I’m Married, Trapped in My House and Texting My Old High School Crush

texting your high school crush

“I’ve been happily married for four years. Recently, a now-divorced friend/crush from high school moved back to the area. After years of drifting apart, we met for lunch and had the best time talking and have stayed in touch texting ever since—especially now that I’m stuck in my house. Obviously, he knows I am married, but I feel strange. It’s almost like old butterflies are kicking up—latent crush feelings, like when I used to really like him in a romantic way. I feel ashamed. Should I stop texting him?”

I'll say it off the bat: you are totally allowed to have platonic male friends. But, I would not recommend friends (of any gender or orientation!) that cause you unnecessary anguish. Before going cold turkey on this man, let's try to figure out what's at the root of your anxieties and if you're able to move past it. 

First, consider your feelings and where they’re coming from.

Falling back on old feelings—especially when nostalgia’s involved—isn't shocking. As you stay home and practice social distancing, I'm guessing you haven’t even really had the opportunity to get to know this man for who he is today and not the crush you used to have. Plus, we’re all bored and stressed. Is this possibly just a safe fantasy? I have a feeling some sparks may be flying not for this man but for more innocent times. Texting him is an understandable outlet from your day-to-day grind.

Still, your guilt may be a result of dancing too close to a boundary line—perhaps there is too much flirtation for comfort. If your marriage is your priority, then it’s important to double down on your boundaries in terms of physical and digital distance.

On the other hand, maybe your interactions with this man are more of a foil to your own relationship—this could be less about chemistry and more a desire for intimacy that’s lacking in your marriage. If this is the case, a conversation, perhaps even therapy, is needed with your husband. No need to mention the friend; if it’s about your marriage, it really has nothing to do with him and it could make things worse.

Next, set parameters.

If this relationship with this man is important to you, but clearly making you uncomfortable, keep your one-on-one interactions to a minimum—invite him to group activities where your husband is, but avoid the sexy wine bar happy hours.

It’s also essential that you cut the texting down. Messaging back and forth all day long is setting the groundwork for an emotional affair. That guilt you're feeling is your gut telling you you’re doing something you don’t want to be.

If he keeps pushing for more date-like meet ups and constant texting, it’s time to tell him you’re not comfortable where things are going, point blank. Call the monster out, and it won’t be as scary. 

So, here’s the situation…

If this friendship brings you more grief than joy, perhaps you don’t need it in your life. And if boundaries are easily crossed, I’d suggest ditching it. But it’s also OK to have a spontaneous moment of mild chemistry with someone who’s not your husband. A wave of nostalgia and flash-in-the-pan chemistry won’t change a marriage that is otherwise rock solid. Commitment is how you act in every moment, not how you feel in every moment. So, if you are in an otherwise happy relationship, just don’t indulge it further. Forgive yourself for this little fantasy, and make a choice to commit to your marriage.  

Jenna Birch is author of The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love, a dating and relationship-building guide for modern women. To ask her a question, which she may answer in a forthcoming PureWow column, email her at

I’m Taking Care of the Kids While My Husband Is Spiraling. How Do I Talk to Him?

purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor