In a Relationship But Sexually Attracted to Someone Else: Why It Happens

You might wonder if it’s normal to be sexually attracted to someone else while you’re in a relationship. And is it cheating? Here are the answers.

sexually attracted to someone else

Does getting sexually attracted to someone else mean you’re about to cheat, or that you’ve already cheated in your head? Do you believe it’s possible to be attracted to more than one person at a time?

Everyone does. Many girls are all about Johnny Depp but wouldn’t say ‘no’ to Ryan Reynolds, so that proves it’s possible!

In reality, however, what would you do if you were in a relationship with someone and then you suddenly started to feel sexually attracted to someone else? Would you panic? Would you act on the attraction? Or, would you feel guilty and worry that you were cheating in your own head?

Thankfully, the truth behind the entire subject is rather less worrisome than you might think. 

[Read: How to handle a crush when you’re in a relationship with someone]

Reasons people are sexually attracted to someone else other than their partner

The reasons that people are attracted to someone else are pretty basic and simple, actually. You just need to figure out what your reasons are.

1. Hormones and chemistry

All people put out pheromones, which are little chemical hormones that other people pick up on that cause sexual attraction.

Some people we feel no attraction for – even if they are objectively attractive people. And others we feel drawn to even if they’re not objectively attractive. You can blame the pheromones for that.

2. Personality

Sometimes two people’s personalities mesh so well that it causes a sexual attraction between them. When you can laugh and confide in someone, it creates an emotional bond.

And sometimes, that can lead to more than just a mental connection – it can transform into a physical one too. [Read: 13 lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep your eye on]

3. They are missing something in their relationship

When you’re sexually attracted to someone else while you’re in a relationship, that might mean that you are missing something from your partner.

The other person might give you the things you are not getting from them. That might not be true, but for some couples, it is.

Why is it normal to be sexually attracted to someone else?

The basic answer? Because you’re human!

It’s completely possible to be sexually attracted to several people. There is some debate about whether it’s possible to love more than one person at any one time. But in terms of being sexually attracted to more than one, totally possible and actually very common. [Read: 20 signs a coworker is sexually attracted to you and wants to seduce you]

It’s just not normal to only ever feel sexual attraction for one person for the rest of your life. It’s not possible!

It doesn’t mean that you’re cheating on your partner if you happen to look at someone else briefly and think “oooh!” You’re acting on your physical desires here, not your emotional ones.

Sexual attraction is situational

The situation can become complicated if you’re at work and you feel sexually attracted to someone else who works there. That means you’re going to have to spend a considerable amount of time around them.

In that case, you need to try and find a way to quash your sexual attraction or simply keep a lid on it. [Read: 15 signs to recognize sexual tension and work and ways to break it for good]

Of course, you have a choice over what to do if you feel all hot under the collar whenever you see or think about a particular person.

Sure, it’s normal to feel sexually attracted to someone else, but it’s not normal or fair to act upon that attraction by initiating extra contact with that person or actually going through with having sex with them. In that case, yes, you’re cheating and yes, you’re out of order.

If you dream of the other person when you’re in bed with your partner, picturing their face instead of the person you’re supposed to be with, you might have a problem and you need to get to the bottom of why you feel this way.

However, if you simply have the stirrings of lust whenever you look at a specific person, as long as you keep it in your head and don’t allow it to overwhelm you, it’s all good. [Read: What does sexual attraction feel like? How to know exactly!]

Why do we feel sexual attraction towards others if we’re in love with someone?

Because love and sexual attraction are two totally different things.

You can feel love and lust for the same person, and you can also feel lust towards another person, be it a celebrity or someone you see at the coffee shop on the way to work every morning. It’s chemicals, it’s biological, it’s not emotional.

Of course, there are a few other deeper reasons why you might be sexually attracted to someone else, or maybe even more than one person. [Read: The science of attraction and 17 aspects that go way beyond appearance]

The most common one is that if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, it’s normal for your sex life to become a little less exciting than it used to be. It takes effort to keep things hot in the bedroom, and life often gets in the way. 

If this goes on for a longer period of time, it can lead you towards dreaming about the things you wish you could do with your partner and maybe even starting to feel like you’re lacking something. In that case, being sexually attracted to someone else can be extremely easy.

However, you have to appreciate in this case that you might not be feeling attraction towards the person, you’re probably just longing for the excitement and thrill you get when you meet someone and start a new sexual adventure. [Read: 20 subconscious signs of attraction that show up between two people]

What should you do? Pile this new attraction into your current relationship and look for ways to spice up your love life! The chances are that by doing this, the sexual attraction you feel for the other person will dissipate because you’re fulfilled at home.

How to avoid your attraction your boiling over

If you’re in a happy and committed relationship, or even if you’re in a relationship that simply needs a little work, it’s vital that you keep things under control.

