Magazine article Psychology Today

The Infatuation Trap

Magazine article Psychology Today

The Infatuation Trap

Article excerpt

YOU MEET SOMEONE new and attractive. The eye sees and the mind fixates. Your thoughts keep returning to that person and the possibility of romance or sex.

If you're unattached, such thoughts can be wonderful. Infatuation is a seductive emotional experience. Who knows where it will lead? But if you're in a committed and happy relationship, you may not welcome the distraction of an alluring new face.

Just telling yourself to stop thinking about this person probably won't help. Attempting to suppress a thought, researchers have shown, can easily backfire and lead to more of the same kind of thoughts.

A better strategy is to change the focus ofyour thinking. Psychologist Gian C. Gonzaga and a team of relationship researchers presented subjects in committed relationships with six pictures of attractive people. Choosing the one they thought was the best-looking, the participants wrote about why the person was attractive and imagined the perfect first meeting with that person. …

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