Confession: My Boyfriend and I Have Crushes on Other People

Our contributor Kristine deGuzman, a junior at UC Berkeley, has a confession to make:

It was my roommate’s 21st birthday a few Fridays ago, so my roommates and I decided to throw her a massive birthday party at our apartment. My boyfriend opted to chill in my bedroom for most of the night, while I mingled with the throng of intoxicated co-eds crowding our kitchen.  Several cocktails later, I found myself considering hooking up with four different guys and one girl. At least. And every time I had even the slightest urge to stick my tongue in someone else’s mouth, I would go into the bedroom and slur to my boyfriend something along the lines of, “There’s a cute boy/girl in the kitchen and I sooo want to sleep with him/her.” He would respond by smirking, patting me on the back and saying, “Go for it.”

But then, of course, we ended the night getting into each other’s pants.

This scenario happens a lot in our relationship, and not necessarily during drunken party scenes. Some days we just come home and talk about the attractive people in our classes or clubs who we’ve developed schoolgirl/schoolboy crushes on, and then end the conversation with sex. For example, one time I came home rambling on about this cute guy in my French class who was quite the charmer, and my boyfriend, determined to show him up, managed to charm me out of my clothing and onto his bed. Crafty, no? And while other couples work out or go wine tasting together, we Facebook stalk our crushes together, almost as a strange bonding ritual.

Another borderline creepy activity that we like to do together while hanging out on campus (or anywhere public, really) is to comment on attractive girls and guys that pass by and decide whether or not we would consider dating them if we were both single (and bi). Most of the time our tastes in attractive people differ, but every now and then someone will pass by and we can both agree, “Oh yeah. That person is definitely worth fucking.” Yeah, we’re that couple.

I just feel like after a certain period of time, it becomes perfectly natural for people in relationships to be attracted to other people. The philosophy that my boyfriend and I have adopted can be summed up as, “Why fight it?” We have an implicit understanding that neither of us actually will act on these verbalized urges — we are both monogamous and know that sexual relations with other people are a no-go. We simply don’t hide these desires from each other, so there’s never any suspicion or speculation that the other is being unfaithful. And it’s made our relationship stronger. I know that despite the fact that he finds other girls attractive, he still places me above them all — and vice versa.

So what happens when couples fight it? I have a guy friend who’s been with his girlfriend for several years and he still can’t look at another girl without pushing the “meltdown” button in her head. In the beginning he tried to tell her about girls he had crushes on, but since his honesty led to some really dramatic break-ups, he’s decided “Ahh, well, ignorance is bliss.” They’ve gone through several “breaks,” and during each he’s managed to hook up with at least one woman, and his girlfriend is none the wiser. I suspect that the more he’s not allowed to even think of another girl, the more he does so when his girlfriend is away.

The idea that you can’t be attracted to other people when you’re in a relationship is just unrealistic and sets couples up for future problems. Human attraction is a basic instinct, and it’s really just a matter of acting responsibly. Just because you find yourself turned on by a girl or guy in the grocery store doesn’t mean your relationship with your significant other is flawed, and it doesn’t mean you’re an awful person prone to infidelity. I’m not saying everyone should adopt our brutal honesty policy, but I do think one day everyone needs to sit down with their significant other and just admit, “I’ve thought about screwing other people, but don’t worry, you’re still at the top of my list.”


  1. To everyone attacking the poster’s relationship: Are you really so vain as to believe your way is the only way?

    My relationship is much like the poster’s and I couldn’t be happier. We don’t Facebook stalk our crushes, but we talk about the hot people in our lives and if we’d sleep with them. We’re not bisexual, but we find both women and men attractive.

    Now, I’m committed to my boyfriend and he’s committed to me. We both know that if we didn’t want to be in a relationship with one another, we wouldn’t be. Cheating is petty and if we didn’t see value in our current relationship, we’d just break up.

    There’s nothing wrong with being open and free with your significant other if you both feel comfortable having a relationship that is so honest. Obviously lack of honesty kills MANY relationships, so why should couples who are very honest be looked down upon? Sure, this method can kill its fair share of relationships as well, but if both people are comfortable with it, why should you judge them?

    The answer: You shouldn’t.

    I know that some of you “could never entertain the thought of being with someone else”. And that’s fine. But here’s the cold, hard reality: There are tons of people better looking than your boyfriend. There are even some people that will have very similar personalities and interests. Some of you can’t be attracted to other people when you’re committed, and some (like me) can. Yeah, I crush on a guy I work with. I think he’s very attractive, smart, and totally compatible with me.

    I’ve told my boyfriend about him and he laughed. Then he told me about the hot new girl he works with.

    Do we discuss them more than we discuss each other’s feelings and interests? Nope.

    And that’s why our relationship is strong.


