Updated: Apr 11
Dear Doc Rock,
I have been in a relationship for years and I'm about to get married to the absolute love of my life.
We have an amazing relationship, never fight, never cheated & it feels so safe in the best way possible. Lately, I've been feeling some type of way about this other guy. I've never talked to him, I just see him at the gym. I know it sounds so dumb, but I can't stop thinking about him.
I'm so drawn to this guy and I have NO IDEA why. I feel like when I think about him, I'm manifesting his life. For example, I saw him leave the gym one day in this little car and I thought to myself, ’Wow if he had a truck, game over,’ because big bearded, burley, men in big trucks...idk it's just a good thing to see. The next week this man rolls up in a huge truck.....are you kidding me?
I feel like I'm going a little crazy because I know he'll be there every morning & it kinda gets me out of bed to play this stupid little game in my head. Like I start sweating and my heart starts racing...kinda like excitement knowing I shouldn't be thinking about the things that I'm thinking. I think he's older than me too which has never interested me, but it is now for some reason.
I can't tell if I'm thinking these thoughts because I'm getting married or what, but this has never happened to me to this extent where I'm straight up fanaticizing. I mean, this happened to me when I was dating because I felt like I could connect with multiple people at one time and I always sensed connections that 100% always ended up happening. Almost like feeling immediate, electric, chemistry.
Please tell me this is normal to feel that attracted to someone other than your SO or if I should just stop going to the gym altogether to avoid these crazy thoughts.
Confused, Yet Committed
First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share this with me. I can clearly sense you are deeply conflicted with all of your current feelings so I hope this will help you in some way. I feel the appreciation you have for your significant other and I also get the sense you may feel “stifled”.
I will be direct with you. You and I both know the feelings you are experiencing related to the man at the gym are not appropriate. You admit this when you wrote “I shouldn’t be thinking about the things that I’m thinking”.
I further inferred you already knew this by you taking the time to ask for an opinion on your situation. I applaud you for having the respect for your seemingly fulfilling relationship and your future husband by taking the steps to resolve these confusing feelings, and I trust you will go beyond this post in honoring your relationship by speaking with him about them - as tough as it may be. A vulnerable, but honest, conversation after you have worked through these thoughts can ensure every one is on the same page and feelings are shared by both.
I’ll admit, your post is not easily answered without some questions I have being answered. So please understand my response is objective, curious, and intuitive. With that, I’d like to talk about a couple points you brought up.
1) You mention this excitement related to bonding with other people is something you’ve experienced before when you were dating.
I could feel you getting excited even while typing this. What aspects of connecting excite you the most? Do you miss connecting with people in general? If so, what prevents you from forming new, fulfilling and platonic relationships with other people (both female and male - I cannot infer your gender by this post!)? I am not entirely convinced your feelings are directly tied to this man at the gym, specifically. I feel as though maybe you are just not getting the emotional attention and stimulation you might need. I’d like you to think about this a little more.
2) I did not feel particularly comfortable with you being willing to sacrifice your gym/wellness time to avoid these feelings.
If you are going to the gym daily, I get the sense you really appreciate this time and are committed to your physical fitness. However, what this does tell me is a couple things: You’re willing to stop doing something you love for your future husband and you also are hesitant to face these feelings head-on so sacrificing your regular gym routine feels like a viable option. I think you know not going to the gym is not a sustainable option. Not only does exercise improve your overall mental health, the dissatisfaction with not going to the gym would likely weigh heavier on you over time. These feelings could lead to unhappiness, disappointment in yourself for not managing this situation differently, or maybe even misplaced resentment toward your significant other.
I know you probably wrote this with the hope I would tell you what to do. However, you and I are separate people with different minds and life experiences so my ”right” answer may differ from the “right” answer for you. What I do hope you‘ve gotten from this is a starting point for yourself to begin a deeper exploration of your feelings, your relationship, and what you need in in your life right now. You may not achieve clarity immediately, but I encourage you to press on - you can do this!