Partner experiencing intense feelings for someone else.
Hi, I'm new here, and hoping I can tap into some collective experience here, as my partner and I are quite new to this.
I'm a 35 yr old male - girlfriend (26 yrs) and I have been together for 2 years. We have a solid foundation, and only decided to explore the open-relationship angle relatively recently.
It started when she met a guy at a regular event she goes to, and confessed to me that she had a bit of a crush on him. I encouraged her to pursue it further, and she did. The third party agreed to this, knowing the deal (my girlfriend and I are primary partners and he would be a casual dating thing).
The sex wasn't that great, so after a few weeks she decided that she probably shouldn't keep engaging him sexually. However, he soon after confessed to her that he really had deep feelings for her, and didn't want to have sex with her unless she committed to him and him alone (she hadn't yet told him that she probably was going to end the sexual element of the relationship).
This sparked an intense bonding situation between the two of them, and since then, she has been seeing him regularly (cooking together, watching movies, and occasionally kissing but nothing more).
On our end, we have been having some issues (I need to work on being more romantic and less controlling). We both agree that these are valid issues and want to work on them.
However, our concern (and we have discussed this openly) is that her romantic attraction towards him will prevent us from giving it a genuine chance. Right now she is torn between deciding between the both of us. Keep in mind she has not had sex with him at all for a few months. I feel that him refusing to have sex with her may be partially driving the intensity of her feelings.
I guess in a nutshell, our question is whether it is possible for her to "get over" her romantic attraction to this other guy, or whether this is a fatal situation (fatal for us, not for them obviously).
Does anyone have any experience or advice here?
My instincts are that if we really want to give this a shot, she needs to stop seeing him, but we both agreed that we need to seek advice elsewhere as this is uncharted territory for the both of us.
We will both be checking this thread, so feel free to ask either of us questions, or to lend advice to either of us.