Every year without fail, when Strictly Come Dancing returns, there’s talk of the ‘Strictly curse’ – the notion that even the strongest relationships might fall apart when a celeb gets up close and personal with a pro dancer week in, week out.
The latest contestant to spark those rumours? Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty who sent fans into a frenzy when he looked to be about to go in for a kiss with partner Katya Jones at the end of their Argentine tango.
Peaty, who has a son with girlfriend Eirianedd Munro, appeared to respond on Twitter sharing a clip of the dance and writing: “To everyone who wants to see what they want, your comments have real life consequences. I will not be overcome or lowered by your gossip.”
Clearly the 26-year-old wants to make it known there’s nothing untoward going on, but what if you do find yourself attracted to someone else when you’re in a relationship?
“It’s not the attractiveness that’s the issue – it’s how somebody chooses to respond to finding somebody else attractive,” says Kim Rutherford, psychotherapist and author of 8 Wise Ways.
These are some steps to consider if you find you’ve got a crush on someone who isn’t your partner…
Reflect on your relationship
“Normally when you have a crush on someone, you’re seeing something in them that probably isn’t being experienced in your relationship now,” says Relationship coach Yasmin Ibrahim. “It doesn’t mean it’s never been there, it might be that you’ve got so used to being with your partner for a long time that the excitement is now gone.”
Having the hots for someone else isn’t a sign your relationship is doomed, but the first step is to reflect and see if you can identify the element that may be missing.
Rutherford says to ask yourself: “‘Why am I willing to proceed with this other person when I have this wonderful partner over here?’ It’s about understanding that and then dealing with that issue.”
Remind yourself of what’s at stake
As well as considering what you might want to work on in your relationship, it’s important to think about the consequences of your actions if you did pursue an illicit affair.
“If your relationship ended tomorrow, what would you feel like you’ve lost?” asks Rutherford. “We tend to look at the ‘grass is greener element’ to life, whereas actually [we need to] look at, ‘What would I lose?’ And, ‘Is what I would lose more important to me than what I would gain?'”
“If you are in love and you’re in a secure relationship, then you’ve got to be very clear about where your boundary is,” Ibrahim explains, which is why she suggests limiting your contact with your crush as far as possible.
If it’s someone you work with and you can’t avoid them completely – whether your workplace is a TV dance contest or an office – be aware of how you communicate. Ibrahim says: “That goes for physical encounters and digital communications. Keep it professional. Because once you’ve crossed that line, you can’t undo the behaviour.”
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