We spoke to Principal Clinical Psychologist Stefanie Schwartz from Groupworx Psychology to get the lowdown on this sticky sitch.
It’s ok to have a crush!
Having a crush on someone else doesn’t have to spell the end for you and your boy. “Having a ‘crush’ is not the same as ‘real romantic feelings’,” says Stefanie. “Crushes are often built on a fantasy of things we see as ideal and relationships have a lot more to them than that!” Basically, we often crush on people we don’t know at all, or at least don’t know well, and these types of feelings are usually about admiring a specific attribute about them, like “OMG they’re so funny”, or “wow he’s so caring”, which can actually just be you working out the kinds of things you want in an ideal bf.
But that doesn’t mean totally ignore it.
Although there’s no need to get super srs about a random crush, Stefanie does say it’s a good time to take a look at your relationship and make sure you still wanna be in it. “Do you have strong feelings for someone else because ‘he’s so sweet’? Maybe this is something missing in your current relationship, and you need to identify with your partner about how they can be more caring” she says. Whatever you do, don’t try and push the feelings away. It’ll only make them stronger! Trying to understand where they come from, and what they mean is a much better way to deal with them.
When it’s time to let go
Stefanie attributes a healthy relationship with the “three C’s” – Chemistry (the fun stomach butterflies, want to be around them heaps feeling), Closeness (you trust your boy), and Commitment (you guys want to be together and will work out stuff like arguments to keep the relationship going). So if you aren’t seeing this stuff in your relationship, and you’re getting strong feelings for someone else, it might be that your relationship has run its course. On the flip side, if you were feeling pretty settled and happy with your guy, and then this crush came out of nowhere, its probably a good sign you guys are a-ok and these new feelings will be fleeting.
Are we meant to be?
Need to compare your crushes? Relationship expert Katia Loisel of Lovelife TV can help you work out whether you and your crush are compatible.
- You share similar interests
“Research shows you’re more likely to stay together, be happier together and have relationship satisfaction if you have things in common”, says Katia. “It builds trust and helps you feel you understand each other.”
- You share similar values
Dating someone who goes to church every week if you’ve never set foot in one? Differences in values like this can cause pressure in a relationship according to Katia, so having values that line up is beneficial.
- You’ve got chemistry
Got a guy who you’re emotionally close with, but there’s no spark? You might not be compatible as baes. There’s a guy you’re super hot for, but you don’t connect emotionally? That’s not great either. “It’s really important there’s a balance,” Katia says.
- You can be yourselves around each other
Yep, they need to see the real you and still be totally cool. As Katia says, “You need to be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself.” So: if you find them intimidating, or they make you feel insecure, you two mightn’t be compatible.
Don’t sweat it if the person you adore doesn’t tick a bunch of boxes. “Too many restrictions could deprive you of a really beautiful experience with a really nice guy,” says Katia. The beautiful, genuine guy you’re looking for, who’s going to treat you well, might not look or act anything like you expect him to!