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Tell Your Partner Who Else You Are Attracted To

    No matter how much you may love your partner, it's only natural to still notice other people you find attractive. Whether it's an innocent glance or a full on stare, you'll still look at others and let your thoughts wander. On the other hand, if you catch your partner committing such an act, it is only natural to assume the worst instead of figuring that its simply an innocent check-out. Dr. Jenn offers her advice on how couples should handle this issue in which the answer is not deterrence, but acceptance.

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    “You know, I thought that the person who waited on us at the restaurant last night was hot and I noticed I was attracted to them.”

    How would you feel if your significant other said this to you? Would you feel insecure about yourself and freak out with jealousy? That is the likely response for many people.

    We generally believe that it is not appropriate to talk with our current partner about how attracted we are to someone else. We learn that jealousy is the appropriate and justified response, since we have the romantic notion that our partner should never notice anyone else. If they do, our insecurities kick in, and we assume it means that we are not lovable enough, special enough, or good enough, and our partner might leave us. While this interpretation seems to be natural, it is not the only interpretation available.

    It is natural to notice people you perceive as attractive, whether you are in a committed relationship or not. Pretending that it doesn’t happen does not make those thoughts go away. I think it is important to keep the doors of communication open around topics like this. Otherwise, when natural occurrences like this become shameful or judged, they can become more powerful. What we resist, persists.

    I am not suggesting that you should share every libidinous thought with your partner. It could be difficult and downright overwhelming to hear continual commentary about who arouses your partner. I think that tact is important in building comfort in sharing around potentially sensitive topics. It is also important to learn that when your partner finds someone else attractive, it is not a reflection on you.

    Why am I even recommending this at all? Because I believe people would be less likely to cheat if they established a foundation of openness and trust in the beginning of their relationship by sharing such topics. When we admit that we feel attraction to others, share this with our partner, and then choose to remain committed in our partnership, it creates a bond of trust and honesty that can bring couples emotionally closer in the long run.

    Cross posted with permission from Dr. Jenn's Den.

    Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, is a sociologist, sexuality speaker, and sex therapist, with a passion for challenging people to sexually think outside the box.

    Dr. Jenn is a public speaker on topics including healthy relationships, love, gender, mindfulness, erotic play, and happiness. She counsels individuals and couples, in person and over Skype, to assist in creating and maintaining open communication and fulfilling intimacy. Dr. Jenn is a contributing writer for Pacific San Diego Magazine and is a sex and relationship expert on Fox 5 news and San Diego Living. Follow her on Twitter at  @DrJennsDen and Facebook.
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