Columns Jan 20, 2011 at 4:00 am



My boyfriend has a habit of developing crushes on other girls. Most times it has happened, it has resulted in problems between us. He gets upset, uncomfortable about his feelings, grows distant from me, and we end up fighting. Twice we have broken up for a period of time over it.

It doesn't always cause problems though, the times that it works out perfectly fine, are the times when he told me. "I think I might have a crush on our friend _________." When that happens I tell him that it's okay, and then we make an effort to spend some quality time together so that he can feel reconnected with me. He feels better and less guilty, I feel confident in the honesty of our relationship and everything moves on.
Most boring column ever.
For UOF:

For the most part, I agree with the advice of Dan and Grant, but if you really want to get down with that guy, you may have to be sneaky. I would tell your boyfriend that you want to spice things up and have a threesome. When he calms down, tell him you want to have a MMF threesome first, then a FFM threesome next. Then casually steer him towards inviting the guy you like, and then lay back and try out the friend with your boyfriend. This scenario will, of course, require you to find a nice girl to share your boyfriend with for an evening, but you are GGG right?

For PHM:

Dan is absolutely right, explain to your boyfriend how important foreplay is, and then explain to him exactly how to do it. Make sure you keep telling him what to do and keep encouraging him the whole time.
Nice post Dan but you don't have to jump down Thornley's response. Next time just let the guy respond to a different question.
For UOF: 1) your signoff would have been so much better "Uncomfortable Friend Ogler."
2) I lean more towards Grant's opinion than Dan's. If you don't usually also develop crushes when you're happy in your relationship, it's a symptom. I usually only develop crushes on other people when my relationship is strained. It's so easy - there's no uncomfortable (there's that word again) conversations and arguments hanging over you when you're with someone new. Figure out your current relationship before you tell the new guy anything.

For PHM - It sounds like you're feeling guilty about being unhappy in a relationship with a "damaged" person. After all, aren't women supposed to be caring and nurturing and blah blah blee? Get over it. Unless imagining what a good person everyone must think you are for being with that unfortunate man is worth the lack of orgasms, sexual selfishness is a dumping offense.
I've been in a happy, committed relationship for several years, and I get crushes on other girls all the time. I accept it as a package deal that comes with my dick, and either ignore the crush or channel that feeling into hot, hot sex with my girlfriend.

Honestly, I don't understand why so many adults seem to believe that they have to follow every single feeling that happens to trot through their heads. This "magical emotion" bullshit sounds like an excuse for immaturity to me. Children lack the self-control to analyze and act in spite of their emotions; adults should fucking know better.
Crushes develop not just because other people are attractive, but because the unknown is so much better in our minds than the known. The fantasy revolving around the crush beats our boring real relationship every time.
Maturity and pain resulting from pursuit of fantasy teach us that a good (or even modest) reality beats a fantasy every time. But each person must re-invent that wheel.
To PHM: The lack of the hand has nothing to do with the lack of foreplay. Tell him to shape up and give him constructive suggestions to get you hot.

Teach time that foreplay can include toys. If you use toys to get yourself off he can and should use them to get you off. If he won't try he clearly needs to be dumped and then grow up a bit to see that sex has got to be reciprocal or it won't keep happening.

Regarding UOF, I hope she can figure out how to talk about crushes and attractions with her partner. My partner is terrible about this and it is a huge problem since we are human and hence at times attracted to others. I think Dan's advice is really good. Pretending you NEVER even want to look is a real hard thing to pretend for ever. Good luck.
Not the Most boring column ever...but in the running.
I am married and have crushes on other men all he time, because other people are attractive, but it doesn't make my husband any less so. And when I really think about these crushes, they often have qualities that I love about my husband. I am confident in my relationship to know that I can't control my hormones, only my actions :)
And, please, UOF, take Grant's advice and develop friends of your own. Volunteer, adult education, join a cult/religion, or just go to the gym. You'll still be crushing on hot bf's friend, but at least you won't feel so isolated.
The acceptability of the idea of falling for other people during the course of a committed relationship isn't new at all. It's just roundly rejected or misunderstood, as Dan points out.

Years ago a friend who was getting married was instructed to read C. S. Lewis's essay on the myth of romantic love, which is published in the book _Mere_Christianity_. His views on the roles of the married couple are a bit awkward today, but I agree with his realistic honesty that married people (in the context of his writing) will become attracted to and even fall in love with other people during the course of a marriage.