    1. a crush to me is a sign of a not so great emotionally satisfying relationship,maybe you and your boyfriend just convince yourselves that its harmless and totally normal becuase you are afraid of being alone and just want a safety of a relationship

  2. More related to the post, I think it’s great to have full honestly. It is truly ideal. I think it’s perfectly fine to “check out” other people and even admit to it. Of course you will find others to be physically attractive. But when that attraction turns into an “interest” or something you consider pursuing… it’s time to let your significant other know that your commitment to them is questionable. I am bothered that my boyfriend never let me know he he considered ending our relationship for another girl… especially when I thought everything was fine and believed him when he told me he didn’t like her.

  3. I’ve been dating a guy for 3 years. We are best friends and get along well in almost every instance. However I can be somewhat “paranoid” about other girls. I don’t think it’s paranoia but he gets quite angry and frustrated any time I have a concern or am feeling a bit insecure. I recently found out that my suspicions about this one girl were justfied. He finally revealed that he was interested in this girl while we were still dating. I ballpark this crush to be about 5 months long! I has asked him about it then and he denied it and the truth has only come out a year+ later. He claims it never got to the point that he felt he needed to tell me about it. He never cheated on me, but I feel there was emotional dishonesty. I argue that he should have told me since he was thinking about this other girl at the same time and he couldn’t be fully commited to the relationship if he had this crush on her. But I am hurt by this even though he claims he no longer likes her. How can I trust what he says about girls in the future when he revealed that he lied to me?

  4. but, Ashley, if the only thing keeping them from cheating is never meeting someone they find hot, can you depend on that? I mean, that doesn’t seem realistic long term. There will be hot people. If you’re going to stay in a relationship(at least if I am) there has to be more to it. There does have to be something that makes us both say “yeah, that guy/girl is hot, but what we have is hotter”

  5. I have to agree mainly with Vivian and Jay-Jay and Spider. Most of all with Spider’s quote:

    “of course other people in the world are attractive, but I truly don’t ever think of other men sexually while I’m in a happy committed relationship.”

    However, I don’t deny how Kristine (and many other commentors) said that obviously people are going to think other people are hott, great looking, etc. And also, I think most people can agree that “cheating” on someone is touching, like actually kissing or sex etc. so things like thinking and talking about it ISNT cheating. Which is what I feel Kristine is trying to say. And that in her relationships, she is comfortable to get that close and still be okay. However, for me, this is not the case. I feel as if thinking, wanting, talking about is too close to actually cheating, and it makes me jealous etc. because like as Jay Jay stated:

    “in my mind, that you admitting that you considered it a possibility and what is to keep you from MAKING it a possibility next time?”

    I guess that is my best defense, that what Is holding you back if you’ve gone so far as that? Especially if you’re boyfriend is okay with you going that far. To me, saying that someone is hot or good looking isn’t an issue for me, because you’re merely stating the obivous. However, going farther than that, making it a personal thing like ” i’d sleep with him” or have a personal crush, to me is going to far.

    Being that honest and that comfortable I suppose is healthy if you can control it, which is one of the fears I would have if my boyfriend ever spoke anything like what Kristine and her boyfriend say. but if she can handle it and that is what makes them happy then as they say, to each their own. Addressing the needs they have I suppose is truely better than hiding them away. However, like in the quote I first stated, I am so in love with my boyfriend that I don’t even think about other guys, because there is no nature in me to desire more than the man who completes me.

  6. but Krissy, the entire point here is that having other crushes DOES NOT mean you want to share him. or be shared. Crushes are part of life. acting on them doesn’t have to be. but our whole paranoid culture of “emotional infidelity” teaches people the opposite. The op points it out-you’re with your SO because it’s more than a crush. You’re with them because you truly want to be.

    1. every person you truly wanted to be with was once just a crush……I think you people are fooling urselves if u think they wont act on their crush in the right moment and when given a chance

  7. I was alittle taken back by some of what was said. I guess everyone is different an we all want something different out of a relationship. I personally could never be that open with my fiance and we have been together three years. I guess you could call me the jealous type but I don’t feel that suits me. I just love him so much I don’t want to lose him or share him. I know he feels the same way. He tends to get quite jealous too. He also says he never looks at other men or women cause I’m the only thing he can and wants to fixate on. Everyone is different though.

