I believe that intention is everything. It is inevitable to find some people to be physically attractive, even when in a relationship with a different person.
For example, if any person in a relationship says they think Megan Fox or Zac Efron is physically unattractive, they’re just in denial or simply lying to their partner to protect their feelings. Or they’re asexual, but that’s another topic of conversation.
Attraction still happens even if a person is 100 percent committed to a monogamous relationship with their partner, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, there can be conflict, if a simple and spontaneous attraction turns into a crush that has an intention that is anything less than innocent.
Emotional cheating has become a common term since it has risen in popularity with the help of technology and social media. Infidelity isn’t just defined as having sex with someone other than your partner. But that aspect of it is the easiest way to clearly determine when a line has been crossed.
The same can’t be said about emotional cheating. It can be subjective and often hard to tell when a line has been crossed.
For me, the golden rule of knowing when a line is crossed is if the trust of my partner is broken or in question.
Forms of emotional cheating can include getting unnecessarily happy to talk to another person, talking about things with a person that you don’t talk about with your partner, downplaying the relationship to friends or your partner, or keeping it a secret altogether.
The difference between these activities becoming emotional cheating or just being a simple crush is the intention. I don’t think there should be any problem with having an attraction to someone physically or mentally, as long as there is no intention for the attraction to ever leave the mind of the person experiencing it.
Acknowledging the attraction and deciding to pursue it by spending extra time with the person is very problematic and crosses the line of emotional infidelity pretty quickly.
But, from my perspective as someone in a long-term, long-distance relationship, I personally don’t see anything wrong with my partner being attracted to another person. As long as they wouldn’t ever have any thoughts to act on their attraction outside of the normal parameters of interaction.
My two cents are that if you feel as though you are intentionally acting on something that makes you feel guilty and it’s something that would break your partner’s trust, reevaluate your desire to be in a monogamous relationship.