker. Exes and close friends were also common culprits.
However, while it may be a blow to hear that your wife or girlfriend may be thinking about other men, it doesn't mean that they are going to cheat. Of the women in the study, only five percent ever admitted to infidelity. In fact, many of the women said that the crushes improved their relationship.
“They might feel more aroused throughout the day, then go home and transfer that desire to their partner,” Mullinax says.
According to Mullinax, the more a woman has sexual fantasies, the greater her sexual desires. However, on a non-physical level, other respondents in the study said that thinking about being with another man reminded them of why they love their partner. “I usually snap out of it and realize I wouldn’t really want to be with or see that person . . . and how much I appreciate my husband and all of his attributes and the healthy balanced relationship we have,” said one woman.
In all honesty, if you thought that your partner would never experience some sort of attraction to someone else, you are not living in the real world. It's natural for both you to feel drawn to someone else every now and then, but just remember what made you love your spouse in the first place and trust them to do the same.