When Someone Else Appears

When Someone Else Appears
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 21 February, 2022

At the most unexpected moment, at work, at a party, dinner with friends, someone comes along who catches our attention. Suddenly, we find ourselves at a crossroads if we’re already with someone and we feel an attraction to someone we are just starting to get to know.

We do not control who we fall in love with or who attracts us. We could be with someone for decades and all of a sudden someone else appears. Someone different who makes us tick and feel excited again.

We get nervous, our palms get sweaty, we stammer, we stumble and our heart beats faster.

“Love holds two greatest adversities of opposite sign: loving the one who does not love us and being loved by one we cannot love.”

-Alejandro Dolina-

couple sunset

What do the studies say?

A study by researchers from US universities (Columbia University, Indiana University, University of Kentucky-Lexington), investigated 160 women married between 19 and 56 years or those who have been in relationships more than three years. 70% said they had been attracted to another person who was not their partner at some point.

Most women (70%) experienced the attraction in the work environment, which is not surprising since it has been proven that the more time we spend with someone, the more attracted we become to them. A study published in Psychological Science, entitled “Leveling The Playing Field” concluded that attraction often increases over time.

But the fact of being attracted to someone else when we are with a partner does not necessarily mean the end of a marriage or a relationship. Usually this kind of situation helps us see the problems within our relationship and may help us appreciate our partner more.

The causes of our attraction to another person

The question is: Why do we get attracted to another person when we have a partner? Here are some reasons:

Attraction to novelty

When we are in a relationship for a long time and have lived with a person, the novelty wears off. We enter the routine of everyday life and over time we stop feeling the attraction we felt in the beginning and the element surprise diminishes.

In addition, over time and once the idealization of our partner has passed, we realize their flaws with their virtues, that we have different tastes and concerns, that our desires are opposed, and sometimes it generates discrepancies  and also boredom by the monotony.

However, we see the other person that we have met and they attract us as someone fresh, new, different, engaging, interesting, and motivating.

Confusing attraction with love

The monotony of our relationship can lead us to look for other things outside the relationship, but you need to be very careful and not think that this is love, when in fact it is simply attraction we have before us.

We should not confuse an attraction with love, because love is much more, it’s desire, it’s friendship, it’s being concerned about the other, feeling what the other feels and respect.

When we feel attracted to someone new, we pass through the phase of falling in love, we fantasize about their qualities and do not see their flaws. We do not know how that person really is, how it would be living with them. It could also be that we’re confusing attraction with love.

The negative aspects of our partner

During a crisis with our partner in which we have met someone new, we will see all possible defects of our partners. A ll those traits that seemed lovely, now seem odious to us, we may think he or she is a boring person, unbearable etc. Anything negative will be magnified.

couple with their backs to each other distance

What to do when someone else appears?

We are attracted to another person, we see all the defects of our partner, we need a change, we know it and ask ourselves: What do I do?

  1.  Analyze well how you feel about the new person who has come into your life. You may feel passion, friendship, love, the need for something new.
  2. Examine in detail what you feel for your partner. It’s possible that there may be something that’s not working and that it’s time to talk about it. Communication is essential between partners, and what we stay quiet about often hurts us. Although at the time of meeting a new person you only see the negative of your partner, an effort to see the positive is necessary to remember why we liked that person and what attracted us to him or her.
  3. Take time to think. Maybe you need some time alone, to think, to get to know yourself and make peace with yourself. Loneliness is a good counselor.
  4. Talk to your partner. Say what’s bothering you, you need it to change and share your emotions.

And above all: Be happy!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.