Are you having an emotional affair? Use these emotional affair signs to find out if you’re more-than-friends with a friend.
What is an emotional affair, and what are the signs of an emotional affair? Well, it isn’t cheating in the classic sense, but it is a problem, and looking out for these signs can help you get back to your relationship before you have a real problem.
These days, as close as two lovers may be, they can’t always be by each other’s side all the time. Other than the weekends, most lovers spend a big part of their day away from each other. That leaves many of us with unfulfilled needs.
And as humans, we have a need to feel loved and appreciated wherever we are. That can mean we look for that fulfillment at work or school. The good times you share with your friends and colleagues may be one of the biggest reasons why you enjoy your workplace.
But, when that enjoyment gets out of hand, it can lead to an emotional affair. You don’t want that, at least not if you want your relationship to work.
What is an emotional affair?
To begin to understand why an emotional affair is wrong, or why it even happens, we need to understand what it means to be in an emotional affair.
An emotional affair is a “relationship” you share with someone where you’re emotionally connected to them way more than you’re emotionally connected to your own partner.
How we fall into an emotional affair without even realizing it!
When you aren’t spending too much time with your own partner, or don’t connect with them emotionally for whatever reason, you may inevitably start feeling close to someone else.
As time passes by, even though you have your own lover, you may start to like someone else’s company too.
At first, it may start as someone to have a conversation with when you’re bored, and your partner isn’t around to talk to you. And then, the person turns into someone you enjoy talking to. And before you know it, this person becomes a pretty important part of your life.
Add attraction and stranger-to-your-partner into the equation, and you are staring down the barrel of an emotional affair.
No one plans for this. It usually happens before you even realize it. And that is why you need to be alert and aware of the emotional affair signs.
Why we don’t want to accept we’re having an emotional affair
An emotional affair is exciting. And you may tell yourself it is innocent. You get to experience the same flutter of the heart as you once did with your partner. It’s just harmless flirting, isn’t it?
Harmless flirting is good. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it makes you feel more confident about yourself and your conversational skills. But is your harmless flirting with a colleague at your workplace turning into an emotional affair without you realizing it?
Sometimes, we just don’t want to accept a friendship is turning into something more. After all, from what we understand, it’s only an affair if you kiss someone or sleep with them, right?
Talking to someone? Since when is that an affair?! Honestly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to someone or enjoying the time you spend with them. There’s even nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with them or talk for hours over the phone, late into the night. Where things turn murky is when you start prioritizing them over your own partner.
Sometimes, you don’t have to kiss a friend or go out on a date with them to cheat on your own partner. And that’s where the signs of a budding emotional affair can help you understand what you’re feeling, nip the affair in the bud AND save your romantic relationship at the same time.
Even without realizing it, you may just be more addicted to your “friend” than you think. When your little flirtation or work spouse becomes more than a coworker, acquaintance, or friend, you need to decide if there are signs of an emotional affair and what you’re going to do about it.
Emotional affair signs to judge your secret relationship better
So, could you be cheating on your partner emotionally without even realizing it? Yes, and it happens to many of us, so you’re not alone.
But the important this is all of that can change if you know the signs of an emotional affair so that you can shut it down before it affects your romantic relationship.
Use these emotional affair signs to find out if you’re having one. And once you get that answer, ask yourself the big question you’ll have to face… What are you going to do now? After all, sometimes, the answer is never an easy one.
1. Your behavior
You’re generally very friendly and touchy with this friend of yours. But subconsciously, both of you keep some distance from each other when your lover is around.
There’s more awkwardness and formality in your conversations when your lover’s by your side. Why? If you don’t have anything to hide, why would your behavior change?
A big sign of an emotional affair is the excitement of sharing new thoughts or ideas with this friend, be it your review of a movie you just watched or gossip about another coworker or classmate.
If anything interesting happens in your life, be it an interesting photo you took or something new you tried, they’re the first person you want to share the news with. Not your partner, but them.
3. You need to stay in touch
Do you ever feel incomplete or like something’s missing when you don’t speak to your friend or text them for a day or two?
Even when you’re on vacation, do your thoughts drift and leave you wondering what your friend is up to *or worse, you wish they were around!*? We all think of our loved ones when they aren’t around, but if thinking of them is distracting you, it could signify an emotional affair.
4. You share your secrets
Do you share your innermost secrets with this friend? You may be sharing secrets that even your partner doesn’t know about. And the weird thing, it makes you feel good to share such intimate details with your friend.
At times, the idea of sharing a new secret may even excite you or make you feel more connected to each other. This is not a good sign if you are confiding in this person, maybe even about your partner.
5. You want their attention
You get annoyed if you call your friend up late one night and realize they’re busy on another call with someone else. Maybe you find yourself feeling jealous if they date someone else or speak highly about someone else to you.
You’re not dating each other, but both of you like getting each other’s attention.
6. It’s an addiction
You’re addicted to this friend. Both of you feel really happy to meet each other after a long weekend. And you feel like you’ve missed out on a good time if you don’t get to spend some time talking to this friend.
If you miss this person more than you miss your partner when you’re not together, that’s a sign your friendship is bordering on the edge of an emotional affair.
7. You’re easily aroused
Do you get easily aroused when you’re having a conversation about sex with this friend?
If you feel good talking about your own intimate sexual details with your friend and it somehow arouses you, there’s clearly an emotional affair in the making already. And chances are, it will lead to something more as well.
