In Love in the Time of Cholera, Florentino's undying devotion to his first girlfriend might seem a little crazy. In fact, you might call it an obsession. Somehow, it works for him. Despite the fact that she falls out of love with him, dumps him, marries another man, and wishes him dead, Florentino perseveres in his faithfulness to her. This, paradoxically, isn't to say that he doesn't have a lot of sex with other women. Along with all the other things he's repressing, Florentino manages to ignore that little incongruity, too, so that when his patience is finally rewarded, he can swear with a clean conscience that he's remained a virgin all these years for her. Right.
Paradoxically, Florentino manages to remain faithful to Fermina Daza while conducting numerous affairs with other women.
Fermina's decision to stop loving Florentino is the greatest betrayal in the book – and yet, Florentino manages to carry on as though it had never happened.