Don’t Fight It: Why It’s OK To Be Attracted to Other People
There are things we tiptoe around, in conversation, when we’re in relationships. You relay the story of your lunch break: 1) Donna told me this incredulous story today. 2) The cafeteria chef has a thing for Italian food. We had pasta again. 3) I didn’t even get a chance to finish that article, there was too much discussion going on.
This is the for-the-boyfriend’s-benefit, snip and cut version, of the story. The truth is, Donna’s story attracted a fine bystander who couldn’t help but hear your conversation. He came over to join you two and mentioned the chef’s incessant repetitiveness and you never finished that article, because his smile was too amazing to miss a moment of it. Afterwards, when he asked you to dinner, you told him that you had a man and sent him merrily on his way.
You did the right thing, however, now you’re omitting pieces of the story because you don’t want to start tension within your union or you feel as if your significant other will feel less significant after hearing this story. Well, I’ve got news for you.
YOU’RE GOING TO BE ATTRACTED TO OTHER PEOPLE.
This isn’t a crime, inappropriate, or your fault. It’s a way of human life. During committed relationships, a lot of women and men have a few interesting people come their way. Admit it! There’s a brother at work that makes your eyebrow twitch every time he walks past. There’s that guy with the toned arms that works at the FedEx store. There’s even the occasional stud that looks damn near doppelgänger to your boo.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. The itch to cheat is almost always driven by the sensation of the forbidden and taboo. What fuels these two notions? Secrecy.
It’s within the moment that you wince at your omitted details, that a simple interaction has become taboo. You’ve hidden something so small from your man and now you feel guilty. So now, next time you see this brother in the cafeteria, you’ll feel a twinge of guilt when he says hello or you interact. That twinge turns into mystery, something you just can’t quite grasp, and everyone knows that the unattainable is the eye of temptation.
& It’s no one’s fault, but your own.
Here’s my philosophy: One of the components of staying faithful is reliant upon admitting your attraction to other people.
Now I’m not saying you’ve got to go into intricate details. You don’t have to tell your man that cafeteria dude cascaded down the stairs in an equestrian swagger and lit your soul on fire. That’ll probably have your man packing his bags. However, it’s cool to tell your significant other that someone stepped to you. A “he was cute, but eh” will suffice. Also, showing your partner that you’re able to walk away from something that piqued your curiosity might solidify their confidence in your relationship.
Pretending that you aren’t attracted to others, omitting silly details as not to offend him and acting as if he’s the only man on earth; is unhealthy. Fighting the pressures of infidelity by openly discussing your emotions with your partner will remove most of the mystery from that other person. Thus, you’ll see him as just another good-looking man that asked you out while you happened to be with the love of your life.
He was cute, he asked me out.
It’s cool; I’m already taken, thanks.
I saw. I conquered.
Also, if you’re going to take my advice, you can’t cringe when he starts to tell you about a woman that approached him. Tomato, toe-ma-toe: The equilibrium of a successful relationship depends on equality. Suppress the “Who is she, what’s her name, I’m coming to your job next week!” reaction. You would tell him he was overreacting if he said this about the cafeteria dude. Right? Remember, the harder you squeeze something the more likely it is to slip from your grasp. Besides, while he’s telling you this story, he’s with you. Right? Right.
Take your compliments. Smile and indulge in the euphoria of pheromones that happen when an exquisite brother asks you out. Turn it down politely and remind yourself of the brother home waiting for you. He’ll always love Halle and you’ll always love Denzel; but your reality is an attraction that is never tantamount to any passerby. Protect it.
“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
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