8. Sexual tension
There’s a lot of sexual tension in the air. Even when both of you sit close to each other, you can clearly sense every part of your body that is touching.
We all find people attractive, but when that goes beyond and makes you question or doubt your relationship, it could be a sign of an emotional affair and more.
9. You flirt naturally
Both of you don’t always realize it, but there’s a lot of flirty conversations when both of you share a moment, and there’s no one around. Other people around you may even comment on how in sync or cozy you seem. People could even mistake you for a couple.
10. You want to make an impression
If you always find yourself dressing up better when you meet this friend, it is a sign of something.
You may not consciously see this an a sign of an emotional affair in the making, but you always try to look your best when spending time with your friend. Do you touch up your makeup or spray an extra spritz of cologne?
If you’re showing signs of an emotional affair with a friend, big chances are you take their compliments pretty seriously.
If your friend tells you that you look prettier with your hair styled a particular way or that red looks beautiful on you, it just makes your day. And you follow up by wearing your hair that way or doing what they suggest more often.
12. You’ve found your secret soulmate
This friend of yours understands you better than anyone else in the whole world. And you respect your friend’s advice more than you care about your own partner’s.
This is usually a temporary fluke because something in your relationship isn’t quite right. But feeling like this is a major sign of an emotional affair.
13. You make sacrifices
You’d be willing to sacrifice the big things just to make more time for your friend. You could stay up the whole night just to talk to your friend after your partner’s asleep. Or you could leave your place and head to work an hour early so you can spend more time with your friend.
You don’t realize it, but you put your life, love, and career aside just to spend time with this friend. Why?
14. Together time
You spend more time talking to this friend of yours than you spend time with your own partner.
And even if your partner tries to communicate with you, you subconsciously push them away because you’d prefer to have intellectual conversations only with your friend.
Your friend pops into your sexual fantasies all the time. You may be having sex with your own partner, but somehow, you can’t stop thinking about how amazing it would be to make love to your friend. This is a big sign of an emotional affair and should really push you to take action.
Whenever you speak about this friend with your partner, you talk about this friend like they’re not important at all. You try not to speak about this friend with your partner, or you portray your friend as someone insignificant in your life.
Additionally, you make a conscious effort to downplay your friend’s role in your life, and you try hard not to bring up this person’s name while in conversation with your partner.
17. A secret wish
Even if you’re in a long-term relationship with your partner, you spend a lot of time secretly wondering about how your life could have been if you and your friend had met earlier, before you started dating your partner.
18. Talk of partners
You and your friend avoid talking about each other’s partners too much. And even if one of you talks about your own lovers, it’s only for a few minutes before the conversation gets back to flirty talk, or how nice both of you feel talking to each other and having each other as such good friends.
It’s a subtle way of reassuring each other that even though both of you are in relationships with other people, there’s still something magical about your emotional relationship.
Not only do you downplay your relationship with this person but you outright deny it. You may even get angry if your partner asks about them. Even a simple question about how they’re doing might set you off because you are on edge.
When you know you’re doing something wrong, you’re sensitive about the topic and lash out.
20. Overdoing it
A major sign of an emotional affair is going overboard denying that anything is going on. You don’t just get mad or downplay it, you may actually mock or make fun of this friend in front of your partner. You say they are gross, or weird, or needy, just so your partner believes you don’t find them attractive.
And, this can add to your guilt because you actually like this person so not only are you lying to your partner, but you are saying cruel things about the person you have feelings for.
21. Inappropriate talking
You may not have cheated physically, but an emotional affair can come with certain other inappropriate moments. Calling this person pet names like baby or sweetheart can take things to a new level.
You aren’t just harmlessly flirting anymore. You consider this person a big part of your life and view them as a partner, even if in secret.
22. Ignoring your relationship
The subtle signs of an emotional affair aren’t all about the affair, but also your relationship. You may be putting more energy into this other person than your partner. Instead of trying to fix things, you would rather hang out with this other person and put effort into that because it is new and exciting.
You are pulling away from your relationship but you barely notice because you have another person occupying your time and filling that void.
23. Oddly happy
Even though your relationship is falling through the cracks, you aren’t upset. You don’t feel like you’re losing something because you’ve gained something else. You are happy with this emotional affair and have sort of forgotten your actual relationship.
If you are having problems in your relationship or even if other aspects of your life, which you probably are, friends might ask you why you seem so giddy and happy all the time.
You hide your phone and emails. You don’t want your partner or anyone else scrolling through your photos. With the signs of an emotional affair, you may convince yourself you’re doing nothing wrong but deep down you know you are, so you hide the evidence.
Are you experiencing emotional affair signs?
Emotional affairs are extremely common. And almost all of us have been on the verge of getting into one without realizing it. But that doesn’t make them good or fair.
So if you recognize these emotional affair signs and see that you’re experiencing most of them, it’s time to give it serious thought. As fun and exciting as this may seem now, it’s only ruining everything else around you.
If you’re in an emotional affair with someone, you are jeopardizing your own relationship. You are lying to your partner and possibly leading on your friend. And you may even be putting every other part of your life on hold to accommodate this emotional affair.
Think long and hard about your next move because there is no going back when an emotional affair crosses the line. So now that you know you’re in an emotional affair, what do you want to do?
There are just two things you can do at this crossroads. Break up with your partner. Or end the emotional affair. These emotional affair signs don’t lie. Now it’s time to stop lying to yourself and make that decision before it’s too late.