The new guy at office – what a catch! He’s dashing, funny and oh-so considerate. Oddly drawn to this new colleague, you find yourself passing by his desk more often, exchanging “hilarious” email forwards, wearing lip gloss for the first time in years and trading your standard work pants and cardigan for flirty summer dresses.

If you are single, all of these things could indicate the beginning of a fun, flirty relationship. But you’re not single, you’ve got a loving committed lover and you want to keep it that way – the big question is how?

Here are five expert tips for ensuring that a harmless crush remains that way and doesn’t threaten your commitment to your partner.

1. Remember you are human & it’s natural: Though you may consider you’re the most awful wife/girlfriend in the world for even thinking that someone else is funnier, cuter or sexier than your undisputed one true love, the truth is that you’re not evil, you’re just human. In fact, you’ve only succumbed to the same natural event as millions of other good, decent men and women.

“Developing a crush on someone other than your long term partner is normal”

Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you should suddenly stop noticing beautiful people. Crushes on bosses, coworkers, cute coffee shop attendees, waitresses, neighbours and anyone else you come into contact with on a regular basis is bound to happen, and that’s OK.”

2. Show control: Now that we’ve established your fragile human nature, let’s get one thing clear: Fantasies are fine and so are butterflies in your stomach when you’re in the presence of your secret crush. It’s how you behave in the face of temptation that reveal your character.

“Butterflies in our stomach that dance and flutter when they enter the room isn’t something that can really be controlled. What can be controlled are your actions,” 

“If you are hanging out regularly on coffee dates with your coworker crush because you just want to spend time with them for example, then you are beginning to cross that line between a normal crush from after, to a greasy slope of emotional or physical infidelity.”

It is advisable to cast a net over those butterflies. Let them flutter and fly internally until they die a natural death. Remember butterflies, both real and symbolic, have a short lifespan.

3. Take some time to dig in yourself: fanatical thoughts are the hallmark of an intense crush, but instead of fixating on the object of your desire, change tacks.

Instead, consider all of those feelings as an opportunity to reflect on where you’re at emotionally and psychologically.

fanatical thinking is a “red flag”. “It indicates it’s time to reflect on our current, committed relationship and what may be going on there (or not going on) that is causing us to be turning away from that by someone else.”

For example, a crush may reveal that you’re not having as much fun with your partner as you used to and have fallen into bad habits. Additionally, it may indicate that you’ve allowed too much emotional distance to crop up between you and your partner. If that’s the case then there’s a way out. Spend less time thinking about that dashing guy at work and spend more quality time with your partner and make sure it’s time spent laughing, talking, and confiding in one another.

4. Accept if you’re feeling alone: Keep your crush to yourself, but if you’re feeling alone or undesirable or just missing some affection from your significant other, that’s information your partner should know.

“It isn’t necessary for your partner to know about the substance of your fantasies, nor that you are even having them, but rather to be engaged in a discussion with them about what you are needing or missing in the relationship and how you can get it from them, in order that the two of you feel closer again,” 

5. Do not forget that you’ve spend time a lot together:  — and that should be cherished
Research into the science of commitment suggests that couples that grow together, stay together. Complacency is the enemy of development, so keep the love alive by continually experiencing new places, ideas and experiences with your partner. Don’t shut down or shut him or her out when you’re feeling isolated and confused, rather for the health of your union, draw your beloved closer and decide to take on the world – with all of its temptations, joys, sorrows and struggles – together.