How you deal with those crushes, as the LW is experiencing, is the salient issue to address, rather than what's wrong with you for having them in the first place.
I figure that PHM went out of her way to mention the lack of a hand probably because if she criticizes him he immediately jumps to "It's because I only have one hand, isn't it!" as a defense and then she forgot to come back to that later in the email.
Echoing #11 here. I don't think the crush is really the issue, people develop crushes all the dang time. But she does need to get out and make her own damn friends to hang out with and then the puppy-love for her guy's buddy won't seem so overwhelming.
@3, @5, and @8: We're not here to read your advice, we're here to read Dan's. I thought the comment section was for people to leave umm... comments! Not write the amateur version of what we all just read. Does anyone read the column and then go, "Okay, well, Dan's advice was alright, but what does Dal Tiger think?! I can't consider my question answered until I know if Dal Tiger concurs!! ..WHERE IS JA?!?!?!"
I really liked the letter from UOF, and the response from Dan. It reminds me of a story my mom (who is still happily married to my dad) has told me a few times about the first year of her marriage. She had a debilitating crush on a friend of my dad's. She couldn't talk to him without blushing and wondered if there was something wrong with her. She and my dad even joked about it. I mean, even if you're super in love I think sometimes you can just get a little infatuated with the possibility presented by someone else. I know I do, but thanks to this funny family story I don't really take it too seriously.
PHM: Was your boyfriend left-handed?

I realize you did not have sex until after he lost his hand, but it's possible that his libido has taken a serious hit as a result of his injury. While I (thankfully) still have both of my hands, I did temporarily lose the use of my dominant hand several years ago. I had to learn how to write, eat, shave, brush my teeth, and put on my clothes using only my weaker hand, and having to relearn basic motor skills made me feel completely incompetent. This killed my sex drive-- being unable to tie your own fucking shoes doesn't exactly make you feel sexy.

Which isn't to say that your boyfriend shouldn't be attentive to your needs, or that he gets a pass on ignoring foreplay. I'm just pointing out that he may be nowhere near 100% right now.
I like Dan's comment that sometimes people don't "meet cute", they meet "under awkward, embarrassing, and painful circumstances." She's so young; if she is more attracted to the friend than to her boyfriend, and if she senses the attraction is mutual, then maybe she should break up with the boyfriend and see how things go with the crush.

"Don't shit where you eat" doesn't necessarily apply; friends of friends is a fine way to meet people. It's not like the suburban housewife fucking her neighbor from last week's thread. In this case, she can stop seeing both guys, as well as their whole circle of friends, assuming her relationship with the crush is no more permanent than the one with her current boyfriend.
Please Help Me: Just break up and move on, let someone else teach him how to be a good partner.
Love is not the prize. Love is the game, and the prize is wisdom. Do something foolish (but not necessarily destructive), then let yourself learn.
@18 I would be inclined to agree with you more if it wasn't clear from PHM's letter that her boyfriend is regularly sexually active with her in ways that get him off; he just neglects to take her needs into account.
Did Dan even read Grant's offering, or did he skim it, read the word crush, later on read the phrase, something is wrong with the relationship, and then decide that Grant was saying she wouldn’t have had a crush if the relationship wasn't fucked up?

Basically Grant and Dan agreed, but for some reason Dan decided to rail against those anti-crush forces in the media. Which wasn't even relevant, her problem as both Dan and Grant noted is that she cares more about her social standing with her boyfriend's friends than about her boyfriend himself, let alone her relationship with him.

Yes there’s something more going on there. I just hope the boyfriend sees this and gets the fuck out.
PHM - while I doubt your boyfriend in is the 0.001% of men that have never watched foreplay containing porn, he may feel like a klutz and is unsure of how to do it himself. In addition to the 'put your tongue here' advice, you could get one of those instructional porn videos, let him watch one technique and try it out on you, and advance one at a time. It could be a fun game and puts you in less of a foreplay school marm role.
Actually I thought there were elements of both Grant's and Dan's advice that were worth considering. Grant has, I think, a good point about whether or not she's isolated where she is -- moved out to where her bf is, limited to his circle of friends, just isn't a good thing no matter what else is going on. OTOH, I think Dan is right in that developign a crush on someone doesn't necessarily say anything about the state of your current relationship (and I rather think she would have mentioned it if it were strained at present).

So there you go. As far as missing lefty goes, I too was like, what does that have to do with anything? (Tho some commenters have raised potential good/interesting points on that.)

What? No controversy?! No endless fights over the column??? BORING! :) It's ALL about the squabbles in the comments section, doncha know??
@16 I come here for Dan's advice, but it's interesting to see the take of other people as well. It's precisely what the comments are for.
I had a crush on another woman that started working in my office a while back. It went away when I got to know her. Now I just find her annoying.
I'm all-too capable of jealousy, but when a guy I'm with develops a crush on one of my friends, I find it hard to get all jacked up about it. Mostly I find it flattering, since they're partly attracted to my friends because of the qualities that attracted them to me in the first place. My one ex openly admitted he had a crush on my best friend. Maybe I'm weird, but I didn't mind - in fact, it kind of seemed ... sweet? It's happened in other relationships. I just find it hard to be threatened by it, since nobody would have acted on anything without discussing it with me first. Now if a boyfriend admitted a crush on someone I HATED, that might cause some problems for me.
@ 6: Right on. Well said!
@16 I don't come heer to read your comments about other people's comments. I don't come here to read how you don't want to read other people's advice. I don't come here to read...oh wait, maybe I do.

