In recent New York Times, Style section, there was a post in Q&A section by Philip Gaines. This is a question and answer section and in my opinion Mr. Gaines is almost always on the money. He has great common sense, fantastic sense of humor with some irony and most of all gives great advice. Reading his column is fun, sobering and refreshing.
One of the recent posts addresses sudden chemistry one feels running into an old crush from High School while shopping in a supermarket with a spouse, a very domestic, unromantic activity and feeling a “sudden” spark with the “old flame”. This predicament is happening to a male partner. The question is what should he do with this?
The answer that Mr Gaines gives in short is: Nothing. He explains what I often tell my patients who are struggling with a crush, re-connection with someone from the past on Facebook, a sudden or growing attraction towards a coworker or an old high school flame. We need to understand of course unless there is something terribly wrong between you and your current life partner that this attraction is natural, many of us feel it at different times, while in committed relationships. This is a great feeling to have, it is nostalgia for the romantic feelings from the past, sometimes our youth, but have nothing to do with what Mr Gaines calls “real life and more complex feelings for your real-life partner whom you love”.
This is a very real life predicament and one has to understand that in a long term relationship, many mundane moments are not “sexy”, but that these relationships offer security, comfort, partnership, love, family and are at times also, hopefully “sexy”. You never know what happens between you and the “crush” after long term cohabitation when real life problems and day to day life intrude on the romantic excitement of a new infatuation.
If you are looking to talk to a couples therapist, contact Irina Firstein, LCSW.