  8. i enjoy reading this article. i had a boyfriend like that but we took it a step further. We ended up sleeping with a few people we were attracted to . matter of fact we watched each other at the time. its beautiful when the person youre with is just like you. Now he’s my ex cause i got bored of it. got older wanted to settle down. we still talk alot hes like my bestfriend which is crazy. but i works for me. anyway being a attracted to someone other than your partner isnt wrong its what you do about. im in a pretty good relationship & my man gets so turned on when i talk about another women bodies & i get to talk about certain men like Tyrese or Morris Chestnut. Men he know i cant get my hands on. LOL!!! anyway the article was great. I agree with everything

  9. I like this article, it’s nice and refreshing. I do disagree with facebook stalking but then again, I do it myself. Listen, I am a very open person and when I date guys I like him to know that yes, I’m going to be attracted to other people but at the end of the night, it’s him that I’m going home with, it’s him that I care about and there is more to a relationship than sexual chemistry and obviously this poster has more than sexual chemistry in their relationship.

    MY parents are exactly like that, my dad always jokes that my mom has a boyfriend, vice versa and they always talk about who they’d leave each other for. Believe me, my parents are madly in love, they’ve been mared for 30+ years, they aren’t staying together for my sister and I because we left the house close to 3 years+. My parents trust each other and them talking about their crushes and so on, it’s just a fantasy. It’s completely healthy.

    Women and men have to realize that being insecure ruins a relationship.

  10. I personally say to each their own, if honesty is your policy good for you if you don’t talk about it that’s fine too. What’s not ok with me is when one partner flies off the handle because the other looked at someone else, it’s also not ok to disrespect your partners feelings. It’s all about what works for you and your partner, I respect the author for sharing her views without bias or prejudice, both in the article and her comment. I do have to say I would want this kind of honesty with my significant other (I am currently between relationships).

    1. If you are okay with your partner telling you how they would like to fuck other people then why not just let them fuck them giving that at this point being exclusive is meaningless

  11. ^Anon, no you are not overreacting. She seems to not care about your feelings. I would dump her. If she is having these experiences where she finds a guy attractive, and thinks she ‘can’ at any point have sex with them, its a possibility she would. You don’t need anyone like this, you deserve better. Find a girl who wants to be with you, be attracted to you and only have sex with you. By all means, people are going to find other people attractive, but in your situation, your current girlfriend seems to be taking it too far. Get rid of that filth and save your heart.

  12. My gf told me about this guy she has thought about having sex with and even let him chase her at one point while we were going out. I totally knew something was up and kept asking her but kept on denying it. She said there was a party she went to when he was there and she could have easily had sex with him but didn’t want to because, well she just didn’t want to not because she was in a relationship or anything!!! This really got to me, I just feel like she has no respect for me or our relationship. At the time that this was going on were were having a rough patch and she said that this is why she entertained the idea but i said we hadn’t split up so it was not cool. We were then watch a porno together a few days ago and then she turns round and says “oh that guy looks like the builder (the guy she thought about sleeping with)” I got turned off and annoyed that she brought it up. Am overreacting?

  13. Maybe I read the article wrong or something “We have an implicit understanding that neither of us actually will act on these verbalized urges — we are both monogamous and know that sexual relations with other people are a no-go” yet two paragraphs earlier she was saying they talk to one another about how they THINK about sleeping with other people. Can you honestly say that’s true? Don’t get me wrong I don’t think there is really anything wrong with saying to your partner “she was a bonny lass” or “he was nice” if said in the right manner. But to take it to the level of saying you would sleep with that other person? And then say you would stay loyal to your partner? If it is in your head to do that, then (and this goes to Kristine’s boyfriend as well as herself) in the right environment you would.

  14. Yeah, Kristien will find out sooner or later that either her or her boyfriend will act out on a crush, and then we’ll see if they ‘call’ it cheating.

  15. there is a big difference between attraction and obsession. repeatedly facebook stalking someone is different then being like oh, hey youre hot…maybe in another life.
    it seems like all this writer does is failingly attempt to seem more and more controversial and sexually “cutting edge”. crushing on other people? sex in cars? its not working for me.

  16. That surely is a healthy way to cope, by talking about your feelings to your boyfriend and acting-out with him. I had the most intense crush to a male stripper who lapped dance on me while in Vegas 6 months ago. I finally showed the pictures to my husband and it relieved me that I have no secrets from him. He knew anyway about that day, he just didn’t know the datails. Getting attacted to other people is normal and healthy…it means that you’re not dead yeat!!!!!!

  17. To Unapproving:

    I disagree with your perception that my boyfriend and I “settled” into our relationship. If we didn’t want to be together, we wouldn’t be. If either of us wanted to date other people, we would break up and date other people. It’s as simple as that. If we’re honest enough to discuss our attractions to other people, why wouldn’t we be honest enough to break up with each other if we didn’t want to be together?

    Obviously we desire each other more than we desire other people, the point of my writing this is to explain that our occasional attractions to other people don’t falsify our relationship and primary attractions to each other.

    To AlanK:

    I understand what you’re saying, but the foundation of our relationship is not based on our physical attraction to each other, so the state of our relationship doesn’t depend on not finding more attractive people. We’re together because we’re compatible for each other — our interests, senses of humor, and hobbies just fit well.