And since you're dying to know, here's what I think... Great Guest advice, Grant! And Dan, yeah, happy people are attracted outside their relationship too, but the whole isolation thing rings true here. A year with no new friends? Join a book club or a writing group. Take a class. Come to think of it, how attractive can she be right now if she's always around him and his friends. Developing separate interests keeps you interesting and interested. You're probably both sick of each other.
I had a crush for many years and I really think it helped keep my marriage together. It was exciting when he was in the room, we would touch whenever we could, but didn't have sex until my marriage was over. Once we did, we spent a year or so in an affair, and now I'm totally over him. I miss that crush, it was a great bedtime fantasy.
26 is right... You may not like other people's advice, but it's often been a part of the comments. Dan encourages it by tossing up a SLLOTD and asking readers to advise or by later reposting additional advice from the comments.
I kind of agree with both Grant and Dan: people can develop crushes outside the relationship without it signifying any particular problem in the relationship. On the other hand, if there is a problem, that can make your thinking and feelings about the crush a lot more difficult to cope with.

So the crush is certainly an opportunity to examine your relationship with your boyfriend. If you come to the conclusion that you are solid with him, go ahead and crush away madly, and channel the energy it brings up for you towards your boyfriend. (I'm not saying act on it. Just stop beating yourself up inside the confines of your own skull. If those feelings can also heat things up back home, well, win/win.) If things are on the rocks, however, then you have some serious stuff to deal with, regardless of whether there's this other guy potentially out there or not.
Whenever I have a crush on someone, I assume it's because I am still drawing breath on the planet Earth. I also assume I get crushes because I practice absolute monogamy, and my brain needs a steam valve.

If the crush starts getting bad, I turn it into an elaborate sexual fantasy - which I then write down and sell. Nothing takes the heat out of a fantasy like the process of professional editing and publication.
Awesome advice Grant! Very nicely done! I see Dan's point, but honestly there is a HUGE difference between 'that guy sure is hot and I would like to think about banging him' and a CRUSH, which is more like 'I think about him all the time and I wish that i could leave my life and run away with him'.

Maybe some people call the former a crush, but I disagree. A crush is a serious red flag, finding someone hot or interesting is just human nature and should be embraced. This writer seems to be describing the relationship red flag kind of crush.
There are, in my mind, three reasons (sometimes combined) for the eye/heart/twat to start wandering.

One, you're going through normal ups and downs in a relationship and you're looking for a little prop-me-up. Crushes provide that little jolt of excitement and can raise your self-esteem. It's also easy to fantasize about who might want you, since your partner doesn't (or so it seems at the time).

Two, your relationship is going through serious problems possibly ending in a breakup, and you're looking for the easy landing/easy out of just starting over with someone new. You'll never fight with John/Sue, ever! Until you do.

Three, you're perfectly happy and content, but you have eyes/heart/twat and you are experiencing a normal reaction to someone you think might be compatible with your eyes/heart/twat.

Crushes pass in time, especially with more proximity. I thought my partner's friend was hot and then he moved in with us. Now I have to pick up after him, am witness to his alcoholism, and those thoughts are gone like a puff of smoke. Poof!

But the girl seriously needs to make her own friends. Not having your own outside interests will bore you and him! Go volunteer, take a cooking class, learn Spanish, take up yoga. Have a life outside your man!
@34 - LOL! Having tried to write assorted sex scenes, I know *exactly* what you mean!
"This, of course, is complete and total bullshit. Happily married/partnered/boyfriended/girlfriended people have crushes on other people all the time."

Thanks, Dan. As a happily married woman who's been with her husband for eight years, I assert this is true. I have crushes every once in awhile; they don't seem to correlate in any significant way with the health of my marriage.
I just moved across the country to follow my fiance. The isolation and loneliness (plus feeling like I'd abandoned my own life) eventually led to depression. Two months of therapy later and I finally found the courage to audit a couple of classes and make a couple of friends, which has made all the difference. But it took my fiance basically forcing me into therapy and other positive activities to get me to the point where I could help myself. It isn't over yet but things are improving.

Moral of my story: Following someone, even for love, can be way way crappier than you ever anticipate, and it is hard to get out of that funk on your own. UOF, believe me that this will get better once you start getting some help (and schedule therapy/exercise/yoga in the morning when it can be so hard to drag your ass out of bed because "it doesn't matter if I get up anyway" syndrome). GOOD LUCK!
I just love it when people bitch about free entertainment (i.e. #16).

You know, 15 years ago, you actually had to get out of the house, travel to the nearest hipster-doofus coffee shop to find Savage Love in the local hipster rag. And if you happened to live in Bumfuck, you had no access to Savage Love. If you missed an issue, there were no archives and you had to figure out how to find the clit on your own without Dan's help.

