It feels like I love two people

I have been with my partner for nearly five years now, and it's been pretty good. However, I've always had some lingering feelings for someone else at the same time. I think about that person at least once a day, and every now and then, it drives me to tears.

This other person and I don't even know that much about each other. But every time I see them, we have this connection (there is a lot of eye contact). They look at me like they know me so well – and like they want me.

This person and I did have a flirtation before I coupled up with my current partner, but they ended it. Now it looks like they might regret it. But I can't just drop my partner, who is my best friend.

But I have long felt regret about not being with this other person. I'm scared to lose my partner because I love them. It feels like I love two people – one person who knows me more than anyone, and another I hardly know. I can't give up the first for the second because what if it doesn't work out? I'm afraid I'll never stop wondering. Is there a way to stop?

– Wondering

Often, when we are fantasizing about people we don't know very well, it is because something is missing in our real relationships. It makes sense to have what-ifs about roads not taken, but if they're overwhelming your brain, you probably need to work on the partnership you have in real life. Have you been bored? Checked out? Less romantic? Less thoughtful? Think about how you can use all of this extra energy to improve what's in front of you.

Also know that it might not be your romantic relationship that needs extra attention. Maybe you're focused on this other person because you're unfulfilled at school or work. Think about the other things you've been longing for in life, and consider that this infatuation might be about something else.

I'll end this by saying that you've made a lot of assumptions about this other person without having any real information. You make it clear that you barely know them, yet ... you're pretty sure they regret rejecting you more than five years ago. You got all of that from ... eye contact? I don't think so.

The next time you see this person stare, assume they're thinking about something great they saw on TV. It's just as likely they're thinking about that.

– Meredith

Readers? What do you make of this infatuation?