Today, cheating has been reclassified and it includes not only a physical affair but an emotional affair, as well. It may start out as a platonic friendly feeling towards another person and veer off onto an inappropriate path. These types of affairs are increasingly common. According to the statistics, around 45% of men and 35% of women have admitted having some sort of emotional affair.
We at Bright Side understand that it can be hard to define an “emotional affair” so we made a list of 10 facts that might be a sign of emotional infidelity.
1. You’re too close to your opposite sex-friend.
Loveseats at the movies, the Tesla Roadster, a king-size lobster — some things are just built for two. A relationship is one of these things. It’s like a bicycle — adding a third wheel is only going to throw off the balance. The situation may get worse when that third-wheel is a significant other’s opposite-sex friend. Again, everything might be fine but if your gut is telling you there may be an attraction between your partner and their “friend,” then it’s better to address the issue directly. Remember that while attraction is not a choice, cheating is definitely a choice. An affair doesn’t just magically happen, only you can make a choice to follow or not to go down this slippery slope. So, if you get trapped in the world of an emotional affair, it will be your choice.
2. You flirt online and offline.
Virtual relationships with many different people at once are much easier to sustain than one in real life. Therefore, virtual polygamy may possibly co-exist within the context of offline monogamy. It’s happening because the internet is an easy place for emotional involvement between strangers. In many ways, the internet facilitates the same type of relationship-building opportunities we have in real life. Nevertheless, anonymous online flirting, as well as offline flirting, is still an affair. But the good news is that you can use any social media, messengers, and more to strengthen the existing relationship with your partner and to reduce emotional distance. Healthy internet use between partners builds bridges instead of boundaries and it facilitates online socializing as a couple. it can be a healthy mode of supplementary communication.
3. You’re having an affair with your phone.
Most of us wake up and check our phones before we even say “Good morning!” to the person sleeping next to us. This kind of being-far-away while still-being-close may be quite dangerous because it makes us think we are close to someone when in fact we may not be. According to a recent survey, nearly 4 in 10 millennials consider their cell phone more helpful than their significant other. Whoa. Pause. Absorb. This creepy statistic exemplifies an issue of nowadays reality. Instead of talking to your partner, friend, or family member, people are diving into virtual reality with funny cats and mean Tweets. The greatest reason that our attempts to spend less time on our phones so often fail is that we frame our efforts in the same way we do diets: as acts of self-deprivation. But, no one likes to restrain themselves that’s why it’s so hard. So try to focus on the goals that you’ll achieve if you cut back on phone time. Do you like this perspective?
4. You complain about your partner to someone else.
You’re obviously going to talk about your relationship with your friends or family, and that’s fine. What’s not fine is constantly complaining about your partner on a daily basis. You may believe that you complain to try and deal with your relationship, but you actually haven’t worked together to address and fix those issues. Moreover, you end up creating even more space between the 2 of you. This type of approach can be devastating to the other person when they realize you’ve been secretly upset with them. Imagine, if you heard your partner discussing your behavior or your habits behind your back with his friends. We suppose you’d feel like you’ve been betrayed. If you want to break free from negative and destructive parts of your relationship, never be mad at your partner for something they don’t know they’re doing.
5. You cross the line with strangers.
Emotional infidelity is as dangerous as adultery because it’s intense but invisible. Of course, you may love your partner but when some of your small actions cross the line of infidelity, you’re at risk of losing someone important in your life. Taking a solo trip on the very messy territory can cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally do — like cheat. For example, you meet a guy at a bar and he flirts with you, flatters you, and gives you something you’re not getting in your primary relationship. That must be a warning sign that something’s not going well between you and your partner! If you need someone, especially a stranger, to fill whatever void you have in your primary relationship, you’re entering the territory of emotional infidelity. And that can be the most painful form of cheating for your partner.
6. You have a secret friend.
Regular friendships tend to be pretty open, and having your partner stumble across a text thread from your BFF is unlikely to arouse any suspicions. It’s not fair or realistic to expect your spouse to fill every need. With this in mind, meeting a friend for a drink to hang out for a while is totally fine! But there’s one little problem — if you’re going out of your way to cover up everything you do, then it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to figure out that you feel at least a little bit guilty about an impulse to hide your friendship from your partner. Maybe you feel that your special “friend” may threaten your relationship and don’t want to admit this fact. If you’re so wholly relying on one person for emotional support, and that person is not in a loving relationship with you, you’re setting yourself up for some trouble with your partner. And the only way out for you is to admit it to yourself and figure out why you’re doing it in the first place.
7. You dream of other lovers.
One of the fatal flaws of our culture is that we take everything at face value. We want to believe that every nighttime dream is a direct reflection of reality. So when you have a dream where you’re having sex with someone other than your partner, our first response is to panic and think, “Oh, no! This must mean I don’t really love my partner!” Keep calm and relax. It is completely OK to occasionally have some little fantasies about Jason Momoa’s 6-pack abs or Irina Shayk’s body. But if you are consistently dreaming or imagining a sexual partner other than your spouse, this could be leading to an emotional (or even sexual) affair due to disconnection from your spouse. The only way to control it is to openly talk to your spouse about your sexual fantasies and what you like and what you don’t like in bed, and have them share the same with you. Get back to the fun of sex with your spouse, and it’ll be difficult to imagine anyone else!
8. You lie about your finances.
They say a relationship without trust is like a car without gas. You can stay in it as long as you want, but it won’t go anywhere. According to the results of a poll that surveyed some 23,000 online users, more than 60% of both men and women consider financial infidelity to be just as heinous as a physical affair. What’s more, one-third of respondents felt that financial infidelity could lead to sexual infidelity. The immediate problem with financial (as any other) lying is that trust is lost and when that happens, the relationship becomes stagnant. As a result, most couples either separate or divorce, because it’s just too hard to live with and rely on someone who doesn’t have your back. Remember — the love you feel from the dollars in your bank account is nothing compared to the love of a trusting spouse.
9. You don’t stand up for your partner.
You and your partner should always be a team. So when the going gets tough, you should feel safe in knowing that you have someone to rely on. But, if your boyfriend won’t stand up for you, it’s possible that he isn’t really interested in taking things further. The only thing you can do to encourage him to stand up for you is to be honest with him about how you feel and what you expect from him. To give your relationship a second chance means that you should realize that from the day you understood that “That’s it! I love her/him!” you made a choice. It means that your spouse occupied and assumed the privileged first place of honor in your life. So, let your family and friends know that when it comes to your significant other and your relationship, there is a line they cannot cross.
What do you think about these non-physical methods of cheating? How do you perceive faithfulness in a relationship? Share your opinion and stories with us in the comment section below!
Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me