I think #16 needs to see Louis C.K.'s "Everything's amazing, nobody's happy" bit. "My phone is slow... uh maybe you should give it a second to get back from SPACE."
I must say the relief I felt when my husband and I started being really honest with each other about outside attractions/crushes was palpable. We laughed with each other about how silly it is that a lot of couples seem to be all about pretending to each other that they never look at someone else. Window shopping is a harmless dalliance in a relationship with a strong base of communication and openness. As other comments note, and for me, that spark can be very productively transferred into hot sex with my husband, in a stable, safe, loving environment. If we didn't talk about it, we'd both feel guilty and distant from each other during these inevitable incidents of running into some random attractive person. We did that before and can vouch for it not being as fun.
UOF did mention repeatedly that she doesn't have any friends where she's at. Although her crush probably isn't a symptom of that, if she did have some pals who she could go out with and get off her chest how hot this guy is, it might help her get over or otherwise deal with the crush much more easily. So, symptomatic or not, finding some friends of her own to hang out with is probably her best move right now.

PHM might want to take some time out to fantasize what he could do with that wrist stump and then suggest they make that part of their sex life. In case her boyfriend is feeling self-conscious about it, that might help a lot. If he's just clueless, then telling him what to do should work either way. If he's just selfish, then DTMA.
You know, *I* don't always use both hands when I'm giving my wife foreplay. Unless he's had a horrible accident with his *tongue* or he's lost his jaw or something, there's no reason he can't eat fur pie.

Unless he's just an asshole.
@27: Lol! I have an open relationship with my wife, and I've found that the more I date other people, the more I love my wife. ;)

Sometimes it's fine to have a fuck-buddy relationship with someone who you would never actually, you know, date on a serious basis.
I used to develop crushes on people all the time in my early 20s. While in a LTR. I just wanted attention, and I loved that these guys would hang on every word, the tension building. I wasn't interested in cheating.
I realized, afterward, that in fact, people are interesting and sometimes interested but that's all it is or should be. I meet attractive, fascinating men a lot. However, I have learned that the pretense of "getting to know" someone only gets me into trouble.
But, it took being in a relationship that I really didn't want to jeopardize to realize that. My LTR that led me to crushes was lacking, this is true, but I believe I only allowed myself the crushes because of this, not that it was a catalyst. Now, I don't get to know men better. If you want intimacy and bonding, go back to your boyfriend, UOF. The grass is greener because you haven't gotten close enough to see that he hasn't mowed it in 6months.
Hey guys,
What Savage failed to mention is this weekend the 22nd celebrates the 38th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Check out what's happening in your city - SF is hosting a fab parade!

Date: Jan. 22, 2011
Where: Harry Bridges Plaza, the median strip across from the Ferry Building Embarcadero @ Market
Time: 11 am
Why: To Celebrate Choice! Put on by BACORR, Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights

FAB speakers will be there -

*Pioneer in women's health and contributing author to Our Bodies, Our Selves, Carol Downer
*Local OB/GYNs that perform abortion services and directly see the impact access to safe abortion has on women's lives
*Radical Women, World Can't Wait & Gay Shame
*Sister of Perpetual Indulgence - drag queen Do-Gooding Nuns!

Bring your signs, your friends and yourself.
Bad advice to that first girl. She should ABOLUTELY tell her boyfriend of four years that she has an ENORMOUS crush on this guy. Be sure to write us and tell how well that worked out.
Christ, sorry bout the triple post - Stranger, please delete the first 2!
Number 6 is the man.
So you tell your boy friend you are seriously crushing on his best friend? Then the 'crushee' has to deal with a jealous boyfriend? That's just plain immature. Not to mention you're dragging an innocent person into your relationship probably against their knowledge and consent. That's inconsiderate and mean.

Many aren't wanting to be dragged into a relationship because the 'fire' has died out in someone elsr's relationship and they feel to 'awkward' to break it off.

I agree with Grant's advice; take up a hobby!
@6 absolutely. Fantasy beats reality, in your head. Reality beats fantasy, in,um.... reality. The ability to tell the difference is the mark of someone mature enough to be in an LTR.

@UOF Crushes happen,sometimes because you're bored with what's going on in real life, or scared, or unsure of your current relationship, or because that's what humans do. We live in our heads. So. I think you probably are most of those, plus maybe a tad resentful about your sacrificial cross-country move. The question you need to ask yourself is this: If I blow this LTR all to hell over this crush, how happy will I be to hear that my current boyfriend is married and soon-to-be expecting with someone else? If the answer is "very happy', then move on. Otherwise, figure it out.
I def. got the impression that the letter writer's problem with this crush has something to do with her lack of friends/feeling isolated. Not because that's the only reason people get attracted to other people, but because she mentioned depending on her boyfriend's social network twice in the letter, and started off the letter by pointing out she had moved across the country for this guy. Think about it -- the problem of crushing on your s.o.'s friend could happen to people in all kinds of circumstances. But these facts are clearly uppermost in her mind when she thinks about the relationship. (The fact that she didn't mention "my bf is amazing & we have a great relationship!", as letter writers so often do, is also a possible tell.)

