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In a relationship and had an emotional affair with a single man

Community Member

Confused about my 3yr relationship. Live/work together, and just bought together. Things lately have been overwhelming I can see why grass looks greener.
Had a crush on a guy before I got with my current partner. We started chatting during Covid, the butterflies etc I never experienced with my current partner (slow burn). I adore my partner but wasn’t initially attracted- that developed.
Person B works in my industry and set up his own business and I suggested we catch up to discuss ideas. I made it clear that I am in a relationship and seemed disappointed and business chat ended up being a 6 hour coffee. It was everything I wanted in a first date but for the fact I am with someone.
Long story short- after establishing mutual attraction and interest, I realised I crossed an emotional boundary and we agreed to cease contact while I figure out my situation. Separately, there is a lot I struggled with in my current relationship- being colleagues, but also I felt and have felt as though most of the effort to carve out quality time for us as a couple was my job.
I told my family I wanted to leave my partner and they were concerned, telling me he plans to propose. My partner is my best friend. I don’t feel like we have the greatest love story or chemistry sometimes and what has been offered is the glimmer of what it was that I always wanted. I’m in my late thirties so ending things could affect my chances of having a family.
I can’t fault my partner except that I feel like just a partner. Wonder whether Im settling because I’m comfortable/have certainty, and whether the romance I desire is just fantasy and could all wear off and I might find myself with someone who is not compatible although we appear to be.
Seeing the other person affects the emotional connection with my partner, and I find myself not wanting to stop seeing him. I am terrified of losing something great if I don’t break up with my current partner and I don’t know why I feel this.
Person B said he hasn’t felt something for anyone in a long time which made me feel very special. Conversely I don’t always feel like I’m my partners priority. He told me he is committed to working on my concerns re romance etc but I question whether we can change an established pattern.

Is this sudden doubt/strong feelings for someone else reason to end my relationship? Am I settling for safety/security over true love? Or am I fantasising and needing to reinvest in my relationship?

So confused and under pressure!
9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

You're confused, so would most that great your post I'd assume.

That family time limit is a real concern. So if you are to pursue this person B I wouldn't stretch out things. Does he want children?

There is a lot of factor to take into account but essentially if person B wasn't around would it be ok to continue with your current partner?. It comes down to a personal opinion. My opinion is, if your need is more natural romance and more affection then you aren't compatible in those areas. Not much good asking him to improve in those areas either as extra effort will be unnatural.

If you take that course and leave your partner it would then be on the basis of incompatibility not due to person B. By the time you seperate person B might not be available?? If not you'd still be doing what your heart is telling you to do.

All the best.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear GeniePea,

It sounds like you're caught between two options and you've managed to reason them out in a way that makes both seem attractive in some way.

I've personally felt that in every long relationship, that spontaneous romance will reduce over the years, so there's no guarantee that a relationship with person B will go well in the long term as well. Even in a relationship with a lot of romance, once you have children, it'll probably stop or reduce drastically as well since you'll be busy looking after the needs of your child (again, probably will be the case if you start a family with person B).

With regards to your current partner, my question to you would be whether you cannot see a future with him, or are you simply drawn to the fresh romance that person B offers? It's worth taking some time to ponder that.

If the former (that is, if your current partner and you are incompatible and you cannot see yourself having a future and family with him), then you probably should reconsider if you want to stay with him. If the latter, then perhaps you should work on the romance issues that you have. One suggestion would be to initiate the romance you want since you know best what you're seeking, rather than to ask him to do it. It's definitely possible to change your established patterns, but both of you need to be committed to making that change.


Hi TonyWK- thanks for the help. I’ll take whatever I can get right now!
Person B said that he could see things with us progressing very quickly- I can too. He does want kids and a family and is aware of my biological clock. The issue is that who knows if he’s saying that in the heat of the moment and may have a change of heart.

If person B wasn’t around I don’t think I’d be in this pickle at all- I’ve always fantasised about a more romantic relationship but my partner is affectionate- just not romantic. He’s a functional man- without being told to do something he wouldn’t. but he’s a terrific human and we get along well.

Person B offers the physical attraction and appears to have qualities my partner doesn’t which I really like. I am concerned that because I always had a crush on him I’m not thinking as rationally as I would if any other man came onto the scene.

I almost feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I may never know an amazing love without seeing where the new relationship could go but equally I may also lose the greatest love based mainly on friendship/loyalty/trust etc

i don’t know if I’m second guessing myself now or if the fundamental concerns are now revealing themselves...

