I remember being a pre-teen/early teenage girl at slumber parties and we’d all sit around and talk about the boys at school that we had crushes on. Almost like a rite of passage, we each felt compelled to embarrassingly admit our secret crush to the group. Of course there was squealing and giggling at each other’s admissions, and of course when we went back to school on Monday we were all terribly awkward around our crushes now that all the other girls knew about them.
But other than the awkwardness of being around them now, the majority of us didn’t actually do anything about our crushes. Most of us didn’t act on our infatuations, likely for many reasons: fear, embarrassment, uncertainty, inexperience, not having parental permission to date yet, etc.
No matter what the reason, we each had something deep-down – something more significant that the feeling of infatuation – that kept us from doing anything about the feelings we had. Just because we had a crush on a guy it didn’t mean that we had to pursue any kind of relationship with them.
Now, years later, I have grown up, met a guy, and gotten married.
In the early years of marriage, both of us worked in career environments where we were each surrounded by other young, single, independent, energetic people. We both enjoyed a strong sense of comraderie with our co-workers with interactions that often included joking, playfulness, and even sometimes…flirting.
One day, Kyle came home after having had dinner with on old friend of his, a female, who was in town visiting and he later told me of their conversation. She’d asked him if, being a young married in a place such as L.A., he felt that there was a greater temptation to be unfaithful in marriage.
Kyle thought for a moment and then solidly told her no.
He explained that if you want to be faithful in marriage – that you just do it. You don’t push to see how far you can go before crossing the line. You just remain faithful and don’t put yourself into a position you know you shouldn’t be in.
Though I thought this was a strange thing for an old female friend to be asking him — I was still proud of my new husband’s response and loyalty to me. However, I also wondered if such a response was perhaps a bit simplistic and naive. Would it get harder for us to remain faithful to each other as the years went on?
A few months later, I found myself developing a small crush on a guy who worked at the same after-school care program I did. Just as I’d once felt compelled to divulge my old schoolgirl crushes, I felt embarrassingly compelled to admit this co-worker infatuation to Kyle as well. Thankfully, Kyle trusted me. He knew I’d chosen to remain loyal to him and him only and that just as I hadn’t acted on previous infatuations in life, that I also wouldn’t act on this one.
And I didn’t.
The next summer, I worked at a summer day camp and had a crush on one of the other counselors. The year after that, I got my first job as a high school math teacher, and guess what? I developed a crush on one of the science teachers as well.
But I never acted on any of these crushes. I recognized that there’s a difference between what you feel and what you choose to do. And I chose then – and still choose today – to be faithful to my husband. Despite any temporary infatuation I may feel toward someone else.
I think back to my husband’s response to his female friend years ago. Perhaps it really is that simple. If you want to be faithful to your spouse – no matter what temptations may come up or what crushes you may develop – you remain faithful. You don’t put yourself into compromising positions and you don’t cross your boundary of fidelity with anyone other than your spouse.
I can’t say what the future will bring or what other future crushes I may develop on someone other than my husband. But what I can tell you is that no matter what, I’m committed to being faithful to him. Crushes may come and go, but my marriage –and fidelity – to Kyle is lifelong.