It's quite possible that she feels resentful of the bf because she made a big sacrifice for him, & because he's "in charge" of their social life. Hence the reason she's obsessing over this crush and debating "telling the friend about it," instead of just enjoying it. My guess is if she gets some friends & starts having fun on her own, this crush will start to take up less space in her mental life & she won't be so angsty about it.
See, Dennis/Rhettro: that's how it's done.

(sorry about the off-topic reference).

Nice job, Grant!
@16: What's this "we" you write of? You got a mouse in your pocket?
#43: "Unless he's just an asshole."

Easy there, fella. Let's try chopping off one of your hands at the wrist and see whether it fucks you up just a little bit for eight months or so. (Seriously, folks: eight months is nothing.) I'm not saying give him a free pass. But considering the circumstance, aren't you being just a wee bit harsh?

Letter Writer: if he says he doesn't know what to do, teach him, and insist he try it out.
@6: You're spot on!!!
I liked Grant's response. While Dan's got a real point about married people developing crushes regardless of their happiness level, I think Grant hit it on the head when he pointed out the general vacuity of UOF's life right now. UOF's letter sounds like she's being really clingy and dependent and part of me wonders if she's not being a complete drip with the boyfriend.
I'm madly in love with my husband and have had a crush on one of our mutual friends for some time. I've shared my feelings with my husband and he doesn't feel threatened by them -- being a normal guy, he often feels attracted to other women. When you're really happy with your current partner, having a crush on someone else can be fun as long as you accept that the fantasy is likely more exciting and satisfying than the reality would be.
My husband and I get crushes on other people ALL THE TIME. Including man-crushes for him, and girl-crushes for me.

And we talk about it. And tease each other. A crush is a crush. It doesn't mean you're going to act or it, or that your relationship is flawed.

My husband andI get crushes on other people All. The. Time. Including man-crushes for him, and girl-crushes for me.

And we talk about it. And we tease each other about it. But, it doesn't mean we're going to ACT on it, or that something is flawed in our relationship. Isn't that normal?

It can be innocent fun. I guess I don't understand why UOF is making it seem like this is a horribly dire situation.
@6&7: SPOT ON!

A married childhood friend and I have recently reconnected, and in addition to confessing our elementary school crushes on one another (of which we were both previously unaware), we've confessed a new/renewed crush! And of course we are both in committed (monogamous) relationships...with problems...which are waaaay less appealing than the green grass on the other side of the fence. I'm happy that finally, in middle age, I've accumulated enough self-inflicted hard knocks that the only thing worse than not indulging this desire is the thought of what it would be like if I indulged it....waaay more depressing (and waaay more bad feelings about myself).

I have a couple of fantasy lusts (I won't even call them crushes) that involve two women who are entirely inappropriate to for me to ever have that type of relationship with, or tell my SO about, and I don't, though they are mental fodder.

I think UOF should probably just privately savor the can have, experience and "feel" feelings without having to act on them. If she is committed to the BF, and monogamy is part of the deal, and she wants to maintain that relationship, she can share this crush with him or not - I don't think "uncomfortable" vs. "hurt" etc. are really differences with a distinction: they're both perfectly valid reasons for not telling her guy. @Amanda is exactly right about how this can work. Just use good judgment - all that really involves is sitting down and exploring all the aspects of what you're faced with - it doesn't require any lightning bolt insights.

I don't know... I kind of agree with @16. Not that alternate advice doesn't have a place in the comments section, it's just that a lot of people chime in every week with unsolicited and very pedestrian advice that's a) already been stated, b) woefully ignorant / amateur / judgmental, and/or c) adds nothing meaningful to the conversation.
Re: UOF.

I completely agree with Dan on this one. Crushes and attractions are a symptom of being alive and human and not necessarily indicative of pathology. How people respond to these feelings, however, might be an indication thereof.
I think a lot of us chime in because we have experiences that relate in some way, and that can be useful information. least, I hope it is, 'cause that's why I'm chiming in: When I first moved to a new place far from where I grew up, I spent a bunch of time similarly dependent on my boyfriend for a social life, and I realize now that my life would have been different (and better) if I had had friends that were truly my own. I second (or third or whatever) the suggestions that UOF find ways to make other friends and connections - be patient, it will take time - and I think the overwhelmingness of the current crush will abate when there are other interesting things happening in her life. No reason to hope or expect the crush to go away completely, but I bet more of a balanced social life would give it some perspective.

1. Every relation that I've had has ended when I realized that I was crushing on someone else in a uncontrollably intense way. I didn't end the relationships because I wanted to be with someone else--I ended them because they had gone rotten and had to end. But being totally crazy about someone else was the huge wake-up call.

2. Like Dan says, I get big crushes on other people all the time. Sometimes it's because I feel upset about stuff in my relationship, sometimes it's just because I'm a human being.

