Q: Dear Meredith,
I've recently come across your column and enjoy reading your advice and the advice of your readers. I'm a 31-year-old who has been happily married for just over a year (we've been together for five). I love my husband very much and he is a great person. My problem is that recently I've become friendly with a guy at my gym. We take classes together pretty often (we've never worked out one-on-one) and we chat here and there through text, only about the gym or work-out related issues. However, I've come to find myself very attracted to him and I think about him on a daily basis. I would never think about leaving my husband -- we have a great life together -- so my question is: Is this a normal crush or is this something that's maybe not as innocent as I think it is? I enjoy having a gym buddy who helps keep me motivated, but at the same time I don't want to ruin what I have with my husband in anyway.
– Crushing on my gym buddy, NH
A: This sounds pretty innocent to me. Crushes are inevitable, and they often happen at the gym. The gym is where we feel good about ourselves and where our endorphins run high. The gym is where we wear tight clothing and bend over and show off our muscles. It makes sense that when we work out, we think about other people's bodies. (I have at least four fake gym boyfriends. I've never spoken to any of them.)
My advice is to maybe lay off the texts and be careful about tone and content. These crushes get weird when we start to create a narrative about the person. Your gym guy needs to remain two-dimensional -- no need to talk about anything but fitness. And I'd think about what's going on at home. It sounds like you and your husband could use some romance and a break from the routine. Maybe take a hike with him so that you can enjoy some of those endorphins with the right guy. Really, if things are good at home, you should be able to keep gym guy in perspective.
Readers? Should she stop working out with this guy? Should she stop texting? Is this innocent or something to worry about? What are the boundaries here? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.