Most often, emotional affairs start off as friendships.
Some platonic relationships can gradually become emotional friendships. And once you start finding this other person attractive or when there’s sexual chemistry in the air, you start putting your long-term relationship or marriage at risk.
But what exactly is an Emotional Affair?
Emotional affairs can bring devastation to your life. You only have a certain amount of emotional energy available, and when you start investing this energy in someone other than your partner, it’s only a matter of time before your relationship goes down the drain.
People usually don’t aim for their emotional affairs to become anything more than they are, but the line is too thin, and emotional affairs can quickly become flirtations and even sexual encounters.
If you’re unsure about whether you’re engaging in an emotional affair, here are the main signs to keep in mind.
1. When you’re sad you turn to them
If you find yourself unable to confide in or show vulnerability around your partner and go to your friend instead, it naturally follows that you may start visiting them anytime you’re in need of emotional support.
Regardless of what’s on your mind, you’re simply unable to share with your partner because you know you will likely not get their validation or the level of understanding that you require.
2. You find yourself comparing your friend to your partner
When you start comparing your friend to your long-term partner, it almost feels as if you are sizing them up as a potential significant other. Such comparisons may create conflict in your relationship, especially if you are developing a close relationship with your friend.
3. You feel sexually attracted to your friend
No matter how much you try to hide your feelings from others, you cannot hide them from yourself. If there’s intense sexual chemistry between you and your friend, you are no longer just enjoying their company, and you have to admit this to yourself.
In order to protect yourself from your inner judge, you convince yourself that you aren’t flirting, but rather participating in harmless, friendly teasing, which you know very well is wrong.
4. You share frustrations about your spouse/partner
Discussing your relationship problems with your friend and about your partner could be a red flag. If you ever find yourself complaining to someone else about your other half instead of trying to resolve the problem by talking to him or her face to face, you can be certain that you’re engaging in emotional cheating.
5. You feel jealousy
If you start feeling anger and jealousy when you see your friend enjoying themselves in the company of someone else, be sure that you’re engaging in emotional cheating. In fact, try comparing how you feel when you see your partner doing the same thing, and you’ll get a good clue about the seriousness of the situation.
6. You worry about your partner finding out
Have you ever gone out with your friend and deliberately didn’t say anything about it to your partner? Do you keep the length and nature of your conversation a secret?
If so, that’s because you’re likely feeling guilty.
You’re worried about how you would explain yourself and hiding something is a clear sign of emotional inappropriateness.
Instead of coming clean, you rather keep on getting the best of both worlds, and as long as the truth is hidden, you don’t have to admit to your broken relationship or the fact that you might be causing pain to two people at the same time.
7. You start fantasizing or dreaming about your friend
If you’re fantasizing about what it would be like to get physical with your friend or start having romantic dreams about them, that means your unconscious is letting you know that you’ve gone past the boundaries of friendship and are starting to engage in an emotional affair.
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