What is an emotional affair? Emotional infidelity works in subtle ways. It starts out as two friends getting to know one another. Suddenly talk of work turns into deeply personal conversation and before you know it you’ve begun fantasizing about what a romantic or sexual relationship might be like with this person who is not your mate.
It may seem innocent to share your thoughts and feelings with someone who you are not in a relationship with. After all, how can it be an affair if you aren’t physically cheating? The truth is, getting emotionally attached to someone other than your mate can cause romantic feelings to rise. Want to know if you are unintentionally starting up with someone else? Here are 10 signs of emotional infidelity.
1. You feel understood by this person
Many emotional affairs begin when you no longer feel fulfilled or appreciated by your partner. You feel you can’t talk to them anymore, or that they don’t care about your needs, goals, and feelings. With that comes the sudden need for appreciation and understand elsewhere. You start sharing things with this new person, Beit your co-worker, friend, or ex-lover, and feel understood by this person in a way you don’t by your mate.
2. You go out of your way for this person
Do you find yourself rearranging your schedule to help this person out, even in the minutest way, where you wouldn’t even head out to the corner store for your boyfriend or girlfriend without an eye roll? Going out of your way to spend time with someone who is not your mate may be a sign that there is something more to your friendship than you first thought.
3. You share intimate details with someone who is not your partner
When conversations about friends or work suddenly turn into conversations about romantic relationships, sex, and other deeply personal issues you may have emotional infidelity on your hands. It’s not that you shouldn’t be allowed to share private parts of your life with someone, it’s about the bond that you create when you open up so deeply to another person. You have allowed yourself to become vulnerable to someone else and something in your mind triggers an attachment because of it.
4. You act differently with this person when your mate is around
Even if you don’t mean to, you may feel something shift when you’re partner is around this other person. You may not even act like yourself anymore or may become hyper-aware of how close you’re standing to your friend. You may also not want to be affectionate with your partner around this person. If you feel a gnawing in your attitude when your partner and your friend collide, you may be engaging in an emotional affair.
5. Sexual tension, fantasies, and arousal
One obvious sign of emotional infidelity is if you are not only emotionally attached, but are also having sexual fantasies about this person. Dwelling on sexual fantasies about another person can lead to hurtful actions if you are already in a committed relationship. If the accidental touching of your fingers or arms passing in the hallway ignites a spark of arousal in your everyday interactions with this other person you may be on your way to a full blown affair.
6. You compare your new friends to your romantic partner
If you are truly in an emotionally compromising relationship you may find you are comparing this person to your romantic partner, or vice versa. You think about qualities of this person that you wish your partner had, or note annoying qualities in your partner that you could never fathom this new person doing. Comparing your partner to your crush is unhealthy and unfair for all parties involved.
7. You tell them everything
As if sexually fantasizing wasn’t bad enough, you start dwelling on what it would be like to be in a romantic relationship with this person. You’ve thought about whether you would be compatible together if you were both single. You may have even pictured your future together once or twice. Thinking about a romantic relationship with someone who is not your mate is a surefire sign you are stepping into an emotional affair.
8. You hide your friendship, or aspects of it, from your mate
It’s natural to want a certain level of privacy, even while you’re in a romantic relationship, but carefully consider how much you are hiding from your romantic partner. One sign of emotional infidelity is when you are hiding your friendship from your mate, or at least downplaying certain aspects of it.
If you are hiding texts, social media interactions, or phone calls from this person even when they are innocent in nature you need to think about what about the exchange your partner would not be comfortable with.
9. You want them to like you
People naturally want to be liked. But do you go out of your way to do nice things for this new person in your life? Do you think of ways to make them smile, laugh, or connect with you? If the need to gain someone else’s approval is not a normal part of your personality, you may have a crush on someone who is not your partner.
10. You dress up for them
When you know you’re going to see this other person, do you go out of your way to dress up? When you are attracted to someone, emotionally or physically, you naturally want to gain their attraction in return. If you are going above and beyond when it comes to your appearance and always want to look your best around this person, you may be involved in emotional infidelity that is on the cusp of physical cheating.
Emotional infidelity can slither in unnoticed and cause a heap of trouble in your relationship. If you feel you are experiencing several of these emotional infidelity signs, you may want to reconsider how happy you are in your current relationship and take the appropriate steps to end things before your emotional affair turns into a physical one.