Are you having an Emotional Affair?
Friendships are complex. They are a connection we have with someone because we look at life the same way or we have lots in common. However, friendships can become complicated. Especially if you are both single and can do whatever you like. How do you create boundaries with someone because you are now in a relationship, so you don’t cross the line and share more with our friend that your intimate partner? Or if you meet someone new, how do they fit into your life in a way that respects your relationship with your partner.
You know a friendship is becoming too close, not because you are sharing your life with him or her but when this person knows more about what is going on in your life than your partner does. If you are hiding conversations you have with your friend or time spent with them then this is no longer just a friendship. It is moving into becoming an emotional affair. A lot of people think physical contact such as sex equals affair. It doesn’t; an emotional affair can be far more damaging that a physical affair because the boundaries aren’t clear and the connection damages the primary relationship.
Be careful you don’t get caught unawares and get drawn into an emotional affair. If your friend’s actions or words are overly intimate, and you are having a difficult time in your relationship you might find yourself being drawn into an emotional affair. You need to have firm boundaries in place, not just to protect yourself from compromise, but so you don’t encourage someone else into thinking they have an emotional connection with you. To use someone as an emotional crutch, who you don’t really care about, as a distraction from your relationship or life is a very cruel thing to do.
Try to be objective and have empathy for your partner. If you would struggle with your partner having a connection with someone that is a deep as the friendship you are having them it probably isn’t ok. You are probably having an emotional affair. If you partner seems upset, to be reaching out for connection with you, or is openly accusing you of having an emotional affair then it is probably time for you to do some self-assessment.
Signs you are having an emotional affair:
- You find yourself looking forward to seeing your friend, and you plan what you are going to talk about. You share deep emotional feelings with this person what you don’t share with your partner.
- You share your unhappiness with your current partner with this person.
- You go to great effort to conceal any conversations you have with our friend, deleting emails and/or text messages, not taking phone calls till you are on your own.
- You dress up for this person more so than you do with anyone else.
- You make spending time with your friend a priority. You will re-organise your diary to find time for them.
- You don’t want your partner to see you with your friend, you plan to spend time with them in places your partner would never visit.
- You feel yourself thinking about your friend a lot, often when you don’t want to think about other things in your life. You feel like you need to see your friend as an escape from life.
Take time to assess where you are at, be honest in your relationship and recognise that emotional affairs are an incredibly painful experience for your partner.
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