Here are my two metrics to differentiate between crushes that are signals of relationship terminus and crushes that are signals of me being a human being (romantically attached or no). 1. Has it been 2-4 weeks and my feelings haven't dissipated? 2. Do I still want to fuck the person I'm with?
Great response on crushes, Dan. It seems really obvious, but sometimes we need to be told that being attracted to people is normal, even if you are in a happy monogamous relationship.
So what do you do to get an unwanted crush out of your head? Even when you do have the good social network, the hobbies and all that jazz? Particularly when it's on somebody you have no choice about seeing on a regular basis-- a coworker, classmate, last week's suburban housewife's neighbor, a friend of the family, or whatever.
I'm actually the guy the first girl has a crush on. We could fuck like once or twice and get it out of the way with, but I don't exactly have a crush on you. Sometimes a crush is just wanting to fuck someone really bad. And in an open relationship, which I'm in, it's not a problem. Call me up sometime, we'll get some drinks and hit it. Easy.
@71: Why would you want to get a crush out of your head? I like having workplace crushes; it makes coming into work more exciting. In fact, my workplace satisfaction has gone down since my last co-worker crush switched jobs.

Just because you feel something doesn't mean you have to act on it. I regularly feel like yelling at some of my co-workers, but I've never raised my voice to anyone. If the feeling is kinda fun and makes things more interesting, then why not enjoy it?
I agree half with Grant, half with Dan. UOF should do the following:
1. Definitely, before anything else, make her own friends, find her own hobbies, stop being desperately dependant on the boyfriend.

2. Reassess your relationship with the boyfriend. Is it really all that great? Does this other guy really have more to offer than he does?

After UOF has done both of these things, and slept on it, she will know exactly what to do.

(a) Breakup and pursue the other guy, or
(b) Get over the crush.

If it's (b), the best way to get over a a crush is to avoid all contact with that person.
Is there such a thing as too much honesty in a relationship? For instance, your significant other enjoys working 13 hour days because he/she likes working/flirting with their co-workers and after work goes to a bar to unwind before heading home. The only reason they go home is to sleep and they only reason they have a home is because it's a place to store clothes and and the only reason you're there is to keep things in order?

I'm not judging anyone but for me, I'd like more out of a relationship. Not just being a live in house keeper.

Is it any wonder many older women divorce men when they've been delegated to 'room mate'. Again, not judging because it could work for some. Not me, though.
My husband of 22 years and I are in love with each other. Our relationship started under "awkward, embarrassing and painful circumstances," as Dan would say. We have romance and great sex AND... we BOTH have crushes. We talk about it openly and joke about it with each other when that's happening for either one of us. It's NORMAL. You're all making a big deal out of nothing. However, if this guy is the love of your life and you can't live without each other, you have some work to do. You have to know the difference; true love worth pain and embarrasment or a crush not worth acting on.
PHM really wants har BF to use the stump on her, but is too afraid to ask.
@75 - The scenario you describe doesn't sound like a case of too much honesty in a relationship, but a case of one person not caring about the relationship at all. There's a huge difference. If you're saying that's how you'd live if you were being completely honest with yourself and your partner, you're probably not in love. Too much honesty isn't the problem there.
@78, I would never stand for that. All
I'm saying is if someone is in a relationship as I described and the 'absent' one's excuse for not being home during most of the waking hours is because they enjoy their work so much because they have work place crushes, then i'd be reevaluating the entire 'relationship'.

But scenarios like do happen and to some it's alright because I'm sure the other peraon is doing the same.

I've heard of couples talk about 'crushes' ie not threats. They say things like I can't believe you're looking at that loser, lol. They treat the crushes ie the persons as a joke not, the crushing ie infatuation as a joke as some have already pointed out. Like, I'd never seriously ever date the 'crush' if I were single. Big difference.

Anyway, the letter writer has a serious infatuation with this friend. That's why she's afraid to tell her boyfriend. She probably doesn't really think he's some random loser
You are right, Dan, it is hard to figure out what the loss of a hand has to do with sex, but he lost a hand. Perhaps for him he felt he needed both hands, and that now he will be inadequate. She needs to make him understand that his hand didn't make him a great lover, it was the whole package. So perhaps during the blowjob, she can take his other hand, or his foot, his nose whatever and place it where she enjoys it... little by little letting him know how much she is enjoying it.
@ 16:

Fuck all these other comments, I LMFAO at "WHERE IS JA??"

Funniest fucking thing ever.
@79: I think you've hit the nail on the head with the "crushes not threats." And I think you've also exposed the rather huge gap between people who can control their emotions and people whose emotions control them.

No crush I have, no matter how strong, will ever be a threat to my girlfriend. Because *I* decide what I do or don't do, not some chemical state triggered by my biology. *I* am in love with my girlfriend, not my body chemistry, and no set of hormonal cues will ever convince me to deliberately hurt her. And my girlfriend knows that-- she's the same way-- and that's why she doesn't give a shit about my crushes.

