Happily Married Despite Having a Crush

June 14th, 2024

Should the wife with the crush be concerned?

at a gym: a middle aged woman in the foreground and the older man she has a crush on in the background.

Should a happily married woman be concerned if she has a crush on a man other than her husband? See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson says.

Dear Readers:

In advance of my last “Ask Amy” column in this space, which will run on June 30, I’m rerunning some previous Q&As – pulled from my files. This Q&A ran in 2020.

Dear Amy:

I’ve been married for almost 40 years, pretty much happily. My husband and I still enjoy an active sex life. We are comfortable empty-nesters with good lives.

So why do I crush on guys at the gym? I’ve had crushes on two different men I see regularly while working out. My current crush is not a youngster – he is definitely older than my kids (30+) – but I’m so attracted to him.

Honestly, it makes my day when I see him there. We’ve never spoken, but we recognize each other. Seeing him there is exciting.

I know this is silly, but I look forward to going to the gym just in case he’s there. I want to do more than just look, but I know that nothing would ever happen between us.


– Perplexed

Dear Perplexed:

Crushing on, or being attracted to people other than your partner means that you are a human being in the prime of your life – healthy, and presumably feeling good. Your eyes still work, your pheromones are doing their job (his, too!), your workouts are giving you energy, and you are feeling attractive, and attracted.

The clinical term I’ve assigned to this is: The Ryan Gosling Effect.

The trick here is not to leave this at the gym, but to take all of this energy back home to your partner. I hope you will crush on your husband with enthusiasm.

Dear Readers:

I’m delighted to make way for your newest advice-giver: R. Eric Thomas, whose “Asking Eric” column will continue to foster the engaging relationship we’ve shared. Eric is young, smart, and a talented advice-giver — formerly of the Dear Prudence column.

You can help Eric get started by sending your questions to eric@askingeric.com.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a happily married woman with a crush to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2024 by Amy Dickinson

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