    Of course, I should probably clarify that I only share my crushes with my boyfriend because we’re both comfortable knowing about each other’s crushes. If he wasn’t comfortable knowing, or if I wasn’t comfortable knowing, this confession wouldn’t exist. I know that not all successful relationships depend on this kind of honesty, and I don’t think all couples should be as frank as we are. I just wanted to share how my boyfriend and I deal with these attractions and how we get past them together as a couple.

    1. kristine Because breaking up is no guarantee those attractive people would want to be with you.I have heard many people that were bluffing about relationships like your and every single one of them flew with the other attractive people as soon as they showed serious interest in them.

  18. I’ve been thinking about this, and the line “I know that despite the fact that he finds other girls attractive, he still places me above them all — and vice versa” is what bums me out. Apparently, once he finds someone hotter than you, you’re history… and vice versa, of course…. This is all reasonably harmless for now, but trust me: it’s lousy training for the rest of your life.

  19. It kind of seems like you guys settled into this relationship because you couldn’t get with the people you actually desired.

    Please weave some class into this post — I know you’re trying to be edgy, but mehhh

  20. I’m definitely on the same page as Vivian and Jay Jay…. seriously, of course other people in the world are attractive, but I truly don’t ever think of other men sexually while I’m in a happy committed relationship.
    And I think I’d be mortified if my boyfriend TOLD me he felt that way about someone else. Not because I have any self esteem issues, it’s just so not how we are. I’m not stupid, I’m sure he finds other people attractive, but why would you tell the person you love that? Ignorance is bliss, in my book. (on this topic, anyway).

  21. I completely agree with Jay Jay- four years and we’ve never “crushed” on anyone else. Do I notice when someone is attractive? Yes. Am I attracted to them? No. I could never and my boyfriend’s the same way. Other people just don’t register in our minds, but I guess to each her own.

  22. I dunno, the author of this post says that she would never have sex with someone other than her boyfriend, but would tell him she would want sex with other people. Usually it ends at that. If people want something they usually get it. She may get caught with someone, or her boyfriend will get caught, and this is when we’ll see if they are really committed to each other.

    I agree that there is nothing wrong with ‘crushes’ and being attracted to other people, its a natural thing. But, once you admit things like this to your significant other, they may play it off as cute, and end with sex with your significant other, but deep down, they may feel a bit betrayed emotionally.

    If its ok to talk about crushes and other people you want to have sex with in your relationship, then thats great, but then, is it a true loving relationship? Do you love this person, or are you loving other people, who you want sex with too?

  23. Personally, I feel that all women or men who get caught up in jealousy over someone their boy/girlfriend LOOKED at wrong are considerably lacking in self-confidence. A certain measure of self-confidence is necessary for both parties to successfully maintain a long-term relationship.

    If talking about crushes is the way you acknowledge active sex drives and observations of those around you, go for it. However, even healthy couples need to understand that sometimes people are attracted (weakly) to others….as long as you are #1 in your special someone’s life (I’m talking about committed people here), it shouldn’t be a problem!

  24. I agree to a certain extent that it is nice when when you both can have an understanding that NOTHING WILL HAPPEN, but I feel it’s pretty rare to be on the same page about that. The whole “I thought about screwing someone else” mentality would be a no go with me though because in my mind, that you admitting that you considered it a possibility and what is to keep you from MAKING it a possibility next time? Additionally, there is a tremendous difference between finding someone attractive and being attracted TO that person. I find plenty of guys to be conventionally handsome and good looking, but when I am in a committed relationship, I never find myself attracted to anyone but my boyfriend. I understand that not everyone is like that, especially men, but I certainly would expect the same respect from my boyfriend when he is noticing other women.

  25. Wow… I can completely relate to everything in this article – except that my boyfriend and I don’t verbalize our feelings so liberally! I really wish we could… I’m working my way up to that level. I’ve realized that I’ve been noticing random guys more and more which led me to wonder whether my relationship was on the rocks.

    I recently admitted to my boyfriend that I’ve thought about “being with other guys”, which opened up a whole discussion about our long-term compatibility as a couple. We do love each other very much and I realize now that my attraction to other guys doesn’t undermine my feelings for him. It’s a tricky issue to delve into I suppose, especially if you’re dating someone who’s a tad more conservative than you are… I think I’ll forward this article to him. Thanks!

  26. Sometimes I wish we were like that. I know most people (myself included) are going to look. I could never tell him that anymore though! I think his self-esteem is a little shaky and sharing what I think of other guys (and girls!) would make it worse. EVEN if I put it like no matter how attractive I find someone else I would still want him and only him he would still feel not good enough for me.

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