But there are people who subscribe to the "magical emotion" bullshit, that if you feel something it must mean something, and thus give themselves free license to casually ignore the well-being of everyone else in their lives. And for those people-- people who lack self-restraint and who assume everyone else is equally crippled-- crushes are the scariest thing to a relationship.
@73 Oh, trust me, I can contain myself enough not to act on it. And as @5 pointed out, I'm not a child anymore. But I dunno, it's been like a year now, and he's totally unavailable (newlywed and my boss and a neighbor), and it was fun at first, but now it's just getting old. I guess I just don't like wanting things I can't have -- I'm not much of a window shopper/wishbooker either. It was easier when I was still married, but now that I'm split and getting back out there, it's like everybody else doesn't measure up - If that makes sense. Plus, it sounds like UOF would be a lot happier if she could get over her crush too. And not to mention that housewife from last week... wow. Everybody says "It's normal" (and I totally agree, you're always going to be attracted to the type of people you're attracted to), and they say "just get over it" but nobody ever seems to have any good tips on *how*.
Dear UOF:

Having the crush doesn't make your significant a jerk. Acting on said crush does.

"Case closed, suitcase filled with clothes." ©Christopher Wallace
Your response to Please Help Me was correct, but incomplete. As Dr. Ruth once told a young man on a radio call-in program, you have to tell your partner what you want, and if you can't say the words, then reach out and put his hand - or his face - where you want it.
I hate screen names, you're the one in the open relationship? If it works for you and you're not hurting anyone, I'm not one to judge you. But if you don't subscribe to the magical emotion bullshit, how do you humanize the other persons in your life? Do you assure your girlfriend the other women in your life are nothing except to fornicate with? If you love her, why do you do it? I mean date others beside your significant other? Do you love her because she allows you to treat other women so poorly? It kind of makes sense. I do know some guys that will disrespect other women in front of their girlfriend/wives but all the while, they'll be either desiring to sleep with the other women or actually be sleeping with them.

I could never subscribe to that lifestyle. Well, anyhow, hope you protect yourself because that is very risky to you and your girlfriend.
What I meant by protect yourself is use condoms...
Haha. Dan always feels like he has to trash guest columnists. I thought Grant gave some good advice and even had some Savage-style humour. Don't worry Dan, we'd never leave you!
@Wannabe Catholice...

"I'm not one to judge you," just let me judge you. (Do you even know what it means to judge someone? I'll tell you.... it's exactly what you did.)

You're conflating "love" with "sex," and assuming that sex is a zero-sum game where someone has to give something up. Many of us have respectful, caring casual sex that doesn't dehumanize anyone. And many of us also have loving, committed relationships with more than one person. I'm sorry you don't understand how that happens, but it doesn't make it not true.
Now that Rick Santorum is talking about running for President in 2012, and making anti-gay comments to boot, sounds like it's time to start ramping up your Santorum Webpage again Dan. :)
@88: No, I'm in a sexually monogamous relationship. I have been in open relationships before, though. My girlfriend made it clear early on that being with her means not being with anyone else, and I accepted those terms.

But if you don't subscribe to the magical emotion bullshit, how do you humanize the other persons in your life?

Umm... because I'm a decent human being?

I don't understand what your question is. Are you assuming that being respectful and considerate of others has its origins in emotions? Because I frankly find that worldview disturbing, as it results it only being decent to people you already like.

IMO, the true test of character is how you treat people that you don't like.
This is Grant. :) Writing this column was fun yet much more difficult than I thought it would be. I'm glad it's Dan's job and not mine!

I have to say that I do agree to a point with Dan about sometimes people are just hot, and sometimes you're just attracted to them. That said, I think that people can be a lot MORE hot if your current situation is NOT. But we can agree to disagree.

Oh, and "Drs. Laura and Phil" Dan? Ouch. I mean really, ouch. You couldn't have mentioned, I dunno, someone who's not a complete fucktard?
I was just in a horrible accident where my frontal lobe atrohpied and my balls fell off, now the people writing in to Dan don't seem like smug crybabies anymore.

I think it's not so much that you don't develop crushes when you're in a happy relationship, but that if your relationship is good and healthy YOU DON'T FUCKING WRITE TO AN ADVICE COLUMNIST ABOUT IT. You say to yourself, "Gee, this person is cute/hot/funny/has big tits and I'd love to kiss/touch/fuck/be fucked by him or her, but that would mess up the relationship I have with _______ and I don't want to do that." Maybe you casually mention to your partner that X is kinda cute, maybe you don't. One girlfriend I always told, mostly because she was bi and got a kick out of it as much as I did--plus just talking about it for some reason both got us really hot. But even if you don't share, if the relationship is going well crushes aren't a deep emotional crisis. If it isn't, and the crushes are a crisis, then you NEED to talk to your partner. Not about who you have a crush on, but about whatever it is that makes you feel this way.
i'm with 77 and 82. they need to see that stump as an opportunity to come up with some unusual and hot foreplay.
@35 I think of a crush as somewhere in between. Sort of a -He's such a cool person, every time I see him or talk to him I think about how if I were still single I'd fuck his brains out. And I have so much fun thinking about that, I go home to my husband and fuck his brains out instead. (Not that I'm not focused on my husband at the time, but a crush builds up the appetite beforehand.)

