Fidelity is often considered one of the fundamental aspects of a romantic relationship. Crossing this line can jeopardize the quality and stability of the relationship, possibly breaking it. The notion of fidelity for the proper functioning of a relationship is widespread, especially in the Western world. For this reason, we usually pay special attention to any sign that alerts us that our partner is interested in someone else.
In this sense, is it normal to find another attractive person in a relationship? This question is very common among most people who have ever fallen in love. At some point, we have all wanted to think that our partner will only have eyes for us. We’re conditioned to believe that if someone has a crush on you they won’t notice anyone else, but that’s not always the case. In this Psychologyorg article, we will explain what to do when your partner likes another person and how to identify this situation.
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Is it normal to be attracted to other people while in a relationship?
If your partner takes an interest in another person, you may feel threatened. Along these lines, Jeff Guenther explains that most of us, at least on a subconscious level, look for relationship threats. Feeling attracted to someone who is not your partner is usually the first step for the relationship to end or to be disloyal to you. The person who suffers from it often experiences it as a great betrayal. In addition, Guenther adds that it can cause insecurity in the couple of not being good or attractive enough.
So, is it typical to be attracted to other people while in a family relationship? In a research published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, approximately 70% of the contestant said they had experienced some type of attractiveness to someone other than their partner. The researchers found that being attracted to other people, even when engaged in happy, monogamous relationships, is common.
The brain makes automatic judgments about the physical attractiveness of other people. Psychology professor Gary Lewandowski points out that when we look at another person our brains process visual information very quickly and almost instantly make a judgment about the other person’s attractiveness. We cannot avoid making these judgments, since it is rather automatic.
What if my partner likes someone else?
If we are talking about being attracted to other people while in a relationship as a human tendency, why does it hurt so much? Is it considered infidelity? Is jealousy founded on it? The Belgian psychologist Esther Perel speaks openly about this contradiction of modern love. She affirms that we have higher expectations than ever in relationships, incompatible in many cases, and almost impossible to achieve. We give you some examples below:
- Bring novelty and adventures.
- Let it behave in a way that is familiar and predictable to us.
- That be our lover, best friend, and relative.
- May it encourage us in our personal growth.
- That you have beauty but no one else finds you attractive.
Still, no couple can satisfy all of another person’s needs, no matter how much they love and value them. Placing all our expectations of well-being, happiness, and purpose in life on the person is a recipe for failure since we expect them to provide us with things that, in reality, are our responsibility.
Therefore, in a healthy couple relationship it is important to know what to expect from the other, but at the same time adjust expectations and be reasonable and realistic. Commitment in a monogamous relationship can be reframed from “I’ll never notice anyone else” to not breaking the trust and commitment that the relationship itself entails. It is not about controlling thoughts or feelings, but about choosing how to act, without fear of being judged.
Ultimately, it’s important to understand the nuances of being attracted to other people while in a relationship. No one can completely turn off the natural attraction to other people, even if they are totally in love and committed. However, we can assess if it is a passing trend or if it is intense enough to endanger the relationship. In itself, it is an opportunity to talk with your partner about your feelings.
In addition, it is very important to recognize in oneself any personal insecurity that may affect the way you see the situation. If you had a relationship in the past that ended because your ex cheated on you, you may have a hard time trusting another person again. It is vital to learn to separate the pain of the past from the current circumstances.
How to know if your partner likes someone else?
If you doubt how to know if your partner is hiding something from you, then we will show you six signs that can help you know if your partner likes another person:
- You feel that they have drifted apart – If your partner has changed their way of dealing with you and seems distant, it could be a sign that they have an interest in someone else. You may feel conflicted and confused if you have developed feelings of attraction to another person.
- Your Routine Has Changed – A change in anyone’s routine can indicate many things. In this case, if you’ve noticed that your partner is spending more time at work, developing new interests, or not spending as much time with you as they used to, one of the reasons could be that they were dealing with an attraction outside of your relationship.
- Less attention to you – Generally speaking, people only have a certain amount of “romantic energy” with each other, so if you notice that your partner is paying less attention to you and devoting their time and energy to another person or group of people, such as spending a lot more time at work or social events, it may be a clue that you are fascinated in someone else.
- Share less time or space with you: One of the ways to know if your partner likes another person is to identify if they have stopped talking to you about various topics, both everyday and important. This could indicate that you are perhaps sharing the details of your day or life with someone else. It may be that you are attracted to a third person, even if you have not acted on it.
- Has started talking about someone else a lot – Your partner may be thinking about this other person so much that they can’t help but talk about them in front of you. Hearing him gush about her can be frustrating, but it could be a good indicator that they have less to hide.
- Pay close attention to someone else’s social networks: It is common for people to use them to “cheat” when they are not happy with their life and/or personal relationships. When a person receives validation and attention from a third party and feels appreciated and attracted to someone else, he likely wants to maintain this contact to continue to feel important. So if your partner is always searching for a particular person on social media and likes most of their posts, it’s likely to assume some level of attraction, especially if that other person is your partner’s usual “guy.”
- Doesn’t share your everyday thoughts and feelings – This can be a sign that something needs to be addressed in the relationship. Talking about this topic can be difficult, but asking your partner how they are feeling can help and reveal if they are genuinely interested in someone else or if something else is going on to change their behaviors. Clarifying what’s going on can also help you know if things have moved beyond passing interest.
If you identify any of these factors, it is very possible that your partner likes someone else. Paying attention to signs of attraction is very important, but so is being able to express your feelings about the situation. These signs can help you identify that something is going on in the relationship but don’t assume facts or accuse your partner without hearing their perspective. Rather, communicate with her openly and clearly. In this article, you will find tips on how to improve communication in the couple.
What can I do if when u know he likes someone else?
Realizing that your partner is emotionally or sexually attracted to someone else is painful, and it’s normal to question your relationship. However, don’t assume that if your partner finds other people attractive that means the relationship is over. If you ask what to do when your partner likes someone else, do not miss these tips:
- Contextualize the pain you’re feeling: Don’t generalize pain based on social constructions or lofty notions of movie romance. You can’t change the biological basis of attraction, but understanding it can help you respond more consciously to this discomfort.
- Understand that your partner may find certain people attractive, but that doesn’t mean they stop loving you. When you like someone, you have to acknowledge the attraction and then let it go to strengthen your commitment to your partner. As Shirley Glass one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity, explains, one of the measures of true commitment is that you don’t allow distractions to divert you from your priorities.
- Learn to differentiate between physical attraction and real intimacy: being attracted to new and novel things is a human tendency that does not disappear because a person is in love. The important thing is to learn to differentiate between physical attraction and real intimacy between two people who build a relationship together.
- Make your relationship a safe space: when in doubt about what to do when your partner likes another person, you must ensure that your relationship is a space in which you feel respected and can express your concerns, doubts, feelings, and insecurities.
If despite all this, your partner cannot stop thinking about being with other people and acts on impulse in the context of a monogamous relationship, it is important to clarify the situation before it crosses the red line. The fact that you understand that your partner may be attracted to other people does not mean that you have to accept all their behaviors, especially if there is a commitment to exclusivity.
In this sense, three components allow us to handle this situation: not being ashamed, not feeling guilty, and communicating assertively. Each couple can decide what is right or wrong and set the limits they want in the relationship. Therefore, if you feel that your partner likes another person, first of all, you must be honest and clarify the situation.
This article is merely for an informative, purpose we cannot make a diagnosis or suggest treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your specific case.
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