Community Member

Hi M,

Thanks so much for your reply-

Very true re my options. thanks for the feedback which is really important to hear. Feeling like I missed out on the initial romance and dating a regular relationship commences with is something I still think about and am probably chasing without acknowledging the foundation I have with my partner.
I do see a future with him however it’s not as exciting as one where I feel more physically drawn to my partner but again, that may fade.

Also his family are overseas and that will pose a challenge as we navigate that. Person B's family are in Australia which makes everything seem too good to be true and a less stressful option.

I have definitely initiated the romance in the past with my current partner but ended up not making the effort as he never reciprocated. While he acknowledges he can do better and will certainly try, I worry that it’s all words and because we’ve bought a place together that He’s saying these things because he can see Im having doubts and second thoughts.

its very stressful and I’m just worried that I’ll make the wrong decision and regret it for the rest of my life.


Based on your replies to Emmen and I, I think the comment most apt was that once you have kids romance needs wane.

Yes, you'll feel the sadness of not being fulfilled in a romantic manner but every relationship has it's deficiencies.


Hello GeniePea, thanks for your comment.

Happiness, love, affection and security are what we all strive for in life, unfortunately, there are times when it's interrupted or put on hold only caused by unexpected situations that out of the blue just happen.

My great concern is that this chap at the gym and holds a physique maybe distracting your thoughts because you don't know what he'll be like if you join him in 6 months time, where it could be completely different from what he initially has said.

He seems to be your match at the moment, however, in the past, I've seen many guys move from one person onto another leaving the person devastated, so greater problems begin, so please I'm not here to try and break this feeling.

The reason why you and your partner are together maybe because of similar circumstances and perhaps now it needs some work to revitalise it, please be careful.


Community Member

Thanks Geoff- I think that is right. He is willing to work at “us” which is all anyone can ask for.
You are right re the other gent- who I know nothing about besides what he’s wanted to tell me I suppose.

really appreciate your input 🙂

Dear GeniePea,

Geoff makes a very good point. A willingness to work at keeping your relationship intact bodes well for the future, both for your relationship and for your future family. I wonder if your partner doesn't fully understand what you want with romance, which is why you feel he isn't trying? Perhaps telling him directly would be useful. For instance, you could say, "I wish you could surprise me with flowers or dinner sometimes when I'm not expecting it. It makes me feel like the romance is alive." or "I love that we used to do _(something romantic)___ before. Could we start doing that again? It'd make us feel like our romance is still alive."

You mentioned your partner's family being overseas poses a challenge. I'm in such a relationship too (except that it's my family that's overseas). We haven't faced any challenges so far, but if you would like to share any concerns regarding that situation, I'll be happy to hear you out.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Lots of great ideas.

I think its important to mention the changes we all go through over the decades in relationships.

Some take only a few years to ditch the romance and go into cruise mode, expecting their lady to not want the flowers and chocolates. Others like myself, never stop giving them and holding hands is a sweet thing I've never stopped doing and I'm 64yo.

These romantic gestures can be put down to part of our nature and that's why if you mention it too much he'll do them out of obligation and thats fake. The debate would be- if it isnt natural then how can he introduce it genuinely? I dont think he can. If thats the case what is the solution?

I believe your best course is to accept -

  • Romance for him doesnt come natural
  • That once you have children romance is even further from your minds
  • That you can focus on his good points eg devotion, not a heavy drinker, considerate etc
  • That subtle hints like a romantic movie comes on and during the romantic scenes you snuggle up to him and mention- "oh look he's giving her flowers, what a wonderful guy, all girls love that".
  • Have a little mention to a girlfriend so she can tell your man to actually make an effort- IN HIS OWN WAY
  • Accept that nearly all people have fantasies of other people as to how that stranger/acquiantance would be as a partner. Then once you've messed up your life you then have lots of regrets.

Worth noting that every partner I've had (quite a few) have been slim good looking ladies until my current wife of 9 years, she is like me, overweight. However, I adore her laugh, sense of humour, commitment, kindness, love of animals, interested in what I'm interested in eg vintage cars, her work ethic and so on... and yes I love her body also because that's her, thats my lady etc. But I also accept her anger can be hard to swallow, her distraction when I'm talking gets me frustrated and her love of Doc Martin is a time I just have to do my hobby lol....

To be more blunt, lack of romance isnt a reason that justifies separation. Just my change of view since reading others concepts.