That's what I'd describe as a crush. Much more than just a passing lustful glance at a stranger, but not the head-over-heels let's run away together bs.
I'm actually a better advice columnist than Dan Savage. I also cover parenting and the best ways to avoid it.

Question #23: "My Husband Smelled A Little Differently Yesterday. What Should I Do?"

Question answered at:

The Absentee Daddy Blog

I answer all questions ever.
@59: I think they are cutting him some slack by saying "tell him what you want him to do", rather than "Dump him for being a jerk"... he's not so screwed up by the loss that he's not having sex at all, he's just not making a reasonable effort to make it fun for her, too.
I'm with Dan on UOF's case. I'm bi. I love my gf very much. I get crushes all the time(on guys).
The way it works out is that I tell her then we seduce them. Before you know it, we're both inside of her and everyone's stoked! Try that one out!
@102 - I like your spirit of initiative. Personally, I find that having something large stuffed in my mouth provides the right compromise: loud enough moans that I get my point across, but quiet enough not to wake the neighbors.

@103/104- the fact that some number of us went to see what you were on about doesn't mean we were impressed by what we saw. Stick around and try to stay on topic, and you'll make more friends than by coming over just to spam us.
I have never commented before, but I want to agree with Grant because I have been exactly in UOF's boyfriend's position. My boyfriend moved across the globe to join me while I started an intensive grad program. When he got here, he made zero effort to look for a job, hobby, or his own friends. I did my best to insert him into my social circle so he wouldn't be isolated (and got him a job, which he whined nonstop about). He developed crushes on half a dozen girls in my program, which we would joke about, would flirt at the bar (we had an open relationship, but the rules were no mutual friends and no emotions), and I was totally fine with it.

Then I went away for two months. He partied it up with my friends, and then flew cross country to have an affair with someone I considered my close friend in my program. The sex only lasted a week (as long as he could stay with her), but it was followed by the whole nine yards of an email relationship--lovey dovey emails, and even a marriage proposal to this "friend" and colleague of mine. He claimed it was because he was lonely, she was one of his few friends.

Basically, I did my best to try and help my bf be less isolated, am not in any way a jealous person, had an open relationship, and he AND a good friend turned out to be a CPOS. The worst? He can go home and forget about the whole thing, but I am stuck interacting with this woman for the next 5 years of my life in a fairly close professional and sometimes social setting. Obviously you can't switch doctoral programs like you can jobs, plus I'm not dropping out of the top PhD program in my field because she is a CPOS. If he'd had his own friends and cheated, I could at least not ever have to deal with either one of them again if I didn't want to. So...he didn't shit where he lived, he shat where I lived, and then left.

So...moral of the story? If she decides to cheat on her boyfriend with someone in his grad program, he will have to deal with the ramifications far longer than she will ever have to.
Yes, everybody has crushes. That's true. But when a monogamously identified person has a crush SO strong, that they start to really want to cheat on their partner, then it usually is a sign that they're not that attached to their relationship.

Sometimes, it can mean that they're simply not the monogamous type. But for people who really *like* monogamy, then, if they really care for their partner, they will stay away any crush that is more than a harmless distraction.
We may both have questionable taste in men, but I don't choose to sleep with the fiance of my best friend in the program and assume that no one will ever find out about it. Moreover, she made it clear in her emails to him she valued my friendship far more than her relationship with him. That indicates, at the very least, extremely poor decision making skills and a limited ability to think through the consequences of one's actions. Not to mention a complete fail in friendship skills. But...other than that, yeah, we must be exactly the same.
I am with my boyfriend of 4 years and get crushes sometimes. It's funny though because then if I ever actually spend a significant amount of time with the "crush" I realize I don't really want to be with them. I think it's just fun to think about someone else once in a while. Let yourself have fun, masturbate thinking about them, and don't let yourself feel guilty! Sometimes I find that it rejuvinates my feelings for my bf because I realize nobody is as great as he is! That make sense to anyone else?
This posts and the comments really helped me. I've been crushing on a friend recently, nothing serious I love my bf and he just proposed to his girlfriend but I have always felt that there was something there, we both seemed to put our card on the table the first time we met. I stated that I was in love and not looking for a change, he seemed much less sure than me but was the first to tie the not. The problem is I really enjoy hanging out with him, I miss having a close male friend and we have a lot in common I want to be his friend but I don't want all these other feelings for him. Is their a way to get rid of these feelings some how? Should I stop talking to him? Am I putting unnecessary strain on my relationship by wanting to keep up an unhealthy friendship with him?

Whats worse is this seems to be a common theme for me. I have always been a guys chick but I also tend to crush big time on my male friends (or if I don't they crush on me) in fact my current bf and I were friends for 8 years before we got together. When we were broken up a few months I started to fall hard for my bf best friend, essentially ruining the friendship between all three of us. I just don't know what to do!! I love my bf, I want to get married in the next couple of years and I do not want these feelings,I realize they are normal but I still want them gone, any advise?

Sorry for the ramble, but I needed to get that off my chest :)

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