I'm a late-20s, happily married, young professional. I'm generally pretty shy so I have a small group of friends and keep in touch with only a few people. This weekend, my dear friend – let's call him "Adam" – was in town. Adam and I met in middle school, and he was really my first love. We broke up for good when we were both 16. After about a year, we continued our friendship and have stayed close since. A lot of times it's only phone calls on birthdays, but it's also important life events and sometimes just a little hello.
We had a great night out. Adam finally got to meet my husband and they talked the whole night. I was so happy to see him. The next morning, though, I started to feel bad because all of these weird feelings happened. Like, "I miss him" feelings. "I miss being his significant other" feelings. Obviously, I want to shake this as soon as possible. Is this just because there is so much history that my brain is reliving the good times? I'm so ashamed.
– Crushing on an ex
"Is this just because there is so much history that my brain is reliving the good times?"
Sure. Or maybe it's because you were having real feelings for him in the moment. You found this grownup version of Adam to be attractive, charming, and a bunch of other good things. It wasn't just nostalgia.
The thing is, being happily married doesn't prevent you from having a crush on someone else. It also doesn't delete old feelings of longing or confusion. You can adore your partner and still have new butterflies – or history – with another person. It's annoying, but I'm sure many married people – perhaps in our comments section – will tell you there's no avoiding it.
There shouldn't be much shame attached to these feelings. I mean, I understand why you feel miserable about them, but I'm telling you that you're human and that this happens. The important thing to consider is what you're going to do about all of this – which should be nothing, or at least nothing new (birthday wishes can continue). Because the crush will pass. You will shake it. The best way to make that happen is to pay attention to the person in front of you.
Readers – can you talk about how to get over crushes like this? Also: this is a survey about Love Letters to take, if you can spare a minute.