Sure, it’s normal to feel sexually attracted to someone else, either innocently or otherwise, but it’s not normal or even acceptable to do something about that attraction.

There is another person involved in this situation, one who is completely oblivious to what is going on and completely blame-free. By acting on your attraction, you’re hurting someone else, and that’s never cool. [Read: Micro-cheating – What it is and signs you’re unintentionally doing it]

Instead, it’s better to examine in your own mind why you might be feeling this way. If it’s a harmless little bit of attraction simply because someone you see at the bus stop is super-hot, that’s fine, let it go or simply enjoy the fantasy in your head for a while until it disappears.

Assess your current relationship

If you feel that you’re experiencing this attraction because your current relationship has become a little stale, dedicate time and attention to spicing things up and making things right.

The chances are that you’ll start a new and rather hot chapter in your relationship but if it doesn’t work, it will give you the signs you need to think about where to go from here. [Read: 18 signs of indifference in a relationship that predict a real drift]

Of course, perhaps you should simply be open to accepting that being sexually attracted to someone else is part and parcel of being human.

You shouldn’t beat yourself up for feeling the stirrings of passion towards someone you see occasionally and who simply does something for you. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it.

It’s also important, although slightly more painful, to accept that your partner might also find themselves feeling this way about other people occasionally too.

It’s a normal human trait to feel this way from time to time, but if both of you can focus on your relationship and see everything else as fleeting, you have a great chance of your relationship not only working but growing as a result. [Read: 20 sexual problems in a relationship you can easily avoid]

Reflect on why you feel this

Use this as a catalyst toward better things in your current relationship and don’t get too hung up on why you feel the way you do. However, if you think that your actions are starting to veer out of control, ask yourself one very important question – how would you feel if your partner was doing the same thing?

If you’d be fine with it, carry on; however, if you’d be upset or angry, it’s time to stop and question why you’re doing the things you’re doing. [Read: What it means when you think of someone other than your partner]

The reassuring thing is that most sexual attractions of this kind tend to fizzle out after a while. So, you should feel better knowing that it won’t last forever.

Either you right things in your relationship and you’re not lacking anymore, or you see a side of the person you’ve been attracted to that you don’t like *maybe you catch them picking their nose and the attraction is totally over for you*, but either way, you’re likely to look back and wonder what all the fuss was about at some stage.

How to handle being sexually attracted to someone else

As we said, it’s normal to have crushes on other people when you’re in a relationship. But you don’t want to lose your partner. So, it’s important to figure out how to handle and manage your feelings for the other person. [Read: Mutual sexual tension – 44 signs, causes, and secrets to get more horny]

There’s not a magic formula for this. It depends on what works for you as an individual.

Some couples have open and honest communication about who they have crushes on. But others don’t because they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. So, it’s okay to either keep your mouth shut or tell your partner.

a. What to do if you talk about it

If you decide to talk to your partner about being sexually attracted to someone else, it might help your partner see the other person as less of a threat.

The reason for this is because they will think that because you’re not hiding it, then it must not be a big deal to you.

Just talk about the crush as openly and in as much detail as you feel comfortable doing. Hopefully, your partner knows that human attraction is natural, and they will recognize that you think it’s better to be open and honest with them about your feelings.

That way, you can fend off feelings of jealousy by building reassurance and trust. [Read: Having a crush while in a relationship – Why it’s okay and what you need to know]

b. What to do if you keep it to yourself

On the other hand, you might not want to talk about being sexually attracted to someone else. You might think it’s pointless because your crush is meaningless.

So, keeping it to yourself can be healthy goo. Some people would rather not know that their partner is hot for another person.

If being sexually attracted to someone else doesn’t really threaten your current relationship, then you might not want to worry about your partner. So, maybe you should try to ignore your crush.

Try to put the thoughts out of your head and distance yourself from your crush as much as you can. [Read: The 25 surprising secrets we keep from our partners]

Keep on fantasizing

If you can’t get the crush out of your head but you don’t want to tell your partner, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with fantasizing. This is what works for a lot of people.

Some even admit that they think about this person when they masturbate or while they’re having sex. While your partner might not like to know that, at least they can’t read your mind! [Read: Are you *should you be* worried about your cheating fantasy?]

Being sexually attracted to someone else is normal, and inevitable

If you assume that you or your partner will never be sexually attracted to someone else, then you are fooling yourself.​

Being “blind” to other people’s attractiveness is unreasonable and virtually impossible.

So, just remember that it’s natural for both of you to feel drawn to other people from time to time. Just don’t forget why you chose your partner, and trust that they will do the same.

[Read: 17 things you shouldn’t do on Instagram when you have a partner!]

Being sexually attracted to someone else is far more common than you might think and most of the time, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s normal to be sexually attracted to more than one person, but there is a difference between simply experiencing the attraction and acting upon it!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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