It may just seem like you have really good chemistry with someone from work. Or maybe it is a friendship where you can always be met with a listening ear and someone who gives you a lot of special attention. Going from casual friend to someone you’re having an emotional affair with is a blurry line, and sometimes this can happen so gradually that it’s difficult to even notice when it first began. Verywell Mind offers some insight on how to tell if you may be having more than a friendship and are in emotional affair territory.
You Share Deeply About What’s Missing In Your Relationship
As you get to know this person better you start sharing with them all the ways that your current partner is failing you and the ways you wish they were different. As you share more about your partner, you notice yourself feeling even more dissatisfied with them and frustrated at all the ways your partner is not meeting the mark. In time you start to see that the person you talk to about your partner is actually more fulfilling than your partner; they have many of the qualities your partner lacks.
Your “Friendship” Is Making Your Partner Suffer
One way you can identify if you’re in an emotional affair is if your partner starts to feel you pulling away and notices the distance. Your partner might feel like you’re around less, like you don’t care to hear how they’re doing as much as you used to, or that you have less emotional interest in them. Your relationship with your partner can begin to suffer even if you aren’t trying to change the way you interact with them.
You Begin Hiding Things or Lying
If you start to notice yourself changing the story or leaving out details about where you were or whom you were spending time with, this could be a good indication of having an emotional affair. If you start to become more secretive about this particular relationship, maybe by hiding texts or phone calls from your significant other, this is a good indication that your relationship has moved beyond just a friendship.
You Compare Your Partner to this Special Person
Feelings of dissatisfaction with your current partner or comparisons between them and your close friend could be mean that you’re moving beyond a typical friendship. Other signs could be starting to really focus on the ways your partner doesn’t make you feel as happy, appreciated, or meet your needs in the same way as your friend does.
You Have Contact When You’re Not Together
If you start to realize that you’re spending a lot of time texting or calling this person, this could be one way to notice you might be having an emotional affair. Aside from keeping in touch when you’re not physically together, you might also notice your thoughts regularly wandering to this person and thinking about your last interaction or the way you feel when you’re with them.
Typically an emotional affair will take place before a physical affair begins, and it’s not too late to repair the damage with your partner if you find yourself in an emotional affair. Many partners will be more understanding of an emotional affair than a sexual affair, and a good place to begin is by being honest with your partner about the ways your emotional needs are not being met in your relationship.
If you find yourself struggling in an emotional affair and feeling confused about your current relationship with your partner, you may find it helpful to meet with one of our therapists as Symmetry Counseling for more insight. You can contact Symmetry Counseling today to get matched with one of our skilled clinicians.